Online Channel Portal for Eurofiber’s Fiber Optic Network

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Eurofiber is a telecommunications firm based in the Netherlands with a rapidly growing fiber optic network. The firm offers fiberoptic connections with unlimited capacity, and Ethernet services in all bandwidths. Eurofiber provides its fiber optic network to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for fast, secure, and cost effective data exchange.

In the Netherlands, 100 large municipalities and 12 city networks are interconnected via this fiber optic network. Eurofiber’s technology is suitable for all existing transfer protocols, services, and applications. This, on top of bandwidth that has unlimited growth potential, makes business agility a key success factor for the growth focused organization.

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Challenge

The telecommunications industry is evolving into a highly competitive volume market. Deal sizes are decreasing while the cost and complexity of sales support is increasing. These trends are creating new needs for achieving profitability in this already competitive industry. Sales support has become a key success factor, and therefore managing lines of communications between these entities has become imperative. As the network grew in size and reach, it became increasingly difficult to maintain lines of communication throughout distribution channels.

Solution

With an Online Channel Portal, customers and partners can order a network connection without the interference of sales support. An agile approach to application development, innate to Mendix, provided the speed and flexibility required by Eurofiber. The online channel portal gives Eurofiber the ability to instantly update clients with important service information such as order status and service availability. The goal set for the Online Channel Portal was to get 80% of Eurofiber’s orders acquired via the portal. In conjunction with management from Eurofiber, Mendix brainstormed an optimal solution to this issue. Egon Kösters, Manager IT services from Eurofiber, explains the applicability of using Mendix in an agile environment; “The flexibility of Mendix application development technology allowed us to evolve our project requirements throughout the development process. As we created our system, we realized the ease and feasibility of additional tasks that we could implement simultaneously.”

Unlocking ERP

Eurofiber’s central business software is Exact Synergy/Globe, a system that organizes inbound administration requests, project processes such as budgeting and ‘connection digging’ as well as accounting processes. Integration with this system would create further utility in the existing software environment. Eurofiber needed a user friendly portal with full real time integration with Exact and Cocon (mapping software) with the look and feel of the Eurofiber website.

Methodology

The solution to these business problems were translated into three development phases that took place on premise. In phase one, Mendix consultants analyzed the environment and developed plausible solutions using an agile approach. Phase two utilized one IT employee from Eurofiber to make sure the solution was solving all the necessary issues outlined above. Finally, in phase three, Mendix handed over the reigns to Eurofiber’s IT department. Mendix consultants took on a quality assurance role to make sure implementation was successful.

Results

Throughout this project, requirements changed frequently. The flexibility of the Mendix Business Modeler gave the opportunity to adapt to these new requirements. The benefits for Eurofiber are significant. The pressure on sales support is decreased, and more than 20,000 zip code checks have been performed to determine the distance from customer location to Eurofiber’s fiber optic network. These checks had previously been done by phone and email. In this industry, adapting to growth and turning increased demand into increased revenue is essential to beating out competitors. Eurofiber’s success proves that the driving forces of change in the telecommunications industry have made business agility a key success factor.