ACCELLR @ Awaere

By Lisa-Marie Van Bel on 09 October 2020

About Awaere 

March 2020 marks the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in Belgium. At a moment’s notice, teleworking became the norm. However, many questions came with it. How do I organize my time? How do I collaborate? And how do I interact socially? How do I organize myself?  

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AE creates strategic roadmap for Randstad Group’s digital HR landscape

By Liesbeth Degeest on 21 September 2020

Randstad, Tempo-Team, RiseSmart and Randstad Sourceright are the brands that form Randstad Group, a global market leader in HR services. For their more than 2,300 Belgian employees, Randstad Group hosts a shared service centre that brings together all support services, including the internal HR department. To manage their own HR processes, the organization uses a large number of tools and applications. To ensure that these digital tools will continue to facilitate HR operations and strategic projects in the future, Randstad Group called on AE for a full audit of their digital HR landscape.

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Document handling automation as key enabler for digitalization

By Florian Vandecasteele on 15 September 2020

Disruptive conditions, due to external circumstances, require a fundamental digital change. In our  #AENextNormal blog series Stef Devos talked about Accelerating Digital Business with Human Technology, or how people and society will seek a new equilibrium that will be created by a shift towards human technology. To create this shift, data science and artificial intelligence will play a crucial role in automating complex interactions.

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Flexible or hybrid working: here to stay and posing new challenges for organizations

By Stijn Vander Plaetse on 15 September 2020

In March society was brutally forced to go into a state of constrained homeworking due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Homeworking became the norm in a matter of days. While we will return to a next normal in the future, remote working will stay and evolve towards flexible working. Flexible or hybrid working is defined with 2 major parameters : time and location independent working.

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AI Powered GDPR Cleaning API

By Gertjan Vanlook on 10 September 2020

GDPR Compliancy

May 25, 2018. This was the date every company and organization had to be GDPR compliant. What we see two years later is that many organizations still struggle to comply with the GDPR rules. Important concepts in the GDPR context are anonymisation and pseudonymisation. As such none of them is mandatory under GDPR. Securing and protecting data however is mandatory, and both anonymisation and pseudonymisation are effective methods to do so and therefore they are strongly recommended.

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Prioritizing innovation projects demystified

By Wim Van Emelen on 16 August 2020

If you are an innovation manager, CIO or involved in innovation in your organization, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear from you that one of your bigger challenges concerns prioritizing your innovation projects or ideas. When we were shaping our innovation offering at AE and ‘got out of the building’ (eating our own dogfood) to ask people like you about what keeps them up at night, this topic has come up in most of the interviews we had.

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The Race for Operational Excellence: Supply Chain Analytics

By Bram Vanschoenwinkel on 16 August 2020

These days, achieving true operational excellence is impossible without a thorough understanding of your processes and how they relate to the needs of your staff or customers. Lean processes mean elimination of unnecessary work, reducing errors and focusing on what is really important. It is key to keep costs under control and to level production and service up to speed.

Being truly operational excellent requires, apart from the deep understanding of your processes, a grasp of the constraints and prerequisites they are subject to. Operational excellence is all about having a collaborative focus on your customer’s needs, keeping team members positive and empowered, and continually improving the current activities in the workplace. Effective workforce planning, well organized supply chain operations, preventing production lines from breaking down, efficient use of infrastructure, keeping energy consumption under control, workplace safety… Just to name a few examples.

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Process Optimization: Filling and Shipping containers with e-llis

By Bram Vanschoenwinkel on 16 August 2020

Process optimization is a must for companies that want to maintain their competitive advantage – something logistics operator e-llis knows all too well. Frequently finding itself forced to occasionally ship its customers' containers which are only forty percent filled, the company called on us for help. In co-creation with e-llis, our team worked on a proof of concept to optimize the shipping process. The ambitious goal: to increase the filling level of these containers to eighty percent.

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Operational Excellence: DP World always finds the best transportation route

By Bram Vanschoenwinkel on 16 August 2020

DP World Antwerp is a leading terminal operator in the port of Antwerp. With the help of automatic, semi-automatic and manual processes, the company prepares countless containers arriving by ship for both domestic and foreign transport. In their search to optimise their complex processes and achieve operational excellence, the company recently called upon our expertise and data-driven approach.

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What is your next Minimum Viable Data Product?

By Florian Vandecasteele on 06 July 2020

At AE, we deliver analytics projects on a daily basis and as a result we can experience from the front row that data-driven companies simply perform better than others. As data experts, we can all understand that “data is the new oil” and to put this philosophy into practice we have developed a unique data-driven innovation method to define your next best data product. Sounds interesting right?

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Supply chains in the Next Normal: moving from efficient to resilient

By Vincent Guelinckx on 02 July 2020

COVID-19 and the measures taken to contain it have had an enormous impact on society, and on almost every industry. Travel and leisure have surely been the most negatively affected by the recent stress test, while pharma giants are positively pressured by the urgent demand for a vaccine and other medical supplies. For some e-commerce stakeholders, almost every day is Black Friday.

Envisioning the Next Normal, then, has made many an expert wonder: should we make our supply chains more resilient, or rather the ecosystems in which they operate? AE is a firm believer in the latter. Read on to learn why and how we envision it so.

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10 things you should know about OAuth2 and OpenID Connect

By Cédric Boon on 09 June 2020

As a web security specialist, it’s important to stay on top of the evolutions in the security world. A few weeks ago, we sent ten of our technical consultants to the “Mastering OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect” course by security specialist Philippe De Ryck. We'd love to share our top 10 key takeaways with you.

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3 dimensions to consider when transforming into a Smart Factory

By Pieter Laroy on 28 May 2020

Despite the enthusiasm for the digital transformation to a digital manufacturing future, two out of three companies piloting digital manufacturing solutions fail to move into large-scale rollout (Industry Week). Our experience learned us there are 3 dimensions to consider in your journey:

  1. Business Dimension
  2. Technological Dimension
  3. Organisational Dimension

The technological dimension of course is the one considered in most cases. And it is the enabler to a smart factory indeed. However, fail to balance technological actions with a clear focus on business goals, or to embed this new technology into your organisation and the people working in it, and you’re guaranteed not to meet your goals.

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A Natural Language Processing Powered Covid-19 Literature Search Tool

By Karel Symoens on 27 May 2020

Due to the rapid acceleration in new coronavirus literature, it becomes difficult for the medical research community to keep up. There is a growing urgency for innovative approaches, like recent advances in Natural Language Processing, to understand and analyze the abundance of medical/scientific articles.

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Awaere: Boosting your team collaboration and making remote work better together.

By Wim Van Emelen on 19 May 2020

What’s one of the most positive things to come out of the COVID-19 lockdown we’ve all found ourselves in across the world? For organizations, it’s how their teams have been organizing themselves to keep their performance level up while not working physically together day after day. Many teams have even managed to increase their efficiency whilst facing whole new challenges, such as helping their kids do schoolwork or simply keeping them busy and entertained.

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#AENextNormal: Accelerating Digital Business with Human Technology

By Stef Devos on 19 May 2020

In the post-pandemic world, people and society will seek a new equilibrium. Even though we are unable to predict how this ‘next normal’ will impact businesses, that doesn’t mean we shouldn't prepare for it.

In this #AENextNormal blog series, we discuss how people and society will seek a new equilibrium and what companies will need to undertake to navigate out of the crisis and find their new position in the 'next normal'. In the last blog, we'll zoom into why human technology is a must to accelerate your digital business.

Topics: AENextNormal
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#AENextNormal: Investing in the Capability to Change

By Stef Devos on 19 May 2020

In the post-pandemic world, people and society will seek a new equilibrium. Even though we are unable to predict how this next normal’ will impact businesses, that doesn’t mean we shouldn't prepare for it.

In this #AENextNormal blog series, we discuss how people and society will seek a new equilibrium and what companies will need to undertake to navigate out of the crisis and find their new position in the 'next normal'. In this blog, we'll zoom into why and how investing in the capability to change is the way to go.

Topics: AENextNormal
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#AENextNormal: Revisiting your Strategy

By Stef Devos on 19 May 2020

In the post-pandemic world, people and society will seek a new equilibriumEven though we are unable to predict how this ‘next normal’ will impact businesses, that doesn’t mean we shouldn't prepare for it.

In this #AENextNormal blog series, we discuss how people and society will seek a new equilibrium and what companies will need to undertake to navigate out of the crisis and find their new position in the 'next normal'. In this blog, we'll zoom into the why and how companies will need to revisit their strategy.

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#AENextNormal: A New Equilibrium for people and society

By Stef Devos on 19 May 2020

In the post-pandemic world, people and society will seek a new equilibriumEven though we are unable to predict how this ‘next normal’ will impact businesses, that doesn’t mean we shouldn't prepare for it.

Prediction is difficult, especially if it’s about the future (Niels Bohr)

The coronacrisis magnifies strengths and weaknesses across the board. It may have a purifying effect if companies grasp this moment to revisit their strategy, invest in the capability to change and accelerate digital business with human technology. In other words, a new era has begun: the era of transformational excellence.

In this #AENextNormal blog series, we'll discuss how people and society will seek a new equilibrium and what companies will need to undertake to navigate out of the crisis and find their new position in the 'next normal'.

In this blog, we'll zoom in on the new post-pandemic equilibrium.

Topics: AENextNormal
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There's No New Normal. There's a Next Normal. Here's why.

By Stijn Vander Plaetse on 18 May 2020

Society as a whole, organizations worldwide and every single one of us, we are facing a deep crisis, one that very much feels like a storm. We all have to face the current and try to navigate through it, but that doesn’t mean we’re all in the same boat.

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The story behind Awaere: remote work done differently

By Kirsten Vermeulen on 06 May 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has the world working from home, in improvised office spaces. Evidently, this sudden change comes with numerous challenges. Confident that teleworking will continue to play an important role in the post COVID-19 era, AE has kickstarted Awaere, a digital platform that helps remote teams deal with the challenges of telework in various ways.

We interviewed AE Consultants Wim Van Emelen and Joris Hias to learn more about the story behind this innovative platform.

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40 days of corona crisis - an enterprise architect's point of view

By Stef Devos on 29 April 2020

Although there are many ways to fill in an enterprise architect position in your organization, it is often associated with strategic and long-term planning rather than intervening on an operational level during a crisis. Stef Devos, Director Portfolio Management at AE, explains how Enterprise Architecture and Crisis Management go hand in hand during this crisis.

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6 Virtual Training Takeaways

By Stijn Van Schoonlandt on 27 April 2020

Managing online learning requires a different approach and it's imperative that learning and development professionals need to develop new skills and techniques to get the best out of teams. Here are six key takeaways to remember when managing a virtual team training.

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Natural Language Processing to explore Covid-19 literature

By Julie Vranken on 15 April 2020

Due to the rapid acceleration in new coronavirus literature, it becomes difficult for the medical research community to keep up. There is a growing urgency for innovative approaches, like recent advances in Natural Language Processing, to understand and analyze the abundance of medical/scientific articles.

At AE, we created a powerful Natural Language Processing engine that allows us to perform recent text and data mining techniques (which, by the way, also forms the foundation of our AI Powered Customer Care Agent, ADORE). With both the expertise and motivation in place to help researchers find answers that will ultimately help them stop the virus, we composed a team of data scientists to start working on the Kaggle COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge.

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Upskill your co-workers with an adapted Covid-19 learning approach

By Stijn Van Schoonlandt on 15 April 2020

In today’s VUCA world, more than ever, there is no guarantee that the skills you have today will still be relevant tomorrow.

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AE's take on corona? Focus on the now, but keep looking forward together

By Stijn Vander Plaetse on 06 April 2020

At AE, gaining progressive insights has always been a driver for our business. Yet decisions have never seemed to be overtaken by time so quickly as they are now.

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A Corona crisis plan to ensure business continuity? United we stand!

By Stefanie Fauconnier on 30 March 2020

As the Corona crisis continues to spread, it is clear that no organization will be left unharmed. Ensuring business continuity is therefore high on the agenda for AE and, as we observed over the last few days, for our customers as well. We believe that we must support each other as much as we can to get through this difficult time with only minimal damage. Now more than ever, we must join forces.

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Avoid touching your face while working. Use Face.Awaere.

By Frederik Hautain on 15 March 2020

On Thursday March 12 the coronavirus crisis exploded in Belgium. That same day, a team of AE innovation experts started to explore how technology could help prevent COVID-19 contamination among colleagues.

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It’s high time to tap into the opportunities of climate change.

By Jouri Goos on 12 March 2020

Fires in Australia, floods in Venice, windstorms in Flanders and rising sea levels all over the world: there is no doubt in most people’s minds that the recent natural disasters are not just a random series of events. Yet we still tend to forget that climate change concerns each of us, demanding concrete actions and investments from nations, organizations and citizens alike. The task at hand is definitely not an easy one, but here’s the upside: climate change and the need to lower CO2-emissions in particular spark entrepreneurship, drive research and innovation, and even create new jobs (albeit it in other domains than the traditional ones). If successfully tapped into, the war on climate change will lead to better and healthier lives for all. But where to start? No worries. We got this!

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Maka: the value-driven approach to increasing customer loyalty

By Arnout Vanden Berghe on 12 March 2020

In 2019, AE joined the IO.Energy Ecosystem, an initiative meant to facilitate new energy services through customer centricity. While most energy players know all too well that putting the customer at the center of the organization and adapting your strategy accordingly is what customer centricity is all about, a lot of them struggle putting the idea into practice. For those organizations, switching to the Maka approach can work wonders.

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Flux50 ICON tackles the privacy issues of power flexibility trading

By Kristof Thys on 12 March 2020

Major changes are in store for the electricity grid. On the one hand, there is the fast-growing variable production of renewable energy, including solar and wind, to be reckoned with. On the other hand, more and more technical applications (e.g. electric vehicles, heat pumps, …) require a considerable amount of energy and have very specific demand patterns. The consequences of these evolutions are mostly felt in three segments of the electricity market: electricity supply, balance maintenance and network congestion. As the need for flexible means to match supply and demand continues to increase, all eyes are now on innovative initiatives such as the Flux50 ICON project.

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Cloudbrew 2019 - How to move data around in Azure

By Koen Verbeeck on 18 February 2020

In December 2019, Cloudbrew took place in Mechelen (Belgium). Hosted by the AZUG user group and proudly sponsored by AE, Cloudbrew is an annual – and free – two-day cloud conference that focuses on all things Microsoft Azure. This year’s edition saw Koen Verbeeck, one of our very own consultants, take to the stage with a session on ‘Moving Data around in Azure’, in which he explored some of the various methods of moving data from one service to another. Did you miss out on the event? Not to worry. In this blog post, we gladly summarize Koen’s findings for you!

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How to use DevOps as a clever lever for release management

By Jeroen Haegebaert on 23 January 2020

To stay relevant in a digitizing world, organizations must master continuous improvement. Because many – if not all – of the necessary changes for this kind of optimization are driven by software, businesses face a never-ending challenge of improving their software platforms faster and making them more flexible each day. Evidently, though, evolving from semi-annual or monthly releases to virtually continuous roll-out is no easy feat. Using DevOps as a lever for release management is a clever and increasingly common strategy to make organizations more agile. Unfortunately, a prescriptive set of steps to implement DevOps principles and practices for this purpose does not exist. But don’t fret just yet! AE has got you covered with a structured, scientific framework from the DORAresearch program.

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Cost and security in the cloud: a matter of give and take

By Jeroen Haegebaert on 23 January 2020

While many companies consider the cloud nothing more than a mere expansion of their IT infrastructure, they could not be more mistaken. Now that they should be assessing their digital transformation strategy, most enterprises are realizing that in order to stay relevant they need to be able to constantly respond to a changing environment, more quickly than before. This means that IT systems need to support ever-faster changing requirements, so business and application architectures need to support ‘faster change’ rather than ‘stability’. This is where we believe cloud services can make a big difference. As we argued before, “the cloud is not just another datacenter”.

Topics: Cloud Strategy
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How to enable digital transformation by using the cloud - Part 2

By Jeroen Haegebaert on 22 January 2020

In part 1 of this series, we talked about why the cloud is not just someone else’s data center, and we explained how cloud technologies play a critical role in successful digital transformation strategies. In this part, we zoom in on how the cloud impacts your IT strategy, what types of cloud offerings you can benefit the most from and what skills and capabilities are required when realizing your cloud strategy.

Topics: Cloud Strategy
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Talent development: closing the skill gap in banking and insurance

By Lara Borms on 22 January 2020

Financial services are surfing the wave of digital transformation that has been engulfing the business world for several years now. Operating in a time when technological evolution is speeding up exponentially, most financial organizations are quick to seize the many great opportunities for innovation that come along. But they also find themselves facing numerous organizational and human challenges. The adaptability of employees only increasing at a linear rate, there is a growing skill gap that must be reckoned with.

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How to enable digital transformation by using the cloud - Part 1

By Jeroen Haegebaert on 22 January 2020

Are you considering migrating to the cloud yet? If so, do you have a clear strategy? Do you know why exactly you are moving to the cloud? (We hope it’s not just because we (or your CEO) said so!) Organizations who like to keep the broader picture in mind, soon realize that there’s a lot of competitive advantage to be gained by moving to the cloud – especially now that so many of their competitors are fully committing themselves to digital transformation. But how exactly can the cloud serve as an enabler for the digital transformation of your company? How do technologies and buzzwords such as Ubiquitous Computing, Big Data, the IoT and Machine Learning relate to cloud technology?

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Gartner Symposium: what happens in Barcelona, ...

By Vincent Guelinckx on 22 January 2020

When the AE team flew to Barcelona to attend the Gartner Symposium, we could not help but feel a nerdy giddiness thinking of all the technological marvels, forecasts and hacks the yearly summit would likely have in store for us. Indeed, Gartner did not disappoint.

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The Parking Vision Project: An Automated Parking Attendant

By Oliver Belmans on 04 December 2019

At AE, we have set up a 'garage' initiative as a community for working with emerging technology. Luckily for us, it’s not a boring empty box for cars to park, but a creative space with all kinds of hardware to experiment with. One of the goals with this garage initiative is to gain hands-on experience with new tech, like computer vision with neural networks for example. An important aspect of this is that it is an open community for all colleagues to collaborate and elaborate on ideas. So, the myth of the AE Garage begins!

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Maka: empowering the energy-conscious consumer

By Arnout Vanden Berghe on 28 November 2019

Many consumers find their energy consumption – not to mention the bill that comes with it – a hard pill to swallow. ‘Is this normal for a family our size? How can I reduce my energy usage to the absolute minimum?’, they wonder. Indeed, a great deal of consumers today are unaware of the steps they can take to minimize the amount of energy they use. To them, saving energy seems to be a luxury reserved for people who can afford to invest in solar panels, water pumps and other pricy measures. But now there is Maka, the platform that puts the energy-conscious consumer back in the driver’s seat no matter their budget.

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How to transform your supply chain into a strategic asset

By Laurens Boeckx on 26 November 2019

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and digital disruption is to blame – or should we say thank? Indeed, companies eager to come out on top in their increasingly competitive industries are embracing the opportunities of digital supply chain transformation with open arms. So, what about you? Are you ready to transform your supply chain to maximize your company’s competitive advantage? Let’s do this!

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HoloLens puts fire prevention into a new perspective

By Florian Vandecasteele on 21 November 2019

The Firestarter Hackathon, an initiative of Vias, EY and Netwerk Brandweer, took place for the very first time on 17 and 18 October 2019. Among the more than one hundred participants were AE and Mensura, who joined forces to develop an innovative solution in the field of smart firefighting. Mensura was determined to design a tool that would make company tours, an important part of fire prevention, run more efficiently, while AE was eager to apply Microsoft's HoloLens – we love a challenge, after all. Read on to learn all about the exciting result!

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The Flemish Sign Language bilingual dictionary - part 2

By Philippe De Croock on 20 November 2019

As mentioned in part 1 of this project, the AE team helping out the Flemish Sign Language Centre (FSLC) took a short break from their project to attend the AE Hackathon.

Missed our first part about the FSLC’s explanatory dictionary? No worries, you can still read it here!

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The Flemish Sign Language bilingual dictionary - part 1

By Philippe De Croock on 18 November 2019

When the Flemish Sign Language Centre (FSLC) was looking for a partner to give the Flemish Sign Language bilingual dictionary a make-over, they found a perfect match in AE.

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Hackathon 2019: Team Lotus paves the way for 'knowledge workers'

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 28 October 2019

Knowledge makes the world go round. Therefore, the key question for every company that still wants to be in the race tomorrow is: how can we keep our employees  and the valuable knowledge they possess  on board for as long as possible? But implementing an effective retention policy is no easy feat. After all, a happy employee is someone who feels they can develop their talents to their heart's content – a sore point for most organizations.

Team Lotus felt it was time to make some changes during the AE Hackathon See/d the future! 

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The future of banking, banks and bankers

By Leen van Wambeke on 24 October 2019

Early October, I had the pleasure of providing a keynote at the kick-off summit of the Financial Forum in West Flanders. I was in good company with representative speakers from Eubelius, Febelfin, Capgemini and KBC. All the banking buzzwords did pass by, with one central theme: “Put the customer and the value we create for the customer at the heart of everything we do”.

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Allride: the digital road to safe & sustainable mobility

By Lara Borms on 24 October 2019

Dreaming of a way to deploy technology to let children cycle to school safely, BAM Belgium and AE recently joined forces. The result of this interesting collaboration? Read all about Allride, an innovative platform that allows youngsters to map their route to school by means of a smart bicycle lamp and/or an app.

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People Analytics: Because HR is a numbers game, too!

By ae.admin on 11 October 2019

We live in a talent economy and now more than ever, companies are realizing that with great people comes great business success. With the rise of 'Great Place to Work' contests and the popularity of LinkedIn, HR departments have gained significant strategic importance over the past few decades. Companies have recognized that when they have a well-balanced and happy employee base, this reflects in every other part of the business.

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AE Apprenticeship: 18 young graduates off to a flying start

By Kirsten Vermeulen on 11 October 2019

Early September, no fewer than 18 enthusiastic young graduates took on the adventure of the AE Apprenticeship. What started many years ago as a one-week crash course has since grown into a fully-fledged onboarding program, spread over six months. Read on to discover how we’re preparing the next generation for successful careers as Business & IT Consultants.

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A future-proof and scalable IT landscape for Ecopower

By Laurens Boeckx on 11 October 2019

Environmental change has always been a hot topic for Ecopower, a cooperative that differentiates itself from other energy suppliers by offering 100% green energy of their own production. All Ecopower shareholders are co-owners of energy production facilities which include wind turbines, solar panel fields, small hydroelectric power stations and a pellet factory. Due to consumers’ increasing awareness of climate change, Ecopower has grown tremendously in the last few years. As a result, their IT application landscape is at its limits.

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Going Digital: no mere gimmick, but a whole new way of doing business

By Jouri Goos on 11 October 2019

Can you imagine a life without smartphones, without apps to help you navigate, play your favorite music or, say, buy insurance for your rental car right before you board a plane? It’s strange how we got used to this new way of living so quickly, because we grew up without any of the digital technologies that define it. Eager to follow suit, organizations are enthusiastically working to make their digital aspirations a reality.

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Hack Utilities 2019: Recap

By Toon Herremans on 08 October 2019

Last week our Transformation & Innovation experts co-facilitated the Hack Utilities event at Brussels, a 2-day innovation event for the utilities sector organised by Hack Belgium Labs. During these two days they guided the participants from brainstorm to team formation, business model validation and finally pitching their ideas.

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Why the energy transition in Belgium is proving so difficult

By Jouri Goos on 28 June 2019

There’s no doubt about it: disruption is in the air for Belgium’s energy market. When it comes to utilities, our country is facing numerous challenges in different areas, including technological, topological, regulatory and sociological changes. At the same time, we have been struggling with persistent paradoxes for quite some time now. Consider, for example, the almost exponential growth of alternative energy sources, while Europe is confronted with energy overcapacity. The debate concerning a nuclear power phase-out, too, is far from over, and our idea to rely more on gas-fired power stations is in no way consistent with the increasing pressure Belgium is under to drastically reduce its CO2 emissions.

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Smart Meters at Sibelga

By Niels Schepers on 28 June 2019

Why roll out Smart Meters in Brussels?

Being the distribution grid operator for all 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, Sibelga considers it one of its main objectives to provide its customers with a balanced network and a guaranteed electricity supply.

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AE and Fluxys: Partners in crime

By Kirsten Vermeulen on 28 June 2019

AE and Fluxys work well together. The utilities player and AE have been partners for almost 20 years. The perfect time to place this collaboration in the spotlight. Together with Albin Vico, IT Program Manager, and Vincent Mahieu, IT Project Leader, we zoom in on this co-creative partnership and look towards the future.

Topics: Fluxys
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Why RegTech is the new black

By Vincent Guelinckx on 25 June 2019

Why RegTech matters

RegTech is a commonly used term to indicate “the use of new technology to meet regulatory requirements. These requirements are becoming more and more complex due to the fact that it concerns more functionality, available on all platforms, using massive amounts of data.

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Ready to implement the data infrastructure of the future? Three important questions to consider

By Niels Nuyttens on 25 June 2019

The challenges in the financial sector are substantial: new tech-driven challengers in FinTech are putting pressure on well-established players. Changes in regulation like GDPR or PSD2 are forcing companies to take a long, hard look at their own processes and supporting technologies. And finally, the new customer is a digital native, expecting financial services to be so as well.

It’s time to evolve into a digital, data-driven organisation, a message that many companies are embracing right now. But while the financial sector was changing, so was the software industry.

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Hackathon 2019 story: Team KBC Humaen

By Lara Borms on 25 June 2019

A heart for young-onset dementia

In Belgium, more than 200,000 people suffer from dementia. Another 1,500 are diagnosed with young-onset dementia. As the number of patients in need of care increases, the pressure on care providers is higher than everHaving been made personally aware of the issue by a colleague who lost her husband to young-onset dementiathe people working at KBC were quick to learn that extra support is especially needed at times when patients are home alone. Hence, in this year’s edition of the AE Hackathon Team KBC Humaen set out to find a solution that would both enable (young) demented patients to live at home for a longer period of time and relieve their caregivers.

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7 tips to boost your Hackathon journey

By Ruben Monsieurs on 29 April 2019

A hackathon brings people together to explore new technologies, insights and business models, allowing them to provide answers to the increasingly complex challenges people, organizations and companies are facing today. All this in a short period of time. But how do you complete your hackathon journey successfully? In the following article, one of our Innovation experts Ruben Monsieurs gives you 7 tips based on his experiences at the yearly AE hackathon.

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Ensuring your business a flourishing future: how to and what's the role of platforms and ecosystems in this journey?

By Arben Dervisholli on 19 April 2019

In my previous blog I explained why it is important for any organisation to think about its ecosystem and develop a platform strategies. I’ve dived deeper into the two main platform strategies. Developing a strategy is one thing, at least as challenging it is, to implement it and secure one’s position in the platform business of the future.

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Platforms and ecosystems: What is all the buzz about? Why does it matter?

By Arben Dervisholli on 12 April 2019

If you ask yourself why companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are so successful, it is because they were the first to understand about platform strategies and how to best implement them.

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This is how SESVanderHave prepares for Industry 4.0

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 11 April 2019

A leading global player in the agricultural sector, SESVanderHave specializes in every aspect of the production process of sugar beet seeds. The company’s success speaks for itself: one in three sugar beets in the world comes from an SESVanderHave seed. Needless to say, SESVanderHave is strongly focused on research. Yet Industry 4.0 is lurking around the corner and the company must do whatever it can to keep up with recent developments. Enter the AE team.

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We had a blast at Hack Belgium!

By Ruben Monsieurs on 04 April 2019

Last week our Innovation experts were present at Hack Belgium 2019, a 3 day innovation event in Brussels. During these 3 days people had the opportunity to visit our booth, follow our workshops and get hands-on coaching to develop their idea.

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Don't let integration slow down your innovation project!

By Alex Wauters on 04 April 2019

A while ago we asked several Innovation Managers what their top concerns were when starting an innovation project. Do thoughts of not releasing on a target date keep them up at night? Would they rather keep the project within budget compared to other factors? Or are they thinking ahead on how the project would integrate with their core and legacy systems?

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Should corporates start thinking like start-ups? - Part 2

By Wim Van Emelen on 03 April 2019

Last time I talked about whether corporations should start acting like start-ups. This week, we'll discuss our incubation process and how corporations can include some of the best ideas of start-ups in their own organisation without throwing the company child out with the bathwater.

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Should corporates start acting like start-ups? - Part 1

By Wim Van Emelen on 03 April 2019

90% of the people we have interviewed indicated that their organization’s innovation capability is hampered by a lack of speed and flexibility. It’s tempting to look at start-ups (and how they organize themselves) in an attempt to copy their strengths to your large corporate organization. Heck, even some consultancy firms will state that corporates should act as start-ups in order to achieve success in their innovation efforts. We disagree and I would like to share our vision on the matter.

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Personalization: Testimonial about the roadmap towards a relevant one-on-one conversation with your client across all channels

By Leen van Wambeke on 27 March 2019

In previous articles we elaborated on why personalization in financial services matters, what the roadmap towards a relevant one-on-one engagement with your client can look like and which competences you need to get there. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Therefore we let Geert, Application Architect at AE, testify about his first-hand experience working around personalization with financial service providers.

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Looking forward to The Banking Scene on May 14th 2019 – Plenty of reasons to join!

By Leen van Wambeke on 27 March 2019

The banking landscape is changing fast paced. It forces all of us to rethink fundamentally the way we serve and create value for our customers. Making the right decisions to remain relevant for your customers in the future, is a challenge and requires a mindset and approach adapted to the rapidly changing environment. Organizations can no longer afford to “get all sorted out” before “making the move”. Standing still is going backwards and involves risks, but so does innovating without the right framework and approach.

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Robotic Process Automation creates opportunities in banking & Insurance

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 19 March 2019

Financial service providers are nowadays under firm pressure to deliver high-quality, scalable solutions at record speed. Moreover, they must do so preferably at low cost, as the financial sector’s margins are being squeezed. Meanwhile, today’s consumers expect their financial service providers to take on the role of advisors who offer value added insights. As a result, more and more organisations are opting for Robotic Process Automation to help them overcome today’s challenges as well as tomorrow’s.

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Leadership in Energy Transition

By Jouri Goos on 14 March 2019

The energy sector has faced a major transformation in recent years. The liberalization of the energy sector ensured that energy supply was no longer possible in the traditional “push strategy.” The customer became the center of attention, as customer churn became a common concept within the sector. From now on, an individual could actively choose an energy supplier, something that was impossible before. In their choice, customers were initially often led by favorable pricing. In a later phase, green energy made its appearance and became a decision factor just as valuable as price. In order to tackle these changes, suppliers started recruiting complementary profiles in other sectors that experienced a similar transformation. These recruits came mostly from the financial and telecom world to embrace a more customer centric approach within the organizations.

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A personalisation strategy: five steps to improve your client interactions

By Leen van Wambeke on 14 February 2019

In our latest post, we have talked about the personalisation shift that companies face today. New technologies and changing customer expectations force organisations to critically review their processes and use innovative technology to create value for their clients.

This is no different in banking and insurance. Financial services providers have to take on a more supportive role as an advisor for their clients, preferably approaching them as individualised as possible. After all, customers simply see through hollow, automated messages. They expect to receive only relevant information that makes a difference for them on a personal level.

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A new business architecture for Fluvius

By Lara Borms on 07 February 2019

In July 2018, Flemish distribution grid operators Eandis and Infrax joined forces, merging into a new company called Fluvius. Its main purpose? To distribute electricity and gas to individuals, companies and local administrations, as well as provide them with other public facilities such as heat networks and telecom. In addition, Fluvius acts as a social and fall-back supplier and supports local and regional authorities in their sustainability and rational energy & water use policies through awareness campaigns and incentives including energy grants and green power certificates. The 2018 merger is expected to save 110 million euros each year, meaning that consumers will see their gas and electricity bills drop by about 36 euros.

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Deliver to your clients a relevant and personalised service: an overview of the competences needed

By Leen van Wambeke on 31 January 2019

In our latest AE Financial Services newsletter we elaborated on why we, at AE, are convinced that offering your clients a relevant and personalized experience is a key differentiator in the world of financial services. Do you agree? And so does the rest of your organization? 

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Analytics & Utilities: Smart Meter Data paves the way for future personalised energy tariffs

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 24 January 2019

In this series, we will take an in-depth look at our current analytics projects in the utilities sector. We will primarily allow data scientist and AE consultant Jan Vercammen to speak to clarify the synergy between sector and solution. In the previous series, we already discussed the Customer Journey tooling and the Churn insights Tool. Today, we will tell you more about another innovative project: tariff setting with Smart Meter Data

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Analytics & Utilities: the Churn insights tool predicts future customer behaviour

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 22 January 2019

In this series, we take a closer look at some analytics projects for our energy customers. In a previous article, we already discussed an innovative customer journey tool. Once again, we will let Jan Vercammen speak. He will tell us more about a Churn insights tool, which is helping to solve one of the biggest issues plaguing the utilities sector.

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Analytics & Utilities: Exploring customer Journeys!

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 18 January 2019

The versatility of analytics is still underexposed. All too often, analytics is lumped together with reporting and tracking, while it is a so much richer domain. That is why in this series, we will take a closer look at the many possibilities analytics has to offer. In order to gain more insight in various business processes, AE developed three useful tools: a Dive into Customer Journey’s, the Smart Meter Project and the Churn insights tool.

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How to deliver a relevant banking experience to your clients and why this matters?

By Leen van Wambeke on 15 January 2019

For a very long time, most organizations in banking and insurance were convinced to have quite a good view on which client segments they were serving or wanted to target and developed products and services they considered these segments needed or longed for. Focus was on creating good products and delivering good services in the most efficient way at the lowest cost and with the largest distribution possible. Overall clients satisfied themselves with products and services “close enough to their needs” as long as security , trust and quality was ensured.

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Looking back at our Analytics foyer: Part 2

By Bram Vanschoenwinkel on 07 January 2019

Last year has been quite exciting, full of wonderful events and the joyful welcoming of a few new members to our AE family. Before we said goodbye to the year of 2018, we held our end-of-year Analytics foyer in December.

During this festive edition, our team of Data Scientists shared a number of different success stories we realised together with our customers in 2018. In our previous blog post Looking Back at our Analytics foyer: Part 1, we presented a deep dive into these different successes brought during this inspiring evening.

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What a fantastic year it's been for AE financial services community!

By Leen van Wambeke on 04 January 2019

Last year was an important one for our financial services community. In 2018, having built up expertise in finance for over fifteen years, AE decided to enter the financial market with a focused service offer. Our ambition to become a trustworthy end-to-end digital partner translated into a brand-new, sector-driven website and a bi-monthly newsletter. So let’s look back on the amazing things we’ve accomplished in 2018, and cast a glance at what 2019 has in store for us! 

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So, you have a brilliant (and viable) idea. Here's what next!

By Wim Van Emelen on 17 December 2018

Interesting fact: 75 percent of all companies struggle when to execute innovation projects. While most of them do manage to get through the ideation phase rather successfully – ah, the thrill of it all –they somehow run into a wall once the initial excitement wears off. ‘Just do it!’ is what a certain American sports brand would say, and it’s certainly what everyone involved in the project is thinking too. Months later, however, everyone’s still saying ‘we should just do it’. Sounds familiar? Read on and you’ll know exactly what to do to turn your next innovation idea into a success.

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Looking Back at our Analytics foyer: Part 1

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 14 December 2018

Our Analytics foyer took place last Tuesday. At this festive end-of-year edition, we’ve proudly welcomed 79 attendees to conclude 2018 together. It became an interesting afternoon and evening during which the public was introduced to several customer cases and the potential of Artificial Intelligence. Our take home message? Analytics turns data into useful insights that take your business to a higher level.

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How to come up with a winning viable idea in 3 steps

By Toon Herremans on 12 December 2018

Hi there. The fact that you’re reading this means you’re itching to start investing in innovation – we know the feeling! Evidently, we needn’t explain that coming up with an amazing and, above all, viable idea will prove vital to your success. No worries, though, because our Innovation experts have got you covered. In this post we’ll walk you through the first steps we take when innovating for clients. We’ll tell you all about the Double Diamond approach and give you plenty of tips to get inspired and come up with a winning viable idea all on your own – and in just three steps. Ready to start this innovation journey? Let’s go, go, go!

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Innovation? Definitely not a walk in the park

By Kathleen de Mol on 06 December 2018

Innovation … A word used and misused so often that we can safely speak of a cliché. We hear and read success stories on Twitter and LinkedIn, and various hip events around innovation compete for the most attention. At the same time, we also hear stories from behind the scenes of companies that want to innovate. And those stories turn out to be a lot less rosy than is sometimes portrayed. To separate facts from fiction around the theme of innovation, we started talking to a number of companies about their challenges. We spoke to people from 14 organisations, spread across 5 sectors, and were able to test 10 assumptions.

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Battle of the Frameworks: Enter Vue.js

By Sophie Traen on 05 December 2018

The battle for the best Front End framework continues in full force. Now that AngularJs has officially entered its End of Life period, we are once again faced with the question: which framework should we pick for our next Web app1?

Vue.js is all the rage these days. Although it exists for quite a few years, it's still the new kid on the block. Naturally, we've been following up on it closely at AE. Will this small but lovable framework make its way to the top, and stand proud next to the giants Angular and React? Let's find out!

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Columnstore indexes - The Fast and the Furious

By Koen Verbeeck on 04 December 2018

In-memory columnstore databases are all the rage nowadays. But did you know SQL Server already used them back in 2012? The release of SQL Server 2012 introduced columnstoreindexes to the SQL Server database engine for the first time ever. Borrowing technology from the Power Pivot engine (now found in Power BI), these indexes drastically improve the performance of large analytical queries – exactly the kind of queries used in data warehouses.

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Human Relevance and Authenticity in a Digital world

By Leen van Wambeke on 16 November 2018

At AE Financial Services we try to keep up with the various trends in our rapid changing landscape. Looking back at the various conferences which we attended in the last few months, it appears that the search for authenticity and human relevance in this digital world remains top on the agenda.

Seth Godin, one of the speakers at Supernova at the end of September, was probably the one who best summarized this quest for a human connection in his presentation in a few striking quotes:

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Putting the learning organisation into practice: the Crypto Currency Competition

By Gert Nelissen on 16 November 2018

The world we live in today is highly competitive. Competitors lurk around every corner, customers become increasingly demanding and new technologies are able to devour your existing business model. Knowledge, and - even more importantly - sharing it, are essential in such times. Organisations and people who learn faster and more efficiently take the pole position.

Equally within AE the acquisition and sharing of knowledge is important. There are several different ways to do this. In this blog post, we introduce you into how we creatively tackled this in our financial service community via an in-house crypto competition.

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Personalise your marketing strategy with Analytics

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 16 November 2018

Analytics have become indispensable in a personalised marketing strategy. Convinced of the value of data and the insights it can bring, one of our customers in consumer goods called on us for the launch of a completely new product. With AE’s help, they succeeded in reaching their target group more efficiently and achieving impressive results.

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Identification in the mobile world: a closer look on itsme®

By Leen van Wambeke on 17 September 2018

Itsme® is a mobile app that makes identifying yourself online significantly easier. Launched by Belgian Mobile ID (a consortium of Belgium’s three largest telecom operators and four major banks), the app enables users to identify themselves online using their mobile phone just as securely as they would using their eID. An important shift in the banking world, according to IT architect Sven Rosiers whom we interviewed about the application and the impact it will have on financial organisations.

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The impact of PSD2 on the financial sector

By Leen van Wambeke on 17 September 2018

Before the end of 2019, financial players must be compliant with the Payment Services Directive II. Commonly referred to as PSD2, the European directive concerns the development of new products and payment services, as well as their inclusion in a legal framework. Johan Luyts, Integration Expert at AE, discusses the changes this new payment directive brings about and elaborates on strategies banks can use to turn those challenges into opportunities.

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Insights on Innovation in the Corporate World: Putting Ideas into Action

By Kathleen de Mol on 17 September 2018

Let’s talk about innovation... How does this word make you feel nowadays? Do you feel confident as in “I’ve got this”, or do you feel shivers rolling down your spine? Well, more often than not, it seems that it is the latter. How come?

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Hackathon 2018: Team Gecco

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viableproduct. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants. 

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Hackathon 2018: Team VAB

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viableproduct. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants. 

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Hackathon 2018: Team Karma Village

By Alex Wauters on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants.

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Hackathon 2018: Team Sofico

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viableproduct. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants.

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Hackathon 2018: Team Remedus

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants. 

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Hackathon 2018: Team Attentia

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viableproduct. The fifth editionof the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants. 

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Hackathon 2018: Team Colruyt

By Davy Vanherbergen on 10 September 2018

June 2018 marked the fifth edition of the AE Hackathon, which challenges customers and prospects to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product within 36 hours. This series puts each participating team in the spotlight.

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Hackathon 2018: Team MINT

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants.

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Hackathon 2018: Team Tetris

By Laura van Duijvenbode on 10 September 2018

The AE Hackathon gives customers and prospects 36 hours to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viableproduct. The fifth edition of the Hackathon took place in June 2018. In this series, you will meet all the participants. 

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Hackathon 2018: Team Farvel

By Toon Herremans on 07 September 2018

June 2018 marked the fifth edition of the AE Hackathon, which challenges customers and prospects to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product within 36 hours. This series puts each participating team in the spotlight.

 

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Hackathon 2018: Team Car Trek

By Glenn Dejaeger on 07 September 2018

June 2018 marked the fifth edition of the AE Hackathon, which challenges customers and prospects to come up with an innovative idea and a minimum viable product within 36 hours. This series puts each participating team in the spotlight.

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Ready for the future: Lift up the online banking platform

By Leen van Wambeke on 18 July 2018

In a digital world, technology never sleeps. Operating systems and processes from the past are no longer fit to support today's digital transformation. Conscious about this, our client, the Belgian branch of a large European bank, reached out to AE to help with a full technical re-write of its online banking platform. The project  was part of their broader international transformation programme and required aninitial version to run in production within 10 months time. Needless to say … a challenging deadline.

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GDPR inside-out after 25 May: What was it all about and what's next?

By Rudi Oltenfreiter on 05 July 2018

A few weeks ago, the much-discussed General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR for short) went into effect. It’s a directive with far-reaching consequences for companies that process personal information of EU citizens or are located within the EU. You’ve probably noticed it yourself by the sheer amount of emails asking for approval to keep using your contact information.

AE helps its customers become and stay GDPR compliant and treat this regulation both as leverage and as an opportunity instead as just another legal compliance project. In this post we’ll cut through the fog around GDPR and provide answers to some commonly asked questions. We’ll also tackle the impact of the GDPR on companies and their business processes.

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Is Value thinking the fire starter & Matchmaker between insurer and insurtech?

By Vincent Guelinckx on 03 July 2018

A few weeks ago we attended the Connected Insurance Summit in London. In the heart of London City, we encountered a modest gathering of 200 guests varying from insurance companies over services providers to insurTech vendors.

Our intentions were ambitious. On one hand we were excited to be inspired by the vibes and implementations of the insurTech companies present. On the other hand, we were looking forward to gain insights on the vision and initiatives of the leading European insurance companies towards their digital transformation

 The missions we captured were slightly disjunct and often lacked consistency and co-thinking.

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Money 2020 in 5 quotes worthwhile sharing

By Leen van Wambeke on 03 July 2018

Early June, the Money2020 circus landed in Amsterdam. One should take this literally since “circus” was the major theme for this year’s European edition of the Greatest FinTech Show on Earth, as the organizers themselves tend to call this event.

With stellar speakers and panels on 8 different stages for 3 days long and a buzzing expo hall with over 250 start-ups, scale-ups and mature corporates presenting their services, wrapping up the take-aways is a challenge.

Let me share the 5 quotes that resonated the most to me.

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Rest assured of a personal approach thanks to analytics

By Gert Nelissen on 29 June 2018

KBC is one of the largest bank-insurers in Belgium for both private individuals and medium-sized businesses. In order to strengthen their market position, and evolve towards a data-driven organisation, the bank wants to maximize the value from the available data.

With the evolution towards a data-driven organisation, the intensive use of commercial data and data analysis has developed into a strategic core-competency for KBC. Together with their business partners, they are building multiple new quality data layers (Commercial data, Risk data, etc.) which contain accurate and consistent data, are based on unambiguous definitions, comply with the new GDPR legislation and can be unlocked at the right moment, in the right form and via the right channel. These new Data Layers are developed on a Big Data platform with specific tools and technologies.The bank recruited the help of AE in order to convert the data that they are gathering into useful and practical insights for the internal services. The ultimate objectivel is to ensure a personalised approach for end-users of KBC. 

 

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A perfect house with a perfect home loan

By Leen van Wambeke on 18 May 2018

Our client is a financial services provider belonging to a leading international bank insurer, operating in the Belgian market. Recently, the bank made a conscious decision to focus on a new, unique customer experience. We were requested to guide this change towards customer centricity. In concrete terms, a pioneering project was started up in one of the most active market segments of that service provider: that of home loans.

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Recap of Finovate Europe 2018: Trends and Technologies

By Leen van Wambeke on 18 May 2018

A few weeks ago, the FINOVATE EUROPE 2018 was held in London, a major event for everyone who wants to stay abreast of the main challenges, new business models and innovative technologies in the financial sector.

Our colleagues Patrick Van den Broeck and Frederick Beernaert traveled to London to scout out the latest trends and new technologies for us, and love to share their findings.

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A successful transformation in 7 steps

By Leen van Wambeke on 18 May 2018

In today’s world, change is omnipresent in and around companies. They are forced to simplify or improve business processes in order to maintain their competitive position and to promote customer centricity. A company in full transformation needs to pay sufficient attention to change management. If there is a sudden reorganisation and a new way of working is to be implemented, it is hardly surprising that employees will jam on the brakes. In this blog post, we will share our best practices for change management outlining a real example of a similar situation at one of our customers in the financial sector.

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5G/IoT: Discover the possibilities

By Christophe Bonduelle on 30 April 2018

AE and Ericsson engage in a partnership to bring the 5G capabilities to their customers.

5G is the next evolution of mobile connectivity. We started out with 2G, which allowed people to have massive mobile communication. With its successor 3G, we saw the introduction of mobile broadband and feature phones. With 4G these became smartphones and we saw mobile data traffic increase. And finally, in the next step with 5G, both consumers and industry will be served with solutions ranging from massive low-cost, low-energy applications, to high end, ultra-reliable applications.

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Just enough architecture in an agile transformation

By Ruben Vuylsteke on 03 April 2018

Companies are currently in the middle of a major digital transformation. Being able to quickly respond to new customer needs and expectations is crucial. Consequently, project teams are being organised differently. For example, more and more SCRUM teams are being put together to provide software more agilely. However, a question I’ve been asked by customers repeatedly concerns the place that architecture must be given within this story. My opinion is that a minimum of architecture is always necessary. Just enough, just in time. In this blog post, I want to illustrate a technique, based on a previous project, that lets you gain a helicopter view with a minimum amount of enterprise architecture, which is something that is unarguably adding value for a company that is going through a complex transformation.

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Why featuritis kills good experiences!

By Joris Hias on 15 December 2017

Imagine, you are working with an enthusiastic team to make your product skyrocket. Each iteration you are adding a few features and information to complete your product. But suddenly, you notice a drop in conversion rates. Your customers are raising a bunch of support questions, are not converting anymore and give you poor usability grades. You are left confused. Although you gave your customers more tools and information to fulfill their tasks, their performance declines. Indeed, you are diagnosed with featuritis.

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Geospatial Analytics: the importance of WHERE

By ae.admin on 08 December 2017

This post was written by Oliver Belmans & Bram Vanschoenwinkel

A previous series of blog posts on Marketing Analytics offered an extensive overview of the available analytical techniques for marketing and their added value. Some examples of these techniques included market basket analysis, customer segmentation and churn prediction. A conclusion reached in these blog posts was that data analytics are the ideal extension to traditional marketing: based on data, we gain insights into (potential) customers and their behaviour, so that we can target them in an even more personalised manner.

The first of a two-part blog post zooms in on an important category of marketing analytics: Geospatial analytics or Geographic analysis. What can geographic analysis signify for your business? What is the added value of using this analysis? In a second blog post, we will explain the more technical aspects, show you how you can start up this analysis with the help of the open-source software R (the R Project for Statistical Computing) and provide a complete step-by-step plan of our own workflow.

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Usability testing: the way to go!

By Joris Hias on 23 November 2017

Today, we will focus on the basics of User Experience. We start at the beginning, a technique at the core of User Centered design & User Experience design: Usability Testing. 
According to Wikipedia, Usability testing is a technique used in user-centered interaction design to evaluate a product by testing it on users. It's a very important usability practice, since it gives you direct input on how real users use your system. It allows you to discover bottlenecks in your design you overlooked yourself, and hands you specific guidelines to improve your system instantly.  This blogpost will show you that usability testing isn't something new: people have been testing their products on their users for  quite some time. In addition, we will demonstrate how to conduct such a usability test in practice.
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Key takeaways from the ABISS (Smart Manufacturing/ Industry 4.0)

By ae.admin on 02 November 2017

This blog post was written by Ruben Vuylsteke & Christophe Bonduelle.

Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, IoT, etc. are hot topics in our environment. To learn more, we visited the ABISS (Advanced Business & Industrial Software Summit) trade fair held on Thursday 5 October at the XPO in Kortrijk. Throughout the day, the questions at the back of our minds were: “What can AE signify for these companies?” and “What does AE still have to learn to become relevant to these companies?” Finding answers to these questions requires further thought but before that, here is our report of this extremely interesting day!

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Recap: The European Business Architecture Innovation Summit 2017

By Bert Buys on 16 October 2017

The annual conference of the Business Architecture Guild -  a BAR professional association known for the BIZBOK® Guide - took place in Brussels this year. We visited the event and learned about the importance of BAR, or Business Architecture. BAR is a relatively new discipline, which is still in search of uniformity and recognition. What is Business Architecture exactly and how is it implemented in practice? What is the added value of BAR and how can you convince the C-level management of this? We gathered different opinions during the conference and examined the best practices.

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Hackathon recap: How technology could change deaf peoples lives

By Glenn Dejaeger, Heleen Vandaele on 02 October 2017

The gigantic technological evolution of the latest years provided us with a lot of cool gadgets. These gadgets are not only fun to play with, they have underused potential to become the answers to huge challenges our society faces. 1 of these challenges is the communication between deaf and hearing people. During our Hackathon, we developed a platform to unite them.

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The Clash of Information Models

By Carlo Wouters on 06 September 2017

It's an eternal clash that comes to mind when building information models: should we allow attributes in our conceptual information models? Should we plead for simplicity, or is a complex model based on the stakeholder a better choice? This blog post aims to bring clarity to the discussion, before the clash results in a total loss.

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Power BI and Visio: What If they are better together?

By Koen Verbeeck on 23 August 2017

Curious on how you can integrate interactive Visio diagrams in your Power BI reports? Check out this blog post for a detailed walk-through. To top it off, we'll also include the brand new what-if-analysis feature in the mix.

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Integration Services: To Log or not to Log?

By Koen Verbeeck on 14 August 2017

When it comes to logging execution information in Integration Services, there are multiple options available. Do you take matters in your own hands and build your own custom logging framework? Or do you let the catalog take care of things?

Can't decide? Check out our guidelines and tips on logging in your SSIS packages and projects.

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4 Personal Thoughts to Help You Create Value in the Digital Age

By Johan Merckx on 25 April 2017

These last couple of months have been extraordinary for me. I’ve gone through a lot of interesting experiences with customers and my book on value creation is generating a lot of enthusiasm among colleagues and friends. It makes me so happy that people are taking inspiration from my personal journey and that companies are reconsidering their practices to create better value for their customers.

In this blog I want to shortly summarize my personal invitation to all of you, to become a sparkle of transformation for value creation at your own company.

If you would like to hear more, do join me at the AE Keynote: Value Creation in the Digital Age on May 16 in Ghent.

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The Importance of the Business Analyst in Data Migration Projects

By Arnout Vanden Berghe on 09 March 2017

This blog focuses on the role of the business analyst within a data migration project. In our experience, this role is often underestimated within the migration context and that is why we want to take this opportunity to highlight some best practices. We will illustrate these best practices using one of our current migration projects: the migration as part of the Atrias project.

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Why is it so hard to implement IoT on an enterprise scale? 3 Capabilities for success

By Johan Moons on 02 February 2017

IoT is hot! IoT is a business enabler offering enormous value potential! IoT will soon become a trillion dollar market! IoT startups are disrupting entire industries! Act now or be disrupted! 

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Bringr: from 0 to the launch of a new business line in 6 months

By Frederik Priem on 22 December 2016

At bpost, a large Belgian enterprise and our country's prime postal operator, we applied value creation thoughts and techniques to spark and ignite the creation of a digital platform to participate in the logistics sharing economy.

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Big Data: We're Not There Yet - Part II

By Gert Nelissen on 15 December 2016

In an attempt to show one of our customers a better way to connect a legacy Postgres system to a large data set, a team of AE experts turned the discussion into an internal competition. Contenders Phoenix and Cassandra already lost the challenge, as you can read in Part I.  In Part II we'll explore whether Drill or Impala can rise to the occasion.

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How to create good data visualizations to make correct data-driven decisions

By Brecht De Rooms on 08 December 2016

In a  big data world, data-driven decisions and Internet of Things, Analytics is often needed to acquire data insights. However, when data scientists forget to use visualizations to communicate or explore information they are missing out on a valuable tool.

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Good API design implies a good understanding of who your API consumers are

By Dimitri Van Kerckhoven on 24 November 2016

Have you ever been thinking about API design guidelines for your APIs? Are all your APIs behaving the same way or are your API consumers struggling to find out how your APIs work?

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Big Data: We're Not There Yet - Part I

By Vincent Robaye on 29 September 2016

Recently, one of our customers introduced an old-fashioned data solution: an error-prone ETL-flow coded in C to move flat files to Postgres. We wanted to demonstrate how this could be done with technologies such as Drill, Cassandra, Phoenix, Impala, ... The constraint we have to cope with is that the data ultimately should be consumable by Postgres using a Foreign Data Wrapper.

Piece of cake, right? Wrong!

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API Management: Unlock Your Digital Services

By Yannick Geerts on 13 September 2016

I’m not telling you something new if I say the demands on IT from business are ever increasing. Certainly the last few years, business is looking more and more towards IT as a big part of the solution to their business problems.

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3 Challenges TSOs are facing in an ever competitive gas market

By Eva Boeckx on 08 September 2016

The European Union has evolved over the past few years with regards to its energy policy, impacting the energy market and all energy players within it. These players have to face challenges, discover opportunities and continue to evolve within a competitive (unified) market.

In this article, we take a closer look at the challenges TSOs specifically have to tackle.

Topics: Utilities
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Lego Serious Play: Not Just Child’s Play

By Toon Herremans on 01 September 2016

Last month I organized an explorative Lego Serious Play session at our offices. The goal was to get to know the technique and to learn more about the pros and cons of where the practice can be applied. Read on to find how it went about.

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Stop Investing in QA

By Wouter Moermans on 25 August 2016

Over the past 10 years businesses learned about the value of QA and testing in general. Today every company has its own QA department that is making sure their software runs correctly. But the cost for these departments has become extremely high.

Will this trend continue or can we find new approaches to QA that are less expensive? 

Topics: Testing QA
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Imagineering the Opportunities of IoT

By Wouter Walgraeve on 18 August 2016

"The internet of things. A network of dedicated physical objects that contain embedded technology to sense or interact with their internal state or external environment." - Gartner 

What exactly is that 'Internet of Things'? Is it all dreams and science fiction? Or are we imagineering a near future?

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The API Billionaires Club is about to welcome Trillionaire members. But how should you deal with it?

By Cynric Huys on 14 July 2016

The amount of API traffic increases every day. But it’s no longer just the known players such as Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and Salesforce (the API Billionaires Club) that will produce the related massive amount of data. Cisco estimates that by 2020 37 billion smart ‘things’ will be capable to connect with an API. The Internet of Things is here! But how should API-providers handle all these clients?

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Soft Skills: The Art of Persuasion

By Vincent Guelinckx on 23 June 2016

In consultancy we often talk about the difference between having an educated opinion on the one hand and getting your opinion accepted on the other. In short, it’s the difference between ‘being right’ and others saying that you are and taking positive action because of it. When you know how to convince the person on the other side of the table of your opinion, you’ll find that it will positively affect the deployment of your hard skills.

At AE, Vincent Guelinckx is one of the strongest proponents of the development of a wide range of soft skills, not in the least because these skills form the basis of real, value-based consultancy.

Topics: Soft Skills
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COTS: How to avoid a hangover

By Joeri Wijns on 16 June 2016

Quite possibly the most important reason for an organization to purchase package software is to lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of its existing IT setup. On paper, this indeed seems like a win-win situation between customer and software vendor: in exchange for a (extra) maintenance fee, the vendor provides support and upgrades to the customer. But is COTS really the best way to go?

Topics: Testing QA COTS
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Innovation in data governance: ETL visualization using graph databases

By Kevin Stobbelaar on 09 June 2016

During a recent project innovation sprint at a customer, we decided to tackle our customer’s data warehouse documentation problem. It was hard to get proper insight in the data streams at hand due to various data sources, changing standards and legacy code. Take for example a random field: in which reports is it being used, to which source can it be tracked, which transformations have been applied, etc?

Since our aim was to thoroughly reshape the infrastructure, we decided to add this kind of information because it would allow us to better gauge the impact of our modifications. During the innovation sprint, we developed a system that builds said info and makes it possible to query.

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Transformation Ahead for the Successful Energy Providers of the Future

By Jouri Goos on 02 June 2016

For utilities, the foundation of the energy marketplace is changing. Increasingly, business models and operational approaches of the past are being stretched to their limits and a tipping point has been reached.

What does this mean for energy providers looking to remain successful in the future?

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New rules fit for a digital era: What to expect from the New EU Data Protection Regulation

By Aline Coelst on 26 May 2016

On April 14, 2016, the General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679) was formally accepted by the European Parliament. In the summer of 2018, this new regulation will replace all national data protection laws and regulations.

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4 Great Techniques to Accelerate Your Brainstorm Sessions

By Toon Herremans on 19 May 2016

Have you ever had brainstorm workshops that didn’t really have any workable output? Or did you ever feel that some people didn’t bring the input you expected them to?

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Why the time is right for an IOT-centric approach

By Tim Schaeps on 12 May 2016

Let's start by stating the obvious:

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Optimizing how to realize your business strategy: it all starts at C-level

By Stefaan Bergmans on 10 May 2016

A project portfolio is more than just an inventory of individual projects. Organizations can apply the principles of ‘value driven transformation’ to obtain a better mix of investments as their business and application landscapes evolve.

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Integrating applications: Bridge the gap with a functional specification

By Stefanie Fauconnier on 03 May 2016

So you need to connect an application to an external system. Developers and IT architects know how to cover the technical side, with for example SOAP web services, REST APIs, or stored procedures. But there is more to integration than just a choice in technology. You also face a functional challenge: the relevant functionalities of multiple applications must seamlessly fit into each other.

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Story mapping: this handy overview will help you get started

By Wouter Walgraeve on 26 April 2016

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve walked you through some details about story mapping, a very powerful technique to elaborate a concept in a co-creative way. Here's a quick recap of what we discussed.

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Why Your Minimum Product Needs to Be Lovable, Not Just Viable

By Pieter Peremans on 21 April 2016

The final step in the story mapping process is the prioritization of user stories on your story map. By way of this exercise, you can determine which features should be included in the first version of your product to hit the market, the Minimum Viable Product.

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Story Mapping an Innovation Lab

By David Van Steenkiste on 19 April 2016

Every business model is under constant pressure. Pressure by customers, to provide an even better service. Pressure by competitors, searching for their differentiator to challenge your product. And, especially nowadays, pressure in a world where digital is the new normal.

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Top Tools for User Story Mapping: From Post-Its to the Best Digital Apps

By Wouter Walgraeve on 07 April 2016

So you’ve mastered the technique of User Story Mapping. Or you’ve read the book by Jeff Patton. Or you’re excited to get started because of our series of blog posts… Whatever the case may be, we’ve got a little extra for you: a walk through the jungle of storymapping tools.

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How to calibrate your user stories for optimal business service design

By Pieter Peremans on 31 March 2016

Ok, so you’re about to start your first story mapping workshop with a fresh group of participants. You’ve prepared everything down to a T: from slide deck and sticky notes to shiny sets of ballpoint pens on the tables.

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4 Focus Points for Preparing a User Story Mapping Workshop

By Thomas De Vries on 29 March 2016

In this post, we’ll discuss the preparation of a (series of) story mapping workshop(s).

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Ingesting data with Spark using a custom Hadoop FileInputFormat

By Gert Nelissen on 24 March 2016

Together with a large organization, we’re building a platform that presents company data to its data scientists so they can use it to develop innovative applications.

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Power to the teams: How being decentrally organized helps our people grow

By ae.admin on 17 March 2016

At AE, we’re very proud to be among the Best Workplaces in Belgium and to be one of the recipients of a Great Place to Work award. To celebrate us winning this award for the sixth straight year, we want to present you with some background on the makeup of our organization, as it is a key facilitator of our people’s happiness at work.

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4 Challenges you’ll encounter on the road to personalization

By Joris Van denstorme on 11 March 2016

Personalizing services and marketing is not just hip and trendy, it can effectively result in lots of added value for your clients and prospects. But implementing a proper personalization strategy does not come without its challenges.

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Personalization: a piece of cake?

By Joris Van denstorme on 07 March 2016

Say you’re an IT-professional working for a company that sells services, among which a punch-ticket for psychological advice by phone. You’re charged with realizing a first step in personalizing the consumer journey.

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Organize for effective personalization

By Bruno Lefever on 03 March 2016

Many companies are facing the challenge to identify and deliver more personalized services to their customers and are trying to evolve from an inside out perspective to an outside in approach. Making this switch takes time and reflection.

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Service Design: You’re doing it wrong

By Roos Uwaerts on 25 February 2016

In most application landscapes services tend to pop up like mushrooms, with little to no attention being devoted to decent service design or decent service-oriented architecture (SOA). Frankly put, this means you’re doing it wrong.

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QA as the perfect enabler to shorten your project’s time to market

By ErwinVangenechten on 18 February 2016

In our ever faster digital world, time to market is an increasingly important factor in any IT project. A shorter time to market is crucial to stay ahead of the competition. However, this is not possible without an agile and qualitative IT environment. This is where Quality Assurance comes into play.

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AE Codecamps: Providing a Spark for the Edisons of Tomorrow

By Vincent Guelinckx on 11 February 2016

Every month at AE, we organize an AE Codecamp for our colleagues' children and their friends. It's a great way for the next generation to experience the possibilities of science and technology in a playful manner.

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How finance organizations can benefit from an innovative technology like Blockchain

By Arben Dervisholli on 04 February 2016

For finance companies that often execute international payments and transactions, it’s worth looking at Blockchain, a technology that simplifies the payment and transaction process significantly.

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Digital transformation: From application thinking to platform thinking

By Johan Merckx on 28 January 2016

One of the major shifts that I see happening in the digital transformation journey is the shift in thinking from applications to platforms.

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How Analytics can help you uncover the knowledge hidden in your documents

By Alex Wauters on 21 January 2016

Organizations often possess a lot of data that’s being stored in unstructured formats. Most of the time, this involves data that people were able to enter as free text, such as e-mails, call center logs, presentations, manuals etc. In these instances, analytics can help to access the value hidden within this data.

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3 Valuable Business Analysis deliverables that lead to project success

By Ruben Vuylsteke on 14 January 2016

If you pay little to no attention to business analysis, you'll often find yourself making the wrong assumptions during the solutions phase of a project.

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Why every project needs a benefit map

By Ruben Vuylsteke on 07 January 2016

A common issue encountered on projects is that the project goals have not been clearly defined. A Benefit Map is a powerful visual to provide solace.

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What will 2016 mean for your company, business model and your customers?

By ae.admin on 22 December 2015

The world around us is moving at an ever faster pace and disrupting forces for your market are lurking around the corner.

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Comparing Angular, Aurelia and React: Is there a next-gen JS framework that rules them all?

By Glenn Dejaeger on 15 December 2015

Angular is by far the most popular Javascript framework on the market. With the developer preview of Angular 2.0 now available, we decided to check how the developer preview of the framework compares to its main competitors, React and Aurelia.

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Value Driven Transformation in Belgian Utilities: The entire value chain put to the test

By Pieter Jaeken on 10 December 2015

Why does Value Driven Transformation form the biggest challenge for Utilities in Belgium over the next few years? Because every party involved is facing a transformation, spurred by the enormous changes the market is about to face.

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Implementing MIG6.0 for Energy Suppliers: Just a compliance project?

By Marion Wind on 03 December 2015

The energy market in Belgium is about to experience an important change. The creation of a federal clearing House, Atrias, and the introduction of a new market communication standard (MIG6.0) are bringing a lot of new concepts and challenges for every market party. Luckily, change always heralds new opportunities.

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Bridging the gap between strategy and execution with Value Driven Transformation

By Stefaan Bergmans on 01 December 2015

Having a solid, clear strategy is vital if you want to keep your business armed for the future. But having a strategy is just the first step, because it won’t lead anywhere if it’s not supported or properly executed by the people in your organization. That’s where Value Driven Transformation comes in.

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Customer Experience wrap-up

By ae.admin on 11 September 2015

The weekend is great for catching up on some reading backlog. Missed a blog post? Don’t worry. We’re here to help you out. Customer experience is an essential part in creating and operating a successful business or offering. Whether you’re providing services to external clients or support colleagues in other business units, a customer-centric approach helps you provide true value.

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Which Customers Will Be Leaving Me? (And How To Do Something About It).

By Davy Sannen on 03 September 2015

This is the last post in a series of three about the added value of Analytics in Marketing. The first post, by my colleague Bram Vanschoenwinkel, gave an overview of a number of Analytics techniques tailored to a better understanding of your customers and their specific needs. Jessica Ruelens discussed Customer Segmentation & Profiling and a specific case for a company that sells professional training seminars in a second post. I will conclude this series with a discussion about Churn Prediction and a specific case of a bank.

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Who is my customer and why should I care?

By Jessica Ruelens on 27 August 2015

Have you ever wondered how your customers are behaving on a grand scale? Do you know which customers are most valuable to you and which customers represent an undiscovered opportunity? You might have a general idea about the behaviour of your customers - having observed their behaviour in the past - but are you sure your observations are supported by the facts or the data?

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Customer Insight at the Heart of Your Company

By Bram Vanschoenwinkel on 20 August 2015

In my last blog post I talked about the strategic and competitive advantages that can be delivered by Business Analytics but that a lot of companies are still struggling to apply Analytics and actually gain these advantages. This post is the first in a series of three where the added value of Analytics in Marketing will be discussed.

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Modern Enterprise architecture - change your focus!

By Johan Merckx on 12 August 2015

In the early days of Enterprise Architecture, the focus was merely on frameworks and methodologies. Later on, the discussion changed more to processes. To really have a high impact, it is my conviction that Enterprise Architecture should focus on business value.

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Digital transformation – organizations become living systems

By Johan Merckx on 10 August 2015

I love to help companies shape their future architecture. Become customer-centric. Exploit digital technology. Integrate multiple channels. Help them provide consistent and ‘lovable’ customer experiences. To do this, we also need to reinvent our organisations and design them as living systems.

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Front End Engineering wrap-up

By ae.admin on 06 August 2015

Summer is great for catching up on some reading backlog. Missed a blog post? Don’t worry! We’re here to help you out. These past months our front end engineering community has been very active in implementing web technologies across our customer base. Want to get started with the latest web technologies in your project?

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The Digital Era: Focus on CX or perish

By Mark Mampaey on 30 July 2015

In this post, I would like to share some thoughts about the following topics:

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StarBooks: the distributed library concept - part 2

By Andries Van Humbeeck on 23 July 2015

This blog post is part 2 of our hackathon idea. It covers the technical setup we used to get the prototype up and running during the two-day hackathon at AE. You can read about the concept idea in part 1.

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StarBooks: the distributed library concept - part 1

By Andries Van Humbeeck on 20 July 2015

On the 4th and 5th of June, AE organized a hackathon for all interested employees. We were invited to gather a team and work out our own idea based on the theme "Think customer, explore the future". Our team: 4 developers and 1 analyst. This blog post describes our idea and how we implemented this in under 36 hours.

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Using Talend and MongoDB to process and store tweets in a lossless form

By Carlo Wouters on 09 July 2015

With temperatures soaring (or in some areas storms approaching), it is an excellent time to close the windows, boot the laptop and brush up on your information management skills. This blog post is a basic tutorial on how to create proper authentication items with oAuth to connect to Twitter, use Talend to process the tweets and store them in a native form using MongoDB. It uses some fun technologies and can help you explore the value in data science and information management using your own data.

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Are Spiders Crawling Your SPA?

By Thomas De Craemer on 25 June 2015

Making your web applications Search Engine Friendly has always been important for scoring high in search engine results. More and more of those front end applications are evolving towards SPA's (Single Page App) which are inherently difficult to crawl, thereby potentially impacting your search ranking. However, the dilemma between a focus on UX or SEO is a fallacy. In this post we’ll have a look at how you can both offer a dynamic, fast and user-friendly web application and still keep search engine crawlers happy.

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Microservices, what's in a name?

By Pieter Herroelen on 22 June 2015

Microservices are all the rage right now. It's an architectural style which promises fast delivery and robust, scalable systems. Some people say it's SOA 2.0. For a thorough introduction, I recommend reading this article by James Lewis and Martin Fowler. You could say that microservices are the love child of Continuous Delivery and DDD. Unfortunately, someone made a mistake when registering the baby. They got the name wrong.

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Bring your stakeholders together for a story mapping workshop

By Ruben Vuylsteke on 18 June 2015

Recently, I participated in an agile business requirements training given by my colleague Thomas De Vries and Patrick Steyaert. One very interesting technique that they highlighted is story mapping. In this post, I will explain how to apply this technique and highlight the advantages compared to traditional techniques for eliciting requirements.

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4 Tips for writing business user stories

By Ruben Vuylsteke on 16 June 2015

Business and IT speak a different language. This is a challenge for many organizations as it hinders communication about requirements in IT projects. An often suggested way to deal with this problem is to use the simple and fixed format of user stories to express requirements (as a..., I can... so that ...) and I fully agree on this. However, as a business analyst, I notice a lot of confusion among business people when it comes to the definition of a user story. I often hear that user stories are too technical for them. In this blog post I provide 4 tips to write user stories that express business requirements making sense from a business point of view.

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5 Questions on Information Management (AE Foyer 2015)

By Carlo Wouters on 04 June 2015

There are a lot of buzzwords around Information Management these days. Carlo Wouters helps you get a clear view on the value of your data and its untapped potential in these 5 Questions and the June 10th AE Foyer.

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Operational Intelligence: Splunk vs ELK

By Pieter Erzeel on 21 May 2015

Do you know what your application is doing? Is it happily crunching along or is it slowly getting consumed in a blazing ball of fire? In the age of services, not every application has a UI to show you the screen of death. How is your application being used? Are you missing opportunities or is traffic so slow that it's best to shut it down before you get your cloud bill?

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Client Side Architecture Part Three: Your Turn!

By Sophie Traen on 13 May 2015

In our two previous posts, we talked about the benefits of client side web architecture. To talk the talk is one thing. To walk the walk is something else entirely. Moving to client side architecture implies mastering a new set of skills. For one thing, you'll have to learn JavaScript. Taking this step can be pretty daunting, even to the most skilled developer. Here are some tips to help you out.

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Client Side Architecture Part Two: A Practical Example

By Sophie Traen on 06 May 2015

In a previous post we talked about client side and server side web architecture. We showed the difference between the two approaches and concluded that client side web architecture offers a lot of benefits. Now it's time to get our hands dirty and put theory into practice. In this post we’ll compare both approaches using a real application.

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Client side architecture part one: The web is Lego.

By Sophie Traen on 29 April 2015

Let's admit it: when it comes to interacting with the web, we’re all a little spoiled. We’re used to websites like Facebook, Pinterest and Evernote. We all own a smartphone with fancy-looking apps. Yet when we create web applications, we often forget our users are no different. They expect a rich interaction and a fast, dynamic user interface. Providing this kind of interaction can be crucial to your business. This is where you win or lose the hearts of your customers.

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Ionic. A hybrid mobile app framework.

By Michael Mertens on 23 April 2015

With the introduction of the HTC Dream in 2008 as the first android-based smartphone, mobile app developers were confronted with a tough choice. iOS or Android. Today there is even more variety in platform specific development platforms. From iOS and the different Google dev kits to Windows Phone Tools and everything in between. This fragmentation puts both business and developers in a difficult spot.

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Customer Experience exclusively for utilities suppliers?

By Pieter Jaeken on 20 April 2015

In a deregulated utilities market, like Belgium, the customer is the main concern for suppliers in the value chain. Suppliers really need their customers' consumption of gas, electricity and preferably some other products as well. This enables them to create loyalty, increase brand awareness and provide an added value experience to their customer. So yes, suppliers are focusing more and more on their customers.

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Five Questions on Front-End Engineering with Glenn Dejaeger

By Glenn Dejaeger on 16 April 2015

Web applications are powerful tools to provide new and always-accessible services to your customers and employees. Their popularity has made front-end engineering a highly dynamic and exciting playing field. Businesses, employees and customers are exposed to a lot of new web technologies, rich user interfaces and services though it’s not always easy to see how it can impact and really help your business activities.

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Customization strategy. Stick to the plan

By Wim Van Emelen on 14 April 2015

In this post I want to share my experiences in the support of the governance process that is responsible for keeping the level of customization for a standard package solution under control. How do we approach this? It's easy to boldly say upfront that you rather adapt your way of working than to customize the software you bought. This post is all about sticking to that decision even when the going gets tough.

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To boldly go further than changes in IT

By Wim Van Emelen on 10 April 2015

What is a project? In its most simple definition it means implementing a change in a controlled way so that the investor doesn't need to take a leap in the dark. The word 'controlled' and 'change' are key in this simple definition. In this post, I’ll focus on our approach to define the way in which the business needs to change its way of working and how we leveraged our corporate process model to do so.

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What is a project if not an epic journey

By Wim Van Emelen on 08 April 2015

One thing we've learned from the first phase of the iHRM program is that a complete waterfall approach with one delivery moment, followed by an extended user acceptance period is not the silver bullet. For the second phase of the program, the scope is wider and the number of project teams is higher. In this blog post, I'll share some insights on how to effectively manage scope while going for an iterative and incremental development plan.

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Yeah sure. How exactly are we going to do this again?

By Wim Van Emelen on 06 April 2015

Previously I've pleaded for simple architectural designs that are easily understood by all stakeholders. This way the idea gets the support it needs. As a project evolves into the ICT design and development phase, both idea and design will need to be made more tangible. This is especially true when it comes to making it all work together. The purpose stays the same: to avoid ambiguity. The means? Keep it again as simple as possible by focusing on what really matters.

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Search for value through simplification

By Wim Van Emelen on 02 April 2015

I'm an architect. As most architects, I like to design things and conceptualize ideas. But a common pitfall for us architects is that we design things that are very clear for... other architects. Other audiences are often left puzzled or confused. This is commonly referred to as the ivory tower phenomenon. I'm also a result driven pragmatist; I love to realize ideas. To make something happen, you first need to convince the stakeholder or sponsor that provides the budget to realize your idea. In this post I'd like to share my experience in architectural models that have proven to work for me.

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The best is yet to come; this is a mere introduction

By Wim Van Emelen on 31 March 2015

This post is the first in a series of six that will take you through the bpost iHRM (integrated human resource management) program. With this series we want to provide some context on the program itself and highlight our contributions and approach on business architecture and project scoping.

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Every journey has a purpose

By Tom Devos on 27 March 2015

We are creating customer journeys on the fly these days. It is the revelation in process modeling and customer understanding. By combining the outside-in process of the customer with his emotions we are able to steer our organization towards the customer-centric culture, and foster loyal customers. But in our quest for the outside-in enterprise, one must not forget why we are mapping a journey in particular. Forrester states there are 6 possible goals for every customer journey map.

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The Big Rewrite

By Jo Van Eyck on 12 March 2015

Does the term "rewrite" scare the bejeezus out of you? Good. It should. A rewrite is not something to be taken lightly and should be your very last resort. There are less painful routes you can take, but what if there really is no valid alternative to "The Big R"?

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Combining the power of R and D3.js

By Andries Van Humbeeck on 05 March 2015

According to wikipedia, the amount of unstructured data might account for more than 70%-80% of all data in organisations. Because everyone wants to find hidden treasures in these mountains of information, new tools for processing, analyzing and visualizing data are being developed continually.

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