To help the company to manage its strong growth, UCPA called upon eDigitalis. The subsidiary of Gfi Informatique redeveloped the e-commerce and community platforms before providing the TMA. This collaboration continues today with support for the re-internalization of the development teams of the associative company specializing in sports activities.
The UCPA, a historical specialist in sports and outdoor activities, has grown rapidly in recent years, through external acquisitions, as well as the diversification of its activities and the expansion of its audience. “To support its development, the UCPA needed to do implement its digital transformation," says Hugues Gendre, ISD of the associative group and head of a team of thirty employees in charge of the build and, for the past year, of the run. The company with an associative structure now had to be able to launch offers as and when required and not twice a year as before, for the summer and winter seasons. The reduction of time to market was necessary in a multi-niche environment (with no less than 119 activities for UCPA, independently of other brands). Another necessity is to redesign the e-commerce and community platforms in order to improve customer service. A fourth element aimed at setting up an institutional website.
Moreover, the ecosystem of the association is based on a 1997 ERP, "which still does a very good job" but is very compartmentalized. "There was a challenge of decompartmentalization and transversality to achieve a certain homogenization and clarification of our offers," admits the ISD. Hugues Gendre joined UCPA in 2017, when the transformation of the group was already underway, with the first projects being launched at the end of 2016. " I mainly adjusted the organizational structure and working method with eDigitalis," recalls the manager. He then entrusts 100% of the development of the frontend (except for the institutional website) to the subsidiary of Gfi Informatique selected on a call for tender. It was a real challenge as eDigitalis had committed to developing on the UCPA's compartmentalized ecosystem. "It's always more complicated than starting from a blank page," says Hugues Gendre.
Support of the re-internalization of the development team
eDigitalis responded to this "big challenge" by integrating the different SI and related APIs nto a full Java J2EE stack with a Nearshore delivery model, an on-site FrontOffice team and a service centre in Tunis. After two years of development, the e-commerce platform is now fully functional while the community environment will be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2019. While it is still too early to measure the benefits of this transformation (it will be necessary to wait for the sales of the summer to make an initial assessment), improvements are already perceptible in the customer experience. Raw data supports this observation, " the simplicity of buying a product is proven with fewer clicks to browse, a more efficient search engine, and teams that manage promotions more easily," confirms Hugues Gendre. Satisfied with the result, he underlines eDigitalis' ability to "to focus on the customer and their involvement in very tight management between the communication, marketing and IT departments ".
The level of satisfaction prompted the two partners to broaden their scope of collaboration. "When we saw the ability of eDigitalis to understand our business, and to integrate the various technical building blocks imposed, we also decided to work with them to support the re-internalization of the development team.," says Hugues Gendre.
This re-internalization of the run, previously provided by third-party providers and hosts, allows UCPA to gain agility in a will to control the end-to-end processes to develop solutions that are as close as possible to the business needs. A control that involves the orchestration of the flows of the different IS.
Co-development of processes and TMAs entrusted to eDigitalis
In response, UCPA switched to the AWS platform. "Very interested in this approach and the large AWS toolbox, eDigitalis set up an AWS service center in Tunis to work on it.
This clearly reflects an approach that is closer to the business lines and our needs", reports our interlocutor. Since April 2018, between 2 and 4 full-time equivalents (FTEs) have been working with the UCPA's IT Department on serverless AWS orchestration. A management capacity that can rise to 6 FTE during peak activity. For example, the UCPA has automated the process of hiring the 7,500 guides who, in the space of two weeks in the summer, come to swell the ranks of the association in view of the pressure of holiday orders placed by customers. "Other processes are under development and until we reach our cruising speed and have sufficient internal strike force, we will call upon eDigitalis to help us overcome this."
Finally, in a logic of end-to-end consistency, UCPA has also entrusted the third-party application maintenance (TMA) of the e-commerce platform to eDigitalis. A "rather positive" choice, says the ISD of the UCPA, who evokes releases every 15 days, processes "well-honed" directly with the business lines to respond in an agile and transverse way to their needs under the control of the run team of the ISD. "Switching from build mode to run is always a challenge and this one has really been done smoothly, we do not hear about it. And when no one shouts, it's a good sign! " rejoices Hugues Gendre.