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Expert support from Activeo in the collaborative transformation of the DIOT SIACI group

I'm delighted to be working with Activeo, which is the rare supplier to listen to the customer before proposing something, and Activeo's staff are very responsive. We're not in the position of customer supplier, but of partner.
Sami Djelalia
Sami DJELALIA
CIO at S2Hgroup
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Diot Siaci

CONSEIL_RELATION_CLIENT
Year of collaboration:
2017
Present:
Worldwide
Collaborators:
3000
Industry:
Insurance broker
Solution:
Cisco

The Diot Siaci Group is a leading risk management and insurance company.

Founded several decades ago, the company has grown to become a major player in the sector in France and internationally.

Can you tell us about the Diot Siaci Group's positioning and your role?

[Sami Djelalia] “SIACI Saint Honoré was founded in 1988 as part of La Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild. The development of the insurance brokerage and health insurance markets propelled the group to the forefront of the market. By 2021, Diot and Siaci had created a leading European multi-specialist insurance broker with a presence in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The group designs and develops innovative, tailor-made solutions for its large corporate, SME, SMI and professional customers in both personal insurance and property and casualty insurance.”

“I joined Siaci in 2018 to structure the IT department and organise outsourcing with our partners. At the time, the IT roadmap, its design and directions were being defined to accelerate the Group’s transformation and digitalisation.

Your collaboration with Activeo began in 2017 ... against a backdrop of relocation?

[SD] “Activeo was involved in the project to bring our teams together on a single ‘Season’ site in Paris and worked with our outsourcer. Naturally, our teams exchanged views on taking over the telephony and videoconferencing perimeter. Following Activeo’s recommendations and in order to take full advantage of the investments made, we accelerated the deployment of Cisco telephony and the Webex solution to facilitate collaborative working across all the Group’s entities, particularly during the pandemic. Document sharing, video conferencing and remote meetings are now widespread and the solution has been easily adopted by users.

"Our constraints are very high and the regulations are strict, particularly in the context of our HDS (Health Data Hosting) certification. The Cisco Webex environment is secure and offers the robustness and agility required by our business.

How many users are currently using the webex solution? How did the adoption plan and user support go?

[SD] “We have between 2,500 and 3,000 employees, depending on the period. Employees had access to online training, user guides – a quick guide and more comprehensive content – and input from key users to facilitate adoption of the solution. User-friendly and intuitive, the solution took no time to get to grips with. Non-technical users, such as managers, have adopted the solution and are satisfied with it. New ways of working have emerged, and our organisation and equipment now allow us to work remotely.

“In addition, our merger with the Burrus group’s brokerage unit will enable us to round out our range of health insurance brokerage services from a commercial point of view. By the end of 2021, we will have become number 1 in France in brokerage and gone from 3,000 to 5,500 employees worldwide. As the Burrus Group uses Microsoft 365 and Teams, we needed to make the right technological choice for our business. Cisco Webex Calling was the obvious choice for telephony, interfacing with our business applications, and Microsoft Teams for collaborative working, instant messaging and document sharing in the day-to-day work of our employees.

“So the innovation was to integrate Webex into Teams with a single, personalised interface. In this way, we ensure the continuity of the existing telephone solution, with our equipment hosted in our Data Centre, and all the modules in operation are retained. This allows us to combine the two best solutions in one. The next step is to Cloud-enable the environment, i.e. to move away from the proprietary infrastructure model in our data centres towards the Cisco solution in Cloud mode. This project is currently being evaluated with a view to starting up very soon.

Let's go back to the projects... How do you feel about Activeo's support for you?

[SD] “You have to realise that project management with an outsourcer is sometimes complicated and doesn’t always offer the expected responsiveness. On top of that, we have a complex, highly regulated environment, resulting from several integrations of new entities with heterogeneous environments. We have many requirements, particularly in terms of security. Our business applications are numerous; we have maps of all our systems and carry out regular audits to ensure we have complete control of the environment.

"We're delighted with Activeo's agility and responsiveness! The skills and technical expertise of the Activeo teams have been working with us since 2017 and actively contribute to the success of our projects. The audit and diagnostic phases in projects enable us to make the right choices together and secure deployments."

Not forgetting international operations and the Group's subsidiaries?

[SD] “I’m going to talk more about Siaci Saint Honoré, because they are represented internationally, mainly in Europe, through external growth. These subsidiaries have been integrated into our environment. For Calgari and Toronto, we set up a VPN with our application environment and made our applications available by integrating their environment into ours. Our role is to present the orientations chosen at central level in order to improve synergies and technological consistency. For our subsidiary in Tunisia, we proposed and implemented a complete plan, from the choice of building to the installation of the network and equipment. We supplied the video conferencing systems, just as we did in Shanghai and Dubai.

“We then worked with Activeo to set up telephony with a hybrid SD One. We’re seeing optimised telephone costs and smoother, higher-quality collaboration between our various employees around the world, with secure infrastructures to anticipate and avoid any service interruption problems.”

With hindsight, as the conductor of the orchestra, what recommendations and advice would you like to share with us? What are the keys to success for such transformation projects?

[SD] “Personally, I’m proud of how far we’ve come. These projects are complex, and you need to focus on understanding your needs and objectives. Listening is essential, words have an important value, and there is sometimes a gap between what is asked for and what is understood.

“You always have to explain the value of each project and not just focus on the technology. The user’s needs are paramount and it’s a challenge to put ourselves in their place in their day-to-day lives, but in the end it’s the user who uses the technology to carry out their work and gain in comfort, commitment and performance.”

Technology is a way of meeting the company's business challenges and you need to put yourself in the shoes of the user or even the customer?

[SD] “Yes, I’ve been involved in a number of projects that focused on the user experience, and the approach is virtuous and facilitates adoption. This approach needs to be applied to all projects. That is to say, before you end up with a project, you have to see if there is a user need, but beyond that, you have to look at the user experience first and then set up and define the project, and often we do the opposite. One of the experiments we’ve been doing since 2017 with these telephone offers is to find out what the need is first. Today, I’m proud to say that, with my teams and Activeo, I’ve put together a telephony package that works! Our management was also involved, and the projects were presented to the Executive Committee, documented and explained; communication plays a vital role in the transformation!

Do you have a final message to share with us about Activeo's support?

[SD] “I’m delighted to be working with Activeo, which is the rare supplier to listen to the customer before proposing something. Activeo’s staff are responsive, precise in their responses, and everything runs smoothly. Activeo is not a customer supplier, but a partner. When I call to say that something isn’t working straight away, something is done. The investigation and the investment are very professional. You can feel that the teams are passionate!

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