The Union des classes moyennes (UCM - Union of Small Firms and Traders) is a Walloon and Brussels association which champions, represents and promotes the self-employed (heads of SMEs, artisans, small retailers, self-employed professionals). The UCM offers support services to businesses, family allowance funds, social security services, etc.
Alain Etienne, Assistant director of UCM's Social Security service for the province of Liège explains why they have decided to migrate and under what conditions.
Their "machine" room no longer met standards. There were two major faults:
Electrical power supply
Continuity of activity in the event of a power outage
The virtual machines were still configured under Windows 2003, relatively obsolete so…
The situation therefore had to be reviewed both at the infrastructure level but also regarding the management of the programs used.
In this environment, some clients must be able to connect 24/7.
A solution had to be found to ensure greater availability of data. It was therefore decided to outsource infrastructure.
We looked into several possibilities: renting a room, switching to the cloud, hosting, housing, IaaS… We finally opted for the EASI solution: Cloud2be.
We have a historic partnership with EASI, we know their level of services and trust them. In addition, people from the Liège UCM know some of the technical engineers involved in the process and this therefore adds an additional level to the degree of trust.
Then, the installation of the servers at Proximus' premises persuaded us, given the very high level of security (level 3+).
This was a not inconsiderable factor, and the cost was also better.
Finally, EASI met in full our desire to keep control of the major part of the servers and not to relocate completely. They therefore proposed a tailor-made solution which takes account of everyone's realities. The technical aspect is managed by EASI, and all the rest by UCM.
Methodology and progress
EASI is the primary supplier and has played its role very well to mobilise the necessary resources.
We use the Prince 2 methodology to carry out the project. This is a collaborative methodology, consisting of involving people in all processes. This has been very effective.
The project therefore has proceeded without any disturbance, the 115 users have been able to continue to perform payroll processing (around 21,000 salaries for 5000 clients). The schedule was complied with in full.
"On time, on budget"
Thanks to EASI's involvement, we have obtained greater availability of data, and the feedback is very positive. We no longer have to worry about physical problems, we are completely in the Cloud, with data located in Belgium, which is a real plus.
The collaboration with EASI was really good, it was a true partnership. We have set up a steering committee which has enabled all the difficulties that we had to be overcome. The right people were in the right place.
Maturity was gained on both sides at once, on the technical side as well as in project management.