Each year, Austrian Post’s 24,000 employees located throughout 1,800 branches handle 15,000 letterboxes, 80 million packages, 860 million letters and 3.5 billion items of marketing material.
The central nervous system of this complex and widely diversified organisation is an IT landscape which formed over the years, responding to new, ongoing challenges. An important core goal for its IT department is digital transformation. To this end, Austrian Post began to modernise its IT systems, with a view to the future, implementing the latest technologies, methods and standards. One specific focus was on the optimisation of IT application development, which was to run in the cloud. Prior to the modernisation, nearly 200 applications were used in its IT application development. In addition, a large number of systems ran in parallel, causing a lack of transparency and cooperation between teams.
"We wanted to create a new, homogeneous platform for application development which covered each step in the process; in other words, true application lifecycle management," said Horst Bratfisch, Head of Application Development at Austrian Post. And it didn’t take long to find the right platform: Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS). Being a cloud solution, and specifically part of the European-hosted Microsoft Azure Cloud, this provided everything Austrian Post needed.
After an intensive search, the Austrian Post ultimately picked Avanade as its strategic implementation partner. “Avanade’s technical expertise and process knowledge and their strategic approach to consulting impressed us right from the beginning,” remembers Bratfisch. “And it quickly became obvious that we had made the right decision.”
“Avanade's technical expertise and process knowledge and their strategic approach to consulting impressed us right from the beginning. And it quickly became obvious that we had made the right decision.”
The Post wanted true application lifecycle management for IT application development. This was to occur on a homogeneous basis, which would show each step in the process
The company chose Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) as a suitable platform. This Microsoft Azure Cloud solution, hosted in Europe, provided everything Austrian Post needed for modernising its IT application development. It turned to Avanade to help implement the project successfully. The aim was clearly defined: the application development should be automated, allowing for improved collaboration. However, that was not enough. Avanade gave the company an extra level of speed, efficiency and transparency as part of the modernisation.
Within just a short time after the new system was commissioned, Austrian Post benefited from the use of the successfully implemented transformation project. Thanks to clever applications, the company itself could program processes, such as easily and quickly sequencing letter deliveries. “In the past this would have taken at least three weeks,” recalls Bratfisch. Processes that previously required a great amount of effort, time and manual control are now implemented overnight and without human supervision. The IT application department at Austrian Post were immediately convinced of the quality of the applications.
In the future, the company plans to continue expanding its systems with a particular focus on request management and operational handover. Austrian Post again plans to entrust this important quality matter to Avanade.