Acteïs: how to generalize dematerialization

Acteïs is a young 20-year-old SME, based in Mérignac (33), with a technical branch in Agen. Specializing in office automation services (sales, rental, installation), it is currently managed by Christian Pouey. It has around forty employees and generated 8.3 million euros in turnover in 2021, the year in which it joined the Factoria / Factonext group as a subsidiary. This group, deployed throughout France, brings together around forty SMEs from the same universe (office automation, telephony and IT). At its head is Stéphane Puthon.

Acteïs’ data processing is mainly organized around an integrated management software package (ERP), Business One from SAP, installed since 2013 on a Dell client/server architecture and HP and Fujitsu workstations.

The information system is accessible remotely through secure VPN links. Network supervision is provided by the Atera solution, adopted in 2021, integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning allowing the mapping of the systems in place, the analysis of “logs”, the generation of alerts and the prevention of incidents, among others.

Communication redirection

At the height of the pandemic, during periods of strict confinement, the company’s activity was virtually shut down, with the exception of the technical, IT and telephone service, responsible for establishing a teleworking framework. for all customers.

“In a few days, the switch to telework was made possible thanks to the redirection of all telephone calls. Communications were able to pass through single numbers, carried by Alcatel’s Rainbow platform,” explains Denis Gouget, partner, director of the IT BU at Acteïs.

Call rerouting allows call numbers from smartphones to remain hidden, converted into fixed switchboard numbers, while incoming calls are rerouted to smartphones without displaying mobile numbers. This was a critical point to ensure the identification of the incoming call.

The use of Rainbow has also broadened the collaborative dimension, especially with assistants who manage incoming technical calls much better: they can, in real time, direct and inform certain technical questions intended for engineers.

The choice of Dropbox

Another effective measure was applied: “we generalized access to the Dropbox solution for customers who only had a file server. Their data then became accessible from anywhere.”

The 12 sales representatives of Acteïs benefit from permanent online access to their data on Dropbox, the entire file server having been migrated to this external platform.

Safety has not been forgotten. “We mostly use a double authentication procedure. Each time you connect via the Internet, a check takes place before data synchronization takes place automatically. »

The cost per post will have been an argument: it does not exceed 10 euros.

Electronic signature in SaaS mode

Another important factor has entered this digital shift: the electronic signature. It was adopted as a priority to secure customer relations and contract negotiations. Acteïs validated the choice of the HelloSign solution operating in Cloud/SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) mode, a solution recently acquired by Dropbox. The two platforms are effectively interfaced. A simple right mouse click generates a signature; the validation is double, being carried out by e-mail and by sending an SMS with security code. The HelloSign application automatically generates an electronic certificate to the signing parties (which can be ten or more) – the certificate guaranteeing the authenticity of the transaction.

“It is possible to create a validation workflow, with a hierarchical order of signatures. Another interesting feature: we can separate various elements – quote, purchase order, delivery note, etc. For bank transactions, validation is only effective when the signatures of the parties have been received and authenticated. »

This electronic signature application was not easy to deploy everywhere. Some client companies have been slow to get out of old ways of working. Usually, sales of services were concluded face to face by the signing of rather heavy contracts (15 to 40 pages), often with points of revision or last minute adjustments.

“The paperless signature stems from a cultural change. So it’s not always easy to finalize a contract without meeting. This is why we have made intense use of videoconferencing (Teams or Zoom). In fact, all means must be mobilized to maintain the best possible contact and mutual trust. »

Dematerialization also concerns invoicing. A few months ago, an EDM (electronic document management) solution, Zeendoc, of French origin, was added; archive-oriented, it also works in SaaS mode.

Important point: change management

All these changes have not taken place without some understandable reluctance. The use of Dropbox was fairly quickly adopted, because everyone understood that it was an effective way to access data from anywhere on their laptop PC as well as on their smartphone, including to access the presentation “book” commercial (100 MB!).

In case of loss of a file (bug, theft or accident), everyone is sure to be able to recover it, even after six months. Some sales people did not imagine that one could conclude contracts of a certain size without ever meeting the customers. However, as there was no alternative, the obstacles had to be overcome.

“These innovations have ultimately been a real accelerator of trends related to working methods. They call for strong mobilization, both in terms of resources and internal management. It was necessary to recreate proximity, thanks to collaborative tools and, externally, to streamline all sales processes and retain tools that are easy to access. »

“Everyone played the game. The most motivated, volunteers, helped convince, lead and train the others. Today, the teams are ready to switch to a more agile ERP”, sums up Denis Gouget.

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