AXA Luxembourg Supports Future Growth with IT Outsourcing Partnership

On 1 November 2012, AXA Luxembourg moved into new offices […]

June 26, 2013

On 1 November 2012, AXA Luxembourg moved into new offices on Place de l’Etoile, following the restructuring of the company.

Moving a head office is an opportunity to relook the organisation’s ICT estate from end-to-end, which included, inAXA’s case, analysing its connectivity, ICT infrastructure and data centres.

‘We quickly concluded that it would be next to impossible for us to deliver the same quality of IT services in-house as that found in the market,’ said Olivier Vansteelandt, member of the Executive Committee and Manager of IT & Organisation at AXA Luxembourg. ‘We also felt that it did not make sense to build another data centre.’ This conclusion raised a larger question: ‘Is managing ICT infrastructure part of our core business?’ ‘Our technological perimeter was expanding by the minute, and we had only a small team to operate our platform,’ says Olivier Vansteelandt. ‘The operational risks were high and our processes were not formalised.

We had only a few metrics, and little visibility of how our infrastructure was performing and what global costs were involved. It was difficult for us to formulate our investment and development plan. And, we had to eliminate several solutions because their entry cost was much too high for a smaller operation like ours.’ This assessment is typical of SMBs. ‘Still, we had managed our IT environment responsibly and were particularly satisfied with the flexibility of our model and the close relationships we had established between the users and the IT department.’ After a year-long process, and with the help of Dimension Data, AXA Luxembourg decided on outsourcing to support its future growth.

As a first step in their collaboration, AXA Luxembourg asked Dimension Data to head the installation of the new network and move all infrastructure components into the building. ‘As expected, we saw that Dimension Data led these projects capably,’ says Olivier Vansteelandt. Then came the time to transfer services operations.

As Olivier Vansteelandt explains: ‘We wanted to benefit from Dimension Data’s flexibility and agility. We didn’t want to build a model that would be too rigid and uniform. After the first six months, we fine-tuned our mutual responsibilities and entered the next phase of our relationship. Today, we are in a strong position to plan for more far-reaching changes, thanks to the support we receive from Dimension Data’s outsourcing services.’ To be efficient, outsourcing requires learning and exchange on both sides. ‘We’ve improved our ability to articulate our requitements, anticipate their consequences and risks, and measure their benefits more precisely – all thanks to solid metrics,’ says Olivier Vansteelandt. ‘We’ve become better professionals by receiving the necessary testing and documentation information, by being better able to predict the impact of changes and by improving our operational planning. Thanks to Dimension Data’s support, we also gain access to technological innovations and a range of diverse solutions.’

With Dimension Data’s help, AXA Luxembourg drew a new ICT roadmap and can start identifying ways to create business value through technology. Dimension Data acts as a facilitator for these engagements. ‘We couldn’t keep up with the pace of technological innovations on our own,’ says Olivier Vansteelandt, ‘But what was unaffordable to us only two years ago is now realistic. We can start dreaming again … and we can propose functionalities to the business that are supported by tailor-made service levels.’ Both companies agreed to collaborate in an open working environment. ‘We don’t work together administratively,’ Olivier Vansteelandt explains, ‘Instead, we work as a team. We don’t need to wait for the steering committees to meet before we can make up our minds about issues or projects. We have established a true dialogue. Dimension Data’s strength is its serious commitment to the outsourcing model. We found a partner with a human face. We don’t talk to a contract − we talk to people.’

Watch video

In the same category