Reportage: Working Together Conference 2019

This year’s WTC for Infor M3 users delved further into the cloud, the art of digital systems, and essential practices needed in order to succeed with digital transformation.


This year’s Working Together Conference, WTC for Infor M3 users delved further into the cloud, the art of digital systems, and essential practices needed in order to succeed with digital transformation. Here’s our round up from yet another successful event at the Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg.

If you have never attended the event, WTC provides three days of rewarding workshops, presentations and networking opportunities for Infor M3 users. The official pre-dinner mingle, hosted by Swedwise helped officially kick things off on Tuesday night. On Wednesday there were many interesting presentations.

Always open, always close with Rexel

Wednesday provided a chance to see some fantastic presentations. We’ve taken three we think illustrate how digital transformation empowers companies to focus on the real value of their business.

Rexel’s presentation “Always open, always close” with Rexel’s CIO, Per Löfquist, was a great example of how an enterprise can thrive in the digital-first world. Rexel is one of the world’s largest electrical wholesalers with operations in 26 countries on three continents.

Digital transformation requires adapting to customer-centricity. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath the surface lies more complexity. Digital transformation needs to be approached holistically not just in terms of technology adoption, but also in “digital thinking”. All levels of the organisation need to understand how digital technologies support business objectives.

Digital Transformation – Quality data is the key to success

Successful digital transformation requires that the data flowing in the enterprise is ’quality data’. Data quality is defined by its accessibility from a centralised source, the speed data can travel to-and-from all systems, and the ability to control and manipulate that data on request. This has been true for a long time. But now it’s essential in order to survive in a digital-first world. Two examples of how Rexel employ this principle are their new customer account applications, and their 24/7 unmanned stores concept (which was nominated for the year’s digital project at the IDG CIO awards).

Data quality is the key to success. This has been true for a long time but now it is necessary for survival.

Rexel’s New Webshop

The new webshop’s aim is to make purchasing online easier for all customers with services such as same day delivery – something that’s offered by only some of the biggest online retailers, such as Amazon.

Digital Asset Management – ‘A single source of truth’

Automation has simplified account registration in the ERP, together with a preliminary automatic credit check and email onboarding. This means registration is now cut from 1-3 weeks to 30 seconds. Customer communications using Opentext Exstream also allows for highly personalised customer communications with directed marketing messages in emails depending on category. Rexel also turned to Swedwise to provide them with OpenText Media Management (OTMM). This has helped Rexel place all product pictures in ’one source of truth’ for the entire organisation.

Rexel Unmanned Stores

Rexel’s other example is their unmanned stores’ concept – a scalable solution that meets customer demand for an accessible, 24-hour open store when a manned store isn’t feasible or staffing is a problem. Currently, they have two stores that are completely unmanned 24/7 and 16 stores that are unmanned after regular opening hours in Sweden. The concept also involves the development of a separate mobile app and security system. It’s also interesting to note that this concept was managed to go live before Amazon’s Go in 2016.

Würth reaches for the Cloud

Next up was a look at Ismotec’s work with Swedwise’s mutual customer Würth and their development of cloud services. Würth is a combination of a logistics company, a service company, and a sales company. It currently consists of more than 400 companies in over 80 countries with more than 66,000 employees.

Peter Bergman, Würth’s System Developer took us through how the company has adjusted its E-commerce and store solutions accordingly to meet “the age-of-the-customer” head-on. This includes the upgrade process to M3 from Movex 12 RPG, and preparations to make cloud integration easier in the future. However, what I felt was interesting about this presentation was Würth’s example of their ‘ORSY’ system, which stands for ”order with a system”.

The concept consists of a unique tailor-made storage system that Würth lends to customers at no charge. Würth’s personal service then helps customers control their purchases and save time on the handling of consumables. This concept demonstrates that while Würth continues to streamline, simplify and automate its ERP and IT processes, they’ve not forgotten how important the human factor is. After all, the point of automation is to create more time to take care of customers with tailor-made services.

The Art of a Digital Nervous System

The final presentation pick is Columbus and Head of IT Sara Carlson of Bergman & Beving with “The Art of Creating a Digital Nervous System”. Bergman & Beving is a holding company that develops, acquires, and provides brands for the manufacturing and construction sectors, mainly addressing professionals.

The underlining theme of their presentation was that virtually no IT projects are carried out without any kind of system integration. Demand for smarter, more efficient, and easier-to-manage integration solutions is increasing sharply; especially as the use of cloud services by companies and organisations has grown. And with more diverse applications, the need to simplify and lower costs increases.

Effective enterprise data management achieves this. But what perhaps really makes digital transformation a success is an IT department that understands the importance of value creation and what new technologies can help achieve, rather than getting stuck in issues relating to ongoing IT operations.

The Perks of Automation

With the day drawing to a close it was time to sum it up:

To meet increasingly high customer expectations, companies have to be able to collect, integrate, interoperate and analyse data from all relevant sources – from the ERP system to the IoT sensor – to customer feedback on social media. But to successfully transform, it takes more than changes in technology. “Digital Thinking” at every level of an organisation is the key driver.

Competitive advantage is created by remembering what digital transformation’s purpose is. IT departments need to transform from just keeping the lights on to Centers 4 Enablement – empowering other departments with the organisation to focus on the real value of their business – creating the possibilities to deliver better personalised experiences for their customers.

A dedicated digital team. It’s essential that your team has the correct mix of people, including those who understand ”why” you are transforming (what you hope to achieve). The team must have the experience needed to implement all types of processes, technology, and business changes required to make digital transformation a success.

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