While many organizations talk about digital transformation, Flexso actually does something about it and shortens time to market
Flexso, an SAP Gold Partner based in Belgium, is helping customers leverage digital technology so they can add intelligence to their processes and reimagine their products and services.
It is work like this that made Flexso one of the five finalists for the 2020 SAP Pinnacle award in the category of “Best SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solutions,” and a recipient of the Partner Excellence Award in EMEA-North for Q1 2020. These awards recognize SAP partners for their outstanding contributions, dedication and capacity to help customers achieve their goals.
Consider the work Flexso did for one customer, Miko Coffee Services.
Belgium-based Miko Coffee sells coffee machines and supplies to leisure centers, healthcare providers, business offices and restaurants throughout Europe. But products are only a part of the company’s scope. More than half of Miko’s revenue is generated from the sale of services that the company provides to its customers. They include machine delivery, ongoing maintenance, inventory control and more.
Until recently, Miko service professionals had to visit customer locations to check on the status of coffee installations. But after converting traditional machines into IoT-enabled smart devices, things changed. And service to customers improved — even from afar.
With its new SAP-based IoT solution, which is rolling out to customers across Belgium and beyond, Miko can offer its customers business outcomes, not just coffee products. Customers see how much coffee they consume, when their machines need servicing and whether they are out of milk, thanks to Flexso’s advanced thinking.
David Pierre, a partner at Flexso, got the idea to help Miko “digitalize” its services business after visiting SAP’s Leonardo Center in Paris. At the innovation center, David saw the prototype for a digital coffee machine and immediately thought of Miko. The next time he met with Miko, David explained how SAP technology could be put to use to help improve business outcomes.
Flexso Thought Leadership
After reviewing its options, Flexso ultimately came up with a solution that provides Miko with the following:
- A custom portal that provides Miko with a complete look into coffee consumption, machine status, supply levels and more
- Virtual “digital twins” using SAP Leonardo IoT technology
- Full integration with SAP ERP for automated billing, pay-per-use consumption, invoicing and more
- Service notifications on IoT status conditions in SAP ERP and CRM that allow service processes to be triggered automatically
In addition to these capabilities, Flexso deployed a mobile app that helps Miko service personnel “digitize” cash collection processes that cannot be done remotely via IoT.
“This is an example of how a small idea can transform a company using digital technology,” says David. “The solution goes well beyond invoicing, purchasing, and maintenance. It allows Miko to offer customers a new way to consume coffee on a pay-per-use, consumption basis. Miko demonstrates that digital transformation is not an abstract dream or huge project, but can become as tangible as 3D printing IoT sensors and connecting assets and products to SAP ECC via SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Internet of Things. A small step for Miko IT department, but a huge leap for Miko’s business model and customers! This is now achievable for any customer offering products and services to its customers at a reasonable cost and with a guaranteed, immediate return on investment.”
Bringing innovation further
Flexso is now leveraging the knowledge it gained working with Miko to develop use cases for other clients. The technology used to help Miko has been reapplied to help a maker of industrial printing equipment offer its customers “printing-as-a-service.” In this instance, billings can be based on ink consumption instead of device sales. The same thinking can be applied to manufacturers of medical testing equipment, which can help hospitals and clinical research labs consume digital automation in new ways.
What makes all of this possible is Flexso’s investment into the SAP platform. As member of the SAP-Qualified Partner-Packaged Solution Program, Flexso has worked with SAP since Flexso’s founding in 2004.
Today, Flexso employs more than 300 SAP consultants who help customers transform their businesses with digital technology. The company provides everything from solutions ideation to proof of concept, prototyping, technology, business process expertise and integration.
Flexso is able to move faster than many of its competitors, David says, because of its work with SAP Qualified Partner Packages. They have been instrumental in helping Flexso “package” both its critical thinking and technology components so that it can offer customers a consistent, cohesive story that helps them rapidly understand the scope, timing and price of digitalization projects.
This is especially true of the work that Flexso has done with IoT innovation. Flexso’s IoT solution bundles SAP solution components including SAP Cloud Platform and SAP Leonardo IoT. With these, Flexso can offer clients device connectivity and management to the cloud, data storage and management, and data insights through smart analytics, dashboarding, ERP and CRM business process integration.
Thanks to all of this, Flexso can help customers launch pilot IoT solutions in days instead of months. The solution created for Miko, for example, took just 60 days to devise and implement, says Pierre. But the results have been transformative.
Now when a Miko machine says, “Hey, I need milk,” it really means it.