Complex Matter: Risks, Assurance, Internal Control and Audit
1stQuad developed an internal control over financial reporting (ICoFR) solution in 2014 as a replacement for a Lotus Notes application. The solution was so successful that it was quickly expanded into an easily extensible compliance platform. Modules for Enterprise Risk Management, Assurance as well as extensions and interfaces for Internal Audit and Supply Chain Management were added. In 2017, the replacement of the application for the daily work of the auditors followed. Here, too, 1stQuad came into play, so that ABB now uses an end-to-end solution based on one approach – the 1stQuad FAST Framework.
However, the many advantages from a business point of view were also countered by some challenges in operation. The many processes, complicated organizational structures and interfaces made operation, maintenance and expansion difficult. In the early years, these tasks were mainly handled by an ABB internal unit in Poland. Later, end-user support was outsourced to an offshore support organization. 1stQuad supported the level 3 support and took over larger developments alone or together with developers from ABB in the so-called co-development model.
Everything from a single source creates efficiency
At the end of 2018, the organization for the operation and further development of compliance applications consisted of four separate teams. This often led to relatively cumbersome and time-consuming processes when handling support cases or new releases of the software. Although there was a strong focus on nearshore and offshore resources, there was also room for improvement from a business perspective.
Therefore, 1stQuad brought its concept of “Individual Software-as-a-Service” to the table at this point. ABB, for its part, had already introduced a strategy under the name “Product-as-a-service”, and so it was very quickly agreed that the efficiency in support, operation and further development of such a complex software suite/platform could be increased if all services came from a single source.
Individual Software-as-a-Service: support, operation and further development
Since mid-2019, 1stQuad has taken over ITIL Level 2-4 support for the applications in use worldwide, of course with a corresponding Service Level Agreement (SLA). In addition, the operation of the applications on the respective web and database servers as well as the interfaces to various peripheral systems is ensured.
In the context of configuration and change management, 1stQuad also takes over all services for troubleshooting, changes and enhancements. Here we rely on our proven mixed model: the on-site employees responsible for service are supplemented by a well-coordinated team of top developers from our nearshore partners.
There is no longer a strict separation between operational tasks and software development – it’s one and the same team, and this of course has striking advantages for the customer, as the entire know-how for the solution is available to him at all times.
Higher customer satisfaction at lower costs
At the beginning, the main reason for the customer to outsource the entire service to 1stQuad was cost saving. But this goal was not the only one achieved in the first year. Overall customer satisfaction also increased, from users to stakeholders to management.
Support request turnaround times were reduced, overall application performance improved, and with 2 releases per month, changes and enhancements are being implemented and rolled out much faster.
Now the next bigger goals are being tackled to make the applications run even more cost-efficiently, perform better and future-proof: After the successful migration to the latest technology platform (.NET Core), the applications will soon run in the cloud in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) model.
The iSaaS model
Our Individual Software-as-a-Service (iSaaS) model is all about combining the advantages of Software-as-a-Service and individual development.
This means that the customer doesn’t have to worry about operations and can reap benefits such as improved application performance, faster response times to support requests, lower costs, higher profitability and greater end-user satisfaction.
But unlike normal SaaS solutions that offer a predefined feature set and limited customization options, with iSaaS the customer uses custom development that is tailored to their exact needs.
With optimized performance and future-proofing, your application will drive your business forward. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business grow!