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Euronav switched to the cloud: "Spikes has worked out an excellent solution with us"

Euronav knew that Spikes had a strong profile in developing functional collaboration solutions – with expertise in Microsoft 365. This was exactly the partner Euronav was looking for. The fact that Spikes, like Euronav, is based in Antwerp was a big plus. The company decided to join forces with this local company to keep close contact during the project.

The challenge

On the one hand, Euronav faced a technical challenge: the non-premise infrastructure for e-mail was outdated. It was time to replace the old Exchange environment with a modern alternative. On the other hand, Euronav encountered problems when collaborating on files. Storing files on a classic network drive caused inevitable limitations. Moreover, there was no organization-wide storage space. Chats, video calls and telephone calls via applications had to be given a centrally managed repository.

“Spikes has been of great added value to us,” says Steven De Mot, office IT manager at Euronav. He is responsible for the IT infrastructure in the offices. “Without Spikes, we would have taken much longer on the migration. The project management was very well organized, which allowed us to accelerate the project”.

In addition, Spikes and Euronav paid the necessary attention to adoption: “Through our functional analysis approach, employees not only accepted this major change, but also embraced it as an improvement. They recognize that we have tackled the problems in the organization and that things have improved. The combination of change management, organized project management and a functional approach has made this collaboration so successful. Even when we encountered certain technical problems, which are sometimes unavoidable during a migration, Spikes made sure that they never reached the end user!

“Spikes helped us redesign processes to improve cooperation”

Euronav did not opt for a so-called ‘lift-and-shift’ migration, in which the environment is transferred one-to-one to the cloud. “Spikes and our IT team have entered into discussions with all Euronav’s national and international departments,” says Steven. “We asked how they were using the environment at the time, which departments within Euronav they often worked with and in which processes they encountered difficulties. We then mapped out their needs. Our key question: how can we organize things in such a way that cooperation within our company improves? That was one of the main goals of our project”.

“Spikes works thoroughly on both technical and functional levels”

There were two aspects to the migration. “First of all, Spikes worked with us to develop a functional design based on the pain points that had emerged. We also sketched out the desired future situation. We then worked out the technical ‘bottom’. For example, we looked at where we would migrate all the files from our existing fileshares. We carried out the migration to our new Microsoft Teams and Exchange Online environment using Microsoft’s tools”.

Steven finds it very pleasing that Spikes is able to come up with a solution together with the customer, both on a technical and a functional level. “With the help of Spikes, we talked to our own people about obstacles they encountered. During the project we clearly communicated with each other. As a result, the migration went very smoothly. Spikes then provided training to increase the adoption of the new environment within our organization. We adopted these training courses internally, as their effect was very good”.

Because Euronav took this digitization decision on time, the company got its act together during the global corona crisis: “In these times of teleworking, the benefits are obvious. The last skeptics are now fully on board!”

“Spikes’ approach has led to measurable progress”

The cooperation with Spikes has delivered Euronav a lot. Steven: “The holistic approach means that all sides of the migration project are addressed. This means that as a company you can fill in the requirements. Spikes takes a very thorough approach, which enables you to solve your problem on time and within budget”.

The solution turns out to work very well in practice: “There are major advantages to direct communication. We have seen measurable progress in the field of instant messaging, and audio and video meetings”.

Euronav is already busy making new plans. “The next item on our agenda is to connect our ships to this solution. Now that we’ve brought the offices closer together, it’s time to bring the ships closer to our offices!”

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Profile

As the largest independent tanker shipping company quoted on the stock exchange, Euronav provides maritime transport and storage of crude oil and petroleum products. The company is headquartered in Antwerp, but has various branches in Europe and Asia. The officers and crew at sea as well as the onshore personnel have thorough expertise. Euronav’s ambition is to manage the global crude oil tank market in a responsible manner. The company supports sustainability initiatives to minimize the impact of the industry on the environment. Euronav works for clients in a way that contributes to the success of their business objectives. The service provision is reliable, flexible and of high quality.

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