Ikano, when non core activities become heart ! Part 3: the Luxembourg IT asset

In the fist half of 2012, Ikano grabbed the opportunity offered […]

July 10, 2012

In the fist half of 2012, Ikano grabbed the opportunity offered by the renovation of its offices in Rue Nicolas Welter, to move its IT infrastructure in the LuxConnect facilities and refurbuish some technological assets.

[question]How are you organised in Luxembourg ?[/question][answer]

There is a local team based here, with five people managing Infrastructure and two for the application supporting Fund Management. Our Luxembourg team is mainly busy with supporting the activities of the HQ and the Corporate applications. Ikano has 80 people in Luxembourg, while the team manages 120 virtual servers. This means we have more servers than people! (laughs)

Anyway, Luxembourg remains an important platform for the group. We can take on projects and manage them from Luxembourg or at least, we have an important role to play to make them succeed.

[/answer][question]What are your particular IT challenges?[/question][answer]

On a group level the challenges we face are largely due to the nature of the projects: putting in place solutions that are as flexible as possible, while finding a common ground for local needs and global objectives. We are going through a major expansion and our daily challenge is to create an IT structure that allows for synergies without having to sacrifice neither our flexibility nor our reactivity.
For the next two to three years, we will need to come up with an IT model that stays close to the business and that is shared as much as possible across the group. We have a Governance Model IT that brings together project teams from various entities.

[/answer][question]In fine, do you want to become a Cloud Provider for the group ?[/question][answer]

Absolutely. The idea is to provide for services inside the Ikano community, while everything remains transparent to users. 

It’s also a human challenge. People used to work with local colleagues while today they’re part of a global virtual team.[/answer]

Chris Adam, Ikano

[question]How does it translate in terms of your projects in Luxembourg?[/question][answer]

To support the Corporate applications and the HQ’s specific needs we had to create a really robust infrastructure. We now have two datacentres, with a full redundancy in Denmark and also in Luxembourg. We also plan the same model for Asia, which will give us a lot of robustness.

In Luxembourg, we decided last year to outsource our datacentre. Previously, our offices were located in two buildings, and we had two IT rooms. Because of the standards we have set, we could not decently continue operating with our former rooms. Instead of making important changes to the offices, we prefered to completely outsource our IT rooms.

We grabbed the opportunity offered by the renovation of our offices in Rue Nicolas Welter, to move our IT infrastructure. We are now going back to our renovated offices close to the Boulevard de la Grande-Duchesse Charlotte in Luxembourg-Ville, with nothing to worry about IT-wise. Everything was moved to LuxConnect in Bettembourg thanks to the help of one of the datacentre’s partner companies. A stone’s throw away from there, we also have offices in Rue Jean Bertholet for Ikano Fund Management, where our second IT room is located. We are also going to outsource this IT to another datacentre, different from the one I mentioned previously.[/answer]

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