At GC innovate, it is our mission to support companies in their innovation process. We do this by combining the powerful capabilities of Google Cloud with the in-depth expertise of the Google-focused competence centres within the Cronos Group. Today, we’d like to put one of those collaborations in the spotlight: Cymo and mateco. As a specialist in cloud-native and event-driven architectures, Cymo helped mateco with their digital transformation by developing the Q.one platform. Joining us for an inspiring overview of what that cooperation entailed are Didier Dhaenens, CIO at mateco, and Bryan De Smaele, managing partner at Cymo.
From candle to LED
Companies today want to increase their efficiency without losing flexibility, especially in their infrastructure. This often requires introducing new functionalities while integrating previously separated tools. As one of the world’s leading suppliers for renting access equipment like various lifts and working platforms, mateco is no different. Their fleet consists of over 40,000 units in more than 700 configurations spread across 150 locations. While operations are currently running smoothly, they wanted to stay ahead of the competition and foster further growth by continually innovating.
That’s why mateco adopted a “candle to LED” mindset. Instead of traditional measures like a lift and shift cloud migration, they wanted a brand-new, in-house, end-to-end platform: Q.one. This included a rework of their entire service offering, both for clients and internal partners. The aim of the Q.one project is to create one demand and delivery organisation, offering one experience to their employees and clients, supported by one system. From the initial order to client follow-up and everything in between, Q.one guides the entire customer journey. It ensures that both mateco’s employees and their clients have the right data at their fingertips at all times, and creates digital twins for their equipment.
Such an ambitious project required an equally ambitious partner; one that was keen on innovating with the right technologies and in it for the long haul. That is why mateco chose the Cronos Group as its strategic partner. It’s also why they selected Google technologies after careful consideration of the market. If there’s one tech company out there that is not scared of innovating, it’s Google.
Powered by Google
When mateco started the Q.one project six years ago, their need for containerization quickly pointed them towards Google. Flexibility and scalability were key, which meant choosing a cloud-native and event-driven architecture. As a best-in-class solutions provider for cloud-native development with a clear engineering focus, Google immediately stood out. According to Bryan, the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) was the main driver behind that decision. The GKE exemplifies Google’s vision of the open cloud by treating containers as a so-called “first class citizen”, an entity that supports the operations of all other entities.
Built on Google’s innovative and open technologies, the benefits of the fully cloud-native Q.one platform are obvious. The whole organisation is more connected while retaining autonomy; mateco’s service offering has been aligned globally, but still respects the particular characteristics of each country. Thanks to Q.one’s cloud-only vision, new functionality releases happen faster and more frequently. The entire process from a service desk feature request to implementation in the production environment now takes as little as two hours. To put it into Didier’s words: “the fact that we can work this fast and efficiently is a direct result of our innovative infrastructure”. Of course, this infrastructure had to be built from scratch by someone first, which is where Cymo and the Cronos Group come in.
Built by Cronos
According to Didier, Cymo and the Cronos Group are an ideal fit for building that infrastructure because of their in-depth expertise. Cymo is a specialist in cloud-native and event-driven architectures, and Cronos can offer a wide variety of skills thanks to its large number of competence centres and employees. As Bryan puts it: “You subscribe to an entire ecosystem, not just a software vendor.”
Just like Google, the Cronos Group was a preferred strategic partner for mateco because of its entrepreneurial mindset. Both companies are keen on innovating by respecting the autonomy of country or competence centre managers. Didier had the following to say about mateco’s cooperation with Cymo and the Cronos Group:
As specialists in event-driven architecture, Cymo kept a high-level overview while not shying away from the nitty-gritty technical details. Their transparent and cooperative way of working confirmed that the Cronos approach was the right one.
At the time of writing, the Q.one platform has been successfully implemented in the first five countries and will soon be rolled out globally. While mateco already accomplished great results thanks to Cymo and Q.one, Didier has ambitious plans for the near future. These include next-level automation capabilities, integrating Google AI tools to improve the quality of their services, and even opening up the platform for complementary products used by mateco’s customers. We’re in it for the long haul, so be sure to stay tuned for more!
Of course, Cymo is just one of the many competence centres at the Cronos Group. At GC innovate, we like to connect the dots between them and find the perfect fit for your project. Are you also looking for an innovative long-term partner that helps you think ahead? Give us a call, and we’ll put you in contact with the right people!