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Hannecard, a global player operating locally

Hannecard is a company that has always specialized in roll and roll coating for industrial applications. An international group of companies with 11 production units and presence in 16 countries, supported by around 600 employees. Their strong growth, international presence and a top priority for flexibility and quality contribute to a unique company. A company that has earned the trust of many companies worldwide. “In such a rapidly growing environment, a reliable IT environment and the right vision are indispensable,” as Gary, Co-CEO of Direct, pointed out in a recent article by Bloovi.

Below, IT manager Ben Vercruysse talks about the “move to the cloud”, a collaboration with a managed cloud service provider and the challenges within a modern IT department.

Each on his isle

“Before our collaboration with Direct, each location worked on its own IT island,” Ben says. Hannecard first tried to absorb everything himself with his own servers on location. The problem here was that our focus became offering support, rather than a focus on supporting and growing the business.

“I felt that my time was too often claimed by back office issues and that my attention was diverted from important customer-oriented projects.”

Ben Vercruysse

“A strengthening of the IT team was desperately needed and we initially tried to accommodate this in-house,” Ben says. “Sometimes we lacked the right knowledge, or it turned out to be difficult to keep competence on board.” In short, building an in-house team was not so easy.

A big risk

“Playing a service provider ourselves turned out to be too big a risk for our departments. Especially since I couldn’t adjust my focus from support to support of our business in that way,” says Ben. Hannecard was initially looking for a partner who wanted to manage the existing network, it was a nice bonus that Direct could respond to this as a local player. “The biggest advantage was first that they were located locally, we see their office from our home,” but Ben quickly adds, “during the first conversations it quickly became clear that their competencies and professional approach could really help us move forward as a strategic sounding board. Their story convinced us to make the move to the cloud.”

“For me, switching from an in-house team to an outsourced solution was a logical choice.”

An important phase during those first conversations was that the pros and cons were well listed for Hannecard. “Certainly in terms of budget, considerations had to be made to convince our governing team. In those first conversations, it quickly became clear that Direct is a company with a high operational maturity that could really help our IT environment move forward.” In one fell swoop, Hannecard’s two-person IT department was expanded with a full team of experts.

No one in the company cares until it doesn't work!

“In my opinion, it is best to choose a professional service provider who takes on the responsibility of guaranteeing the basis of your IT environment every day”, Ben gives as advice. Direct takes care of the entire system and the first-line support so that all users are guaranteed and the internal IT team can fully focus on technological, innovative projects for Hannecard. “Plus, you’re free from worries about finding and retaining technical IT talent, and IT simply scales with the growth of our business.”

From local to the Cloud

In the meantime, the collaboration between Direct and Hannecard has already resulted in many projects that offer added value for their long-term strategy. An example of this is the migration to the cloud. IT is no longer seen as a commodity but a real driver for success within an enterprise. “A migration to the cloud, relocation projects and the typical problems that a construction project entails have all been addressed in a smart, fast and simple way.”

“I have also noticed that both the project team and the support team have very little turnover. Partly because of this, they are always perfectly aware of our IT operations.”

Hannecard directly supports both strategically and technologically. “We use them as a sounding board,” says Ben, “in this way our company is able to continue to grow correctly in the IT field and I can keep my focus on internal processes and innovations within our own business.”