— Jérôme Gauvrit, CIO, Bodet
Since installing its first tower clock more than 150 years ago, Bodet has never stopped pursuing innovative ways to measure and manage time. The company’s timepieces are everywhere: From the Saint Supplice Cathedral’s bells in Paris, to the 40 gold-plated clock systems which decorate Saudi Arabia’s Great Mosque of Meccas, to the LED sports scoreboards found in 170 schools in Kuwait.
The spirit of autonomy is intrinsically entwined with the company’s 150 years of success. “We like to do everything ourselves. Outsourcing is truly a rarity,” explained Jérôme Gauvrit, Bodet’s chief information officer.
Bodet’s self-deterministic attitude manifests itself in the IT department’s commitment to proactively meeting the requirements of the company internally. Gauvrit emphasized, “The mission of IT is to provide everything Bodet needs to succeed. We’ve unified operations by centralizing support, and we’ve taken responsibility for deploying Oracle E-Business Suite across all five subsidiaries. This has enabled our team to develop a deep, independent understanding of how the application behaves, and how best to adapt the functionality to meet the company’s evolving needs.”
Bodet’s Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) deployment is one of the most complex in France, with the installation of 25 supplemental modules. “We’re one of only three or four companies in the country with this many additional modules,” shared Gauvrit. Bodet entered the EBS implementation project into the annual awards competition of the Association of French-Speaking Oracle Users (AUFO). “To our delight, Bodet ended up winning the association’s top prize, the prestigious Oracle Grand Trophy,”Gauvrit reported.
Under Gauvrit’s leadership, Bodet’s application team has continued to enhance usability across the platform. He explained, “We’ve supplemented the existing ERP functionalities by creating things like consolidated dashboards and adapting individual tools to be more user friendly. In total, we’ve developed about 2,500 apps that touch every aspect of the business.”
Despite the significantly enhanced capabilities created by his team, for Gauvrit, there was one primary drawback: the cost of Oracle support. “Support was very expensive, amounting to almost a quarter of the licensing and subscription fees we were paying to Oracle each year,” he recalled.
The tipping point for Gauvrit came when Oracle contracted with an independent entity to perform an audit of licenses and Oracle support coverage of a number of European companies. “We had precisely followed the direction of the Oracle sales rep for everything we purchased, so to discover that we supposedly owed Oracle almost a million Euros came as a huge surprise!” exclaimed Gauvrit. “We eventually agreed to a substantially lower figure, but that’s when I started to look for alternatives,” he added.
As a standout exception to the company’s preference of avoiding outsourcing, Bodet partnered with an independent, third-party enterprise support provider to reduce the total cost of maintaining its E-Business Suite. “What we paid Oracle for one year of support covered three years with the partner,” remarked Gauvrit.
As a board member with the AUFO, Gauvrit had always maintained a solid relationship with Oracle. However, he could clearly see the absolute business sense of transitioning to high-quality, third-party support. As a result of the transition, “We’ve been able to channel the savings into investment in technologies and accelerating projects we couldn’t have otherwise afforded,” Gauvrit stated.
With the streamlined budget, Gauvrit also has been able to reallocate funding to cybersecurity initiatives such as updating firewalls and implementing advanced protection methods for personal and proprietary data. As a supplemental resource to the IT department, the partner also helps Gauvrit ensure the availability of support for new applications regardless of interoperability with the company’s Oracle EBS version, like Bodet’s deployment of Red Hat Linux 6.
“Our partner provides coverage for all EBS releases including those which Oracle no longer fully supports, so this gives us the luxury of when we make a move to a cloud-based ERP platform,” commented Gauvrit.
Bodet selected Rimini Street for third-party software support for Oracle EBS, and as the exception to its tradition of insourcing.
Rimini Street’s philosophy of providing consultative software support resonated with the Bodet culture of self-sufficiency: “Oracle is very reactive in how it handles issues, but Rimini Street is extremely willing to investigate the root cause of a problem and share viable solutions with our team. And we are very good students!” noted Gauvrit.
Reflecting on the partnership, Gauvrit enthused, “With Oracle, even if you are working on an ongoing issue, you’re assigned a different technician depending on the time of day you contact support. One of the key advantages of Rimini Street is that we always get to work with the same set of contacts and we’ve formed real bonds with our assigned Rimini Street support engineers.”