Bull has developed a comprehensive outsourcing offering, which draws on its production facilities and automated methods: high-density hosting, ERP outsourcing (Bull is a certified SAP Hosting Partner); operational outsourcing for business-critical applications… The Group also focuses on professional services, because they ensure that the full value is extracted from technology, through the effective design, scoping and optimization of IT systems. So Bull can support its customers in the public and private sector alike to implement complete solutions – from initial analysis to systems integration, operation and evolution of business applications – delivering IT that perfectly matches business needs.
Solutions outsourcing: ensuring flexibility and constant evolution for highly ‘autonomous’ applications
Solutions outsourcing, as defined by Bull, can be equated with providing access to a business application available in hosted mode. By giving Bull the responsibility for hosting and running an evolving application, which has few links with the main information system, the customer can overcome the technical constraints and gain greater flexibility and ability to evolve. The main difference between this approach and either ‘hosting’ or ‘Software-as-a-Service’ (SaaS) is that the customer keeps total control over the application (whether it is in-house or based on an industry-standard software) when it comes to its development, maintenance and customization.
Solutions outsourcing is also different from traditional outsourcing because there is:
A focus on a customer’s specific business need (computerizing a particular process, financial control…) or a cross-functional infrastructure requirement (electronic strong-box, messaging archive, PKI…)
Little link with the information system
Constant need for changes to be made, linked to the gradual roll-out of an application to a very wide user population
The need for a global response, including defining a highly evolutionary architecture, providing and implementing IT infrastructures, hosting, operation and support for the application
Very high-profile ‘Security’ and ‘Network’ aspects.
By turning to Solutions outsourcing, the customer can delegate a wide range of services relating to IT infrastructure, while focusing on user needs and the service delivered by the application.
For example in France, Bull operates a number of systems under these arrangements, including: an on-line public tendering application for a number of local authorities; a public key management infrastructure for a clerk of the court; a specific application for managing initiatives to get young people into the workplace by local employment offices; a data-stamping reference system for a major public body…
By adopting this kind of outsourcing, the customer can keep complete control of their application, while delegating hosting and support. Bulll offers contracts that include all the essential elements in terms of flexibility and evolutivity that set rules to change the terms of the scope and to bill specific units of work.