ANNUAL REPORT 2013
Annual Report 2013
Annual Report 2013
Our vision is to improve our society through reliable IT systems Arηs is a fully independent group of companies specialized in IT services for large organisations, focusing on state-of-the-art software development, business intelligence and infrastructure services.
We work in close partnership with our customers turning their needs into benefits
We promote a dynamic and local environment where young and experienced people can realize themselves
Our assets and expertise cover several domains including mobile applications, digital trust, e-Government, content management, e-Procurement, or business process management. With more than 350 consultants, the Arηs Group proposes to its customers either a specific and competitive delivery model on a fixed price basis through its local Software Factories in Luxembourg and Brussels, or a classical time and means mode. Arηs had a successful track record since 2003, and has, since then, built up a large number of satisfied clients that includes many top companies (in the telco, industry and bank sectors) and some of the largest local government agencies.
We believe in state of the art technologies and bleeding edge methods
Our values are to leverage excellence, to be result oriented, to ensure commitment and to ensure adaptability.
We leverage a flexible, independent and responsive organisation
Arηs is ISO 90001:2008 certified. Arηs Developments and Arηs Developments Belgium, for their Software Development and Maintenance activities, have been appraised at Level 2 of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration. Arηs Cube had the PSF approval as “Operator of Communication Networks and Secondary Computer Systems in the Financial Sector”.
Annual Report 2013
Annual Report 2013
CONTENT About Arηs ................................................................................................................. 3 The Power of Arηs ...................................................................................................... 6 Key Figures ................................................................................................................ 8 Management Team ................................................................................................ 10 Key Milestones ........................................................................................................ 12 Customer Top List .................................................................................................... 13 Business Review ...................................................................................................... 14 Our Services ............................................................................................................ 24 Arηs Developments ................................................................................................. 26 Arηs Developments Belgium .................................................................................. 27 Arηs Data ................................................................................................................. 27 Arηs Consulting ....................................................................................................... 28 Arηs Cube ................................................................................................................ 29 BetterBank ............................................................................................................... 30 Partners .................................................................................................................... 32 Sponsoring ............................................................................................................... 33 Financial Review ..................................................................................................... 34 Financial Statements ............................................................................................... 36 My first year at Arηs ................................................................................................. 38
Annual Report 2013
THE POWER OF Arηs After 11 years of continuous growth and success, the Arηs Group, employing more than 350 engineers, continues to be a market leader in its segment thanks to its unique delivery model and its ability to scale. In a changing world where business media are evolving (mobile, tablets, social networks…), the Group proposes strong and reliable solutions to help our customers maintain strategic advantage, to face new expectations and to deploy European policies effectively. This is our strength. We build reliable applications, full of innovation, and our agility allows us to apply policies of continuous improvement in our development centres alongside our growth.
Growth and independence
Growth continues to be 100% organic – that is without mergers or acquisitions. In 2013, Arηs Group generated revenues of EUR 33.6 million, representing an increase of 16% compared to 2012 and EUR 2 million above our budget target.
The four companies of the Group (Developments, Developments Belgium, Consulting and Cube) have contributed to this performance. In 2013, Arηs Developments and Arηs Cube have outperformed while Arηs Consulting was in line with its objectives. Arηs Data had an outstanding penetration of new local markets that will deliver in figures over 2014. Globally, with revenue of EUR 33.6 million and a new record EBIT of EUR 2.6 million (8.1%), Arηs is on track to reach its target of EUR 80 million of revenue by 2020.
2013 has once again been a year of new contract awards. In the context of securing existing framework contracts, the renewal award of FITS DEV (III) at the European Commission DG TAXUD for a period of eight years is the best example of efforts made by our Bid Department to translate quality operational work into further awards with a permanently renewed vision. It is first and foremost a fantastic reward for the FITS DEV team which outperformed during the initial contract. Our achievements in terms of quality software, close support to the customer and, more globally, in increasing the maturity level of the provided services all led to the success. In the same context, the awards of the JASPERS contract, followed more recently by the RATE SETTING framework contract, at the European Investment Bank (EIB) are further clear testimonials of our customers’ trust in our ability to execute and build long and profitable relationships. The strong partnership between EIB and Arηs was further consolidated when Arηs was first choice for a 4 year Datawarehouse contract. Arηs Consulting has also contributed to the group’s list of successes with the largest award in its history by winning the Mini One-Stop-Shop contract from the Luxembourg Government. This project is complemented by other successes in the Private and Banking sectors in Luxembourg and cements expectation of further progression in turnover over the coming years. Arηs Cube has secured existing projects with its recent award in the Publications Office of the European Union (contract 10490). The expansion of its activities into infrastructure services has pushed the Group to obtain PSF certification, which further strengthens our positioning in Luxembourg. With recent successes at BGL BNP Paribas, Ferrero, FN Herstal and Crédit Agricole Private Banking, our customer portfolio has significantly increased. Arηs Data has been awarded for our first fixed price based development at Mutualités Chrétiennes. Together with other wins, the Branch entered the Belgian local market with a true value proposition. All these successes are supplemented by the most recent new award - the CUST DEV framework of European Commission DG TAXUD, again for a period of eight years.
Arηs is part of a Consortium that presented the best price/quality ratio for a programme which represents approximately 100 million EUR. This will complement the taxation expertise of Arηs with the custom’s one.
Claiming to deliver quality is one thing, proving it is something else. Arηs is one of the few companies to get its appraisal at the CMMI Level 2 for a development centre based in Europe. We are extremely proud of this achievement.
Risks and strengths
In 2014, the European Commission will re-tender the ESP-DESIS contract, which represents an important part of our activities. We fully intend to protect our current position. Arηs’ key differentiator remains our unique ability to execute, particularly in fixed price mode. By increasing our recruitment of the most talented engineers from universities, we are committed to further develop our production capacity. This is, and will remain, our main principle.
Diversification remains the top priority on our agenda. Several initiatives have been launched this year to develop new markets. The first is BetterBank, which is both a technology and an entrepreneurial project, aimed at proposing an advanced management tool for home banking solutions. The second initiative is to create an international Branch, which will develop taxation and custom expertise for the Member States that have to implement national systems for EC regulations.
At Group level, the performance of operations is exceptional and indeed represents the quality of each individual and team work. We, together, have demonstrated our ability to work in large scale teams, on more than 80 parallel projects. This achievement needs not only full dedication but also organization and most importantly, a flexible and scalable organization agility. Again, in 2014, one of the largest challenges will be to cope with this expansion. Operations control will shape our performance.
The FY 2014 budget forecasts growth of 20%. However FY2015 will be impacted by our future commercial results, including but not limited to ESP-DESIS. Our global success also depends on individual and team performance. This does not happen by chance: we are extremely proud of the people we have on board. We want to continue to develop our company culture with our objective: upgrading society. Let’s MOVE in the RIGHT DIRECTION!
Jourdan Serderidis Founder
Annual Report 2013
KEY FIGURES Arηs Group FINANCIAL SUMMARY
IN mILLION EUR
24 22 20 18 16 14 12 8
10 6 4 2
0,81 2,32 ARηS GROUP TURNOVER
0,12 0,25 0,13 1,21 ARηS GROUP EBIT - earnings before interest & tax
ARηS GROUP BUDGET
Annual Report 2013
Arηs Group BY MARKET SECTOR INDUSTRY 10% TELCO 5% EU 71%
Arηs Group EBIT - Earnings Before Interest & Tax IN mILLION EUR
Arηs Group CONSULTANTS
350 305 270
Annual Report 2013
Annual Report 2013
Annual Report 2013
KEY MILESTONES March 2013 Award to Arηs Consulting of the Mini One Stop Shop project for AED in Luxembourg.
June 2013 Award to Arηs Developments of the FITS DEV III framework contract at European Commission DG TAXUD for a period of 8 years.
May 2013 PSF status for Arηs Cube accepted by the CSSF.
July 2013 Award to Arηs Developments of the Rate Setting project at the European Investment Bank. CMMI Maturity Level 2 for Software Development and Maintenance activities obtained by Arηs Developments and Arηs Developments Belgium.
august 2013 Creation of the BetterBank initiative.
october 2013 Award to Arηs Developments of the CUST DEV framework contract at European Commission DG TAXUD for a period of 8 years (customs applications). Award to Arηs Cube of the 10490 call for tenders of the European Publications Office.
september 2013 Creation of the International initiative inside Arηs Developments.
Annual Report 2013
TOP CUSTOMER LIST EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS
DG TAXUD DG ESTAT DG EMPL DG JUST DG DEVCO DG RTD DG SCIC DG MARKT DG AGRI DG BUDGET DG DIGIT DG ENER
DG DEVCO DG ECFIN DG ENTR DG MOVE DG TRADE DG DGT OPOCE EEAS EIB EACEA EEAS EAHC
BANKING AND INSURANCE
AXA BNP Paribas BNP Paribas Fortis BGL BNP Paribas Crédit Agricole Private Banking Lombard International Assurance Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat Banque Internationale à Luxembourg Touring Assurances - Touring Verzekeringen
artelis BICS Tango Orange Proximus Belgacom
PUBLIC SECTOR Christelijke Mutualiteit Centre des Technologies de l’Information de l’Etat Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
INDUSTRY GOCA Losch Delhaize CIP Group Letter Shop
Annual Report 2013
Arηs is your holistic IT service provider
YOU NEED A CUSTOM SOFTWARE SOLUTION, AN ANALYSIS OF YOUR BUSINESS PROCESSES OR DATA LANDSCAPE, AN INTERNATIONALLY TRUSTED ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE SOLUTION, A TAILORED IT INFRASTRUCTURE? ARηS HAS THE SOLUTION FOR YOU... AND MUCH MORE
Success in projects and customer satisfaction These are the secrets of Arηs’ exceptionally stable growth for more than 10 years. We do not stop in diversifying our services to provide holistic IT solutions and have taken the leadership in several key technical domains in the BeLux and EU markets.
Arηs offers today a holistic approach to IT, covering all business layers, technical domains and service types.
Software Development Arηs creates production-ready solutions starting from customers’ ideas or needs. The Arηs experts analyse and formalise requirements, transform them into meaningful specifications, develop, test and finally deliver highquality solutions. We help our customers to efficiently and effectively use the right technology to achieve better results. Customer’s trust in Arηs is based on Arηs’ long-term experience and formalised methods for quality (ISO 9001), project management and software development (CMMI Level 2 appraisal for Arηs Developments and Arηs
Developments Belgium). We are in the unrivalled position to reliably plan and deliver bespoke software on time, within budget and with perfect quality. Trans-European Systems With the expansion of the European Union to 28 Member States, currently 5 candidate countries, still more interested countries in negotiation and additional third countries, the Trans-European Systems are now playing a major role in the communication and integration between the involved states. Especially in the area of Taxation, Excise and Customs, a close cooperation of the involved states with a high level of automation is a driver of the unification of processes forming a unified European market. Designing, developing, testing and deploying such TransEuropean Systems is an extremely complex challenge. It involves a lot of stakeholders, coming with different requirements and perspectives. Aligning these to a commonly agreed baseline is a task that needs the full understanding of the related EU directives, the difficulties in the diverging constraints of the involved parties and also of the different mentalities. Arηs has acquired and mastered all these necessary skills. As the continuous maintainer of the Taxation and Excise IT systems of DG TAXUD since 2003, Arηs is in the unique position to master these systems both from a technical as well as from a business perspective. With the award of the FITSDEV3 contract to Arηs, we will be at the end of this contract the maintainer of the Taxation and Excise systems for 20 years.
Annual Report 2013 It is not a surprise that the Member States are recognising this unique expertise, asking Arηs to design and implement their national systems to adhere to the EU wide specifications. Designing and now developing the MiniOne-Stop-Shop (M1SS) solution for the Administration de l’enregistrement et des domaines (AED) in Luxembourg is only one of the first steps in Arηs’ strategy of expanding its Taxation, Excise and Customs services to all EU Member States. Complex Systems IT Systems may be simple with a few well-defined endusers or a very streamlined dissemination purpose, but they might also be very complex. Arηs is able and has proven so to design and develop very complex IT Systems including dozens of distributed servers, asynchronous adaptable data synchronisation (ensuring data privacy and supporting regional segregation), robustness and automated fall-back mechanisms.
CASE STUDY EURES CV ONLINE In 2013, Arηs Developments has completed the development of the new EURES CV Online, which will allow jobseekers to publish a CV in any European language. It enables Employers and EURES advisors to find CVs in an intuitive and efficient way and lifts the communication between jobseekers and employers to a new level. CV Online will be launched early in 2014 and will be the first system world-wide to exploit the new European Skills/Competences, Qualifications and Occupations taxonomy (ESCO) launched by the EU end of 2013.
Designing and successfully implementing such systems in production-ready quality is an extremely challenging task, which Arηs has achieved by implementing two such complex systems for GOCA: AKCT and RBPC. AKCT implements the information system to manage GOCA’s core business regarding the technical inspection of vehicles in Belgium. The system will be deployed in 10 different companies and 76 inspection stations. RBPC implements the new information system supporting the organisation of theoretical and practical driving license examination in Belgium. It will be deployed in 10 companies and 32 examination centres. Semantic Search Layers Studies predict that the amount of world-wide information is growing by at least 59% per year (Gartner). Finding the right piece of information is an increasing challenge, which is becoming more pressing each year. It is therefore essential to invest in solutions that categorise and index this information, making it again accessible via easy-to-use tools. Arηs developed over the past years extensive knowledge in the area of semantic technologies and efficient search solutions, based on both open source and commercial products. Ontology, OWL, RDF, SPARQL, SKOS, linked open data, all these terms are part of the native language of our web semantics experts. In close cooperation with Autonomy (an HP company), Arηs has built the common indexing and search service for the Publications Office of the European Union. This central service is used (or will be) by EUR-Lex, TED, EU Bookshop and Cordis. The common data repository Cellar, based on RDF, OWL and the Oracle RDF store, is maintained by Arηs. Cellar handles the metadata of 60 million files (~4 TB) and serves more than 1 million requests per day in average. It has been presented at the Oracle OpenWorld conference as a reference project.
CASE STUDY TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) In 2010, Arηs has put the TED website into production for the Publications Office of the European Union. TED is the web dissemination platform for timely information on public procurement opportunities in the European Union, the European Economic Area and beyond. In 2011, Arηs designed and developed the eTendering website which is an eProcurement platform based on EC directives where tenderers can perform their daily eProcurement activities. Since then, Arηs has taken over the remaining applications in the TED management platform, including eNotices and TED Web Service. Finally Arηs has completed it by designing and implementing the new TED Monitor application for the monitoring of the preparation and translations of call for tender’s publications. Since 2013, Arηs is maintaining the complete technical EU tender management platform, from the contracting authority’s call for tender input, its publication in the EU Official Journal and the publication of the tender specifications and handling of tenderer’s questions until their submission deadline.
Annual Report 2013 The EUR-Lex system provides the centralised access to European Union legislation. Its architecture, designed and implemented by Arηs, follows the architectural layers defined by the Transformation Programme, emphasising modularisation, encapsulation and re-usability. The key challenge mastered by Arηs on this project is the complexity and the size of the content indexed and disseminated through EUR-Lex in 24 languages. Today, EUR-Lex allows the access to around 7 million texts in different formats and languages. It also provides an access to more than 800 000 notices holding the metadata, each of them available in 24 languages. The set of available items is continuously growing and updated daily. In the scope of the EURES project for the DG for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion of the European Commission, Arηs has analysed alternatives to improve the search capabilities of EURES, especially regarding search options, response time, reduction of dependency on external partner services and data quality. After verifying different possibilities through prototypes, Arηs designed a solution that minimises the impact on external partners and allows realising quick timeto-market. By creating an internal robust and fault-tolerant index repository, Arηs achieved an advanced, accurate and user-friendly way to search for jobs and CVs. This will enable to interface external applications allowing, for example, the matching of CVs and job vacancies using semantic web technologies or advanced reporting on the European job market using Business Intelligence. Mobile Smartphones and tablets are now everyday tools. They are quickly overtaking classic PCs and laptops in internet usage and email. Two main platforms, iOS and Android, are dominating this market today. Arηs has closely followed this trend and helped our customers in selecting the right mobile strategy, tailored to their needs and target audience. This starts with mobile compatible design of websites utilizing responsive design, continues with a touch-sensitive UI design and is completed by the development of native Apps. Depending on the precise requirements, the target audience, the existing infrastructure, the long-term strategy and the vision of our customers, Arηs identifies the right technology and designs the perfect product. Arηs has developed several mobile optimised web sites and web applications, some reaching the usability of native Apps while staying cross-platform thanks to HTML5 and frameworks like Sencha Touch. One of the projects realised in 2013 is the WebCalender Development project for the Directorate General for Interpretation of the European Commission. It allows the consultation and the management of the planning and contracts of freelance interpreters hired by the DG, as well as providing access to payments, reporting and user management modules. The main challenge was to replace an existing application (Java Applet) with a web application, usable on mobile, tablet and desktop devices, while keeping the same level of reactivity and usability. Another project was the implementation of a mobile interface for Plaris, the Arηs resource management tool. This mobile interface allows our sales to search for available candidates matching specific customer requirements already during customer meetings, which empowers Arηs to respond to such requests in unrivalled time and precision. The EURES App developed for the DG for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion of the European Commission, available for iOS and Android, allows searching for jobs posted by all Public Employment Service in Europe (all EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and is available in 25 languages. In the scope of the GOCA RBPC project, Arηs has developed an iOS application, targeting the iPad, which allows performing practical driving examinations. It covers the live-recording of the test results and tracking via GPS. The data is synchronised with the RBPC system and therewith seamlessly integrated into the overall examination procedure.
Annual Report 2013 Digital Trust Trust in the authenticity of the sender of data and the integrity of the data is very important in today’s digital age. As more and more processes are digitalised in administrations including cross-border interactions, techniques to implement strong authentication, digital signatures and cross-border interoperation are becoming essential. Fighting against fraud of documents, both electronic and paper, is a key element to build trust. Arηs is the creator and maintainer of the publicly available Open Source reference implementation Digital Signature Service (DSS), which is quickly becoming a standard in the EU market being used by several institutions in different countries. DSS is used in large projects such as e-CODEX, the e-Justice portal of the European Commission or the French ANTS 2D-doc processing. Web Portals and Content Management Systems One-stop-shops for information access, dynamic management of content, mash-up of existing content in an appealing way for users, harmonised Single-Sign-On. All these are benefits of modern Web Portals and Content Management Systems. Arηs masters the different expertise areas necessary to successfully design, specify, develop, operate and maintain solutions based on content web portals and content management systems. Since there is no single solution that fits in all situations, it is essential for customers to work with vendor-independent service providers. The Arηs experts cover a wide area of technologies and are able to identify the perfect solution for a customer’s specific situation. Arηs has already developed web portals based on several techniques, including Open Source like Drupal or Liferay and commercial packages such as Oracle Portal or Microsoft SharePoint. Content Management Systems (CMS) enable companies to streamline their content dissemination processes, establishing a well-defined publication workflow, working with clear responsibilities (editors, reviewers, approvers) by creating a single content repository. The combination of a CMS as the content provider and a web portal as the syndication platform allows creating user-friendly and easy-to-maintain information one-stop-shops. To enable the users to efficiently find content on large dissemination platforms, Arηs combines such an architecture with a (semantic) search layer. Arηs has already implemented such combined solutions for several customers. One prominent project is of course the new EUR-Lex developed for the Publications Office of the European Union. For EUR-Lex, Arηs has combined Autonomy IDOL for the index and search layer, Documentum for the content management back-office and Weblogic for the front-office portal. For the EURES project at the DG for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion of the European Commission, Arηs has performed a study and validated through several prototypes the use of Liferay as the web portal for EURES. This solution will integrate the different applications developed so far (including the management of CVs) and will provide Single-Sign-On.
Annual Report 2013 Framework Architecture Modern IT systems in large organisation need to be robust, maintainable and extendable. Secondly, they often need to interface to a lot of other systems, internal and external ones, including potentially very old legacy systems. Thirdly, such systems themselves are not part of the business focus of these organisations, but have the purpose to achieve better results through using IT. Reducing the number of technologies and integration layers, eliminating redundancy in data storage, enabling reusability, and defining clear workflows and responsibilities results in immediate benefits for these organisations. Therefore, the architecture of new frameworks or the evolution of existing architectures needs to carefully address these efficiency drivers. Combining this strategy with market standards and technologies such as Enterprise Service Bus, Web Services, Business Rule Engines and Messaging allows Arηs to realise modern framework architectures that are ready for the coming decade. Arηs has analysed the architecture of the SERAPIS system and interconnected applications of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Our Business Analysts have identified and documented the existing business functionality and workflows, while our Technical Analysts and Architects have analysed the existing technical architecture. They have identified the boundaries of the different applications, the interfaces between them, possible redundancies in functionality and data storage and designed a new framework architecture, which will be part of the basis for the EIB in-house applications for the next 10 years. The framework designed by Arηs is based on a clear distinction of architectural solution components with well-defined scopes and interfaces. Workflows are implemented via Business Rules executed in a Business Rules Management System, which makes them reusable and maintainable. Legacy interfaces are gradually replaced by services. Arηs helps the EIB to transform stepby-step the existing SERAPIS system to the new SERAPIS architecture. Data Exchange and Consolidation The institutions of the European Union and the Member States produce and share more and more data. They need clear insight on this data to perform their regulatory tasks. Therefore, it is necessary to streamline this exchange, to consolidate the large amount of data and to produce perceivable statistics. In addition, the cooperation between citizens, economic operators and institutions is becoming more and more important at a cross-border level in the European Union. Systems supporting these interactions are therefore essential. They need to correctly interface the different systems in all Member States, transform data to a common standard and provide language-independent access to data. Arηs has been since years providing highly specialised services in this area, covering the whole process chain from the producer of data to the final consumer. Thanks to our unique experience, we are able to provide a holistic
approach to the management of data production, verification, transformation and consumption. Security throughout the whole processing chain is a natural ingredient designed and tailored to the purpose by our expert analysts, architects and developers. In 2013, Arηs has performed prominent activities in the e-Justice, EU job market and EU statistics domains. Promoting unified access to justice for all EU citizens is one of the key objectives of DG Justice of the European Commission. Arηs had the opportunity to perform three projects linked to the e-Justice portal, targeting the development of a one-stop shop permitting to centralize the consultation of Member States registers. The Insolvency Registers Interconnection (IRI) project realises the interconnection with the registers storing the information on companies and citizen being under insolvency proceedings, while the Find A Notary / Find A Lawyer (FANFAL) project concerns lawyers’ and notaries’ registers. The Arηs experts have designed a common and reusable technical platform for these two projects based on Java EE (EJB and JMS), SOAP and Spring MVC. The European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) project allows users to easily find case law decisions collected from different providers through a centralised access point on the e-Justice portal. Arηs realised this solution using Autonomy IDOL and Java. It is the mission of Eurostat to be the leading provider of high quality statistics on Europe. Since several years, Arηs provides analysis, development and maintenance services for the big and complex IT systems used by Eurostat to accomplish this mission. These systems are based on a wide range of technologies, from C/C++ to Perl, Java, ColdFusion and PL/SQL. Arηs supports the whole data collection, transformation and publication chain through the STATEL, STADIUM and eDAMIS projects since 2007. Geographical Information Systems Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to combine data with geographical information has become a common and well-proven approach today in visualising and disseminating large data volumes. By visualising data in layers on top of a map, users are actually able to better understand their meaning. Several approaches are possible today for implementing a GIS. The Open Source technologies and data providers have become real alternatives to the very sophisticated commercial systems like ArcGIS from esri. Arηs is vendor independent and has the necessary expertise to choose the right solution depending on customer needs and budget. For the GOCA RBPC project, Arηs realised a GPS enabled tracking solution for practical driving examination based on OpenStreetMap. For the Land Purchase Database project for DG Environment of the European Commission, Arηs has used ArcGIS for the management and visualisation of geographic information of land parcels of the LIFE Nature programme. This solution was put into
Annual Report 2013 production in 2013 and Arηs is now providing further maintenance and develops additional features. Telecommunication Services The telecommunication sector is continuing to be in a massive transformation. Landlines, mobile, cable TV, terrestrial TV, video and internet are merging. The deregulation of markets causes a strong competition between the players. To stay ahead, telecommunication companies have to reinvent their business every day: VoIP, Video-on-Demand, eInvoicing, etc. Since several years, Arηs is providing Enterprise Architecture studies, Business Process redesign and setup of Business Process platform services in that field to help companies align their IT capabilities to their business stakes, and turn their IT system into a flexible and competitive leverage for grabbing the opportunities of new markets. In 2013, Arηs participated to the setup of the Video-onDemand portal for Tango, called Tango Generation. Arηs was involved in the development of the Tango Generation web site including the interaction with external services for account management and movie recommendation, the development of the backoffice application for contract management, and the provisioning of IPTV options on customer internet lines.
Architecture Enterprise Architecture (EA) is the organising logic for business processes and IT infrastructure. It standardises the operation model and business processes of an organisation. The purpose of analysing an organisation by applying EA standards such as TOGAF, and by formalising its business processes through Business Process Modelling (BPM) is ultimately to build more effective organisation. This is achieved by documenting an as-is cartography, analysing process improvement, performing risk and impact analysis, and finally developing and implementing a strategy to improve the organisation and processes. The result of such an analysis is then transformed into IT systems that finally streamline the organisations processes and bring effective cost benefits. For the realisation of these IT systems, Arηs uses several modern technologies including Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Business Rule Management System (BRMS).
Electronic Forms Arηs offers a unique expertise in the development of Electronic Forms in various technologies such as Java, Oracle Forms, Adobe PDF and XForms. Recent developments have integrated OSGI technology allowing the users to customize their installation to perfectly fit their needs. Our Electronic Forms solutions are built on interoperable and secured data exchange in standard XML format for various fields of business. Our solution is provided to and used by thousands of users across international organisations like the European Union but also by OECD countries.
Business Processes and Enterprise
Annual Report 2013
Business Intelligence As predicted by Arηs, the focus in Business Intelligence is moving towards BI 3.0, nowadays especially on Big Data. BI 3.0 integrates unstructured data, e.g. from social networks, sensors, smart meters and machine data, with structured data, and combines data warehouse automation, real-time reporting and prediction to create valuable insights with a business focus, anywhere and anytime via Mobile solutions. Traditional Business Intelligence Traditionally, BI platforms have provided entities with the ability to capture data in reports or dashboards on a past moment in their operational cycle, manipulate the data against specific key performance indicators (KPIs), deciding what actions, if any, to take. During the last decade, there was a move towards more interactive content including present time data. Arηs has accomplished several major projects in Business Intelligence and Analytics this fiscal year, with the majority of projects still on-going: Establish: Strategic Business Intelligence (BI) Roadmap Definition, Enterprise Data Warehouse Governance, BI Platform Evaluation, Business Case - Benefits Insight (references : BGL BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas Fortis, Nike Europe, Alphabet Belgium) Enhance: Analytics Implementation, Product Upgrades, Dashboard Deployment, Data Integration Extensions, Data Quality – Master Data Management (references : European Investment Bank (EIB), Dexia BIL, AXA Belgium, Belgacom International Carriers Services (BICS), DG Devco) Transform: BIs2C maturity - Factory model, Platform Consolidation, Product Migration, Metadata Management (references: European Investment Bank (EIB), Dexia BIL, Lombard) Expertise: Experts on multiple BI platforms (SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Teradata, Informatica, …)
Annual Report 2013
Big Data: expanding on 3 fronts at an increasing rate. DATA VELOCITY
photo web audio
social video mobile
BA TC H
near real time
B G TB PB DATA VOLUME
big data Big data massively expands the information horizon compared to traditional BI solutions, integrating large, diverse and unstructured mass data generated in the course of day-to-day business as well as information available from sources such as mobile devices, the internet and social media. Arηs Big Data solutions predict future trends with greater accuracy based on past and present data. In 2013, Arηs has created the Big Data Competence Centre in our Business Intelligence and Analytics unit BIs2C. Competences around the Hadoop ecosystem, MapReduce programming, advanced predictive analytics, statistical modelling, and text mining are gathered in this competence centre. We have broadened our existing strategic partnership to include Big Data related platforms, including initiatives strengthening our cloud based value proposition as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Enormous amounts of data are created by private individuals, organizations and companies every single day. In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been generated during the last two years. This amount of data does not ease decision making, it makes it even more difficult to identify the right information or trend. This is where the Arηs Big Data solutions step in to provide business relevant insight, combining all data sources and extracting the relevant information to take the right decision. Our experience and analytical ability allows us to identify new trends, patterns and consumer behaviour at a very early stage. We’re able to provide absolutely reliable facts, answers and insights. Arηs ensures that the data is well integrated in the day-today workflow, being available at the right moment on the right device in a clear and understandable presentation, supporting decision making.
Through Big Data and BI 3.0, we transform Business Intelligence from a slow top-down into a real-time bottom-up process, empowering the business users to take better decisions. For example, they will gain a better understanding of the customers’ behaviour and preferences, and will also be able to improve efficiency in production.
Annual Report 2013 Data Warehouse Automation The design, development and maintenance of a data warehouse are very resource intensive and time consuming. Through the introduction of automation principles in this process, e.g. the automatic generation of code based on metadata and ETL design patterns, Arηs is able to realistically reduce the effort by 40% with an absolute focus on quality. Arηs has standardised the different layers of the Enterprise Data Warehouse loads via templates for Proximus. In the scope of the upgrade of the IBM InfoSphere DataStage ETL tool for the European Investment Bank, Arηs introduced the automatic creation of the operational data Store layer using the available metadata in the source systems of Oracle and Sybase.
Data Warehouse Efficiency
Increased Data Warehouse Efficiency
Reduced Resource Consumption
AUTOMATION current trend
TIME Mobile BI Mobile is not only a major trend in applications or web. It is moreover becoming a very powerful tool for Business Intelligence systems. Through the integration of mobile platforms, Arηs puts data analysis literally into the hands of the end user. Imagine a sales person being in a customer meeting, who could win a major contract, if he immediately takes a decision. Having all relevant data right at hand, empowers him to take this decision and get the deal. Without Mobile BI, getting the necessary information would have involved long procedures and a lot of time. Arηs has the expertise and experience to develop the correctly suited Mobile BI solution for you, fitting your expectations, target platform and existing BI landscape. Arηs has proven successes in native applications (vendor mobile solutions), HTML5 or hybrid systems. At Ferrero, Arηs has presented as a Proof of Concept a customised dashboard portal based on HTML5, with the integration of SAP BI Suite and Xcelsius (Dashboard Manager), for the VP’s of the company. The goal was to create an attractive interactive portal, integrating HTML5 dashboards with the current SAP Business Objects content (WEBI reports, Xcelsius Dashboards).
Annual Report 2013
Server and Application Management
Infrastructure is in general viewed as everything that supports the flow and processing of information. This includes physical hardware, transmission media (including telephone lines, network infrastructure and firewalls, etc.), servers, software and any support related activity. Arηs is offering IT infrastructure services in the following domains: Network and Security Management, Server and Application Management and Desktop Management. Network and Security Management Networks are the basis of modern communication and need to be well-designed and correctly tailored to the specific needs of an organisation. The security of such networks is extremely important to avoid unauthorised access to sensitive information, intrusion into internal systems or break-down of communication. Arηs has the necessary expertise to design and operate secure and reliable networks. Arηs helped a major local industry actor to define and setup a complete security architecture using best of breed infrastructure solutions. For a large European institution Arηs currently participates in a unified communication project. The project is organised following the “Managed Services” model and is based on a strict SLA to ensure network & security management (routers, firewalls, switches and telephony).
Organisations perform a lot of their operations in electronic systems, ranging from office automation to the control of business processes and proprietary systems. Well-designed server and application architectures are necessary to run these daily operations without interruption of service. Arηs helps our customers to correctly size and select server architectures, setup the infrastructure and applications and operate them in a 24/7 environment. The expertise of Arηs ranges from individual server deployments, over large load-balanced fail-save environments, up to modern Cloud solutions. Arηs was selected as privileged partner to help an international actor to define and implement a new infrastructure architecture based on the most recent solutions of the market. This included the interconnection of different geographical sites of the customer and the migration of the present email platform increasing the capacity to manage more users and improve the response times. A medium enterprise in Luxembourg trusted Arηs to deliver a fixed-price project to migrate in a very short time the email platform from an internal system to a cloud solution (Microsoft Office 365). A large financial institution recently awarded to Arηs one of their most strategic and important projects at IT infrastructure level, the migration of their email platform. With this new email platform the client will definitely increase the availability of the service. Desktop Management Systems Arηs provides consultancy covering the whole lifecycle of Desktop Environments. This includes the choice and customisation of the operating system and the validation or repackaging of the applications. Arηs solutions are always fully tailored to customer needs.
Network and Security Management Services
Server & Application Management Services
IT SERVICE MANAGEMENT
Desktop Management Services
Arηs performed the migration of all desktops for an insurance company. The solution was implemented through a centralised deployment solution, taking into account the tight timeframe and also the global change management process. A financial institution encountered issues in distributing updates for their different operating systems and troubleshooting hardware and software incidents. Arηs proposed and configured third party tools that allowed improving the situation and met the expectations of the customer, acting as a real proactive partner.
Annual Report 2013
Arηs HAS THE PERFECT DELIVERY MODEL FOR YOU
FIXED PRICE PROJECTS, PROVISION OF HIGHLY SKILLED PROFILES, MANAGEMENT OR LARGE FRAMEWORK CONTRACTS, MANAGED SERVICES … ARηS HAS THE RIGHT OFFER FOR YOU Arηs offers a combination of services, professionalism and quality which is unique in the BeLux area and even in Europe. Big players in European Institutions, telecommunication, banking and other important sectors in the BeLux and EU market trust Arηs. With our long-term experience, high expertise and formalised methods for quality (ISO 9001 certified), project management and software development (CMMI Level 2 appraisal of Arηs Developments and Arηs Developments Belgium), we are in the unique position to reliably plan and deliver bespoke software on time, within budget and with perfect quality.
Fixed Price Projects Arηs successfully runs more than 80 Fixed Price projects in parallel, for different customers, in different environments, using different technologies. Fixed Price projects require specific processes, a high level of expertise and professionalism from the service provider. Otherwise, they will not be successful. At Arηs, we have these skills, tailored over years of doing fixed price projects. The ability to correctly analyse the customer’s requirements, understanding the real need and designing the best fitting solution is key to the success of a fixed price project. The correct estimation of the effort, the presentation of a clear project plan utilizing the right resources is the basis of the trust of Arηs’ customers. For the execution of Fixed Price projects, we rely on the Arηs Project Management Methodology, which combines best practices from PMBOK, PRINCE2, Rational Unified Process and Scrum. This unique methodology guarantees to keep control of a project’s scope, budget and timing at all times. Our implementation of the agile
principles provides the necessary flexibility to adapt the development lifecycle to the changing environment of our customers. Testing is evolving today from a pure quality gate executed at specific milestones of the process to a continuous activity with short feedback loops. Especially the application of an agile process raises the need of continuous integration and testing. Arηs has fine-tuned a well-proven testing approach over the years by making testing an integral part of the process, using, amongst others, Jenkins as the continuous integration platform, Sonar as the continuous source quality checker and a high level of testing automation through JUnit, Selenium,... We deliver quality products that match or exceed customer’s expectations on time and within budget.
Professional Services With the growing complexity of IT systems, an increasing variety of technologies and platforms involved and the need to cost-effectively operate IT, it is not feasible anymore for organisation to have all required experts in-house. They need strong and reliable partners that are able to fulfil short-, medium- and long-term sourcing requests for very specific profiles. Arηs is the ideal partner for such organisations. Professional services have always been an integral part of Arηs’ service portfolio. Over the past decade, we established a large pool of outstanding experts in a lot of technical and business domains. As a constantly growing company, we continuously incorporate new profiles into our expert pool thanks to our well connected Recruitment Unit. We source from several local universities in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany, attaining the best graduates each year. The last puzzle piece completing our sourcing strategy is a big network of freelancers closely connected to Arηs.
Annual Report 2013
A PRAGMATIC METHODOLOGY Our unique methodology has been built up from the grounds taking what’s best from PMBOK, PRINCE2, Rational Unified Process, Agile practices and SCRUM. We use PMBOK, PRINCE2 and RUP practices to drive the fixed-price projects, keeping the control of the scope, budget and deadlines.
Our Service Centre concept, built around expertise pooling in competence centres and perfection of competences through trainings, enables our customers to hire dedicated and adequate services without the expenses of maintaining their own expert pools with long-term contracts. Arηs executes several large framework contracts regarding Time & Means services. Since 2010, Arηs is a major provider of specialised profiles on the ESP-DESIS Lot 1 (A,B,C) contracts for the European Commission. Arηs provides experts in the areas of Project Management, Analysis, Application Architecture, Software Development and Business Intelligence on these contracts. Another long-term relation of Arηs in this area is the contracts with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the provision of resources in the area of Business Intelligence, Business Analysis, Framework Architecture and Software Development.
Large Framework Contracts The management and execution of large framework contracts depends on a mature methodology and approach, experienced Contract Managers, streamlined process workflows and a strong supporting organisation. Arηs has proven its capability and maturity for large framework contracts, not only through the CMMI Level 2 appraisal of Arηs Developments and Arηs Developments Belgium, but already through the extremely successful management and execution of large framework contracts, such as FITSDEV2 for DG TAXUD of the European Commission. Arηs is the leader of the AI2 group of companies for FITSDEV2 and successfully runs this contract since 2008. Based on the good results in FITSDEV2 Arηs was able to once again win the FITSDEV3 framework contract as leader of the AIs group of companies. Large organisations trust in Arηs for the management of large framework contracts, because Arηs has the right mix of capability, expertise, innovation and maturity.
We love agility and SCRUM to support customer’s collaboration, deliver quickly and frequently and improve continuously our development processes making both customers and teams happy. Our methodology is always tuned to the customer and project requirements with the ultimate objective of quality, efficiency and customer’s satisfaction. We are pragmatic. We do things that work to deliver.
Managed Services Outsourcing the management of IT infrastructure helps our customers to reduce costs and to focus on their dayto-day activities. Arηs provides services covering network and security management, IT service management, including dayto-day IT management, production support, build/ maintenance activities, hosting or even software-asa-service (as a reseller of Microsoft Office 365). Arηs covers the whole ITIL oriented lifecycle of IT systems, ranging from defining a strategy to IT Service Continuity Management and IT Operations Management. Arηs currently provides hosting, maintenance and operation services for the Publications Office in the scope of the TED project. The TED website is hosted in a fully redundant and clustered environment, currently providing access to more than 30 million documents and serving up to 300.000 hits per hour. Arηs was awarded to provide full managed services of a medium industry’s infrastructure, including network, servers, applications and desktops with a 24/7 Service Level Agreement.
Pierre noël Developments
Arηs Developments is the founding company of the group and has experienced a constant and strong growth during its 10 years of existence. Arηs Developments has today about 175 consultants. Since the beginning, Arηs Developments has been focusing on Software Development, Maintenance and Business Intelligence projects. The success has been based on the following cornerstones: Capacity to win and manage large and long-term framework contracts This is still a key element of our strategy. We have the experience, capacity and maturity to deliver high-quality IT services for our customers and to build long term collaboration with them. We can take full responsibility of IT development and maintenance activities for our customers, allowing them to focus on business opportunities. Our objective for the coming years is to further progress in the maturity of our IT services, further improving our Software Development Factory and the quality of our professional services. Ability and willingness to tackle complex Software Developments projects At the foundation of the company, we had the ambition to build teams able to design and implement challenging Software solutions. Challenges can come from a very tight deadline, a complex architecture, a new technology or the large size of the project. Solving those challenges require much more that putting in a room a group of highly-skilled technical experts. It requires adequate and solid vision of the technical architecture, high maturity in the software development and testing process and strong project management skills. But above all that, it requires top-level people with the right culture, combining excellence, commitment, flexibility and team working. At Arηs Developments, we have successfully delivered Software application of several thousand mandays based on complex distributed and layered architecture. Our recipe for success is still the same: attracting talents, winning challenging projects, demonstrating eagerness to improve our software development process and to increase quality and professionalism. Our objective for the coming years is to be recognised as the reference and market leader for successful and on-time delivery of challenging Software developments. Capacity to provide Professional Services Our customers expect that we can react quickly to various kinds of requests for IT profiles, to help them fulfilling their internal projects and absorb peaks in resource capacity demands. Arηs developments has developed a strong recruitment department and advanced competence management activities, giving us access to a wide pool of highly-skilled experts. Unique expertise in the Taxation area and in the implementation of Trans-European Systems Since 2004, Arηs Developments has been heavily involved in the design and implementation of Trans-European systems. We have developed a unique expertise, especially in the Taxation area. Our objective for the coming years is to further leverage this 10 years’ experience to better support all EU Member States in their systems implementation.
Arηs Developments Belgium is a Belgian company incorporated in 2006. Arηs Developments Belgium is a subsidiary of Arηs Developments. The main purpose of the company is to engage IT consultants, employees of the company, to execute Arηs Developments’ large framework contracts on the Belgian territory.
Today, about 80 reliable employees work for Arηs Developments Belgium. An adequate recruitment process is a key milestone for the development of the Belgian company. In order to improve it, the company decided to invest in the following recipe for the recruitment: attracting brilliant, motivated and young Belgian talents. In addition, Arηs Developments Belgium succeeded to develop its own commercial development targeting the Belgian private and government market for short and mid-term projects within the same software development, maintenance and business intelligence operational activities as its mother company.
Arηs Developments Belgium has also launched a new commercial brand: Arηs Data, in the perspective to extend this commercial development and specifically to target the big players on the Belgian private market, particularly on the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Thanks to these own commercial initiatives, Arηs Developments Belgium builds its own reputation and credibility on the Belgian private market, increasing its main activities.
There is a growing need for agile and cost-effective IT service providers in the Belgian market. Many companies have been consolidating long supplier’s lists into one or two frame contracts, leading them to the boundaries of efficiency and are therefore no longer capable of dealing with the fickle demands, driven by fast evolving business needs.
The Arηs Data model is perfectly aligned with those high expertise, high flexibility demands including fixed price models. Companies are finding the added value they are looking for when it comes to swift execution and timeliness while controlling cost. On this proven path, ARΗS Data is already building its next successes. Business Intelligence Turning your Business Intelligence process into a strategic asset for your company is our commitment. While BI is becoming the key competitive differentiator, it’s also one of the hardest disciplines in the IT landscape. At Arηs Data we cover the full span of BI best practices, from the very start of building the BI roadmap or making a BI assessment to the full implementation of the BI Architecture. Arηs Data combines in depth understanding of concepts such as sandboxing, big data, NoSQL, Data Warehouse appliances, logical data models, metadata, operational BI and BI governance, with excellent skills in the BI tools and products available in the market. Our BI experts are senior seasoned professionals guiding companies to avoid the pitfalls and making sure they can reap the benefits of implementing a solid decision capability asset, able to contribute to the bottom line.
Open Source Software Development Since 2003, Arηs earned an impeccable reputation in state-of-the-art software development. “In time & In budget” is our business card. Our added value can be found in high-value, complex projects requiring integration into legacy environments and the deployment of multiple software components. Arηs Data is successfully bringing this expertise to the corporate market in Belgium.
Olivier barette Consulting
Within the group, Arηs Consulting focuses on three expertises: Business Process Management Arηs Consulting supports companies to improve their organisation, align it to a changing regulation, or sharpen its competitiveness; it typically starts with the cartography of their business processes. This becomes the premier input for feeding an internal thinking process towards a strategic vision. Development of IT Systems As part of Arηs group, one of the core activities of Arηs Consulting is software development as well. The focus is here on e-Government and e-Business applications, that is connecting efficiently and electronically the citizens to the Government or the companies to their clients and partners. Arηs Consulting provides the full range of services in that respect. Digital Trust The last 10 years have shown a major shift from paper-based to electronic communication and the field of Digital Trust is becoming more and more important in our e-Economy. Electronic signature, strong authentication, or electronic seal are technologies that bring back trust into electronic interactions. The e-process company With its 3-folded interconnected approach, Arηs Consulting provides a unique blend of expertise in IT, from the definition of business processes to their secure execution. Year after year, Arηs Consulting innovates with a creative range of services, always delivering more value to our customers. Focus on Arηs Visual Seal: an anti-phishing initiative Phishing attacks are increasing every year. Beside the direct financial impact of the attacks, one should not underestimate the impact of such threats on the level of confidence when exchanging information electronically. A recent study estimated to 42% the loss of likeliness to do business for phished brands. With the introduction of its Visual Seal, Arηs contributes to the fight against phishing and helps its customers to care about securing their communication with their clients. From a reactive situation where the only option is to tell the clients through the media that your brand is currently experiencing a phishing campaign, and that they should be cautious, the Arηs Visual Seal turns the situation into proactivity by: Empowering your clients; Securing your brand; Conveying trust. From smartcards to smart…phones With the advent of ubiquitous smartphones, users have now tremendous computation power at the reach of their hands. With the importance they have taken in our digital life, they are checked for presence regularly, and more than any other personal effects. Leveraging this user-oriented, easy-to-use, full-featured, computation platform as secure token, Arηs proposes mobile authentication and signature services that mix the security level of a smartcard to the unparalleled user experience of an intuitive mobile interface.
Arηs Consulting REVENUES
IN mILLION EUR
2011 2012 2013
Last year, Arηs Cube defined ambitious objectives for the new fiscal year and once again the teams made an exceptional performance. Long-term contracts were renewed and new customers trusted Arηs CUBE and engaged in a long-term partnership for ICT projects.
Arηs Cube REVENUES
IN mILLION EUR
The key of success is a strong partnership with our customers based on honesty and common trust Arηs Cube is pursuing its way on the local market and consolidates its position within the Group. The founders continue with the same determination to address the local market with local resources and delivering a work of high quality. One of our hallmarks is definitely the capacity to deliver high-quality projects. During the third year of activity, 75% of the turnover has been generated on fixedprice projects based on recognised standards combined with the necessary pragmatism and agility. This continues to be our global philosophy: “Managing projects, delivering quality”. This is the proof of our commitment and willingness to build strong partnerships with our customers.
2,43 1,77 0,15 2011 2012 2013
At Arηs Cube we believe that the key to success is a strong partnership with the customer based on honesty and common trust. One of the main focuses since the beginning was to enforce our presence in the financial sector in Luxembourg. To this purpose, Arηs Cube hired new experienced managers and made the necessary efforts and investments to obtain in May 2013 the PSF approval as “Operator of Communication Networks and Secondary Computer Systems in the Financial Sector” (OSIS – Article 29-4). A few weeks later an important Bank in Luxembourg awarded to Arηs CUBE a strategically important fixed-price project targeting the migration of the internal email platform. Our services The vision of Arηs Cube is to be able to address all local companies’ needs in terms of ICT. Consequently, we built a strategy around the 3 major pillars of a modern enterprise: 1. Software Development 2. Business Intelligence 3. IT Infrastructure For the majority of the companies, ICT is considered as a pure cost centre and a complex but indispensable black-box. The problem is that customers spend too much time with issues that are not related to their core business. We are convinced we can help them gaining time. Arηs Cube offloads its customers by offering one single point of contact with the necessary competences, local presence and methodologies to address the whole panel of ICT management. Your success is our success!
Annual Report 2013
Annual Report 2013
The Web has become the primary channel of interaction between banks and their customers. These customers expect the same level of user experience that they encounter daily on other web applications or social media. Furthermore, beyond consulting their bank account balance and making transactions, these customers expect more possibilities to manage their personal finances in a powerful and simple way. Filling the gap Arηs wants to fill this gap and provides the market with its vision of mobile and web banking. In 2013, Arηs launched BetterBank, a new initiative for the financial sector. BetterBank develops solutions to help banks and other financial actors to improve their web and mobile banking for their customers.
Personal Finance Management made easy We provide banks with intelligent web services that can be smoothly integrated in existing web banking solutions. These services make personal finance management easy, thanks to automated transaction data enrichment, automated categorization, budget management, analytics and account balance prediction. BetterBank also develops Benki, a front-end application, based on our intelligent web services, offering a complete personal finance management solution for bank customers.
“During summer time, we launched the private beta of the free Cloud version of Benki for the Belgian market (https://benki.be), attracting already hundreds of beta-users!”
Annual Report 2013
The alliance of Teradata and Arηs started in 2006. The Partners share the same customers and are both focused on Large Accounts, manipulating very large data volumes. it represents a key element of the Arηs Business intelligence Strategy.
Informatica is largely used in our Telecommunications Sector activities. Arηs has one of the largest pools of competences and experts in Informatica powercenter in BeLux. Trainings are organized on a regular basis to keep our consultants up to date with Informatica’s latest products.
As part of the Cloud Essentials Microsoft Cloud Partnership program, Arηs offers a complete service going from the preparation of the architecture matching your needs, reselling the necessary licences until the final tested implementation. Arηs is able to execute infrastructure projects as well as .net and SharePoint development projects.
As Service Partner of Autonomy, Arηs provides services, including consultancy, development, technical assistance and support, related to Autonomy iDoL in Luxembourg.
Businessobjects is the historical Technology partner of Arηs for the Business intelligence domain. In 2012, it remains the reporting tool for most of our projects in the European institutions and in the private sector. Our competences include the migration methodology to the new 4.0 version and the Mobile Area.
SAS is our main Technology Partner for statistical projects related to the European institutions. Arηs has built, since 2006, a dedicated competence centre to support those projects.
As Channel Partner of EMC in Luxembourg and Belgium, Arηs resells, distributes and provides a variety of value-added services to its customer for EMC products.
Arηs is a Silver Partner in order to ensure the smooth and regular work performed on Oracle databases and middleware (i.e. JEE Server, Portal and Fusion) for its different projects.
Nexthink is the innovator of End-user IT Analytics for security, ITSM and workplace transformation. Nexthink maps all the IT services, how they are being consumed, and how the IT infrastructure is operating, from the only perspective that matters most, the end-users (workers).
Annual Report 2013
We believe in excellence and we encourage performance. Therefore, Arηs is sponsor of some major teams or sportsmen in the Luxembourgish and Belgian competitions. Being result oriented and ensuring commitment is a philosophy rooted in our minds and we are willing to sponsor great people sharing the same state of mind. Upgrading society can also be done by helping people to live their passion.
Hasse Gustafsson Hasse is a 43 year old Swedish rally driver. Thanks to the support of Arηs, he participated in the 2013 Swedish National Rally Championship, finishing third overall. He also participated in the WRC Rally Sweden in February 2013 and finished 22nd overall, with his Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Beside his rally driving career, Hasse acts as a trainer for safety driving and driving on frozen lakes, helping people to improve their car control.
Jordan Scaillet Jordan is a 26 year old Belgian rally driver. Belgian National Champion in 2011 (category M-12), Jordan finished 2nd at the Belgian Fiesta Trophy in 2012 and he also participated in the M-Sport Shout-out in November 2012. In 2013, Jordan finished 2nd at the legendary Rallye des Ardennes, driving a Mitsubishi EVO X. He is amongst the most talented of young drivers.
Excelsior Virton After their great 2012-2013 season, and winning the title in Belgian National Division III, the Philippe Emond’s Club entered the professional Belgacom League (Division II), as a sport leader for the region.
Jourdan Serderidis Later in life, Jourdan discovered he had a passion for rallying. After one year in the Belgian National Championship with a Ford Fiesta R2 and then the Ford Fiesta R5, he will undertake a further challenge with the WRC rally in 2014. In the meantime, Jourdan claimed third on the podium at the superb Rallye de la Famenne in 2013, on that occasion driving a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. The WRC series is widely regarded as the most challenging motorsport competition in the world. The competition itself is deceptively simple. Each rally is split into a number (typically between 15 and 25) of ‘special stages’ which are run on closed roads. Drivers tackle these stages one car at a time in an effort to complete them in the shortest time. Competitors drive to and from each special stage on normal roads, observing normal traffic regulations. During the special stages, a co-driver, or navigator, reads pace notes to alert the driver to the conditions on the road ahead. The WRC-2 Championship is the FIA’s principal series for near-showroom spec four-wheel drive, turbocharged cars. This covers a number of vehicle classes (N, R4, R5 and S2000). Titles for teams, drivers and co-drivers will be awarded to those who have scored the most points in six of the seven events in which they have taken part.
Annual Report 2013
A. Accounting principles Description of main accounts The consolidated annual accounts of the Arηs Group companies are prepared in agreement with generally accepted accounting principles as ruled by the Luxembourg law of 10 August 1915 (as amended) on Commercial Companies. A brief description of particular valuation rules and accounting principles which are required for any accurate analysis of the figures herein presented are summarised below, along with a description of main accounts. CONSOLIDATED FIGURES All figures presented in this report consolidate the figures as at 31 July 2013 (12 months period) of the four companies pertaining to the Arηs Group: Arηs Developments S.A. Arηs Developments Belgium S.A. Arηs Consulting S.A. Arηs Cube S.A. at the level of its top holding company, Arηs Developments S.A. TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE FIXED ASSETS Tangible and intangible fixed assets are recorded at cost and are depreciated using the straight-line method and the following rates: Software: 33,33% Hardware, machinery, equipment: 25% WORK IN PROGRESS Revenue is recognized when evidence does exist, delivery has taken place, it is fixed or determinable. Fixed-price projects are valued using the percentage of completion method, to be applied on the fixed agreed price. Those accrued income are recorded in the balance sheet under the account «Claims resulting for sales and provisions of services» (EUR 4.442.438 as at July 31,2013).
EQUITY The subscribed capital amounts to EUR 50.000 and is represented by 10.000 nominative shares with a normal value of EUR 5 each. Luxembourg accounting standards present a balance sheet before profit allocation. PROVISIONS FOR LIABILITIES AND CHARGES Provision for taxes covers both Belgium and Luxembourg corporate income tax (33,99%-29,22% corporate tax rate), taking into account both Belgium and Luxembourg specific internal rules, not tax deductible expenses and tax credits. Deferred taxes are not recognized. The other provisions cover mainly accrued staff costs for holidays not taken by the employees.
B. Management analysis The Arns Group financial performance for Fiscal Year ending 31 July 2013 can be directly deducted from the following key figures which prove the business model’s ability to maintain growth in activities and performance in operations. The 2013 tax year key figures are the followings: In terms of turnover, it increased from EUR 28,8 Mil. (previous 2012 tax year) to EUR 33,6 Mil., implying a 16,6 % relative growth compared to previous year, and a performance above the initial ambitious EUR 31 Mil. Budget (+ 8,5%), EUR 2,26 Mil. EBIT (EUR 2,07 Mil. for previous year), implying a 9% relative growth compared to previous year, representing a relative performance of 6,7 % on turnover (compared to 7,2% for previous year). The continuous increasing of the equity of the Arηs Group (from EUR 4,9 Mil. to EUR 6,3 Mil., leading to a relative increase of 28% compared to previous yearend) allows improvement of all the debt to equity and solvency ratios, creating own financial resources and guaranteeing additional external financial needs, both to cover punctual working capital needs and finance new projects and initiatives, notably in R&D.
Annual Report 2013
PROFIT AND LOSS FIGURES High chargeability rates, high operating performance in fixed-price projects, launches of new high-value services lines, mainly within the subsidiaries Arηs Consulting and Arηs Cube on the Luxembourg market, remain the key answers from the Arηs Group to counter the cumulative impact of high competition and high pressure on prices in private and institutions markets. Considering this challenging economic environment on IT sector, the 6,7% EBIT figure in % of turnover, in slight decrease compared to 2012, proves the ability of the management to fulfil both objectives of maintaining profitability in fixed price projects and securing commercial development and financial stability with long-term assignments with non risky operational impact and lower margin. The maintenance of high commercial, operational and financial performance of the subsidiaries Arηs Consulting and Arηs Cube on the Luxembourg private and public (government) market, via new commercial and technical initiatives allow the maintenance of the Group global financial performance in such environment. General administrative (G&A) expenses, in proportion of the turnover, have been slightly increased compared to 2012 tax year figures, as a consequence of significant investments realised in Luxembourg offices and non-billable task force in Luxembourg. CASH-FLOW AND EXTERNAL FINANCING RESOURCES NEEDS The cash-flow considerations for the Arηs group can be defined in the same terms as previous years as they can be directly deducted from the group business model. The amount of fixed assets (EUR 543.649 as at 31 July 2013) being totally financed by financial lease, the main concerns regarding cash-flow issues relate to:
The management of the timing discrepancy between quarterly or at acceptance date for fixed price projects invoicing, and monthly paying out expenses, and The management of the growth, The investment in future development projects under analysis. The use of external financial needs decreased slightly during the year, despite the increase in volume of fixedprice projects (work in progress from EUR 3.850.000 at start of the period under review until 4.500.000 at yearend), as a positive consequence of: The quarterly amortization of the cash-flow consuming of the start of a thirty people time & means contract with quarterly invoicing periodicity, The increase in own financial resources created by non-distributed after taxes margins. Those external financing needs used during the year, under the form of bank credit lines have been limited to amounts maintaining a maximum ratio “financial debts / equity” of 0,3. The Arηs management is conscious of the need to keep pressure on such ratio in order to guarantee the financing of the future growth and has consequently adapted its dividend policy. POST CLOSURE EVENTS The budgeted turnover for next year amounts to EUR 37,25 Mil., aiming a 11 % increase compared to 2013 year-end, proving the ability of the Group to maintain a continuous growth. Commercial and operational performance, ability of recruiting high-value people, permanent adaptation of the internal organisation at all levels and technical innovation are the key factors on which the Arηs management will concentrate in the near future to keep existing high global performance.
Annual Report 2013
ARηS GROUP Consolidated financial statements as at 31/07/2013 PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT For the period between 1st August 2012 until 31 July 2013 in EUR
13 098 562
10 240 915
19 499 482
17 606 801
Wages and salaries
16 458 753
15 193 907
Social security costs
3 040 729
2 412 894
Depreciation of fixed assets Interest payable and similar charges
33 499 267
28 583 171
33 623 570
28 826 009
1 453 468
1 290 836
35 309 589
30 123 405
1 810 322
1 540 233
1 667 602
1 431 194
INCOME Net turnover Other operating income Other interest receivable and similar income Extraordinary income TOTAL INCOME Result for the financial year
RESULT ALLOCATION Result for the financial year of the Group Part for the minority interest in the result of the Group
Annual Report 2013
ARηS GROUP Consolidated financial statements as at 31/07/2013 BALANCE SHEET in EUR
Fixed assets Tangible fixed assets Financial fixed assets Total fixed assets
Capital and reserves Subscribed capital
Intangible fixed assets
ASSETS Incorporation costs
4 603 633
3 609 318
1 667 602
1 431 194
6 360 842
4 934 813
Profit brought forward Goodwill paid Minority interest rofits for the period P of the Group
Total shareholder’s Equity
Debtors Claims resulting from sales and provision of services
8 952 005
8 231 349
Due within one year
8 952 005
8 231 349
Provisions for taxes
1 085 278
1 187 592
Due within one year
1 085 278
1 187 592
1 159 475
Cash at bank and in hand
1 959 063
11 996 346
10 346 744
1 143 987
1 228 157
Due within one year
ith maturity exceeding W one year
Debts on purchases and provision of services
1 903 684
2 743 554
Due within one year
1 903 684
2 743 554
Total current assets Prepaid expenses
Provisions for liabilities and charges
Total provisions Creditors Amounts owed to credit institutions
Tax and social security debts
Social security debts
1 336 941
1 022 472
1 336 941
1 022 472
5 154 104
5 375 276
12 674 421
11 021 294
Other creditors Due within one year Total creditors TOTAL ASSETS
12 674 421
11 021 294
Annual Report 2013
MY FIRST YEAR Julien ANTONY Analyst Programmer
On which project are you currently working? What are your roles and responsibilities on this project?
AGE 24 years UNIVERSITY Institut national polytechnique de Grenoble Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Informatique et de Mathématiques Appliquées START DATE 01/09/2012
I am currently working on the Mini One Stop Shop project, for the Luxembourg State (Administration de l’enregistrement et des domaines). The Mini One Stop Shop is a new system that will allow, starting from 01/01/2015, non-established taxable persons supplying electronic services to non-taxable persons to fulfil their VAT obligations against the European Member States where consumers of their services are established. The contract is managed by Arηs Consulting. I am part of the development team. My main responsibility is to develop the application by implementing use cases and technical services such as templates service, mailing and notifications. I also participate in the redaction of some documents, such as the detailed design, the installation guide, the user manual. Why did you choose to join ARηS? At the end of my studies, during my job search, I was contacted by Arηs for an interview. I had never heard of Arηs before. I did my interview with a recruiter, and also with Olivier Barrette, Christophe Labbe and David Naramski. I immediately pictured Arηs as a young and professional company having high level requirements. I was very impressed by this interview and this is why I wanted to go here.
What is the best aspect of your job? / What do you prefer in your daily work? I am interested in all the technical aspects of the development lifecycle. This includes the architecture, the design and the development of an application. I am also very interested in the business part of the job. What is your best memory since your arrival at ARηS? I think it was when Christophe Labbe gave me the opportunity to work on the Mini One Stop Shop project, because I was told that the project was too strategic to take a junior in the team. It was an accomplishment for me. This project permits me to work with very experienced people, which allows me to develop my technical skills. I also think that this is the proof that Arηs gives great chances to young and motivated people.
Annual Report 2013
AT Arηs Thibault CLAVIER ANALYST
On which project are you currently working? What are your roles and responsibilities on this project?
AGE 24 years UNIVERSITY Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) Civil Engineer in Applied Mathematics START DATE 01/09/2012
The European Commission owns a web portal called EURES. It is aimed at promoting the mobility of the jobseekers in Europe. Arηs improves this Portal to better serve the jobseekers. As an Analyst, my main role is to identify the needs of the European Commission and to advise functional solutions adapted to their requirements. I also help in defining a clear vision of their products by prioritizing their expectations and taking into account the technical dependencies. Why did you choose to join ARηS? To be honest, I did not have objective reasons to prefer Arηs from the other companies I met. The day of my interview, I had the opportunity to talk to a few employees who were all very dynamic and open to discussion. In the end, my decision was based on the people I met and it is a real pleasure to work in such an atmosphere every day.
What is the best aspect of your job? / What do you prefer in your daily work? I really like the identification of the client needs and the application modelling part of my job. Between the business expectations and the technical constraints, it can sometimes become a challenging brainteaser. It is great when you can find a feasible solution which makes the customer happy. What is your best memory since your arrival at ARηS? I do not really have a “best memory”. If I had to point out a specific moment, I would take the first presentation I made in front of the customer. It is not a “good” moment but sufficiently stressful to be remembered! However, I have plenty of good moments that I lived with my colleagues during this first year, like the sport during the lunchtime or the restaurant in the evenings. I could list all of them but one told me to limit my answers to only a half-page… ☺
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Data Woluwedal, 30 B-1932 Woluwe-Saint-Etienne tel. +32 2 774 88 30 fax.+32 2 774 88 31 contact. Gunther Roobaert [email protected]