Local entities thrive as market leaders under one single roof
Forterro is a group of specialized ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) companies serving industrial SMEs around the globe and investing in local and niche software businesses to help them continue to thrive as market leaders. They are an international software vendor championing a diverse range of solutions to a diverse set of markets. Forterro’s ERP products are used by small and midsized manufacturers everywhere. Their software helps to build products that span the entire supply chain: products you eat, use, and wear; products you live and work in; and products that keep you safe and comfortable.
By developing 11 local ERP products, Forterro’s strategy is to give autonomy to local entities but with the strength of the group, united by a winning operating approach. This is a crucial detail for the choice and implementation of a new customer support solution.
With this strategic operating model, Forterro is serving 8,000 customers in 5 different countries (France, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and Sweden) in 5 different countries (France, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and Sweden) with different languages and teams. Each entity had its own life, working methods and tools. That’s why Forterro decided to optimize and standardize their customer support solution by implementing Jira Service Management along with other Atlassian solutions.
Streamline business processes and optimize IT infrastructure for 5 countries
Choosing a new common support solution took some time. Forterro had many heterogeneous support systems in place, so they first started by reviewing the existing solution and defining their requirements. That’s how they decided the new solution would need to help the company to:
- optimize IT infrastructure and support, because all legacy systems were on different servers, managed by different teams
- streamline license costs, as all tools were from different vendors, with different types of licenses, different rules, and some duplicates
- streamline practices across businesses with one single tool, to have better KPIs, metrics, and business practices
Based on Forterro’s operating model, it was also crucial for the chosen solution to be able to manage the multiple languages, identities, and brandings of each entity. In short, a core solution that was customizable and adaptable to each situation was needed. Jira was already being used by the R&D team, and to ease the integration with other teams, Forterro decided to add Jira Service Management and Confluence to their stack after successful tests and a Proof of Concept.
Mastering the art of consolidation and shaping Jira Service Management in the image of the users
After selecting Jira Service Management, the question was how to implement it. Forterro first thought they would do it internally, based on the experience the group had with Jira within the R&D team. But they quickly found out they would not have the time, resources, and knowledge, to carry this out. So, they decided to find a partner to provide the best practices and expertise in implementation, migration, and consolidation projects. Valiantys was chosen because of its global expertise but also because of its local footprint, close to Forterro’s entities.
The project first started in 2019 in France, with a planned expansion to Switzerland and later to Poland and Germany. Some of the main steps were:
- interfacing Jira Service Management (used by support teams) with Jira and TFS (used by the R&D team). Providing this integration was very important for the company
- implementing specific branding and messaging of each Forterro entities, to adapt it to local customers.
- consolidating the 2 existing Jira instances in France and Switzerland, with 50,000 tickets and 3,000 customers migrated from a legacy system to Jira Service Management.
- building a multilingual portal to support all languages needed and make sure each customer would have a seamless experience.
The main challenge was that it was not a plug-and-play application project. Migration and consolidation have been a huge part of the project, with a complex process because of the many languages involved in different existing Jira instances, the several SQL databases in different locations. Merging everything into one single instance needed a lot of investigation and analysis to make it a success. Forterro also realized they could customize the solution to fit their needs using Marketplace apps such as Translation for Jira Service Management (for multilingual support portal) or Elements Copy & Sync (to link issues within Jira and Jira Service Management projects).
Improved infrastructure, better business synergy
- successful implementation of Jira, Jira Service Management, and Confluence for 300 users and 5 entities
- optimization of resources and infrastructure with 40% cost savings in licensing and centralized monitoring thanks to the consolidation of several instances into a single one on a server
- ability to bring all teams together as a single working unit, even though they belong to different companies
- seamless interface and visibility across teams and business units
- unified identity as a Forterro group company while still retaining individual brands on local markets
Along with a continuous improvement approach, Forterro is preparing a migration to the Cloud following Atlassian’s strategic move. The company will define their requirement and how they can leverage the Atlassian Cloud solutions for the entire group in the next couple of years or so.