When your stated goal is to build “the most advanced IT in the world,” people are going to expect results. For Francois Tricot, CIO of Ceva Sante Animale, living up to that lofty goal required rethinking the entire IT strategy for a large, multinational company. Four years after launching his “Beyond the Cloud” strategy, Ceva has cut IT spending by 30%.
Ceva is a top 10 global animal health company that researches, produces, markets, and sells pharmaceuticals and vaccines to the pet, livestock, poultry, and swine industries. With over 3,000 employees in over 40 countries, the challenges for Ceva’s IT organization are many.
When Tricot was hired in 2008, he set out to reduce IT spending and complexity. The focus of his strategy was to capture the power of mobility and the Internet to create a corporate IT that is indistinguishable from consumer IT. His “Beyond the Cloud” strategy centers on delivering all IT services (including Cloud services and traditional, on-premise software) via the Internet, ensuring that business applications are available on any device, any network.
Ceva’s IT can now support a wide variety of device types to meet users' needs. Ceva provides laptops, smartphones, and tablets (depending on a user's needs), but does not restrict access to company-issued devices. Employees are free to access applications from their own devices also.
"They can use Mac, PC, Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Microsoft Surface, Windows Phone - whatever they want. The people decide. They don't have a master anymore," he says.
Central to Ceva’s IT strategy is Intuit QuickBase. With 1,300 users and 120 active apps, QuickBase is the second-most used technology at Ceva, behind only the email system. Tricot says QuickBase is important to his “Beyond the Cloud” strategy because he can deliver applications to his users in days, not months.
"QuickBase helps me deliver, in a matter of days or weeks, applications to users according to their needs. The classic development process takes about six months to finish anything, if not a year. If I do that, I lose my job because the users would not be happy with the service they're getting from IT," says Tricot.
Ceva adopted QuickBase in 2008, starting with just 25 users and 1 app for customer relationship management (CRM). Since then, QuickBase has been the launching pad for hundreds of applications serving the sales, marketing, supply chain, human resources, quality control, research & development, administration, and regulatory compliance departments.
Rather than a traditional top-down corporate approach, Ceva allows work groups to select and adopt their own solutions through an internal app store. From there, employees can navigate through hundreds of available applications - including more than 100 QuickBase apps - and implement the right solution for their group.
Not only has Ceva’s overall IT spending dropped by 30% since 2008, it is also 40% lower than the IT spend at Ceva's two closest competitors (according to Gartner benchmarks). Most importantly, QuickBase has contributed to an IT infrastructure that takes full advantage of the scalability and flexibility of Internet architecture.
"My IT is available everywhere. And when you build a QuickBase app, it's available everywhere. Any network, any device - it works," says Tricot.
Intuit QuickBase is a cloud-based workspace for customizable business applications that helps teams work smarter by automating tasks and workflows and delivering real-time insights through visual reports. More than 450,000 business users rely on Intuit QuickBase to improve productivity.