What sets your Application Management Services (AMS) apart from the competition?
What differentiates our offer is the flexibility and management capacity of our teams, combined with the functional knowledge we have about the applications. In this type of service, we can easily manage dozens of applications on the same client. These differentiating factors are critical to efficiently deal with the changes inherent in the life cycles of each application, some of high complexity and criticality for the business continuity of the client.
To ensure a response in line with market expectations, it is necessary to have the experience and technical/functional sophistication to provide a quality service, plus high levels of efficiency to offer a competitive service. Not all companies in the market meet these requirements, either because they are multinational providers that are not competitive in price or because they are companies that do not have the skills and/or ability to adapt to the challenges in this context.
What kind of services are available?
Development of software for improvements (functional analysis, development estimates, technical design, unit, and integrated tests), packaging for releases and support for the transition to the various development and production environments, support for acceptance, incident resolution, and periodic maintenance services. Services from Centers of Excellence (CoEs, responsible for the evolution of Architecture and Good Practices), Picket and 2nd line support (“Service Desk”) can, and have been, made available. Each Customer defines the technological towers they intend to implement and the application ecosystem on which the service will be provided.
There are AM services that, at start-up or continuity, we still complement with User Experience (UX)/User Interface (UI), Architecture, Technological Renewal, and/or specific development and operation methodologies. We also have an area more focused on application maintenance in a nearshore regime – the ATC (Askblue Technology Center), providing support in capacity enhancement, so necessary for the flexibility required in AMS.
What kind of clients hire these services?
Essentially banking and, more recently, a reference customer in the insurance sector. We also have new clients in progress in other business areas.
How do you guarantee the quality of your Application Management services?
There are always unexpected situations in application development, particularly those of great complexity, such as AMS. Our clients know that when there are difficulties or challenges, they can always count on askblue to help them overcome them, often even working as a team with different areas of the Client. I do not recall any situation in which the difficulties were not overcome.
For the provision of the service, with the appropriate structure and size, clients must share transparently the application maintenance history, show openness to the perfect maintenance adequate to the AMS and client’s dimension, and have a spirit of partnership.
How do you see the evolution of this type of service at askblue?
We hope to continue to grow, responding to the challenges that our customers pose to us and conquering a greater number of new AMS references. We are already preparing for this growth and have created a PMO (Project Management Office) specific to Operations where all the lessons learned are consolidated in the various AMS, best practices, processes, and methodologies. The goal is to replicate an excellent service.
The natural ambition is to complement Application Management services with Service Management, thus responding to some of the challenges we have received from our clients, both nationally and internationally.
Originally published in Jornal Económico – “Quem é Quem no Sector Financeiro em Portugal”
Partner at askblue/Head of Operations