Ibexa Partner of the Month for December is CGI France
With a market capitalization of $21 billion and listed on the Forbes Global 2000 index of publicly quoted companies, CGI is one of the world’s largest technology consultants.
It is active in many sectors and its contracts include payroll management for the Swedish post office, visa processing for the US government and systems integration for the UK Ministry of Defence.
CGI has a significant presence in Europe and France, where it manages the global HR system for Airbus Group.
Our Partner of the Month for November is CGI France which has offices in some of the largest cities in France – in Paris, Rennes, Montpellier and Toulouse, the home of Airbus.
“This partnership is recent and is the result of a strategy to develop our partnerships with software providers. This new partnership allows us to be more efficient, for example in the maintenance the National Cancer Institute’s (INCa) website,” says Lionel Solignac, Director of Projects for the Full Stack Emerging Hub of CGI’s Digital Innovation Center
“For INCa, we are responsible for the operation and maintenance for several apps for the Institute,” he explains. “Our job is to fix bugs and implement other functional changes.”
CGI now wants to leverage the expertise it is building up around Ibexa DXP to develop other opportunities. Three of its developers are currently Ibexa-certified, with another to complete technical certification in the next few months.
“It is early days. Me and my team are systemizing and pre-qualifying the type of services we will be able to offer our clients that involve Ibexa. We hadn’t really done that before.”
There is considerable potential; 70% of companies listed on France’s main stock market index, the CAC40, are CGI clients.
“But, of course, it is a two-way street,” says Solignac, “where we hope that Ibexa will bring us on board with their projects.”
Solignac and his team are working on a pre-sales strategy and preparing tender documentation for future RFPs. “We are trying as much as possible to be impartial. For each client and every problem, we weigh carefully if Ibexa is the right solution. We also ask ourselves if Ibexa could tip the scales in our favor when we are competing for business.”
The challenge is that many customers are drawn to open source solutions and are not always prepared to pay for using software solutions.
So the question becomes: what are the unique qualities of Ibexa DXP that will persuade the client – and also convince Solignac that for this client and for this specific problem, Ibexa is the best and most cost-effective solution?
“Our clients have complex needs and expectations,” says Solignac, “and for some of their scenarios Ibexa has the right technology, with an advanced back office that give you a lot of freedom to customize your site.”
For CGI, one important benefit of the partnership is that Ibexa will provide support during the pre-sales phases, “for example on the definition of the architecture,” says Solignac.
And of course, Ibexa will offer technical support for the joint projects going forward. “It’s always easier to embark on a development project with a partner that will help when we get stuck. It’s always a plus for us.”
Solignac reiterates that the interest of CGI clients must come first. “We need to be convinced. We need to come to the point where we can say confidently that thanks to Ibexa and our integration skills we shall win business.
“Because that’s the common objective: to seduce the customer with a technical solution, skills and a price.”
Solignac’s other consideration is to keep his developers happy. “Retention of skilled developers is a huge issue in the industry so it’s important to give them interesting and complex projects that use the latest technologies.”
CGI’s objective is to get that first Ibexa collaboration under its belt. “This is the beginning of our story,” says Solignac, “but what I would like is win a really good case and generate some nice references. We want to present these reference cases and says to prospective clients: ‘We can do the same thing for you, even better, with this modern Ibexa technology that is very flexible, robust, and future-proof’.
“That would be a win for both CGI and Ibexa.”