Published on 06-May-2013
"In future, Benefolio wants to further expand the use of its own software in the cloud on the one hand, and to assist third parties in taking the plunge into cloud computing under the umbrella of its collaboration with IBM, on the other. The possibilities are endless." - Eugeen Matthys
Computer Services, Construction / Architecture / Engineering, Professional Services
IBM Smart Business Cloud delivers flexibility and stability for Benefolio
Reliable solution for cloud computing
IBM Smart Business Cloud Enterprise
Very attractive and transparent pricing, flexibility, stability, reliability, availability, safety
Niche player Benefolio, with years of experience in IT migration technology, specializes in web applications for attorneys, auditors and accountants. This small business from Aalst also offers support services for migration to and implementation of cloud environments and solutions for the business continuity. As a supplier of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) web applications, Benefolio was a pioneer in the domain of cloud computing. Benefolio has been an IBM Services-Only Business Partner for two years.
A pioneer in cloud computing
At the beginning of 2010, when cloud computing was literally in its infancy, Benefolio began searching for a solution that would allow it to set up a cloud environment for its customers. At that time, there were virtually no structured cloud computing services in existence. The company conducted extensive marketing research, investigating cloud providers such as Amazon EC2, Virtuozzo, Google App Engine, VMware and Elastic Hosts and finally ended up at the English company Elastichosts.com. The first applications in the cloud utilized this provider’s nodes.
In September of 2010, Benefolio heard that IBM was also going to introduce a concrete cloud solution that would work seamlessly on the needs of this small company. This information did not fall on deaf ears. Benefolio investigated IBM’s cloud offering and compared it to its current operational environment. In December of 2010, based on the attractive pricing, reliability, name recognition and availability, Benefolio definitively chose IBM’s solutions.
IBM Smart Business Cloud Enterprise
The result of this collaboration is the Time Money Quality (TMQ) concept, based on IBM’s Smart Business Cloud Enterprise, a flexible cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) that was designed to provide rapid access to secure enterprise class virtual server environments. Thanks to this cloud concept, customers procure the Benefolio IT services via the Internet. For a small fixed monthly fee per active file, they can use Benefolio’s services anywhere, anytime - for time and document management, for example. This allows users to focus on their core activities: after all, they do not have to invest in hardware, licenses, or internal IT experts. Nor are they burdened with upgrades, maintenance, back-up copies and support.
In signing the collaboration with IBM, Benefolio’s objective was to migrate all customers to the new cloud environment by January of 2011. Quite an ambitious objective, but one that Benefolio did, in fact, achieve.
Flexible and transparent
Eugeen Matthys, Benefolio’s managing director, explains why the company chose IBM: “In addition to the flexibility and the proven back-up functions, the transparent pricing of the IBM Smart Business Cloud Enterprise was a big factor. This makes it possible for Benefolio customers to outsource their administration, file management, invoicing and time registration externally for a single all-in price, without any hidden costs. This enables them to quickly and easily anticipate and capitalize on changes in the current challenging market.”
The standard configuration of the TMQ – Time Management System consists of a task registration and planning system for internal and external employees, as well as an invoicing module with a direct link to TMQ - Accounting. One benefit is that new customers are created immediately; sales journals and accounts receivable are automatically modified in the general bookkeeping, as well. Extra added benefits include seamless integration between customer’s personal appointment calendars, the TMQ document management system and the Webmail application. Via the TMS – Document management system, companies can save documents, link to bookkeeping entries, and view and print documents from any location where they have access to an Internet connection. Attorneys pay 0.40 euro per file per month. Auditors, tax advisors and accountants pay 1.79 euro per file per month.
Another advantage is that extra capacity can be procured during busy times, for which the customer only pays on a temporary basis. Once the extra capacity is no longer required, the customer reverts to his normal rates. Currently Benefolio and IBM services are intensively utilized by approximately 600 users distributed among different companies, including the law offices of De Paepe and the Hugo Decker Accountants firm.
According to Eugeen Matthys, Cloud Computing is still in its infancy in Belgium: “In future, Benefolio wants to further expand the use of its own software in the cloud on the one
hand, and to assist third parties in taking the plunge into cloud computing under the umbrella of its collaboration with IBM, on the other. The possibilities are endless.
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