Qvantel’s cloud journey | Unit4
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Qvantel’s cloud journey

from  March 9, 2022 | 5 min read

How Finnish Qvantel’s cloud journey with Unit4 helped them merge technologies and processes to unify their back office

Qvantel is a Finland-based company helping to accelerate the digitalization of telecom operators worldwide.

With data spread across more than 10 silos, inadequate visibility of customer projects, and a lack of ability to coherently plan or forecast, they realized they needed to adopt a new cloud ERP that could support a transition to a project-driven operations model.

At X4U 2021, Kaj Wikström, Qvantel’s Chief Financial Officer, joined to explain how he and his team picked Unit4 as the partner for their unusual cloud journey. Here’s some of our highlights from the session.

A unique company, a unique transformation journey

The story of Qvantel’s journey with ERP is also the story of a unique business.

The company has spent 25 years providing business strategic software solutions to telecoms operators. In the past several years, a period of strong growth has transformed Quantel into an international company with an international customer base across 23 countries. And in the past 4 years alone, they’ve been through no less than 10 digital transformation Go-Lives.

Success brings its own challenges, and Qvantel identified 4 key barriers to their continued growth:

  • Inadequate visibility to effectively manage customer projects and their dynamic resourcing.
  • Data spread across 10 or more siloed systems used across multiple business units and locations.
  • Lack of a coherent dynamic planning, forecasting, and tracking capability – meaning no reporting that could be linked back to strategic goals.
  • Unnecessarily high overhead costs for administration and IT spend.

Qvantel determined they needed to embark on yet another transformation project – one that would allow them to operate as a project driven company, supported by a cloud-based ERP that could help operationalize a company-wide strategy that incorporated all of their employees across their entire international estate.

In an environment of 50% year-on-year growth, Qvantel knew an ERP implementation would carry a significant risk to the business. And thus, they embarked on a highly unconventional 3-step path to transformation:

Step 1: Vendor selection

To ensure their transformation would lead to a new way of working – instead of just to the same work with new tools and data and models moved to a new system – Qvantel began their transformation by first defining their new ideal way of working.

They determined how they wanted their company to create and deploy projects for customers, how they wanted everyone to work while doing it, and how their business processes and workflows would function.

And only then began to evaluate vendors based on their ability to provide solutions with best fit out-of-the-box product capabilities for their needs.

Unit4 was eventually selected for our capability to deploy our own solution, and for our willingness to design and agree a custom array of processes that could run within Qvantel as soon as rollout was complete. (We’re pleased to hear that we performed particularly well in the Live Demo stage of this very exacting selection process.)

Step 2: Roll-Out to business units

Rather than starting with global processes like finance and HR – which often have the most complex requirements for an ERP solution – Qvantel chose to pursue their transformation from the ground up in those areas with the greatest need to evolve their ways of working.

This bottom-up approach minimized risk to operations, and the risk of falling short of meeting the key goal of migrating to a new way of working.

In order, Unit4 ERP was rolled out across:

  1. Sales Opportunity Management
  2. Project Planning
  3. Time and Travel Management
  4. Resource Planning
  5. HR& Finance – including annual planning and budgeting

Step 3: Rollout strategy

We worked with Qvantel to roll out key capabilities of the solution in phases to all operating countries simultaneously to ensure wide and quick impact in every part of the business.

When it came to rolling out the new ERP to finance related capabilities, we selected 2 lead countries as a testbed:

  1. Finland – in order to ensure HQ adopted the new capabilities and were hands-on with progress in other countries.
  2. India – to confirm high performance even in extremely high-volume usage and highly complex tax and regulatory environments.

Achievements so far

So far, Qvantel have one huge key strategic benefit from Unit4 ERP – a shift to a dynamic operating and management model that makes planning, executing, and tracking work much simpler and more efficient. Seamless links now exist from key business processes to people and support processes.

Beyond this, Qvantel estimates a 30% improvement in operational efficiency, experiences better alignment to the company strategy, enjoys a single source of truth for data and business information, and an improved employee experience across their technology estate that saves time, and is easier to use.

Want to know more?

To learn more about Qvantel’s unique ERP cloud journey – along with a CFO-to-CFO discussion between Kaj and our former CFO Gordon Stuart – check out the full X4U 2021 session as an on-demand webinar here.

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