Deloitte Online Services Audit and Schuberg Philis: ideas and innovations make the difference.
In 2008, Deloitte Netherlands selected Schuberg Philis to manage Deloitte INVision, its online platform for risk management for five years. Over the last few years, Deloitte Netherlands has placed several other platforms with Schuberg Philis, among which is www.ctrl.nl (ctrl), a portal where entrepreneurs collaborate with their Deloitte advisors, use online services and access relevant information. Gert de Jong, Senior Manager Online at Deloitte Netherlands, talks about the development of the partnership with Schuberg Philis.
Deloitte Netherlands, part of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, offers accountancy, tax, consulting and financial advisory services and, today, the organisation has 17 offices in The Netherlands, employing more than 4,500 people.
Gert de Jong: “I joined Deloitte three years ago, just when we started looking for a different outsourcing provider. We thought that we could improve quality and issued a request for proposals to three vendors. Deliberately, we didn’t select the large, well-known names. I know the outsourcing world, which works with a generic service model that requires a call to the help desk first if there’s an issue. I don’t believe in that model for dynamic, client-facing, online solutions. We need to react quickly and reliably to market demands, and need to have rapid access to the right people with the prerequisite skill-set at our service provider.
In the selection process, Schuberg Philis stood out because of their innovative approach and a challenging attitude. Furthermore, they offer an intelligent dual datacentre solution, providing better quality architecture at comparable cost. That’s why we selected Schuberg Philis. We set to work and in a very short period, with minimum fuss, our environment went live with Schuberg Philis. This was thanks to good, joint, organisation.”
At first, Schuberg Philis was solely responsible for the Deloitte INVision platform. Deloitte INVision offers extensive standard functionalities that can be adapted quickly to specific client situations due to its flexible architecture. Every client has their own application, used for audits, risk management, corporate governance and compliance, benchmarking the enterprise, and research.
Gert de Jong: “Deloitte INVision has to be available 100%: if the platform is down, it can have a major impact on both national and international enterprises. In the meantime, Deloitte has placed several other platforms with Schuberg Philis, including ‘ctrl’, the platform for SME entrepreneurs. Ctrl is the portal that entrepreneurs use to communicate and collaborate with their Deloitte advisors. They can safely store documents in their personal dossier and share files with their advisor. They are kept up to date online with relevant information for them and their company. And via ctrl, they have real-time insight into their results at all times. Ctrl offers them online bookkeeping, management and KPI reporting, benchmarking, daily news from several sectors and industries, information about (and change to) laws and regulations, and advice and tips.
Ctrl is the platform for providing our services to SME entrepreneurs. That means it’s an essential part of our process, on which hundreds of Deloitte employees and thousands of clients depend. So it has to be available at all times. The underlying platform is managed by Schuberg Philis and, as much as possible; we develop products for our clients with partners such as Twinfield and Exact. Schuberg Philis provides the connections between our platform and those products, so that our clients can use several services via a single platform and a single sign-on. In addition, ctrl is connected to services and institutions like the government and banks to submit declarations and returns (a.o. VAT), via XBRL to the Internal Revenue Service, for example. It is unthinkable to fail to submit a return in time because of technological problems.”
“To be frank, 100% availability is an illusion: it is always possible for something to go wrong, with the result that you can’t always meet this target,” says Gert de Jong. “What’s more important though, is Schuberg Philis’ attitude and that’s the foundation of their 100% functional availability guarantee. If there is an incident, they solve it quickly because they’re always on top of the situation.”
“Of course our environment needs to be stable and available, with as few incidents as possible. And if an error occurs, it has to be explained but Schuberg Philis takes the responsibility and we don’t have to worry about it. For me, this is the key. I know that this isn’t the standard in the outsourcing market unfortunately, but Schuberg Philis delivers high flexibility, stability and availability because of its primary focus on service and security management; with a dedicated customer team. Moreover, their differentiator lies in their ideas and innovations. Schuberg Philis delivers improvements. For example, our deployment process is more standardised and has become significantly more efficient as a result, leading to immediate improvements in quality and time saving.
We developed ctrl as well as Deloitte INVision in-house and, as a result, Schuberg Philis works closely with our own application developers. We measure up to each other. The Schuberg Philis people of course claim to know best, but our people understand exactly how our applications work; the collaborative discussions with Schuberg Philis deliver the best results. And like Schuberg Philis, our people think it’s normal to work nights and weekends if it’s necessary. It’s a similar attitude and approach – and that helps.
We also reinforce each other in another area, we invite clients to Schuberg Philis to present our online services, so that they can experience directly how high the reliability and quality of our platforms are.”
“Based on the ctrl platform, we’re developing sector-specific portals and we’re adding more services from external partners to the platform. With new developments, we involve Schuberg Philis to align both application and IT infrastructure optimally. It is a challenge to involve them at the right time as they’re not just focused on management but also want to be involved quickly in new developments. It’s a demonstration of just how big their commitment is: they want to understand our business and deliver added value wherever they can.
Because our existing online service operations are running so well, I can focus on the further development of the ctrl portal, researching and stimulating new opportunities for offering more of our services and products online. This philosophy and other way of working within Deloitte enable us to easily create additional value for our clients.”