“The Unmatched knowledge, expertise and understanding that LoQutus brought to this project delivered an alternative solution that was a perfect match to our needs. It will enable us to guarantee high quality services to both internal and external customers. All the while providing the necessary stability, reliability and flexibility to future-proof us over the next several years. We appreciate LoQutus' out-of-the-box thinking, which provides us with a much more effective solution than we had originally envisioned.” - Hannes Lombaert, IT-Architect at Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur
New reference architecture delivers transparency, speed and digital interactivity in future-oriented solution
The Agentschap Binnenlands Bestuur (ABB) needed a new reference architecture and accompanying technology to better support its back-office staff and to create a new digital help desk. LoQutus, in close cooperation with internal administrators and users, delivered a Case Management System that optimises the quality of service ABB can provide while establishing a flexible architecture that will be responsive to changing requirements for some time to come.
An agency within the Flemish government, ABB works with local councils, including municipalities, provinces, inter-community joint ventures, and autonomous municipal and provincial companies. Its mission is to create a framework for high quality, effective and comprehensive Flemish policy that helps local and provincial authorities and organisations deliver exceptional service in the naturalisation and integration sector.
Preparing for a digital future
ABB’s Organisation and Control Department, which includes IT, recognized that its existing information architecture needed updating to more effectively deliver against increasingly complex requirements from both internal and external customers. This included increased transparency and productivity as well as the need to provide internal and external customers with a modern digital platform.
“At ABB, we have a back-office system that supports our business processes,” says Hannes Lombaert, IT Architect, “but we could see that there was significant opportunity to improve it. In addition, our digital help desk, which was on a different system, was gaining increased usage due to its ability to deliver faster service. When these applications were introduced, we did not have a clear vision of an overall architecture. That is why we were seeking a partner who could help us define a new architecture that gave us a single interface for access to cases, while integrating our back-office and digital help desk environments.”
ABB’s public tender included four key criteria which were, in order of importance:
- Quality of the overall solution;
- A partnership model with a proactive partner;
- Cost; and
- Run time.
After reviewing all tender responses, ABB determined that LoQutus was the best choice as a partner who could provide an architecture for the future.
What you don't see is what you get
“LoQutus presented a clearly defined methodology to help us define new architecture,” Lombaert says. “This was a great building block for us. But we have taken things one step further. They organised workshops with both our IT and the business teams where they compared the Business Process Engine we originally specified with a Case Management System.”
“We had a lot of appreciation for their knowledge, expertise and understanding. It quickly became clear that their alternative was more compatible with our needs than what we had originally envisioned. It offered us the necessary stability and reliability for the next few years, ensuring that we are able to guarantee the provision of quality service to our internal and external clients. The added value of a partner such as LoQutus specifically lies in critical and out-of-the-box thinking.”
LoQutus developed a reference architecture based on the criteria specified during the workshops. Next, they selected suitable technology for every component. “Finally, they had to prove in practice that their selection did indeed meet the specifications based on a proof of concept,” Lombaert adds. “The proof of concept was successfully completed at the end of April. ABB is in the process of implementing the final architecture in 2015 and will develop the first application at the start of 2016.”
Prepared for the future
Lombaert concludes, “There are a lot of knowledge workers in our organisation, including legal and policy experts who process very complex files. Our original set-up structured their work in standardised processes. During our workshops with LoQutus, however, we discovered that this approach would not be feasible in actual practice. In our final implementation, the Case Management System features a specific case and the status of a file at a specific time without a tight frame so the file can be further altered as needed. The necessary steps to manage the file can then be taken autonomously. The system also offers numerous opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, asking each other for advice, scheduling tasks, etc. I, as an IT architect, am enthusiastically looking forward to the system’s full implementation!”