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HRForecast: Data protection for big data analyses

What skills do employees in my industry need in the future? How many jobs do I have to fill? How many school and university graduates are available with which qualifications? And how do young talents really tick? Answers to these questions are highly relevant to your business. HRForecast from Munich delivers these answers - with the help of extensive big-data analyzes. However, in Germany, HRForecast came up against unexpected challenges.

Two IT-Experts from HRForecast analyze labor market data
Two IT-Experten from HRForecast analyze labor market data
 

How HRForecast creates a database

With the management suite HRForecast, Munich start-up HRForecast has developed a solution that gives companies a forecast of the labour market of tomorrow in their sector. The principle: HRForecast collects as much information as possible and then analyses it. The data includes publicly accessible statistics, but also information provided by the companies themselves for their analyses.

HRForecast subsequently analyses the data collected, with a high computational effort, and from this derives recommendations for action for the company concerned. “We are offering a service that is the only one of its kind in the world,” says CEO and founder Florian Fleischmann. The company’s success confirms that this is the right approach: HRForecast only launched on the market in 2013 but is already in high demand around the world, from Mexico to the Netherlands, from Turkey and India to Australia. The Munich-based company now employs 30 members of staff – from a 25-year-old maths whiz to a 75-year-old industry pro.

Photo of HRForecast CEO Florian Fleischmann.
Florian Fleischmann, HRForecast GmbH CEO and founder

We calculate recommendations that are of major competitive relevance and highly sensitive for our customers. Data security and data protection are therefore of immense importance.” 
– Florian Fleischmann, HRForecast GmbH CEO and founder.

For the extensive analyses, the company regularly uses vast computing capacities from the cloud. Until recently, HRForecast used the IT resources of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its Big Data analyses. But this caused problems, in its domestic market of all places. “Unfortunately, experience has shown that an American cloud provider often produces security concerns and feelings of unease among our customers, especially German customers.”

IT resources from German data centres

The start-up needed a new cloud provider who offered flexibly scalable IT capacities to maximum data security and data protection standards. HRForecast didn’t have to look for very long: it decided in favour of the Open Telekom Cloud. The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offered by Deutsche Telekom fulfils all of the Munich company’s requirements, at the highest possible level: the Open Telekom Cloud is hosted in multi-certified computer centres in Saxony-Anhalt. And data processing complies with the strictest German data protection regulations.

The company therefore now also meets the demands of business customers in the German market. But data security and data protection were not the only arguments in favour of Open Telekom Cloud, from the Munich entrepreneurs’ point of view. The start-up can add or deduct computing and storage capacities spontaneously at any time. For this purpose, HRForecast uses virtual machines specially designed for high-performance computing. With the autoscaling function, the Open Telekom Cloud acts entirely as required: if the utilisation of the virtual machines increases or decreases, the system reacts automatically, based on pre-defined rules.

a man watches via VR-glasses labour statistics
Big Data meets virtual reality – a man watches via VR-glasses labour statistics

“Very few competitors offer such dynamism. This is a huge advantage, as our customers do not forgive any performance problems,” says Fleischmann. “What’s more, security concerns are now a thing of the past. When our customers hear about the German computer centres of Deutsche Telekom, no questions remain unanswered.”

The next computationally and data-intensive application is already planned for the future, and this too will be operated in the Open Telekom Cloud: data analysis in virtual reality. “Our customers will meet in virtual rooms for the data analysis, like in the film Minority Report,” says Fleischmann. “This will only work with reliable computing power in the background, which we can retrieve from the Open Telekom Cloud at any time, in real time.”

 

At a glance: HRForecast GmbH and the Open Telekom Cloud

  • Company: HRForecast GmbH
  • Founded in: 2013
  • Based in: Haar (Munich)
  • Sector: Software/analytics/consulting
  • Employees: 30

The company:
HRForecast was founded in 2013 by Florian Fleischmann and Christian Vetter. With its analysis software HRForecast, the company filled a gap in the market, because there had simply been no solution that identified recommendations for action for the labour market of tomorrow using Big Data analyses before. Based on huge quantities of data, HRForecast calculates recommendations for action in HR planning for customers all over the world – and extremely successfully.

The challenge:
Internationally sought after, the Munich entrepreneurs found themselves facing new challenges in their domestic market of all places: German companies are far more demanding when it comes to data security and data protection than many customers in other countries. The previous provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) was unable to meet the high requirements in this respect. Therefore, HRForecast GmbH looked for a new cloud provider.

The solution:
Open Telekom Cloud. The Infrastructure as a Service offered by Deutsche Telekom has already been certified by numerous independent institutions for a high level of data security, based on strict German legal regulations. And the flexibly scalable IT resources from the computer centres in Saxony-Anhalt are ideally suited to spontaneous load peaks within Big Data analyses.

The result:
Customers from Germany who until recently still expressed concerns about data protection and data security are now far more easily convinced by the innovative solution from Bavaria. Now, HRForecast has created the best foundations for further growth, in the German market as well.


 

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