“If it hadn’t been for application management services, we wouldn’t have been able to focus on our IT-upgrade strategy and on our growth process. The value add is clear,” explains the South Africa-based Gerard van Hilten, who is financial systems manager and responsible for Microsoft Dynamics 365 at Scatec.
Scatec is a leading renewable power producer headquartered in Oslo, Norway with a historical focus on setting up solar parks. In early 2021, Scatec acquired SN Power, which has allowed Scatec to become a truly global player, going beyond solar power to work with other types of renewable energy such as hydro and wind power.
The need for application management services arose when Scatec made the decision to move into cloud services and cloud hosting, van Hilten explains:
“The previous ERP system was geared toward a Nordic set up, but was not able to scale to meet our global needs. Dynamics 365 was evaluated and then chosen as the best system, and DXC Technology was selected as the best partner to move ahead with. The application management services offering was seen as a strong value-add, and as the move to the cloud was something new for the company, we wanted a partner that had tried it before and had the skills and the environment to support us.”
Someone who understands both worlds
For Scatec, it was a priority to be able to focus on an upgrade philosophy and on optimizing their internal processes to facilitate and support the company’s growth. Here, it became evident that the value of having a dedicated service delivery manager couldn’t be underestimated.
“Having a human contact has given immense value, as it provides a translator between the technical team at DXC and the business team at Scatec — someone who understands both worlds and can translate requirements back to the technical team and ensure the schedule is adhered to,” says van Hilten, and clarifies:
“The service delivery manager is invaluable. The time we save by not having to plan and coordinate with a team we don’t control can be used on more important tasks. My role is to be just as well-prepared as the service delivery manager, so I can be a single source of information for DXC about Scatec's needs and concerns.”
Van Hilten is also convinced that having an application management services set-up that includes a service delivery manager makes the relationship between Scatec and DXC even more effective.
“The service delivery manager is a single point of contact, who is always available to discuss the current IT status, and any challenges we may be facing, without taking time from — or adding stress to — the technical team. This ensures that we can focus on the most important issues without using a lot of time in meetings, because the service delivery manager can coordinate everything on DXC’s side. I cannot overestimate the value of the service delivery manager role,” says van Hilten.
Talking to the right people
The service delivery manager also proved valuable when Scatec was considering additional IT investments, as the role gave Scatec someone who they could contact at DXC about their needs and requirements before entering into talks about further collaboration between the two companies. According to van Hilten, it has had a positive effect on the following negotiations and communications with DXC.
“We are currently engaged with DXC regarding other projects, and it was our service delivery manager who ensured that we could talk to the most relevant project managers and salespeople at DXC for the specific subjects. If I didn’t have the service delivery manager, I would have had to repeat sales pitches and discussions to multiple teams many times over. Instead, the service delivery manager laid the groundwork for these discussions much more efficiently, based on the knowledge of our company and an understanding of what would work and what wouldn’t,” says van Hilten.
A stable foundation for growth
The global situation in 2020 and 2021 has challenged the status quo of collaboration and communication around the world. Despite this, Scatec has experienced a high degree of stability within their application management process and during upgrades, says van Hilten:
“The coordination around our upgrades has been efficient, so even in these uncertain times, we are experiencing an increasingly stable process.”
The service delivery manager and the application management services processes have improved Scatec’s ability to plan and coordinate, especially in cases where upgrades aren’t running smoothly. The key value of coordination in these cases is that activities are planned and predictable, which relieves pressure.
“If the process is always under pressure, mistakes get made and mistakes are transferred back to your business operations. Application management services for us is a no-brainer. It just works," says van Hilten.
Scatec’s ambitions include a growth strategy that involves expected investments of 100 billion NOK (~$10 billion USD) over the next 5 years. According to van Hilten, the stability created by having DXC as their application management services partner has allowed Scatec to focus on growth and operations without interruptions:
“We wouldn’t have had the current stability in our governance process of Dynamics 365 if it wasn’t for the good collaboration with DXC. Our systems have been consistently well deployed and managed for the better part of a year now. We are happy with the service and happy with the attention to detail shown by DXC.”