Ralph Borer

Head of IT Learning Solutions , Roche

Supernova Award Category: 

Future of Work: Employee Experience

The Company: 


Roche has been committed to improving lives since the company was founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland. Today, Roche is the world's largest biotech company and we create innovative medicines and diagnostic tests that help millions of patients globally. Our mantra is “doing now what patients need next.”

Our people make our business. We need to ensure that we have, and make best use of, varied skills, perspectives and backgrounds in order to be successful today and tomorrow. In addition to global tools, courses and resources, Roche has many learning and development programs which are geared to local needs and resources and aligned with local legal and regulatory requirements, when appropriate.

The Problem: 

Roche’s greatest asset is our people who are passionate about what we do and the impact we have on the world.  With over 90,000 people working together across more than 100 countries, we must work as one in order to remain at the forefront of innovation. That is the reason that we put such emphasis on the employee experience and providing the tools that will enable them to be empowered and fully productive.

However, as digital transformation continues to spiral, it is becoming harder to maintain proficiency with the myriad of enterprise software and applications that employees are overwhelmed with today. Formal training is just not sustainable. Employees who join a formal IT business application training (eLearning, ILT) forget 50% of what they learn within a week if they don’t use it right away. This increases work for the service desk and frustration for the employee. Creating such formal training is expensive and resource heavy to develop (eLearning) or conduct (Trainer, travel costs, etc.).

We tried all the latest change management methods and even an electronic performance support system (EPSS) to support the rollout of new software, but struggled to achieve a seamless experience that maximized ROI. The process required immense effort, resulted in a clunky user experience, and ultimately prevented wider adoption of the new technologies. We needed to find sustainable, new methodology for training that would suit the digital age.

The Solution: 

Using WalkMe, we are overcoming all the typical obstacles of formal training. Our new paradigm is: “While people are working, they’re learning and while people are learning, they’re working”.

WalkMe provides contextual guidance as an invisible layer atop 45 software programs used worldwide. Users see a “ShowMe” button which will take them step-by-step through the completion of a required process or task. There is NO need to recall dozens of instructions per app. Using WalkMe’s AI-powered predictive analytics, we will be able to further improve the on-time guidance as it will be able to pre-empt requests for help.

Onboarding is now easy for employees. Instead of creating long training sessions for employees, we now conduct this with extreme efficiency and zero training time! Instead of spending time teaching them in advance how to do something, when the need arises to accomplish a particular task, they are guided on-screen in real time.

The Results: 

In 2009, when rolling out a new enterprise-wide HR system, we had to create hundreds of eLearning materials in 11 languages, conduct thousands of classroom trainings worldwide and provide non-stop help. The employee experience was terrible - they got stuck and were very frustrated.

In 2018, we were similarly challenged with a new enterprise-wide HR system rollout. This time it was a totally different experience! Using WalkMe inTool training, employees were smartly guided on the new system immediately when they had need. No pre-training was even created! The feedback on this on-spot/on-time training solution was tremendous. The help desk stayed quiet. The adoption of the new software was seamless and trouble-free company-wide.

WalkMe delivered significant ROI for change management and feature adoption as well as boosting employee satisfaction and productivity. Our Software Admins and training staff are spending less time creating and conducting and updating training.  Our employees are more satisfied, more efficient, make less mistakes and are happy to self-serve, reducing the need for support.

To date, nearly 45 of our internal business applications utilize the WalkMe inTool solution. This allows us to empower our workforce to be successful while continuing to deliver on our promises to employees and customers. We believe its decisions like this that help Roche to be consistently ranked as a top employer of choice.


With WalkMe’s built-in analytics, we can carefully monitor the engagement and satisfaction of users on each application. In general, when it comes to training quality, we achieved an end user satisfaction of 98%. We estimate a meaningful time savings per employee per application per year. Multiply that by a 50+ platforms and across our workforce of 90,000, and the results are pretty significant. Related to the recent HR-system rollout, we saw that 52,881 users interacted with WalkMe, 91% of them multiple times. Over 85% found the overview tour helpful. After launch of the new software, we did not experience the typical major spike in related helpdesk calls, indicating that WalkMe provided timely guidance to the users.  The benefits to both employees and Software Admins was clear. Success stories like this one have inspired Software Admins to implement WalkMe across more platforms to easily onboard users to systems, drive data quality/compliance, and reduce help desk tickets received for pain point issues. Software Admins believe that WalkMe supports a lean experience. It’s simple and efficient to create and maintain training and support content, and they can deliver the right information to the right person at the right time and place. Previously, where teams would have to postpone system go live in order to develop "old school" training and support materials and processes, we can deliver on time with the optimal user experience.

The Technology: 

WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) combining insights, engagement, guidance and automation capabilities into a transparent layer of predictive, contextual help that sits on top of an enterprise’s digital assets (software/apps/websites). The AI-powered platform employs Walk-Thrus, pop-up messages, balloons and reminders to show users how to navigate an online process from start to finish, across platforms, exactly when needed. It is simply more productive!

Disruptive Factor: 

Today, everything is going digital. Software and applications are getting more functionality, and as a result, more complex and harder to use. Employees are inundated by the number of platforms they need to master. They are frustrated and distracted. In our company alone, hundreds of different software solutions and applications are in use around the world. Every new software solution we employ, every new update to existing platforms creates enormous challenges. Sometimes it seems that employees come to the office to learn rather than to work…

We realized that creating, maintaining and pushing quantities of training is unproductive and no longer sustainable. A paradigm shift was needed to change things around: a new vision of training in the digital world.

WalkMe is helping us achieve an employee experience that wasn’t previously possible. Now, employees know they’re only one click away from getting immediate assistance via WalkMe. Software Admins can provide employees with the training and support they need at scale, empowering them to focus on more important corporate initiatives.

Our leadership team is very happy that we now have a solution that can replace formal training methods and bring the type of productivity that has been sought for so long.

The fact that HR could roll out a new HR system enterprise-wide without any scheduled training – relying solely on WalkMe – speaks for itself!

Shining Moment: 

The decision by HR to introduce major new enterprise software and rely solely on WalkMe to train employees was big. But even greater is getting constantly inundated with requests from Software Admins company-wide to implement our WalkMe “Show Me” button in their app. We are running company-wide success roadshows, looking at the option of building an internal strategic center of excellence, and working closely with the WalkMe team to help us handle this extraordinary demand.

About Roche

Founded in 1896, Roche, a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics is the world’s largest biotech company with over 94,000 employees in over 100 countries. We develop truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, diseases of the central nervous system, diabetes management, in-vitro and tissue-based cancer diagnostics.