Founder and Chairman of the Board
Throughout the past year, Cegeka has proven to be a force of craftmanship and dedication. Despite the obstacles we faced - from geopolitical instability to the challenges of inflation - we rose to the occasion and were successful. In 2022, we achieved a turnover of 832 million euros, a 18% increase from the previous year, and our operational profit rose by 6%, reaching 63 million euros. This result is a testament to the hard work of all ‘Cegekans’: people who truly embody the spirit of our company. I also want to express my gratitude to CEO Stijn Bijnens, the captain of the Cegeka ‘fleet’, for his visionary leadership and guidance in (often) turbulent waters.
“Throughout the past year, Cegeka has proven to be a force of craftmanship and dedication.”
At the heart of our success lies our steadfast dedication to our customers, reflected in our motto ‘in close cooperation.’ For three decades now, we have made customer-centricity and collaboration our top priority. Every single person at Cegeka is expected to go above and beyond: it is a mindset that has earned us our loyal customer base and inspires trust in new customers. ‘In close cooperation’ was our guiding star when we started out in 1992 with 30 people, it still is today with over 6,000 employees, and it will always be so, however large we grow. And grow we will, both organically and through acquisitions. Today, Cegeka is present in 11 countries, and this number will increase.
Cegeka’s 30th anniversary last year marked a significant milestone. We have become a leading IT integrator in Europe with a comprehensive portfolio. Our investments in Artificial Intelligence are rapidly establishing us as a European knowledge center, while our early adoption of the 5G technology solidifies our position as a pioneer. We continue to take bold steps with the ‘Trinity of Innovation’: 5G, Cloud and AI. Our public cloud competencies and private data centers allow us to pursue a hybrid cloud strategy, providing customers with the best of both worlds. Last but not least, our cybersecurity department is now at the forefront of the industry, providing a top-tier service.
As a sustainable business, our commitment to ESG goals is yielding positive results, and I could not be more pleased. We have set ambitious targets on reducing our environmental footprint, promoting diversity and inclusion in our workforce, and contributing to socially impactful projects. At Cegeka, sustainability is not just a buzzword; it is deeply rooted in our culture and values. Every day, I see progress across all our locations as we strive towards a more sustainable future.
To conclude, I am filled with pride and gratitude for all those who have contributed to our success. We all share the same goal: help customers become quick, supple, digitally relevant and ultimately resilient. I have no doubt that with our continued commitment to excellence, we will achieve even greater heights in the years to come.
Thank you to our customers, employees, business partners and stakeholders for your support and trust. Together, we will shape the future of technology.
Despite the turbulence of our post-pandemic world, I remain very hopeful about the future. My optimistic outlook allows me to see every obstacle as an opportunity for positive change. At Cegeka, we believe technological innovation is the absolute key to driving that change forward. Take the rapid pace of Artificial Intelligent development: it is an awe-inspiring example of how innovation can revolutionize the way we live, work and solve complex problems in new ways. At Cegeka, we are committed to leveraging technology to do exactly that: to drive change, to create impact, and yes, to make the world a more sustainable and equitable place to live in.
I am delighted to report that our group has enjoyed a year of great success, thanks in large part to the contributions of each of our member countries. I want to take a moment to recognize two countries in particular. The Netherlands has been a crucial part of our organization, serving as a second home base for us. With Annelore Buijs taking the helm as Managing Director in January 2023, I have no doubt that our Dutch counterpart will thrive under her capable leadership. Meanwhile, in Sweden, we are excited to have Soazig Hamon as Managing Director. Her vision and expertise will be invaluable as we work to expand our presence in this market.
Making waves with the Trinity of Innovation
In 2020, I introduced the concept of the ‘Trinity of Innovation.’ I did so to highlight the powerful synergy that can be realized by combining Artificial Intelligence, 5G and cloud computing. Given their enormous potential, these technologies combined will fundamentally revolutionize our way of working. When the Trinity is in full force, we will witness productivity and operational efficiency gains we have not seen in decades.
That AI and 5G would be the focus of attention today, was something we anticipated. Our acquisition of nationwide 5G spectrum in 2022 put us squarely on the map as an unstoppable force in the b2b and b2c telco operator market. As for AI: today we have an international team of some 300 data and AI experts working in diverse fields, from data analytics to advanced Machine Learning. AI is here to stay it will become the unmissable copilot in our lives.
Our hybrid cloud strategy combines hyperscalers such as Microsoft Azure with our own Cegeka data centers, enabling us to provide customers with various levels of sovereignty based on their specific needs and legal requirements. Additionally, we are focused on developing a comprehensive managed services portfolio to enhance the consumability of our offerings, making them more flexible and user-friendly.
Connecting the dots in our portfolio
Cegeka’s portfolio offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions that include applications, infrastructure, data solutions and consultancy. What sets us apart is not only the breadth and depth of our offer, but the seamless integration of all the components. Our integrated end-to-end approach connects all the dots. In 2022, we have made significant progress in all of these areas, but I want to highlight two that exemplify our dedication to customer relevance.
First, our cyber security department has undergone significant changes in the last three years, culminating in our recognition as the number 1 Belux cybersecurity player in the 2023 Whitelane Report. The launch of the Cegeka C-SOR²C, a modern SOC with advanced automation techniques, aligns with our goal of shifting the conversation from cyber security – a technical debate – to cyber resilience – a business one.
Secondly, observability is becoming an increasingly important customer need in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. At Cegeka, we recognize this and have made it a central focus of our customer engagement platform, Horizon. Through Horizon, we offer all our customers a ‘single pane of glass’ with granular insight into individual services, allowing them to take control of their digital environments. You could say that Horizon is the digital embodiment of our ‘in close cooperation’ philosophy.
Driving change and making impact ‘in close cooperation’
In the past three years, we have reinvented ourselves to build an even stronger organization. Our main priority isn’t just growth, it is resilient growth. That means a laserlike focus on sustainability, adaptability, long-term vision and last but not least: customer relevance. We want to make impact and drive change for our customers and their customers – whether they are citizens, employees, caregivers, parents, patients, students, or anything else.
“Our main priority isn’t just growth, it is resilient growth. That means a laserlike focus on sustainability, adaptability, long-term vision and last but not least: customer relevance.”
We do this ‘in close cooperation’, the personal credo of our founder André Knaepen and a reflection of how we work. ‘In close cooperation’ has always been centered on building lasting relationships based on trust and transparency. Our ‘easy-to-talk to’ reputation and ‘contact-over-contract’ mindset make us stand out from the crowd, especially as we expand into new territory. We are committed to maintaining these values, as they represent a promise to our customers: we’re in this together.
In conclusion, we understand that our success is not just measured by financial growth, but by our ability to create sustainable and meaningful impact for our customers, employees, and society. We take sustainability seriously, and our commitment to our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals is a top priority. I am more than pleased with the sure and steady progress we are making on all fronts in all our locations.
As the saying goes, people are at the heart of IT, and I wholeheartedly agree. I am incredibly proud of team Cegeka: today more than 6,000 people! They are the backbone of our success, and I thank them for their dedication, loyalty and hard work. I also extend my gratitude to our customers for their ongoing trust in our craftmanship and collaboration, and to our shareholders, investors and business partners for their support of our future vision.