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Cegeka & Society

We develop innovative solutions with a positive impact on the environment, people, and society.

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With cyber resilience, your organisation becomes a bit more secure with each day.

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Connect your company with Dynamics 365

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Healthcare

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The arrival of smart electricity grids will allow companies to take care of their own energy management

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Take major steps towards cloud computing to increase effectiveness through the use of AI and big data.

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Production chains are becoming intelligent networks with real-time track-and-trace systems.

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Customer Testimonial - Cera

Cera gains more insight into the needs of its members with a secure data lake in the cloud

Key challenges

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Data spread across various databases

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Strategische roadmap 2025

Results

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Uniform data platform

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More insight into members

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Strategic plan support

The Cera cooperative started a few years ago with a strategic plan for 2025. In order to give this strategy concrete form, Cera needed more insight into the behaviour and needs of its members. Cegeka got involved and implemented a data lake in the cloud with attention to the strictest security standards.  

Many member organisations struggle with the challenge of staying connected to their members. Cera faced this problem as well, with 386,000 members, it’s one of the largest cooperatives in Belgium. Cera is primarily known as the largest shareholder in the KBC Group, but the cooperative also offers its members benefits in the form of discounts on all kinds of products, services and events, supports more than 700 social projects every year and provides advice on cooperative enterprise. 

‘In 2019, we started with a new strategic roadmap,’ explains Bert Craps, managing director and member of the management committee at Cera. ‘To remain relevant to our members, we need to be able to negotiate attractive discounts with our member benefit providers. To this end, and also for our social purposes, it is important that we have a certain size. We are therefore aiming for 400,000 members by 2025. But to achieve that, we need to further build our engagement with our members and better understand their needs, so that we can also communicate more effectively.’

From data silos to data lake 

Information about our members was available, but it was scattered in about 15 different databases, explains Bert Craps. ‘Everyone worked in their own domain with their own data, but we didn’t have a coherent whole. For example, we had separate databases for the member administration, for the member benefits, for our events such as advisory councils, and for our partners for our social activities.’

Cera is also a multi-faceted organisation, the director emphasises. Part of the 2025 future strategy is therefore to present a single story about Cera that covers all these facets. ‘For a coherent story, we needed coherent data. Cegeka helped us to realise this with a data lake and integration layer in Microsoft Azure.’

“For a coherent story, we needed coherent data. Cegeka helped us to realise this with a data lake and integration layer in Microsoft Azure.”

Bert Craps, director and member of the management committee at Cera

Cera customer testimonial

From use cases to overall solution

Cera wanted to achieve a tangible result quickly and set a deadline of six months. Originally, the idea was therefore limited to the realisation of two use cases, explains Bert Craps: ‘On the one hand, we wanted to have more information about the readers of our electronic newsletter in order to provide them with more relevant information about our Cera activities. On the other hand, we also wanted to gain an insight and overview of the members who had not interacted with Cera in the past 12 months.’

In order to realise these two use cases, all existing databases had to be linked. ‘But because Cegeka was actively working with us, they realised that the use cases could easily be broadened and that we could do more with the set budget. Thanks to unlocking and correlating the data, more use cases could be made possible,’ says Bert Craps.

‘We now have a powerful basic platform for our data,’ continues the Cera director. ‘On the basis of this, we are now going to carry out analyses so that we arrive at better insights. Which members are we reaching and which aren’t we? In which provinces and regions do we score well? How can we refine our communication in order to better reach specific target groups?

Knowledge, experience and enthusiasm

Bert Craps emphasises that Cera is an atypical organisation: ‘We are a cooperative with a financial basis, a social function and a commercial side for the members. These three aspects are important to us. It is not easy to find an IT partner who understands this. If we simply gave the order to implement a data lake, any IT service provider could offer us a technical solution. But Cegeka made the effort to understand our business case and our strategic plan. As a result, we now have a good technical solution that supports that strategic plan and helps us achieve our goal.’

The director of Cera is therefore satisfied with the partnership: ‘I appreciated not only the knowledge and experience of the people at Cegeka, but also their enthusiasm. Cegeka was also always flexible when changes occurred during the project. The cooperation with KBC to retrieve a number of databases was also no problem for Cegeka. Their implementation in Microsoft Azure has also passed an independent audit for sufficient security and privacy guarantees in a highly regulated business environment.’

“I appreciated not only the knowledge and experience of the people at Cegeka, but also their enthusiasm.”

Bert Craps, director and member of the management committee at Cera

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