cal 5 days 
to deliver major changes and new functionality 
users 1,000 users 
nationwide, including 400 from external entities
plug 4 integrations 
with existing legacy systems and applications 

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IFDR deploys a new system to support the auditing and control process related to EU funds

The Challenge:

The core business of IFDR is the auditing and control of regional development funds provided by the European Union (EU) to Portuguese companies. This process is extremely complex, involving not only IFDR but also the EU, the Portuguese Finance Ministry and local Operational Programs. Any political, legal or process change decisions made by one of these entities has a direct impact in the whole process and consequently and must be reflected in all systems that support it.

IFDR's existing system relied on a collection of manual processes and changes were difficult to be accommodated. A new system was needed to:

  • Automate existing manual processes, integrate and retrieve data from existing systems, including the ones managed by external entities;
  • Centralize information and provide a single access point to everyone involved (via an intranet portal and extranet portal);
  • Provide Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to evaluate the process, business progress and deliverables. 

 

The Solution:

IFDR chose OutSystems Platform to create the SIAC (Sistema de Informação de Apoio ao Controlo), a new system to support the auditing and control process for the EU funds:

  • Specific user interfaces were created for each internal and external user profiles and are accessible via standard Web browsers via an intranet portal and extranet portal;
  • Planned audits are uploaded directly from MS Excel files, to minimize the impact on existing planning activities;
  • Intuitive Web data-entry interfaces are available in the intranet portal and extranet portal for fast input of audit information, increasing productivity and reducing process end-to-end time;
  • Information is centralized and accessible online, providing a unified real-time view of the process status;
  • KPI have been created to improve process control. Each user profile has access to specific KPI for the processes he is directly involved in. 

 

Results:

Besides the immediate business advantages provided by a higher level of automation and centralized information available in the intranet portal and extranet portal, IFDR has also been able to reengineer its IT delivery model, reduce project risk and increase user adoption:

  • A complex process, with fuzzy requirements that were not fully defined at the start of the project, has been implemented into highly customizable web business applications inside the intranet portal and extranet portal. The built-to-change approach to software creation provided by OutSystems Platform has been key to ensure that, even with such level of uncertainty, the end result was a fully working and adopted web business application with very limited project risk;
  • Key-users have been involved in every stage of the project, ensuring all their needs and requirements were being covered by the solutions being implemented thus ensuring final adoption and business alignment;
  • Internal IT resources have been involved in every stage of the project, and are now able to maintain portal applications and implement new functionalities. This knowledge transfer has been possible due to the small learning curve of OutSystems Platform.

The IT department has become an agile organization, delivering web business applications and services in record times. In parallel to the SIAC project, IFDR deployed eight additional applications, all available via the same intranet portal and extranet portal. By creating, maintaining and operating all applications using the same technology and infrastructure, IFDR has experienced a considerable reduction of the total cost of ownership.

 

About IFDR:

IFDR is a Government Agency responsible for managing, auditing and controlling the regional development funds provided by the European Union (EU) to Portuguese companies. It is also responsible for all studies and execution of regional development plans in coordination with the EU.

Visit IFDR website


  
 

Benefits

  • Minor changes were implemented in 24 hours and were immediately available for testing;
  • Major changes and new features were implemented in 5 days, with new versions made available for user testing and feedback gathering every week;
  • Intranet and Extranet portal applications are accessible to over 1000 geographically dispersed employees, including 400 users from external entities.

 

Project Card

Implemented by:

OutSystems

Integrations:

SIFEC - Oracle based legacy system; Teleponto - Punch Card information system; SIGIF and iSys - Custom legacy systems

 

Evaluation Criteria

  • Agile Methodology;
  • Fast application releases;
  • Flexibility and easy implementation of changes to guarantee constant business alignment;
  • Scalability (ability to progressively enlarge project scope);
  • Strong authentication and access control mechanisms;
  • Integration capabilities.
 
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