Connecting Sogrape’s family with SharePoint Online and Microsoft Teams

Sogrape is a global brand whose large family felt disconnected. Thankfully, the right tools have the power to connect people – even if they speak different languages and live on opposite sides of the world.
The client:

Founded in 1942 by Fernando Van Zeller Guedes, Sogrape is a group of companies and brands which aims to provide Original Legacy Wines for all moments of life.

From the Douro region, Sogrape reached the entire world and currently produces wine in Portugal (Sogrape Vinhos Portugal), Spain (Bodegas LAN), Argentina (Finca Flichman), Chile (Viña Los Boldos) and New Zealand (Framingham). With distribution companies in Europe, America, Africa and Asia, Sogrape delivers its wines to more than 120 countries, with internationally relevant brands.

Sogrape‘s originality and legacy result from the dedication of a large family of people who, led by Fernando da Cunha Guedes, the current CEO, strive for excellence in all areas to make it a benchmark in the world of wine. There are over a thousand employees who, united by family tradition, diversity, rigor and reliability, courage and desire to innovate, honor friendships and look at wine as their way of bringing happiness to life.

Porto vineyard Sogrape
From the Alto Douro Wine Region, Portugal, to the world
The problem:

Sogrape is present in the entirety of the value chain, and therefore its operation starts in the vineyard and ends on the shelf. It reaches all four corners of the world and comes with all its benefits – such as the ability to enjoy an Argentinian Malbec in a plaza in Madrid – and woes – like working on three languages and across multiple time zones. For years, Sogrape wanted a single platform to connect its universe of over 1,000 employees and change the way people work and communicate between themselves and the company. Having developed their Portuguese operation’s intranet portal back in 2007, Sogrape selected DevScope from among a handful of companies to work on their global intranet portal.

“We knew we wanted to connect everybody and change the way we work, but we didn’t know how, and DevScope offered the ideal solution.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

The solution:

Sogrape’s old intranet portal was showing its age and some of the pains that come with it: not up to the most recent technological and interface standards and barely used by anyone. Worst of all, it was exclusive to the company’s Portuguese operation, a stark contrast to its global reach, glocal position – the practice of conducting business according to both local and global considerations – and its “Feel like a family, perform like a team” purpose.

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Sogrape was hellbent on bringing its global family together

Sogrape wanted to revert this situation and have a user-oriented portal, but when you have over 1,000 employees with multiple professional profiles spread around the globe, needs and expectations are sure to vary considerably. On top of that, Sogrape wanted this project to mark a turning point in the company and requested for the new portal to be amazing and delivered in six months, so time was a factor.

“Sogrape only had one requirement when they contacted us: we want an Intranet that wins prizes. I immediately thought to myself, we want to do this. Challenge accepted!”

– Ricardo Calejo, Portals & Collaboration Manager, DevScope

Empathize & Define

With all these concerns in mind, Sogrape adopted Stanford Univesity’s Design Thinking approach, which is composed of five stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype & Test.

From the get-go, Sogrape envisioned the new portal as a living project, one that would change over time according to its users’ needs. To grasp them, DevScope hired digital strategic consultancy firm Fast Forward and Knowman to conduct a series of 19 interviews and write a report on their findings. Interviewees were Sogrape employees from all over the world fitting well-defined user personas to assure there was a large enough pool of different behaviors and motivations. An additional group of 29 project ambassadors –a few selected employees undertaking the mission of spreading the new intranet’s culture with their colleagues – answered 19 questions on Microsoft Forms as well. The collected material set the following stage in the Design Thinking method: Define.

“The new intranet should celebrate difference as much as bring everyone together.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

With the goal of naming the portal and identifying the features it should have to address the most common needs, Fast Forward and Knowman organized a couple of workshops. The plans for the rollout of WINet – a portmanteau of wine and intranet – were also born from these sessions, along with a list of concerns the new portal would have to address, namely:

  • The lack of resources and time to feed it new content on a regular basis;
  • Several employees lack a computer or other connected device;
  • Several employees don’t know what an intranet is;
  • The lack of participation by upper management;
  • A few employees in some business units didn’t feel well represented;

“We want WINet to work reason but also emotion, business but also culture. We want to make sure the user experience is engaging and, more than a useful platform, we want people to look at WINet as part of their daily life at Sogrape.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

Keeping content relevant and updated is a challenge common to most portals we deploy. In order to keep WINet alive, Sogrape’s content had to cater to several separate yet related areas, such as production, commerce, distribution, innovation, wine education or wine tourism. When that content’s audience is over 1,000 people speaking three different languages and working on every continent on the planet, the challenge gets considerably difficult.

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Sogrape employees can find their colleagues on WINet – regardless of where they are
Speaking to an audience of a thousand

To make sure Sogrape would be able to produce content regularly and reach its collaborators regardless of language or country, DevScope’s Portals & Collaboration team developed a solution that combines a content classification system (using SharePoint Online’s Term Store feature) with a customized user content experience featuring multi-language support set in three pillars:

  • what Sogrape needs to tell its employees – mandatory information on the homepage;
  • what employees are interested in – their personal area;
  • what employees might want to know but isn’t in the portal’s homepage nor their personal area – search function;

These features and customized user experience are only made possible by combining a structured and planned information classification system with custom SharePoint components, namely its search engine.

Experience taught us that information customization is vital to keep people using corporates portals so, save for Sogrape‘s mandatory info, we gave everyone the liberty to select the themes they’re most interested in. In their personal area, users can find:

  • Fully customizable links to company apps, which include a canteen, a wine store, service desk, and vehicle reservation;
  • A favorites link list that can be accessed and managed across the whole intranet. Pages are added to this list with a single click;
  • The ability to pick the topics which will be presented in their information feed across the entire intranet. An employee in Chile can choose to read articles about his market and avoid information overload by keeping all remaining wine production regions off their feed;

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Language filters also use the tag system and introduce some much longed for agility in the content and delivery process. Translated articles only need to have their tag changed from the original to the new language to travel across the globe and reach employees who wouldn’t read them otherwise.

BindTuning, a longtime DevScope partner, provided a theme that matched Sogrape’s identity, allowing our Portals & Collaboration team to deploy WINet in record time and featuring its most wanted areas and functionalities, and thanks to the tag system’s flexibility new areas can be introduced in mere days.

Teams work

Sogrape envisioned WINet as a knowledge-sharing platform so connecting it to Microsoft Teams was the next logical step in the project. It’s arguably the best collaborative platform available, allowing people to talk, share and work in a familiar way while being flexible enough to accommodate features as users see fit.

Microsoft Teams also gave Sogrape a way to make the internal recruitment process much faster and reliable. Because all employee profiles on WINet contain not only their department and function but also areas of interest, Sogrape can take these preferences into account and group people with similar interests and competencies, ensuring the allocation of the best human resources to each new project. Thanks to SharePoint Online‘s provisioning techniques, website templates are easy to deploy for each collaborative context. New content from these collaborative contexts is displayed to users when they log in WINet, making sure they keep up to date with the latest news about the work they’ve been doing with their colleagues.

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WINet takes full advantage of Office 365’s extensive list of productivity features

To make sure Sogrape took advantage of as many Office 365 services as possible, our team introduced Microsoft Stream as a way of sharing and publishing videos on WINet. All communications and file sharing between DevScope and Sogrape also took place exclusively on Microsoft Teams. Not a single email was sent during the entire project.

Results:

WINet launched in December 2018, six months after the project started.

“Employees overseas are happy to be part of something that despite having been developed in Portugal, has a global reach. They feel like part of the family. Our next step is to try and make each market create its local content.”

– Joana Pais, Corporate Communication Manager, Sogrape

Sogrape didn’t make any efforts to impose WINet internally, but adoption is slowly picking up around the world and becoming part of everyone’s daily life. Having experienced its immense collaborative potential, the company believes Microsoft Teams will be the driving force behind WINet adoption.

Work on WINet will continue for the near future, with an emphasis on further employing Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to simplify processes.

What we did:
  • Developed and delivered WINet Sogrape’s new intranet portal – in just six months;
  • Developed a tailored multi-language user-centered intranet experience with dynamic content;
  • Developed a set of features and tools that enrich WINet by simplifying processes and providing users the tools to make them more productive;
  • Integrated Microsoft Teams with SharePoint Online, creating a modern workplace and connecting over 1,000 Sogrape employees around the world;
Products used:

Divide & conquer: how 3 teams joined forces to tell Logoplaste’s story

When a project requires an extra deal of cooperation, well-defined roles are essential to make it easier to plan, design and implement.
The client:

Logoplaste is a leading global designer and manufacturer of value-added rigid plastic packaging solutions to a wide range of blue-chip clients. Founded in Portugal in 1976, Logoplaste invented the “wall to wall” business model, supplying packaging from plants installed directly in the clients’ site. The company currently manages 63 factories in 16 countries all over the world.

The problem:

During the past decade, Logoplaste has grown fast, covering many geographical areas, from the USA to Vietnam, Poland to South America. Their old flash website was outdated and didn’t mirror the company’s DNA, its attitude, massive expansion nor its ambition. Not willing to risk losing new business due to wrong perceptions caused by an outdated site, Logoplaste decided to reform it and build a brand new one.

Logoplaste team
Logoplaste is one big family from all over the world. The old website didn’t reflect that though.

The website went live in 2016. It was a massive improvement over the previous version but still had some issues and did not cover the company’s needs. Above all, it still didn’t reflect how Logoplaste wanted to be perceived by the public, its peers and potential clients on an international scale. After roughly a year and a half, the possibility of developing a new website was once more on the table. During an internal meeting, Hugo Ruivo, Logoplaste’s IT Service Manager, happened to mention DevScope.

The Solution:

Logoplaste came to us looking for an intranet portal, one of our main areas of expertise. Their next request though, came as a bit of a surprise: “Do you develop websites as well?”

While we certainly handle both front and backend web development, Logoplaste was also looking for web design and a communication strategy. Not willing to let the client down, we handed this task over to ALTA Digital (then, designsete), a creative agency based in Lisbon.

ALTA Digital is used to long-distance partnerships, but we usually work directly with the client. Daniela Oliveira, DevScope’s Project Manager, handled the project oversight and bridged communications between the three companies.

“It was, undoubtedly, a challenge participating in this project. An exciting and gratifying one! We soon understood Logoplaste’s vision and the path we would have to follow to reach our client’s goal. Despite being geographically separated, all three partners shared the same enthusiasm and commitment to making this project a success, therefore, the distance was never really a problem.”

– Daniela Oliveira, Project Manager, DevScope

During their analysis, ALTA Digital went over Logoplaste’s website objective, target audience, competition, and the industry’s best practices. Google Analytics helped paint a picture of what content was the most searched for and the most relevant. ALTA Digital quickly concluded that the website had a flaw: the site was practically invisible to search engines.

In order to establish what to create, ALTA Digital scheduled 20 Skype calls with Logoplaste top management spread across the globe to understand the challenges they were facing and grasping what needs the new website should address.

Logoplaste team
Logoplaste executives from all over the world chimed in on the new website’s purpose.

After this lengthy and challenging round of interviews, ALTA Digital had enough material to tell a compelling story and set three objectives for Logoplaste’s new website:

  • Communicate with decision makers;
  • Value Logoplaste’s approach to packaging development and production;
  • Show Logoplaste as a dynamic and energetic company, one with a rich history, culture, solid work, and values;

“Logoplaste had a lot of information they weren’t capitalizing on. They are an innovative company, with many patented technologies, but that was never communicated to the world.”

– Carina, Creative Partner, ALTA Digital

Logoplaste embraced ALTA Digital’s vision.

“Logoplaste’s positioning is different from our competition and that’s contributed to some of the new business we’ve won recently. We needed to tell our story not only because we have a great story to tell, but because we have our own language and exclusive market positioning.”

– Magda Merali, Internal Communications Coordinator, Logoplaste

With ALTA Digital handling the web design part, our team at DevScope had a few other challenges on their plate, namely:

  • Implementing ALTA Digital’s design;
  • Developing Logoplaste’s new back office;
  • Managing the project between the three companies;

ALTA Digital was kind enough to provide us with most of the site’s HTML, which made frontend development much faster. As for the backend, we were forced to start from scratch. Updating content required a fair bit of HTML knowledge, making it off-limits to the regular user.

To make updates as easy as possible, we implemented Umbraco, an open source content management system (CMS) platform we’re fond of and often resort to. Besides being super flexible and reliable, Umbraco has a small learning curve, meaning anyone can quickly get the hang of it without much trouble. We also made sure that everything was parameterizable so Logoplaste could adjust every single detail on their new website.

 

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After delivering the first version of the site, Logoplaste tested it internally and, based on the feedback from its employees worldwide, they requested some changes to make it more user-friendly and allows for faster access to information. The process was akin to rearranging pieces in a puzzle, by restructuring some pages and information. The only newly introduced feature was a tabs module that allows users to absorb information much faster than in the previous version.

Instead of the usual implementation of familiar technologies, this challenge lay in handling a process between three parties. Roles were well defined, tasks were rightly distributed, and everything worked out perfectly.

Just like ALTA Digital, we too ended up developing a trust relationship with Logoplaste and are currently handling new projects for the company, such as the upcoming Human Resources portal. Logoplaste was also kind enough to send new clients our way, a testament to their satisfaction.

Results:

Logoplaste’s new website went live on January 31st, 2019.

 

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“I must say I became apprehensive when DevScope hired ALTA Digital. I thought another player in the project would complicate matters but the truth is, I couldn’t be more pleased. Each company’s role was well defined. We are very pleased with ALTA Digital’s work and Carina Martins’ total availability. Daniela has the calm a Project Manager needs for this sort of endeavor. She pays attention to the client’s request, even when the client isn’t quite sure of what they are asking for. DevScope answered all our needs and always came up with solutions with a professional demeanor.”

– Magda Merali, Internal Communications Coordinator, Logoplaste

What we did:
  • Implemented the front-end design ALTA Digital developed for Logoplaste;
  • Gave Logoplaste’s a new dynamic, fully customizable and easy to use back office on Umbraco CMS;
  • Managed the project from start to finish between three companies;
Products and technologies used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
Are you a DevScope client and would like to have your case study featured here? Get in touch.Send Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots

How Power BI shaped Olicargo’s global operation

The larger the company, the harder it is to assure everyone is working with the same information.
The Client:

Olicargo is a transport and logistics company with branches in Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, and China, and represented by an international network of over 4.000 offices all over the world. Starting as a modest family business in the late 1980s, Olicargo remained so until 2012 when the newly formed SGM Logistics Group acquired the company and gave it a massive boost. With the introduction of capital, know-how and the “Always moving ahead” philosophy, Olicargo saw its €3M/year business grow to €40M and the small team of 8 employees in Porto and Lisbon jump to a staff of about 250 scattered all over the globe.

The problem:

Olicargo’s international expansion faced a few challenges, chief among them the ability to centralize, access and control information. Much like the company itself, Olicargo‘s data was spread across several countries and systems. Offices worked separately and sent Excel files back and forth between them, a clear sign that the company needed Business Intelligence. After witnessing the work with Power BI DevScope did for Contidis, – an Olicargo partner since day 1 – decision-makers got in touch with our BI team and told us about their need for reliable, readily available information.

The solution:

The Olicargo project started in late 2017, when Ruben Cunha, BI Developer at DevScope, worked on a two-week Proof of Concept (POC) based on data from Excel files relating to cargo handling processes. Olicargo immediately took notice of what Power BI could do for their business and hired Ruben to work with their control and management staff and implement it on site during the following year.

“In two weeks, Power BI gave us what took us months or even years to do. One of DevScope’s advantages is the ability to show results in a short amount of time. It was a display of capacity and potential.”

– Paulo Salgado, CEO at Olicargo

DevScope started by tackling the commercial and operational areas, giving Olicargo a clear vision over their expenses, budgets, sales and margins, processing and customer portfolio. The results were great, and Olicargo decided to expand Power BI to its remaining business areas during the following months, and create detailed Business Intelligence reports for finance, treasury, marketing management, human resources, procurement, warehouse cargo, and fleet management.

Olicargo's Power BI solution architecture
Olicargo’s Power BI solution architecture

Stating that Power BI profoundly altered Olicargo is no understatement. During the process of gathering data to feed these reports, the company took the opportunity to reorganize itself and rethinking many of its internal and external operations.

 

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Part of DevScope‘s approach when implementing a solution is assuring the client becomes as autonomous as possible using it, so 5 Olicargo staff members were mentored by our team in Power BI solution. It didn’t take them long to become proficient enough to create their reports and dashboards. More importantly, they now fully understand Microsoft’s platform’s capabilities and are identifying new opportunities to add to the company’s reports.

Olicargo Power BI
Olicargo’s staff creates their own reports and identifies new opportunities in Power BI.

Olicargo was also one of DevScope’s first clients to take full advantage of PowerBI Robots, our in-house developed solution that allows users to automate the delivery of Power BI reports and dashboards. Olicargo uses PowerBI Robots internally – to display business indicators in the smart TV’s spread around the company’s HQ –  but, most notably, externally, to regularly and automatically send clients reports of their activity with Olicargo by email. These are not special custom made reports but extracted directly from Olicargo‘s own Power BI, taking full advantage of PowerBI Robots‘ filtering abilities to only show clients the information they need.

Olicargo team using PowerBI Robots
Among other things, Olicargo uses PowerBI Robots to spread operational KPIs around the office.
Results:

A little over a year after the project’s kick-off, Power BI has become an integral part of the daily life at Olicargo. The company’s entire operation effectively transitioned to Microsoft‘s platform, and Key Performance Indicators are automatically and continually shared with everyone at Olicargo, be it at the gorgeous container ship-shaped headquarters in northern Portugal or the office in China.

Power BI processes information on a daily basis and sharing Excel files became a thing of the past. So did the many requests between the different areas at Olicargo – everyone is now on the same page and feeding off the same source of information. Gone are the days of sending emails asking how much the company is billing, how much they’re carrying or how many tons of air cargo they’re doing.

Decisions are more educated than ever and backed by the most recent data at hand.

“We broke with the past. Power BI sort of revolutionized the company’s strategic management. It’s now based on Power BI and the information it gives us. I rarely resort to Excel files, and when I do, they’re always connected to Power BI. The whole company is.”

– Paulo Salgado, CEO at Olicargo

What we did:
  • Translated Olicargo’s several business areas to Power BI by creating full-fledged, granular reports of each of them;
  • Mentored Olicargo’s employees in Power BI, effectively making them proficient in the platform;
  • Fully automated internal and external Power BI reports with PowerBI Robots;
Products used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
Are you a DevScope client and would like to have your case study featured here? Get in touch.

Send Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots

Transdev unifies its many databases with SQL Server and Power BI

Without the proper setup, a diversity of systems means a huge headache to whoever needs to handle and analyze data. Fortunately, there is a remedy for that.
The client:

Transdev is a French-based public transport group operating in 20 countries. Transdev is a worldwide leader in subway and railway transportation, and one of the major players in bus transportation, employing 82.000 people and with a revenue of over €6.6 billion. Present in Portugal since 1997, Transdev is one of the largest bus and coach operators in the country, with a fleet of over 1.500 vehicles.

The problem:

Transdev’s Portuguese operation grew through a series of mergers and acquisitions but felt some inevitable growing pains. In order to extract reports, the company had to monitor some indicators, such as ticketing and fleet consumption, but faced a huge obstacle: with each assimilated operation using their own set of systems and databases, Transdev had no easy way to connect and cross the amount of information on their hands. The company needed to unify all data from these many different operations and have it working towards the decision-making process.

Transdev launched Citi Express in 2011
Transdev launched Citi Express in 2011
The solution:

Transdev’s relationship with DevScope dates back to 2010 when Rui Romano developed an HTML5 reporting platform that allowed employees to analyze and comment on some indicators that still live on their current Business Intelligence solution. When Transdev contacted him again, asking for a way to unify all their different operations, he was well aware of the company’s current situation. The project seemed challenging and presented another perfect opportunity to put Rui Romano’s “Start Small and Grow Big” work methodology to good use. In practice, it means implementing a solution in an Agile way with short and fast stages, modifying it to answer any of the clients’ problems and scale it according to their needs. Since this allows for a tailored approach, clients only need to implement solutions according to their business needs.

Stage #1 – Unifying different systems through a Data Warehouse

Nuno Miguel Silva, José Barbosa, and Bruno Ferreira, BI consultants at DevScope, designed a Data Warehouse – nicknamed Prometheus – that would feed on over a dozen of Transdev’s Ticketing (Datacar, Wayfarer, and Card4B) and Operation (ABC) databases.

Prometheus
Transdev’s ETL Framework

Due to the different nature of these systems, the DevScope team developed a fast and dynamic ETL Framework for Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), allowing for faster design and development of ETL solutions and making it easier to change configurations. Prometheus serves as an intermediary on the entire processing, receiving data from its original databases and transforming it to be used afterward.

Power-BI-Transdev-005

“The diversity of systems made the process a little bit more complicated. And, on top of that, we found that users would be using different methods, even when working on the same system. Because of that, we had to standardize processes.”

– Maria Gabriel, Application Manager and Data Scientist at Transdev

The Data Warehouse with DevScope’s ETL framework gave Transdev a central platform to extract, transform and load data. Whenever a new data source comes in, Transdev’s IT department has no trouble adding it to the data warehouse: all they need to do is configure a few metadata tables. The company also had to normalize the way their workers handled it. Prior to the introduction of Prometheus, Excel was Transdev’s tool of choice but individual edits to files made data management slow and figures unreliable. The entire decision-making process was compromised.

Stage #2 – Introducing Power BI

After regulating Transdev’s different systems through a data warehouse, the next step was to output such a large amount of information. Given its integration with SQL Server, Power BI was the logical choice for the task. Rui Romano is a well-known advocate of Power BI’s virtues and demoing it was enough for Transdev to realize how interactive reports and dashboards could dramatically change several areas of their operation. The company currently has 30 active Power BI Pro users and generates 10 different reports, ranging from ticketing to fleet consumption.

 

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Prometheus is updated every day so Transdev technicians can always count on a fresh batch of trustworthy data in the morning when they arrive at the office. Real-time analytics is not necessary and because the entire process requires a lot of computing resources, updating outside working hours makes the process seamless.

Results:

Speed and information reliability were the first noticeable aspects of Transdev‘s data warehouse used in combination with Power BI. Understandably, some of Transdev’s methods of analysis completely changed to accommodate the new solution.

“Information is now more reliable, available, and has the granularity that allows us to make better decisions.”

– João Soares, Director of Purchases and IT at Transdev

Transdev’s platform is a work in progress and a testament to the “Start Small, Grow Big” approach. After working out the basics – the data warehouse and business analysis platform – the DevScope team keeps introducing new features according to the client’s needs. Just recently, we added the option to import CSV files to the warehouse.

Transdev hopes that the system becomes increasingly dynamic and able to quickly react to changes in ticket prices and promotions from competing companies. Their long-term goal for the platform is to have it dictate the business itself, i.e., use data to launch new products and support the company’s evolution.

autocarros_transdev_23

Transdev is a multinational group, present in 5 continents, and their technicians meet regularly to see what each team has been doing and exchange some learnings. After watching Transdev Portugal’s Power BI dashboard in action, other teams were very impressed and keen on adopting these solutions.

What we did:
  • Unified Transdev’s radically different databases through a data warehouse
  • Developed a fast and dynamic ETL framework for SQL Server Integration Services that quickly adapts to new changes and data sources
  • Gave Transdev a state-of-the-art reporting tool in the form of Power BI, delivering accurate and up-to-date information to make educated business decisions
Products used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
Are you a DevScope client and would like to have your case study featured here? Get in touch.

The Calendar Portal that was a game changer for FC Porto

Scheduling is a vital – if often overlooked – aspect of any organization. The right tool can solve one problem, but client input unlocks the potential to make it much more.
The client:

Futebol Clube do Porto (FC Porto) is a Portuguese sports club best known for its professional football team. Currently celebrating its 125th anniversary, FC Porto is part of the “Big Three” teams in Portugal, and the one with the most international success. A regular participant in the UEFA Champions League, FC Porto is ranked 11th on the UEFA club coefficient ranking and is the team with the most appearances in the tournament (21) along with Barcelona and Real Madrid. Aside from football, FC Porto also has active Basketball, Billiards, Boxing, Cycling, Handball, Roller Hockey, Swimming and adapted sports sections.

FC Porto is well-known for its football team. They are the current national reigning champions.
FC Porto is well-known for its football team. They are the national reigning champions.
The problem:

Managing a calendar may sound relatively simple, but things quickly escalate when you have to handle time slots for nine sports sections with several teams each. FC Porto’s Planning & Sports department struggled with such a task on a weekly basis. Their working system involved creating several Excel spreadsheets, converting them to PDF and sending them via email to the club’s many sections to be filled out. To make matters worse, they had to go through the whole process again whenever a game’s schedule changed. Predictably, this intricate process was time-consuming and prone to many problems, so they decided to task Microsoft with the development of a calendar portal designed to manage the club’s many sports sections.

The solution:

Microsoft started working on FC Porto’s Calendar Portal in 2014, but given DevScope’s Gold partner status and our previous work with the club, they eventually tasked us with the project. Things were well underway, but there were some bugs in need of a fix, and a few features to implement. FC Porto wanted the portal to be a tool that made everybody’s job easier, simple enough to be used by anyone, and easily upgradeable.

The Calendar Portal’s panel is split by sports sections. The admin can add new events to the calendar while having a clear vision of the whole schedule to make sure there are no overlapping, conflicting games.

Users can select which sports sections to follow.
Users can select which sports sections to follow.

Users can subscribe to as many calendars as they wish and receive any updates via email. Calendars can also integrate with Outlook with automatic updates.

“The Calendar Portal’s central management system allows all updates to show up on the subscribed calendar, automatically updating the user of any changes. It provided added value to the club, allowing for more fluidity in information sharing between departments, completely achieving our goal.”

– Joana Azevedo, Project Manager at FC Porto

Results:

Despite initially designed for Planning & Sports, the Calendar Portal turned out to be a game changer for other departments. Unsurprisingly, FC Porto’s Media & Communications benefited the most from it since they work with several partners, such as TV broadcasters and newspapers that must receive information several days in advance, not to mention the multitude of coverage pieces they must prepare in advance.

The Calendar Portal can create and send PDF files and send them to subscribed media partners.
The Calendar Portal can create and send PDF files and send them to subscribed media partners.

“What took us over an hour, due to spreadsheets and emails everywhere, is now done with a single click.”

– Carlos Vaqueiro, Planning & Sports Organization Manager at FC Porto

Operations also found great value in the portal and, to our surprise, tweaked it to automatically send updates and important information to some crucial professionals they work with. Among others, the department is in charge of car parks, admittance and security at the Estádio do Dragão (Dragon’s Stadium), as well as police officers, firefighters, and medical teams, all of whom must be on top of the latest updates to the games. They plan to complement this with annexed maps of the games’ venues, so these teams have all necessary info to work on their logistics.

To our surprise, admittance at the Estádio do Dragão, Porto's home turf, found great value in the Portal.
To our surprise, admittance at the Estádio do Dragão, Porto’s home turf, found great value in the Portal.

The FC Porto Calendar Portal officially launched during the first week of September 2018 and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. During its two-week launch window, the Planning & Sports Organization team encouraged all departments to send feedback and suggestions to tailor the portal to their needs. Lots of ideas poured in, and work on some of them, such as the mobile version, started right away.

In less than a month, the FC Porto Calendar Portal managed to enroll hundreds of subscribers. A huge push came from the IT department, which placed a shortcut to the platform on everyone’s desktop. Curiosity did the rest and 150 people signed up for a calendar on that day alone.

Users can pick which calendars to subscribe with no trouble.
Users can pick which calendars to subscribe with no trouble.

“It’s easy to work your way around the new Calendar Portal. Even without prior explanation, people find the information they’re looking for, and that’s very important to us.”

– Carlos Vaqueiro, Planning & Sports Organization Manager at FC Porto

During this period, FC Porto noticed the Calendar Portal could be easily turned into a space occupancy platform with a few tweaks and customization. Since all games are already in the portal, training hours is all they need to add to, effectively, create a spaces management portal. Work on it should start soon.

Porto plans to turn the Calendar Portal into a space occupancy platform with some customization.
Porto plans to turn the Calendar Portal into a space occupancy platform with some customization.

“We managed to create a tool that helps us keep up with the different sports sections’ events, allowing us to internally plan and communicate in a more automated and effective way. The solution had a huge adoption rate due to its ease of use and fluidity with which it allows us to provide information to all users, making it indispensable for daily use. We’re equating to share the Portal’s functionalities with the club’s associates and fans in future versions.”

– Vítor Pombo, Information Systems Director at FC Porto

What we did:
  • Developed a calendars management portal to help FC Porto’s Planning & Sports manage the schedule of the club’s dozens of teams;
  • Picked up a work in progress, and delivered it polished, with extra features and plenty of room to evolve;
Products used:

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How a portal transformed the way Consoveyo works with suppliers

Deep changes to a company’s workflow can take some time to get used to but the right solution has the power to get everyone on board since day one.
The client:

Created in 1984 as the automation and robotics department of the Efacec Group, the largest Portuguese corporation operating in the electromechanics and electronics fields, Consoveyo grew over the years into an intralogistics business with a global reach specializing in systems integration. The company got its name and identity following an acquisition by the German Körber group, in September 2015, and is now part of its Business Area Logistics System.

Consoveyo warehouse
Consoveyo is a market leader in the design, supply, installation and commissioning of automated storage systems.
The problem:

Consoveyo works with several suppliers, whose materials have a set of accompanying mandatory documents, ranging from legal authorizations to strict security certificates. At some point during an equipment manufacturing process, the company received these by either email or good old-fashioned paper, but the lack of a central record caused Consoveyo more than a few headaches. The operations team had a hard time keeping up with all the necessary documents, and technicians often found themselves frantically looking for them all over the place by the time production ended. Consoveyo needed a new way to retrieve and handle these documents, but it had to be simple enough, so partners would quickly adapt to it.

The solution:

Having previously hired DevScope to implement a Power BI solution, Consoveyo contacted us again, this time with a special request for our Portals & Collaboration team. The company needed a portal where they could list purchase orders, exchange feedback with suppliers, and collect and track any mandatory documents.

The request was simple though we had to keep in mind that this platform was for suppliers who, up to that point, delivered their documents by email or postal service.

In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, registration on the new portal uses each supplier’s old unique ID.

Consoveyo's Portal by DevScope
Consoveyo Partner’s Register Menu

After logging in, partners gain access to the list of purchase orders placed by Consoveyo. Under each order, they can check which materials they have to supply and attach the required documents.

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These documents are kept in a central database and can be accessed at all times by any employee with access to the platform, a complete departure from the old days of scanning or simply archiving paper documents, and desperately searching everywhere for them.

On the backend, Consoveyo can manage both partner and employee access to the platform, check the orders list of all suppliers and access all uploaded documents.

Prior to launching the portal, Consoveyo sent suppliers an email announcing the upcoming changes and a manual on how to use the platform. They also scheduled a meeting to demo it and do a Q&A session. Attendance exceeded Consoveyo’s expectations, and suppliers were completely on board with the new portal, seeing it as a much-needed change in the workflow between the company and its partners.

“Partners’ reaction to the portal was great, and nobody had any issues using it. There was no resistance to the new workflow whatsoever.”

– Isabel Ferreira, IT Master Data Platform Owner at Consoveyo

Results:

Consoveyo Suppliers went live on April 16th and was an instant success. Practically every supplier is using it since day-1, and the workload related to documentation of the operations team dramatically decreased since the portal went live.

The portal was also a surprising hit among other collaborators, with many departments asking for access so they could hasten processes they were involved in. This wasn’t in Consoveyo’s initial plans but made sense from a practical standpoint, so access to it was ultimately extended.

“We no longer have unfinished projects because information is lacking or is very hard to gather. Everything is in a single place. It’s more practical and makes way more sense.”

– Erica Vilarinho, Marketing and Sales, at Consoveyo.

The Consoveyo Suppliers portal is a work in progress, currently undergoing some aesthetic changes, and receiving some minor functionalities, such as the ability to segment emails and notifications inside the platform. Consoveyo plans to keep improving it and their ultimate goal is to turn it into a fully-fledged orders platform (they are currently placed elsewhere).

What we did:
  • Created a portal to ease communications between Consoveyo and its many suppliers, mainly designed for document and feedback exchange
  • Created a central record where all documentation can be stored and accessed at any point during the production process;
Products used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
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How SPAR’s sales rose by double digits with Power BI and Azure

Making the right decisions by gathering and centralizing data from over 100 stores.
The client:

Founded in 1932 by Adriaan van Well in the Netherlands, SPAR is an international group of independently owned and operated retailers and wholesalers who work together in partnership with the SPAR brand. There are over 12.500 SPAR stores in 42 countries worldwide, over 100 of which located in Portugal.

How SPAR’s sales rose by double digits with Power BI and Azure

The problem:

As with most retailers of considerable size, SPAR collected massive amounts of data regarding their operation but accessing and crossing it wasn’t always an easy task. The retail sector can be ruthless to those unable to identify and grab opportunities, and SPAR had a huge need to analyze pretty much everything from suppliers to warehouses, sellers, marketing, finance, operations, etc. Everyone at the company had their own perception of the business, but there simply wasn’t enough information to make educated guesses. SPAR scheduled a meeting with DevScope to find out how we could help.

There is only one chance to make a great first impression so, after a brief PowerPoint presentation, we put words into action and took the liberty to connect a few of SPAR’s databases and extract some data previously deemed unreachable.

SPAR wanted to build a Reporting and Analytics (RAP) platform that could enable its end-users to be decision makers. The company’s ultimate goal was to increase its teams’ efficiency but, in order to do so, they had to equip them with proper tools to not only analyze data but also act on it.

SPAR's average sales report on Power BI
SPAR’s average sales report on Power BI
The Solution:

DevScope’s proposed solution used Microsoft® Power BI™ to display data and was built on Azure Cloud Services, namely Azure Gateways and Service BUS to read and sync all business data stored in SPAR’s on-premise data sources.

This internal network was set up using several Excel files, handled and updated by SPAR’s management teams, and SQL Server, namely:

  • MaxiRetail SPAR’s business info is synched and stored in a central SQL Server with data from POS and BackOffice systems at each of their stores;
  • Power BI Data Warehouse – A SQL Server database was set up in order to speed up the insertion of thousands of daily registries to Power BI™;
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAVSPAR’s ERP feeds the BI SPAR model with info as well;

SPAR Cloud Services with Azure and Power BI

There were a few obstacles along the way, though. Right off the bat, real-time analytics for Big Data became a challenge given SPAR’s data complexity and quantity.

SPAR has several departments (marketing, commercial, logistics, operations, finance, etc.) and the company isn’t centralized in several parts of the country. Each team had used Excel spreadsheets to manage their daily work, and crossing information between them to get a sense of their daily activity was nearly impossible.

SPAR processes thousands of daily transactions on thousands of items multiplied by 365 days throughout the year, all accumulated and spread across several PCs and servers. This kind of chaos made decision-making in a timely way very difficult.

Identifying which products’ sales were down during a given period could only be done if the server was updated daily and could take SPAR between 2 to 3 hours. After that, they would have to figure out where that scenario had the biggest impact, which could take an additional 3 hours. One person alone could spend a whole day providing a couple of numbers.

SPAR's YToY store sales report on Power BI
SPAR’s YoY store sales report on Power BI

We would have a new problem on our hands the following day without taking care of the previous ones. We were driving without any orientation, and a lot of speed and no guidance is a disaster. Small teams with the proper tools are able to do what large teams can’t when if they don’t have access to centralized data.

– Francisco Portugal, SPAR Administrator

We managed to deliver and implement the proposed solution on time, and our Business Intelligence team’s dedication was full, so much that a strong connection between both companies persists to this day. DevScope still keeps a dedicated consultant on site at SPAR who has effectively become part of the company.

Results:

SPAR’s sales grew by double digits in just a few months. DevScope’s Power BI™ solution allowed the retailer to have a more detailed and informed view of their sales, prices, margins, and stock, and identify some key opportunities, such as products with a large profit margin but low in stock.

SPAR's store performance report on Power BI

 

DevScope and Microsoft® Power BI™ have become an integral part of the management team at SPAR, and the company stopped depending on a SQL manager to extract data from queries. Pedro Fardilha, our consultant working with SPAR in loco, closely monitors the company’s activity on a weekly -and often daily – basis.

Today we have one single source, one single way of doing business based on data!

– Francisco Portugal, SPAR Administrator

SPAR no longer needs to go with its gut about business – decisions are now based on facts and backed by numbers.

How SPAR’s sales rose by double digits with Power BI and Azure

What we did:
  • Centralized SPAR’s information by connecting SQL Server and Excel databases to Azure Cloud Services;
  • Used Power BI™ to give SPAR a more detailed and informed view of the company’s teams’ activities;
Products used:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
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Contidis gets the data it needs to open a superstore chain in Angola.

Connecting Power BI to SAP HANA to make sure a $400M superstore chain in Angola always makes the right decisions.
The client:

Contidis is an investment group building the Candando superstore chain in Angola. With over US $400 million in investment capital, Candando means not only big business but also thousands of new jobs, the livelihood of local producers and general access to groceries in a struggling economy. Contidis plans on opening 10 Candando superstores by 2021 but its drive is built on the back of a cautious philosophy: open a store, learn what works and what needs to change, adjust and repeat.

The problem:

Before opening its first Candando store, Contidis started building a business intelligence (BI) model with tools in its SAP for Retail solution. However, IT staff was taking too long to build reports and data was so scarce business users weren’t able to make informed decisions. The application was far from matching Contidis’s ambition and holding the entire business back.

The challenge:

Far from pleased with the setbacks caused by their BI model, Contidis asked DevScope to design a Power BI solution that could handle all their data needs: an agile platform that could grow as their users move from one challenge to the next.

Luckily, DevScope’s approach was not that different from Contidis and Rui Romano, our BI Team Manager, even follows a MO he termed “Start Small and Grow Big”.

“We like to start small, listen to users, modify the solution in order to solve their problems and scale it to ensure stability.”

– Rui Romano, BI Team Manager at DevScope

Excel was the tool of choice to connect Power BI with data from Contidis’s SAP application, which ran on Amazon Web Services (AWS). DevScope proceeded to connect Power BI to the SAP HANA warehouse in AWS and, within 1 month, over 100 employees at Contidis – including managers and store personnel – were using the BI solution to include data from store inventory, product pricing, purchases and promotions in their reports.

11-candando-compras-3

There was still plenty of work to do, though: users were experiencing slower response times, file location was making mobile access to reports a hassle and Power BI couldn’t handle data comparison between Excel files and those in the SAP HANA database. In order to increase performance and circumvent these issues, Contidis needed a single source of information for business intelligence. DevScope opted for building a data warehouse with Azure SQL Database and create a custom PowerShell ETL framework to move data to the cloud. This solution also allowed to configure refresh rates for every table in the warehouse so Candando could access sales data by the hour.

In order to control data access, DevScope implemented a dynamic security model with Azure Analysis Services and Azure Active Directory, ensuring customized BI-access privileges for every user. We also introduced standardized reports and dashboards that help optimize operations (such as sales comparisons that help determine how discounts drive revenue) as well as alerts for unusual balances in order to detect fraud.

Competitive pricing can make or break a new player in the retail market and in order to understand how Candando’s value stacked against its competitors, DevScope built a handy Power BI solution that allowed employees to scan a product’s barcode at any retailer and instantly compare its price to Candando’s using their smartphones. In the near future, this feature will also be able to send data to the Azure warehouse and immediately integrate comparative pricing on a sales report.

08-candando-servicos

These reports allow users to filter views and add the information of their choice such as store location, date, transaction, product, inventory levels, and product orders. Since the solution is so scalable, Contidis can easily add more users and reports, and save data for the long term, gaining useful insights on trends.

“The first Candando store has been open for less than a year. We already have 14 million records in Azure and adding information about 10.000 sales transactions every day. Even though our data is growing exponentially, we can continue to scale the cloud-based Power BI model to meet long-term requirements.”

– Renato Correia, CTO, Contidis

Automated alerts for IT staff and business users can also be configured with Power BI. For example, if a product isn’t selling, the appropriate people will be alerted in order to act on it as soon as possible. Among the many advantages of using Power BI and Azure Analysis Services is the solutions’ scaleability. Just like Contidis’s expansion plans, DevScope’s solutions started small and scaled up as needed. This allowed Contidis to pay for only what they needed and save money in the process.

“We noticed people weren’t using the service in the middle of the night so we just deployed a script that automatically scales Azure services up and down and turns them on and off depending on traffic and usage. Just by turning our BI service off for 4 hours a night, we’ll save an estimate 3.600€/year. This may seem insignificant to some, but it’s very relevant to us. This change supports our energy-efficient culture and in the long run these savings will be substantial.”

– Renato Correia, CTO, Contidis

The results:

Contidis opened the first Candando superstore in May 2016. Its success has been replicated twice and over 1.000 new jobs were created in Angola in the process. Contidis’s plan is to open an additional 7 stores by 2021.
Thanks to Power BI and Azure, Contidis’s IT staff spends less time creating reports and business users can access all the data they need in order to run their stores and fulfill the company’s ambition.

07-compras-candando

“Since we implemented our Power BI solution in Azure, we’ve noticed a big improvement in business insight and efficiency. Our IT staff spends less time creating reports and our business users have a lot of autonomy, accessing and creating BI whenever they need to, be it from our portal or using mobile devices, including phones and tablets. Our continued growth is due to many factors – and Power BI is one of them.”

– Renato Correia, CTO, Contidis

What we did:
  • Implemented a connected, agile and scalable platform that grew according to the client’s needs;
  • Used Power BI to give Contidis access to the data analysis it needs to run a successful venture;
Products used:
References:

Do you want to learn more about DevScope’s solutions? Contact us.
Are you a DevScope client and would like to have your case study featured here? Get in touch.
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