Eiffage Énergie Systèmes BeLux group is part of the French Eiffage group, one of the leading European companies in the building sector. With its seven subsidiaries and on the strength of its 900 employees, the company now has recognised know-how in the fields of electricity, electromechanics and HVAC, for the design, production, execution and maintenance of installations and works. The activities of Eiffage Énergie Systèmes are divided into four markets: Infrastructure and Networks, Cities and Local Authorities, Industry and Tertiary.
The business areas of Eiffage Énergie Systèmes have evolved significantly in recent years. Where the company until recently operated as installer and exploitation and maintenance specialist, its customers – in all sectors – now expect it to offer them a growing range of high added-value services. «We are moving further upstream in the chain of business processes, as far as to offer watch and even R&D services», stresses Laurent Ghijselings, Chief Information Officer at Eiffage Énergie Systèmes BeLux.
The solutions to be deployed for customers are increasingly complex. Technical installations, whether in energy or process automation, are still more sophisticated, especially under the influence of the advent of the Internet of Things. Laurent Ghijselings takes the example of maintenance practices.
The evolution of its business requires the company to stand on a solid base, including in the computing area.
Since 2014, Eiffage Énergie Systèmes entrusted System Solutions with the job of ensuring the integration and implementation of its project for harmonising and virtualising its IT infrastructure, around HPE/VMware solutions. Two years later, the company has decided to entrust System Solutions with a role on quite another scale.
«Our IT team, composed of four people, is having to take on the services of front line support and the deployment of business solutions (ERP, middleware, documentary management tools, process automation) for the seven companies included in the Belux group. Since I arrived, I’ve been convinced that their time and skills would be more useful in support of our core business rather than having to worry about the infrastructure.»
All the more because the growing complexity of Eiffage Énergie Systèmes’ business and the infrastructure that has to support it requires a high level of expertise. «As a building actor we are having to take on a digital transformation process both in terms of worksite management and development of the solutions and services that we offer, and in the development of our own operational processes.»
A DAILY PARTNER
The human scale of System Solutions also means we can find excellent people quickly who can respond to our needs.
Whereas System Solutions fulfilled the role of integrator, Eiffage Énergie Systèmes has decided to make it a daily partner.
Since 2018, the company has been working at three levels: as stakeholder in front line support (two of its employees are assigned to the service desk), for the maintenance and development of the infrastructure (with performance monitoring, system settings, proactive management, etc.), and in a more strategic role for advising Eiffage Énergie Systèmes on future projects related to IT infrastructure. «System Solutions also plays a significant role in terms of technological watch, by identifying with us the face that our infrastructure should have with a two- to three-year outlook.»
One of the missions of System Solutions, in 2019, will be to plot the future hyper-converged infrastructure of Eiffage Énergie Systèmes. «The role of System Solutions will be to prepare a three- to five-year route map for us. This future infrastructure will provide more agility and responsiveness, contribute to reduced costs and facilitate interoperability between systems.»
Interoperability concerns not only the company’s systems (the Group has made some acquisitions) but extends to growing exchanges between Eiffage Énergie Systèmes and its own customers. «The services they require of us involve increasing interaction with their own information systems. Demands for curative or preventive maintenance interventions are increasingly initiated automatically by equipment and end up directly on the tablet of the duty technician», explains Laurent Ghijselings. «Other examples are the dynamic management of stocks, document exchanges (plans, quotes, etc.).»
BALANCING TECHNOLOGICAL CONTROL
AND HUMAN RELATIONS
Beyond the purely technical skills and expertise provided by System Solutions to Eiffage Énergie Systèmes, two things appear essential as far as Laurent Ghijselings is concerned.
«Our provider is perfectly aware that the service offered must of constant quality, even faced with unforeseen demands. What we expect of them, is that they ensure that the infrastructure is resilient and that it anticipates any problems.
By entrusting System Solutions with more responsibilities in 2017, I was taking some risks. But today, I am happy to have engaged them. Now, no one at Eiffage Énergie Systèmes is questioning if the choice was pertinent.
For the future, it’s a matter of making the relationship endure, further improving certain points, capitalising on the added-value created.»
The other essential element of the relationship with System Solutions that Laurent Ghijselings underlines is «the balance between control of the purely technological aspects and the human side of the relationship. It’s also a tissue of relationships that is created between people on a daily basis. The human scale of System Solutions also means we can quickly find people who can respond to our needs.»
«Eiffage Énergie Systèmes and System Solutions are true partners in the sense that we are working in close collaboration and that we are delegating to them significant parts of our day-to-day computing, while remaining in control of our infrastructure. This allows me to free up resources to the profit of IT oriented business..» Laurent Ghijselings
Eiffage Énergie Systèmes BeLux in figures:
163 millions € = Turnover 2018
6 companies en Belgique
1 company au Luxembourg