2014 renewal of our ISO 9001 certification: many strong points and 5 improvement suggestions

Following the two-week-long audit conducted by Afnor in our Brasov, Iasi and Chisinau delivery centers, Mrs. Hudea, our new auditor, recommends the renewal of our ISO 9001:2008 certification with many strong points and 5 improvement suggestions.

This third cycle of audits (Pentalog has been ISO 9001 certified since December 2008) has confirmed the good implementation and continuous improvement of our practices at all company levels: software development and maintenance, technical assistance and consulting, IT facilities management, business process outsourcing, recruitment, but also at sales, company and human resources management level (training, knowledge and know-how sharing), availability of infrastructures, client listening and satisfaction measuring, as well as other support processes.

This year, the audit focused more on seeking improvement suggestions allowing us to define our position towards the requirements of the next version of the ISO

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Solutions Connect Day

On the occasion of the Solutions Connect event this fall, IBM presented the situation and trends of a fast developing market. I have already tackled these trends in a former article (The new SMAC!), reflections that have been confirmed on this Solutions Connect day. This new article is about maintaining the SMACS by adding the Security dimension to Social-Mobile-Analytics-Cloud.

Conference choice

It is always difficult to decide what conference to attend when having to choose from among 7 different fields. My choices were as follows:

  • Social Business: Why adopt a social and digital strategy for your company?
  • Big Data: Identifying fraud actions in an ocean of data. Where to start from?
  • Mobile: How will the Internet of Things revolutionise company business?
  • Cloud: Open Cloud Bluemix, the fast evolving PaaS.
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To what extent is cybersecurity necessary?

In a digital transformation era, professional and even personal data is more than ever part of a company’s assets. Data must also benefit from a protection tailored in line with its value. In terms of corporate governance, directors are on the front line as this data represents a company asset that they are directly and legally responsible for. But are they aware of cybersecurity? Are they really conscious of its value, their responsibilities and the bulwark of protection to implement as a response to bad practices and attacks?

An adapted behaviour

This is not another demonstration on how indispensable cyberprotection is to the survival of companies. Or better yet that before deploying hardware equipment, it is mandatory to raise awareness among directors, intermediate managers and collaborators to best practices in the business. Cybersecurity specialists like

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Internet of Things: 100 Pentalog engineers involved daily in smart object and M2M projects

While recently discussing with Mickael Hiver, we have realized that the number of Pentaguys working on systems involving one or various connected objects is skyrocketing. From energy, cleantech and health to automation, digital leisure or security, there’s nothing we cannot do! Whether the focus lies on BtoC models (IoT) or on BtoB models and M2M, I want to insist on Pentalog’s increased contribution to the global digiwar. This first article is a pitch but it will be followed by many others, either by me or other consultants, which will contain many more technical and business details. For the time being, I will sum up our activities in a much debated sector.

Energy, cleantech, BtoB markets – (our projects are predominantly M2M rather than IoT projects)
Staff: 60 engineers

In 2005, Pentalog

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“Agile” contracts

The vast majority of the Pentalog projects are developed in an Agile mode, which always raises the same issue: adapting the contractual framework to the new Agile context. This issue is even more difficult in the case of fixed-price contracts. This article aims to present certain possible solutions that are generally a good compromise for all parties.

Contracts are meant to cover, among others, the moments when there is no communication whatsoever between the two parties. They reflect our hopes and fears, and each party tries to build protection walls that will most likely come in handy in case of dispute. However, what these walls do is ultimately reduce the created value and can be a real problem on the long term, especially in a world where only businesses that maximize value will survive.

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Pentalog Institute QA CAMP – a Common Successful Result!

“Waw : )”, “I’ve learnt more during one day in comparison with one year“

These are just some of the impressions of the participants of the cross-agency Quality Assurance (QA) CAMP held on 3-4 October in Chisinau !

Indeed, the QA CAMP 2014, the 5th Edition (CHI) is a strong one, following the QA camp events organized starting from 2011. This time, 15 participants from Brasov, Iasi and Chisinau joined the QA professional meeting.

The endorsed objectives of this event are:

  • Upgrade the competence – as a professional – I would like to know and share the best practices and knowledge;
  • Create Networking – we are a QA Team;
  • Upgrade the public communication skills.

From Executors to Consultant: striving for excellence in our skills and knowledge!
Friday evening: we started our CAMP activities with a

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Pentalog Institute knowledge sharing workshops

Knowledge sharing workshops are the new trend at Château des Hauts! Why is that? Because this month we have organised two knowledge sharing events:

  • Learn & Lunch, open to everybody working at the Pentalog headquarters, including to our incubated startups (MyLoireValley + MarketScience + Merkatic), and
  • Consulting Days, exclusively for the Pentalog consultants.

Learn & Lunch

Implementing this workshop is a real piece of cake. Every Tuesday, the participants make the most of their lunch break by exchanging information on a certain topic. Every two weeks, we discuss about an open topic and the following week we exchange ideas on the activity of one of our ecosystem’s startups. All people at the headquarters are invited. It’s simple: no registration whatsoever, we just bring our lunch and we’re ready to roll.

For the

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Pentalog has a new VP of Operations for the USA: Chris Hote

Pentalog is happy to welcome these days in Orléans its new VP of Operations for the USA. Chris Hote is a senior (aka seasoned) of the IT economy having a fantastic 360 vision of the digital world.
PhD in Astrophysics, he then turned to IT through design, code generation, and formal verification of embedded software, and then through Intelligence and Social Media software tools.
Chris has been both a CEO and a serial investor in startups from both the US and France. Father of 3, he has been living in Boston for 15 years!

Quite hard to contact during winter, you will most likely find Chris on the ski slopes during the weekends.

You can contact Chris Hote via Linkedin or Twitter.

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“Guépard” – Pentalog’s agility program

Context

You have probably heard before about Pentalog’s agility process. This program was called “Guépard” and started in July 2014. The transformation will naturally target both the clients’ (production) teams and our internal services.

Why “Guépard” (Cheetah)? Because it is the fastest animal on earth with amazing speed. These innate skills are reinforced by their ability to adapt to every situation, confirmed by their existence of 3.5 – 4 million years, long before the appearance of the other large felines.

Vision

The need for agility is a result of the following main factors:

  • the increasingly dynamic business environment calls for ideal partners able to adapt their clients’ needs to the new contexts (extremely dynamic markets, volatile opportunities, new technologies);
  • in its turn, Pentalog is constantly seeking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its services
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Pentalog becoming a WW nearshoring operator with its future South American facilities

Pentalog has made its decision to launch its first ops in South America by the beginning of 2015. The final place is not yet clearly defined. But the skill indicators meet to our expectations and the customers’ demand for South American engineering has been confirmed to Monica and me.

With that decision Pentalog is becoming part of the very exclusive club of IT consulting companies with facilities on all best coding spots of the world except India (Romania in the EU, Moldova in former USSR, Vietnam and Latin America).

This mix guarantees our customers a best in class technology provision together with a unique combination of time zones. They will benefit from a time shift range reduced down to 0-4 hours max, making Pentalog a WW agile enabler under the best cost conditions

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TechCrunch Disrupt. Pentalog. London. October 20-21

TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, the most incredible European event in the IT industry, is coming to London on October 20-21. As a European leader on the IT consulting and digital services market, Pentalog is more than honoured to attend this headline conference together with some of the biggest names in technology, where early-stage companies can pitch their innovations live and make a reputation.

TechCrunch Disrupt takes place in the entire world since 2011, with roaring success from San Francisco and New York, as well as to Peking and Berlin. The first European edition took place in Berlin in 2013 and brought together about 1700 people.

Disrupt kicks off with the Hackathon, followed by the Startup Battlefield and Startup Alley competitions on October 18.

Disrupt New York last May was extremely fruitful for

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Digitization: business transformation is vital!

As a strategic growth leverage for companies, digitization will become one of the major priorities in 2015 for most CEOs.

67% of them consider that digitization contributes to the company’s performance (IDC source). According to the McKinsey consulting firm, digital services made up for 25% of expenses in 2011, and we estimate a percentage of more than 50% in 2015.

Digitization enables the development of new B2B or B2C business models. All company business lines are concerned: Management, Information Systems, Innovation, Marketing, Sales, Finances, Human Resources. They must work together since only by integrating digitization in the company’s strategy will the business maximize its chances of success!

How to create value based on digitization? How to reduce client acquisition costs? How to measure ROI?

The answer does not reside solely in accompanying the company

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