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Telefónica: Helping people adapt to the new world of work

Explore Telefónica’s journey with SAP

At Telefónica S.A, equipping employees with the skills they need to adjust to new ways of working is a top priority. The telecommunications leader built a reskilling application that enables staff to identify existing skills and explore areas for development using SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management Suite.



of employees use the reskilling application.



of talent profiles completed, enabling intelligent matching.

With support from SAP, we have been able to extend the functionality in SAP SuccessFactors solutions to create an innovative solution that helps employees identify and develop the skills that will be vital in the digital world and the future of our company.

Gabriel de Diego
HR Strategy and Transformation Director
Telefónica S.A

The Challenge

Offering new jobs and new skills

The world of work is changing, and all jobs will be impacted. Some jobs will be lost, but many more will be created. And every emerging role will require interpersonal and cognitive skills, digital fluency, literacy in new media, and computational thinking.


Against this background, Telefónica S.A. must invest in its employees to develop their skills and help them adjust to new ways of working.


“We support and empower our people through technology, connecting their professional career with the objectives of our business,” says Gabriel de Diego, HR Strategy and Transformation Director, Telefónica S.A.


To equip employees with new knowledge and empower them to take charge of their careers, Telefónica launched an enterprise-wide reskilling and upskilling program. But first, Telefónica needed to profile existing skill levels within the workforce to guide employees with complete appropriate training and enhance their professional development. The company also wanted to improve its ability to assign people with the right skills to the right roles.


We are looking to integrate our reskilling application more closely with our wider SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite to extract maximum value from the skills profile data. This valuable insight will enable more intelligent workforce planning.

Gabriel de Diego
HR Strategy and Transformation Director
Telefónica S.A

The Solution

Investing in people

Telefónica partnered with Stratesys Technology Solutions S.L. to build an innovative reskilling application on SAP Business Technology Platform. Drawing on functionality within SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management Suite (SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite), the application enables employees to identify existing skills and explore areas for professional development.


First, employees fill in a skills profile form. Using machine learning technology provided by SAP AI Business Services, this information is analyzed to deliver personalized training recommendations to each employee. Machine learning algorithms also intelligently match employee skills with individual job requirements, supporting internal recruitment decision-making.


Integrated with Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services through SAP Business Technology Platform, the reskilling application enables Telefónica to access pretrained machine learning models and cognitive APIs to augment the functionality of its reskilling application.


A friendly AI-enabled chatbot named “Chip” guides users through the process. A young team of interns from Telefónica’s Talentum program designed the Chip avatar, creating a gender-, race-, and age-neutral persona accessible to all. Available in Telefónica’s four main business languages, Chip played a critical role in the high adoption rate of the reskilling application, providing an intuitive and engaging user experience.


Stratesys helped define the project scope, develop the reskilling application, and implement the technology. This real collaborative effort between Telefónica's Global Technology team and Stratesys applied innovative approaches to help make Telefónica's design a reality and deliver on its objectives.

The Result

Closing the skills gap

To date, the reskilling application has been implemented in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and other global business units around the world and is available to Telefónica’s 100,000 employees.


Adoption has been high, enabling users to gather detailed data on the current skill profiles within the workforce. This insight helps management identify the areas in which skills development is required and provide appropriate training opportunities and learning resources accordingly. Managers can also match internal candidates to job vacancies more strategically, based on skills and competencies.


The reskilling application is accessible anytime and anywhere through the SAP SuccessFactors Mobile app, with the Chip chatbot available 24x7 to answer questions and provide guidance. Personalized advice and tailored training recommendations empower employees to take charge of their own development and take the right action to shape their future careers.


In the face of rapid technological change, trade unions are often concerned that people’s skill sets may become obsolete. However, the reskilling application has been well received by Telefónica’s trade union representatives and works council. Employees and leaders have also provided very positive feedback.


For Telefónica, the reskilling application is part of a wider investment in helping employees adapt to the new world of work. Within the next five years, the company faces a gap of critical profiles in areas such as security, robotization, analytics, Web development, and business consulting. Rather than filling these roles with external hires, it is committed to equipping its existing workforce with the skills required, forging a strong career path that improves employee satisfaction and loyalty.

SAP solutions help us empower our people through technology, prepare them for the new world of work, and equip them with the skills they – and we – need for future success.

Gabriel de Diego
HR Strategy and Transformation Director
Telefónica S.A

Future Plans

Preparing for the future of work

Looking to the future, Telefónica plans to incorporate new intelligence features into the reskilling application.


By harnessing cognitive services from SAP AI Business Services and Microsoft Azure, the company hopes to make its AI and machine learning technologies even smarter to improve accuracy and provide even more personalized development recommendations to employees.


The company is also planning to use data captured by the reskilling application to inform its succession and development planning strategy, compensation policy, and more.

SAP helps Telefónica run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Established an enterprise-wide reskilling program to transition 100,000 employees to a digital workplace
  • Enabled staff to explore new areas for development and take action to shape their future careers
  • Provided intelligent, personalized training recommendations for each employee based on employee insights
  • Automated matching of employee profiles to vacant positions and new emerging roles based on skill sets and competencies
  • Empowered management to make internal recruitment decisions based on skills data, supporting smarter resourcing decisions

Featured solutions and services

About Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies in terms of market capitalization and number of customers. Sensitive to the new challenges demanded by society today, this telecommunications leader provides the means to facilitate communication between people with secure and cutting-edge technology.

Featured partner

Stratesys Technology Solutions helps clients achieve their objectives through the development of technological and business solutions. After 20 years in the market and implementing more than 1,000 projects, Stratesys is currently a multinational leader in digital services with a team of more than 1,100 professionals working across an extensive network of offices and global shore centers.

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