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IT restructuring at telecommunications provider Versatel

Case Study

Challenge

Versatel AG was the product of numerous integrations. After migrating the various IT structures of these companies, it became apparent that the system landscapes were heterogeneous and not well implemented. IT needed to be positioned within the company as a customer-focused service provider, and a blueprint for Versatel’s future IT structure had to be drawn up and anchored within the organization.

Success

In his function as CIO, the Atreus manager successfully executed the restructuring. The streamlined portfolio meant that the projects could be aligned to the needs of the customers and costs significantly reduced.

Interview with Peer Knauer, as CEO of Versatel AG

What was the situation at your company when you called on Atreus?

Our recent history was dominated by mergers and takeovers of smaller telecommunications service providers. This meant that over the years our IT landscape had become more and more complex and less and less efficient. So it was high time for a consolidation. Optimizing IT was part of our restructuring program.

 

"We saw operational excellence as a prerequisite for ensuring that we could remain competitive over the long term – because our IT architecture is the backbone of our organization."

You want to know what Atreus can do for you in a similar situation?
Contact Rainer Nagel, CEO.

+49 89 452249-400 Rainer.Nagel(at)atreus.de

What prerequisites did the Atreus manager have to meet as CIO?

One key aspect was that he couldn’t be a purely technical IT manager; he had to be a business-oriented top manager. So we were looking for someone who thought in commercial dimensions and company processes, and not only in terms of technology structures. He had to be someone with an outstanding personality, management and leadership skills, experience in program and project management and who had already been responsible for large IT organizations and budgets in the past.

What was the task and what objectives did you set?

The goal was to adapt our IT architecture in such a way that the IT infrastructure and IT systems could be scaled up to manage two to three times as many clients. The Interim manager’s task was to set up new IT platforms for ERP and CRM. There were clear timeframes and objectives for these projects.

"The biggest challenge for the team was to lay the foundations for everything that Versatel can offer its customers today."

Peer Knauer was appointed chairman of the management board of Versatel AG in 2007. He has worked in top-management positions for more than 15 years. Previous employers included TeleBel Gesellschaft für Telekommunikation Bergisches Land mbH and Tropolys GmbH.

Peer Knauer

Peer Knauer was appointed chairman of the management board of Versatel AG in 2007. He has worked in top-management positions for more than 15 years. Previous employers included TeleBel Gesellschaft für Telekommunikation Bergisches Land mbH and Tropolys GmbH.

How did the interim CIO proceed?

The Atreus manager considered it very important to come into contact with as many colleagues as possible as soon as possible, so as to gain a good impression of what was going on within the organization. He held numerous meetings with the management of the IT organization and met with the heads of the various other departments. After just a few days, the Atreus manager had gained an overview and began putting together a project team with four HODs from the IT organization. This “Project Portfolio Board” then met on a weekly basis, in addition to other coordination measures with the project team.

Would you turn to Atreus again?

Yes. We are very happy with their work and even have further Atreus managers working in our company at this moment. As I said, the search for a solution for our IT – the search for a true expert who knew all the tricks of the trade and had already mastered the most complex of challenges – was a very fast and uncomplicated process with Atreus, and one that led to a successful conclusion within the space of a few days.

"From the start, we compiled a list of ongoing and planned subprojects, on the basis of which we monitored the project’s progress, scheduled resources and prioritized, stopped or launched new projects."

Atreus is the leading interim management provider in Germany and one of the largest in its field in Europe. We solve difficult operational management and transformation problems quickly and reliably. Contact us and find out how we can help you master your situation with management expertise that is available at short notice and that is the perfect fit for you.

Atreus is a co-founder of Globalise – the market’s leading and largest provider of international interim management. Accelerating change and delivering success. Worldwide. Structured as a global group of leading interim management firms, Globalise has the reach to support you in solving your company’s most important issues around the world.