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Successfully migrating 46,000 Henkel employees to remote work in two weeks


  • Accelerate digital transformation to strengthen relationships with employees, customers and consumers
  • Reduce the cost to provision and support workplace technology
  • Move the workforce home during lockdowns while providing access to the same high-performing services as the office


  • Deployed Digital Workplace Solutions from Unisys, including a service desk with desktop management and support; on-site Tec-Stop (support and IT learning center) at three of the company’s locations; and a virtual Tec-Stop service to deliver critical aid and device distribution for employees working from home
  • Deployed Cloud, Applications & Infrastructure Solutions from Unisys, including data center transformation advice and engineering, endpoint security and managed network services
  • Completed the entire project within Henkel’s service level agreement, with no network or application services degradation


  • Transitioned a global workforce to remote work in two weeks
  • Enhanced security in the multi-endpoint environment necessary for remote work
  • Increased employee productivity and satisfaction, improved ticket-resolution rates and reduced service-delivery costs by providing secure, fast and innovative support

Data points

  • 35,000 completed inquiries a month with 24/7 support in 13 languages
  • 80% of Henkel’s new applications migrated to secure cloud-ready or cloud-native sessions
  • Moved 46,000 employees at more than 70 locations to remote work and secured Unisys-supported hardware with endpoint protection

Henkel's story is one of resilience, innovation, and growth. Over the past 145 years, the company has become a global powerhouse in the chemical and consumer goods industries, operating on almost every continent.

Henkel's success can be attributed to its ability to adapt to changing environments and overcome unexpected obstacles. With a track record of innovation, the company has navigated tough challenges, demonstrating remarkable agility. Whether leveraging digital transformation to strengthen connections with 53,000 employees and consumers in 2018 or quickly relocating over 46,000 non-essential staff to work from home just two years later, Henkel has quickly acclimated to shifting landscapes.

Objectives: Enabling a secure and responsive workplace

In 2018, Henkel’s leaders aimed to accelerate the company’s digital transformation journey, bolster relationships with employees, customers and consumers, and cut provisioning costs. With thousands of employees, smooth and accessible workplace technology was vital to supporting productivity.

Little did anyone know that two years later, COVID-19 would force the company to move its more than 46,000 non-critical employees to work from home while maintaining the high-performing services staff enjoyed in the office. Achieving successful digital transformation required changes that enabled employees to adapt to new processes and resources in any situation.

“With our digital transformation, we are headed to becoming more customer and consumer-centric,” said Bart Kerkman, Henkel’s former head of service delivery. “The value of Unisys as a partner is getting top-notch support for traditional IT process services and gaining access to digital innovations.”

Driving cultural change through digital transformation

Pre-COVID, Henkel partnered with Unisys for an on-site IT support service called Tec-Stop, while maintaining a sizable on-premises IBM-managed data center and hybrid cloud. Unisys established a team of experts at Tec-Stop to answer questions, troubleshoot issues and configure devices for Henkel staff. This service enabled repairing and replacing malfunctioning devices in under an hour, considerably reducing employee downtime.

"The Tec-Stop is like an Apple Store where Henkel employees have fast access to excellent expertise from Unisys experts and solutions,” said Kerkman. “Unisys brought multiple innovations to Henkel, including desktop management, Active Directory services and Tec-Stop."

After a successful on-site Tec-Stop Unisys support center trial, Henkel expanded the service by introducing Tec-Stops centers at other business locations. These centers allowed Henkel employees to interact with and gain knowledge from Unisys engineers.

“It was a full scope of end-user services completely done by Unisys that started with hiring employees and sending them the necessary technology,” said Markus Petrak, Henkel’s head of digital workplace.

Henkel also worked with Unisys to deliver and manage an online support ticketing platform for system assistance and develop a remote printing solution that enabled workers to distribute confidential documents securely. These systems would allow Henkel to quickly pivot digital workplace processes, which would be essential just a few years later.

Preparing for remote work with a personal touch

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Henkel demonstrated remarkable resilience and agility by utilizing Digital Workplace Solutions from Unisys. In just two weeks (and only three days in some local regions like Italy), the company could migrate more than 46,000 non-critical employees to a productive work-from-home infrastructure, maintaining uninterrupted operations and preserving company culture.

By utilizing the cloud, up to 80% of Henkel’s new applications were made accessible through secure cloud-ready or cloud-native sessions connected to its IBM-managed data center, including a Direct Print solution to enable the confidential distribution of documents.

During this time, Unisys also launched a virtual Tec-Stop service that provided device support and distribution for remote workers and on-site staff. This service helped ensure that critical operations remained uninterrupted.

As more staff started working from home, the Unisys VPN could handle a significant increase in network traffic without violating any service level agreements. The stability in network performance while using these secure services immediately improved employee satisfaction and productivity.

With the help of Unisys, Henkel successfully enabled a secure and user-friendly application experience for its employees, partners and customers.

Organization change management benefits

Organization change management benefits

Figure: Organization change management benefits

Results: Delivering a consumer-like experience while eliminating cost and complexity

Henkel teamed up with Unisys’ Digital Workplace Solutions team to transform its technology infrastructure and provide unparalleled employee assistance. Unisys’ strategy for managing organizational change is centered on identifying critical success factors, which fosters better technology adoption and usage that benefits employees in the long run. (See figure.)

This approach was instrumental in driving productivity improvements at Henkel and among remote workers to help ensure its products could continue to reach customers globally. It also laid the groundwork for Henkel’s swift transition to a work-from-home model in under two weeks. Thanks to Unisys, Henkel could keep its business operations running smoothly, even during unprecedented challenges.

Employees can now conveniently access expert IT support and training sessions with the same level of assistance regardless of location.

Unisys has aided over 46,000 employees working in more than 70 locations, who generate over 35,000 inquiries per month. A 24/7 service desk is available in 13 languages for desktop management. There are Tec-Stop sites at three of Henkel’s locations, including its headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany, where employees can receive in-person technology services. Moreover, Unisys offers a quick and hassle-free replacement option if an employee's device is damaged.

Unisys cloud solutions also secure and optimize Henkel’s technology infrastructure by providing expert advice and engineering on data center transformation, managed network services and endpoint security.

Unisys rose to the challenge of the project's complexity and delivered outstanding results while adhering to Henkel’s service level agreement. Throughout the migration process, there was no network or application services degradation, so Henkel’s employees could rely on top-tier support and work efficiently and effectively without interruptions. This seamless transition was a testament to the expertise and dedication of the Unisys team, who went above and beyond to meet Henkel's needs.

“When it comes to large-scale workplace transformation, ensuring security is one of the most important issues,” Petrak said. “We require a partner that we can rely on to address all our concerns, and I’m pleased that Unisys is a partner that shares our dedication to security.”

Workplace transformation can be a complex process, but Unisys has the expertise to make it a success.

Contact us to explore our digital workplace and cloud solutions that help businesses of all sizes achieve seamless and efficient transformations.

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