After going public, Italy’s premier supplier and distributor of fresh food decided that September 2016 was the perfect moment to renew its ERP.
Patrick Verbist, Head of Application Support & Solutions Bayer Benelux
Bayer hardly needs any introduction: the pharmaceutical giant has around 100,000 employees worldwide. To redesign their IT infrastructure, Bayer Benelux called upon Cegeka's development and consultancy.
In 2019 Bayer decided to restructure the entire IT organization worldwide. “The IT infrastructure was fragmented across different countries and regions. To reduce IT costs, we had to get rid of custom applications and no longer do the developments in-house", says Patrick Verbist, Head of Application Support & Solutions at Bayer Benelux. “The Bayer 20-22 project had to reduce the portfolio of applications and roll out some essential applications internationally.”
One application escaped the dance and was still extended: EAS or 'Expense Approval System', a system developed by Cegeka in 2015. “The pharma and consumer health departments work with tightly defined budgets, so they need to monitor their expenditure better. EAS is the perfect tool and has become indispensable. The fact that the application has been extended until 2024 speaks for its quality. It is a very robust system that cannot immediately be replaced by an international alternative, ”says Patrick.
“The fact that Cegeka's EAS application was extended until 2024 speaks for its quality. It is a robust system that cannot be replaced by an international alternative.”
– Patrick Verbist, Head of Application Support & Solutions, Bayer Benelux
Along with the redesign of the IT landscape came a restructuring, in which there was no longer room for an application team in the Benelux. Where Patrick previously could count on a dozen of colleagues, he now had to do it with a minimum staffing. “Our business department had questions for which there was no longer capacity. Moreover, there were still ongoing projects to be completed. One of these is the migration from an on-premise to an online SharePoint platform. However, a number of apps could not be transferred one-to-one. And so we called upon Cegeka, with whom we already work for the EAS. ”
“We found the solution for the migration in Microsoft Power Platform: a combination of Power Apps and Power Automation that functions as an extra layer on top of SharePoint”, explains Technical Designer Kenneth Nicasens (Cegeka Business Solutions). “With Power Platform we can develop or adapt applications quickly and with simple code. Some apps needed an upgrade to work in the new SharePoint. Furthermore we developed a completely new application: the MMD ticket app. There is a team that manages products in SAP. To quickly adapt or create products, employees can easily request adjustments in SAP with the ticket app.”
“Cegeka solved the migration with a combination of MS Power Apps and Power Automation, which functions as an extra layer on top of SharePoint.”
– Kenneth Nicasens, Technical Designer, Cegeka Business Solutions
“Cegeka not only supported us with a development team, but also with consultancy to shape the new architecture”, says Patrick. “We needed help with the functional and technical analyzes of our projects. That is not an obvious assignment, but Kenneth and his team accomplished with verve. Thanks to a strong proof of concept, they always managed to get the other Bayer departments on board.”
“Cegeka not only supported us with a development team, but also with business solutions.”
– Patrick Verbist
“This combination of development and business consultancy has guided us through the restructuring. Cegeka offers a broad view on the market, but also understands our business processes. The application development is also top-notch: the team works fast and agile, and everything they deliver is completely bug-free. Despite our limited IT budget, Cegeka has managed to seamlessly take over all current projects and navigate safely through this transition”Patrick concludes.
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