ENTREPRISES & STRATÉGIES — Technologies

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“Ordina’s low-code solutions simplify IT”


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Luxembourg is a prime market for the low-code approach to building software solutions that allows non-IT staff to develop tools to address their firm’s operational needs, explains Owen Sisk, who manages Ordina Belux’s Mendix business unit.

Ordina & Mendix

As businesses invest in the digitisation of their operations, the demand for business applications is growing significantly faster than the capacity of IT departments to deliver them. The gap between business demand for smart applications and the lack of talented developers has led to an unprecedented demand for ‘low-code, high productivity’ platforms. 

Low-code from Mendix, subsidiary of Siemens, is a powerful, visual approach to software development that enables business analysts and developers to create cloud-native applications more than 10x faster.

As a Mendix Expert Partner with more than 50 certified Mendix consultants and a broad customer base in different market segments, Ordina sells, implements and improves Mendix solutions in the entire Benelux market.

With this partnership Ordina has an answer to customers who really want to accelerate digitally. Organisations are developing more and more applications with which they can distinguish themselves. Apps for employees, customers, suppliers, new digital services. Traditional application development methods do not work fast enough to realise this.

Mendix low-code is the perfect platform to meet those needs.

What kinds of firms is Ordina targeting with its Mendix low-code solutions in Luxembourg?

Ordina Luxembourg is a renowned SAP partner in Luxembourg and has a huge base of satisfied customers.

SAP will stop supporting SAP ECC (SAP ERP Central Component) in 2027. The software vendor asks its customers to switch to SAP S/4HANA by then. SAP positions S/4HANA as the platform for the future: extremely intelligent, user-friendly and above all completely ‘future-proof’: S/4HANA combines ERP with applications such as integrated analytics, IoT, RPA, machine learning to accelerate the digital transformation of companies.

A move to S/4HANA is more than an upgrade of the existing SAP systems or a migration of the database. Customers have to make many choices – processes, functionalities, infrastructure structure – and this requires a great deal of expertise. Both of SAP S/4HANA, of business processes and of classic SAP ECC solutions. Ordina’s SmartMove solution supports SAP customers in this journey.

A lot of SAP customers added customization to their SAP ECC Business Suite. Many customizations will get them into trouble during the transition to S/4HANA. No worries, low code is an answer!

SAP and Mendix joined forces, providing SAP customers with a low-code development platform running on SAP Cloud Platform. The result: SAP Rapid Application Development by Mendix, which supports customization needs.

Ordina’s Mendix expertise allows SAP customers to increase speed and efficiency when it comes to application development, tightly integrated with their IT and SAP landscape.

Ordina is a business based in the Netherlands and active in Belgium and Luxembourg. The firm already has a very well-known SAP business in Luxembourg. Ordina was awarded an SAP Partner Award some weeks ago. Mendix, which has been owned by Siemens since 2018 (using it extensively in industrial applications) is also an SAP partner. And the Mendix development platform is used within SAP environments too. Ordina is one of the market leaders in low code. So we really expect that we can get new business fast.

I see it as very broad because we see a huge amount – over 80 percent – of governmental organizations implementing low code in the Netherlands. In Belgium, our first customers were in the public sector. I don’t see any reason why governments in Luxembourg would not be keen on looking at low code.

We see a huge amount – over 80 percent – of governmental organizations implementing low code in the Netherlands.
Owen Sisk

Owen Sisk,  Business Unit Manager Mendix,  Ordina

Another part of the business is financial institutions. Some really big banks have made the strategic choice to use Mendix for their core banking applications, so Luxembourg’s financial centre is clearly an opportunity for us. Another strong area for low code is in the industrial context.

It’s a new market for us and so we have to see what happens. But my expectation is that because we see it in the Netherlands and in Belgium, we should see it here. Mendix launched an office in Belgium last year which is also responsible for Luxembourg.

What do low-code solutions make possible for today’s businesses?

Companies are looking for a way to be more competitive. They want to innovate in order to make their processes better. They are looking at operational excellence. They want to be meeting business demands faster. They also have trouble with finding good IT people. Low code can be a solution for all of these problems.

Low code makes it possible for non-IT types to build software solutions. It’s really the people who use Excel and are not at all technical, but they can build an application in Mendix. Anyone who’s interested in technology and is motivated can apply it.

Using low code’s visual approach to developing applications, it can go 5 to 10 times faster than with traditional development. Low code also means that companies don’t buy a solution which is already built. It is a customized way of building applications to meet a company’s business requirements. The platform makes collaboration between businesses and IT possible because it sets up a common approach to application development.

If we talk about making things faster, you can also say that costs will go down.

That’s how you can really interest the CEOs and CFOs.

How has Covid affected the prospects for your Mendix operations?

What we saw was that IT was not impacted negatively by Covid. In fact, it faced a lot of demands from companies. Companies were obliged to operate when their employees were no longer allowed to go into the office. So it means that companies were asking the IT companies to help them by installing workplace solutions. What we see is that the companies are really looking at how they can get more speed in their digitalization. That led to a lot of interest in low code. So, for us, Covid-19 meant a lot of new opportunities.

What is the advantage for Ordina to be on the Luxembourg market?

Ordina is already present on the Luxembourg market. But not with our entire portfolio of solutions yet, so it’s interesting for us. We have a good SAP business, working on enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations and many companies use our services. But the Luxembourg market has a lot of financial institutions, banking, as well as big companies. And we also see that there are a lot of headquarters in Luxembourg. The kinds of firms here are of great interest to Ordina.

Where does the future growth for your firm come from?

Companies are looking at innovation and looking for solutions which can be scalable. They are looking at how they can be better at citizen engagement. And they’re also looking at how they can replace old technology. The requirements for a specific business idea can quickly be fulfilled across sectors using low code. Major players like Microsoft have also made low code a strategic choice.

Companies are looking at innovation and looking for solutions which can be scalable. They are looking at how they can be better at citizen engagement.
Owen Sisk

Owen Sisk,  Business Unit Manager Mendix,  Ordina

IT is getting increasingly complex. Adding low code to a company’s strategic IT landscape, it will help to manage complexity. We’re also seeing that because businesses want to go fast, many IT departments can’t keep up. Businesses start to create their own applications using their own means. IT does not like that in general because they don’t have control. Low-code development sets up a common platform with businesses and IT working closely together. It means that businesses get a lot of advantages, but IT still stays in control. So, there’s a way in which low code brings businesses and IT really together.