26/06/2012 | Hardis Group

For over 7 years, Locam has been outsourcing its IT infrastructure management and specific business application development to Hardis Group. The subsidiary of Crédit Agricole receives day-to-day support to upgrade its information system, the foundation of this expanding business.

Services, business software publishing and facilities management company Hardis Group has been working with Locam for seven years. Locam is a financial institution specializing in tailor-made financing solutions for professionals. The facilities management, development and third-party application maintenance services provided by Hardis enable the Crédit Agricole subsidiary to have an agile, secure and largely outsourced information system capable of meeting its rapidly changing business challenges.

The information system is the foundation of an expanding business

Locam has been specializing in sales financing since it was created in 1976. The Crédit Agricole subsidiary works with over 3,000 industrial and commercial companies in all sectors of activity, offering them a range of tailor-made rental financing and credit solutions for their professional customers. Each year, more than 300,000 financing applications are accepted enabling Locam's partners to be paid in cash and their clients to spread out their payments.

Locam's strategy for continuing its development (10% to 20% growth per year) is to always offer value-added services to its partners to facilitate their financing application and approval processes while protecting themselves from excessive financial risk.

An IT partner supporting business partners

This means that where the information system is concerned, efficient, available, secure and scalable tools are required. In 2004, an in-depth analysis of the cost/service level ratio led Locam to entrust Hardis with facilities management and the management of functional and technical upgrades (infrastructure, applications) to its information system.

The two companies have established a real partnership over the last 7 years. Hardis supports Locam's strategy on a daily basis, developing, maintaining and upgrading its IT tools, which are at the heart of its business. For example, financing applications are now fully paperless and processed in under two hours (from application via the Locam Extranet to sending the e-contract), while complying with the regulatory constraints of financial authorities.

"Hardis' dedicated teams quickly understood the specific characteristics of our business and work with us on a daily basis to help us upgrade our information system to meet our operational and strategic needs," said Sylvain Bergeron, Resources and Operations Manager at Locam.

Agility and responsiveness to address business needs

In 2011 alone, the creation of these new services for Locam's partners and upgrade and corrective maintenance for internal applications and existing processes required over a hundred developments, which is the equivalent of 1,700 man days.  "With such a high level of activity, our two companies established a very close relationship. Hardis' comprehension of our requirements and its teams' responsiveness enabled us to make rapid and efficient progress," explained Sylvain Bergeron.

The partnership is made even stronger by the fact that Hardis' services do not stop at application upgrades but also extend to facilities management for Locam's IT infrastructure: hosting, administration, operation, security and keeping the IS in operating condition. In 2011, for example, 200 man days were dedicated to upgrading Locam's IT architecture, particularly with the implementation of a disaster recovery plan (DRP).

"With Hardis, we have found the ideal formula: outsourcing most of our information system, the foundation of our business, to a trusted partner while maintaining the agility and security of our processes," said Sylvain Bergeron.