REPLACING LEGACY SYSTEMS
ANNATA DYNAMICS FOR VARIOUS
The European operation, spanning originally 15 countries, was running on an in-house developed suite of systems running on an AS/400 platform and had been doing so for around two decades. These systems are commonly referred to as MAS, SAS and MOPS and along with SAP for finance operations, formed the backbone for Volvo CE´s DMS operations.
Volvo CE were becoming increasingly conscious about the risks of depending on a suite of systems running on an old technical platform, that had been heavily modified through the years and was reliant on a small core team of specialists for support and development. They decided to go for a new DMS system that would be built on a modern platform that was already available in the market. One of the key objectives for Volvo CE was to implement an operational system that was as close to the standard as possible. Since this was intended as a rollout in their European markets, the idea was to have templates created that would serve for rolling out similar functionality in all of the 15 countries. Too much custom development could jeopardize the efforts of rolling out the system smoothly and seamlessly and result in higher upgrade costs in the future.
Norway was chosen as the pilot market for implementing Annata Dynamics DMS and Dynamics AX. Work started on the implementation in 2009. Volvo CE decided that the team responsible for developing and servicing the systems about to be replaced, would play a pivotal role in the rollout and therefore bringing knowledge of business processes and the current systems to the table, while at the same time acquiring knowledge of the functioning of the new system. The role of Annata was to collaborate closely with Volvo CE and provide development resources and consultants as needed to assist in the successful rollout to the different markets.
In the spring of 2011 Norway went live, followed by Denmark in 2012 and then Finland and Great Britain in 2013. The rollout plan is aimed at being completed in late 2015.
Some process diversity between the markets has raised the need for additional development. At the same time, emphasis has been placed on ensuring that the developments benefit all markets and that the standard processes and functionality remain intact. It still remains one of the chief objectives of the project to reduce the need for custom development for the three remaining markets.
The rollout includes full time project managers from both Volvo CE and Annata. The two project managers have built a solid relationship and worked closely together to ensure that any issues were fully investigated and quickly resolved to minimize delays in the overall project timetable. The team also include a select number of experts that participate in certain areas of the project, which include implementing a company-wide printing solution, integration/interfacing with third party systems, Mobile mechanic solutions, Business Intelligence and various technical and system considerations.
Involvement by these key decision makers is essential to the success of the overall implementation.
A detailed analysis of each of the key business processes was carried out. These reviews took place with members of the project team and also included the key users for each of the process areas. This ensured that everyone was fully aware of any potential impact on both the business and the end customer.
All the system infrastructure is based in Gothenburg, Sweden and is maintained by the IT services arm of the Volvo Group. Operating on three Application object servers, the setup of the system encompasses multiple environments to ensure that testing and quality assurance can take place before new developments are placed into the production environment. Additionally, data migration, testing and user training during individual rollouts take place in the quality assurance environment along with various setup activities.
The Annata Dynamics DMS solution and Dynamics AX has also been implemented at various independent Volvo dealers. Amongst the companies using the system are Brimborg in Iceland, Saracakis in Greece and Bulgaria, Robert Aebi in Germany and Switzerland, and Transdiesel in New Zealand.
When we searched the market, across all platforms, for a good DMS for our dealers we were very impressed with the industry functionality of the IDMS product and the business knowledge from Annata’s consultants. They stood out from the rest. Since starting the implementations at our dealers the involvement of Annata and the functionality of IDMS has proven our choice was the correct one and they have been a key part of the success.
--- Ray Baker, Chief Project Manager, Volvo Construction Equipment
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