The on-site services package that Fujitsu GPMO, until recently, offered to big customers, now comes in a standardized version within easy reach of SMEs. GPMO markets its Selfoss services via a portal build by Providit using OutSystems as a delivery platform.
GPMO (Global Program Management Office) is a department of Fujitsu Technology Solutions. It ensures the management and coordination of the IT services that Fujitsu customers buy. GPMO is headquartered in Brussels. There are also regional offices in Portugal, Costa Rica and the Philippines. If support via a service desk and remote support don't suffice and a service call-out is needed, on the customer's premises, by a professional, GPMO swings into action. Among the company's impressive references are big-name customers such as Lufthansa and Schneider Electric: large, internationally active companies for which GPMO develops a tailored service. Whenever a customer flags a problem, GPMO dispatches a technician or a service partner to the site. The fifty employees of GPMO handle about 240,000 IT support tickets a year, for service call-outs in all four corners of the world.
Rapid Application Development
Meanwhile, under the Selfoss services label, GPMO also offers a more standardized package of on-site services, aimed at SMEs. It concerns services such as the creation of a new user, the migration of data and applications onto a replacement machine, technical or logistic assistance during a move and other desk-side support. “To optimally streamline the marketing of those services, we decided to develop a user portal”, says Alex Curias, VP GPMO at Fujitsu Technology Solutions. “The portal manages all underlying processes: ranging from the automated sending-out of quotations up to the management of contracts, payments, and more.”
In the search for a suitable technology for developing the portal, GPMO soon came across the principle of RAD (Rapid Application Development) – which introduced them to OutSystems. “A first proposal from a would-be partner didn't tick all the boxes”, recalls Serge Van Branden, Global Deployment Director at GPMO. “After that we invited Providit to drop by. With that firm there was a definite click, both technical and personal, right from the off.” GPMO's in-house team performed the analysis for the portal. The business side of the story was already in place. “We had, of course, been making price quotations for customers for several years already”, Van Branden continued, “but, until just recently, it was all done manually.”
Close to the business
GPMO engaged Providit for the technical development. And, right from the start, there was a strong interaction. Providit thought along with GPMO, every step of the way. “We have always retained the mindset of a startup”, Curias explained. “That same mentality is also visible at Providit: the urge to innovate and, step by step, to make progress as rapidly as possible.”
For Providit it was also important to be close to business, throughout the project – quite literally in fact. Van Branden: “About half of the software development took place on-premise, in our own offices.” That gave GPMO significant added value.
In each case, Providit promptly took that feedback with them into the development process. Van Branden: “We opted for a truly iterative approach, and by the book. The terms agile and lean weren’t just buzzwords here. It went much wider than that.” By adopting that approach GPMO made optimal use of what OutSystems had to offer.
“We found ourselves in uncharted territory", Curias recalled. "Which is why we took the time to consult with our customers about what exactly they expected from the solution.”
Van Branden: “In comparison with a traditional technology, the speed of software development with OutSystems was truly spectacular. We are talking here of a factor of five to ten, for sure.”
Software development using a traditional technology had always been a non-starter in GPMO's eyes. Curias: “Our aim was to work efficiently: quickly and not too expensive. In which we could quickly adapt the pilot projects that had just been launched. To incorporate the feedback coming back from the business. In that respect, OutSystems has come up to expectations, without a doubt. It all went very smoothly and in no time.”
What's more, GPMO no longer has to look over its shoulder for the hosting of the portal. All that happens automatically, on the platform of OutSystems itself.
Alex Curias, VP GPMO at Fujitsu Technology Solutions: Providit has the mentality of a startup: the urgeto innovate and make rapid progress, supported by technology that caters to that speed of execution.
New business model
Initially, the Selfoss services portal went live for existing customers and for new customers who'd found GPMO via Fujitsu's network. In the next stage, GPMO aims to develop the market itself. And boost the sales of its services via the portal. “In any project there are three parties involved”, Van Branden explained. “Besides GPMO and the customer there is also the delivery partner, the service provider who goes on-site at the customer's. These service providers also benefit from the portal, as they're able to organize themselves more efficiently.”
This is but one of the aspects that shows how big an impact the portal has on GPMO's operating efficiency.
“The portal is changing our business”, Curias confirmed. “A quotation is dispatched automatically to a customer within 24 hours. Within a week after the client’s go-ahead the customer can be issuing his first IT support tickets. Quotation cycles of six months are a thing of the past. This wouldn't have been possible without the portal. Without the winning combination of Providit and OutSystems, we wouldn't have built the new portal as fast as we did.”