Assisting Innovation at Groningen Seaports by Outsourcing IT

Groningen Seaports

Assisting Innovation at Groningen Seaports by Outsourcing IT

To achieve a stable IT environment with a modernized application, IT landscape, and predictable IT costs

The Challenge

Groningen Seaports (GSP) was looking at how the organization could change so that more people could focus on the core task of the organization: carrying out innovative projects in order to remain commercially successful in the future.

The most important innovations to focus on were divided into three main areas. The first was to make GSP’s own business operations smarter, for example, by conducting tests to make better use of the berths of boats in the harbor with the help of sensors. The second was the smart use of data, so it knows at all times what is located where in the port as the area is very large and is operated by one person at night. And finally, the third was to use automatic identification systems (AIS) tracking based on transmitters and receivers to retrieve more useful information.

“I was the man of the workplaces, now I am the manager of digital innovation.”

Henk Zwetsloot, CIO

The approach

Together with Eraneos, GSP developed an outsourcing strategy. Through a European tender based on best-value procurement, a party was selected for the management of the IT infrastructure and the workstations. All applications were then migrated to cloud platforms, such as Dynamics 365 for administrative tasks, Office 365 for the office environment and collaboration, and Esri mapping software for geographical data. In addition, GSP moved to Amazon Cloud.

Groningen Seaports (GSP) manages two seaports in the province of Groningen: the port of Delfzijl and the Eemshaven. In addition, GSP maintains 2,779 hectares of an industrial estate. This includes three power stations and an oil terminal. Google has an immense data center there and Eemshaven is home to a large offshore industry that develops and maintains large offshore wind farms. While that’s already an impressive feat, the organization is constantly looking for new areas for innovation. The major neighbors of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg are innovating rapidly and GSP cannot lag behind.

The result

Thanks to our help and the processes we implemented, GSP now has a stable IT environment and a modernized application and IT landscape. However, one of the biggest advantages for the company is that there is now plenty of room to implement more digital innovations, which could add way more value to the business. We also guided GSP in shaping the innovations, for example, with design thinking sessions.

Let’s create sustainable change together.