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Advisory board guides Inventive Designers towards the cloud

Many contracts, e-mails and invoices from banks and government authorities are generated with software developed by Antwerp-based Inventive Designers. So far, the company has only offered the software on-site. But if it is to continue growing, then it will have to transition to Software as a Service (SaaS). To facilitate the process, the company entered into a long-term relationship with Sirris. This involved setting up an advisory board of experts, among other things.

Transitioning from a system with software licences to a SaaS application requires not just a different way of developing software, but also a different way of doing business. Which is why Inventive Designers made full use of Sirris's insights and advice and signed up for the My Software as a Service bootcamp. There it learned the fundamentals, but it soon became clear that this kind of transition has an impact on the company's entire business model, not just on the software.

Head in the clouds

This presented two challenges for Inventive Designers. Nick Boucart, Senior Advisor Software Engineering & ICT at Sirris: “Firstly, the existing software suite was not developed with a SaaS model in mind. Secondly, the type of customer targeted by cloud services is not necessarily the same as for an on-site product. In addition, there is still some reluctance in Belgium.”

To ensure a smooth transition, Inventive Designers set up an advisory board with Sirris and Agoria's 'My Advisory Board' service. The board comprises a group of experts, including entrepreneur and Sirris advisor Omar Mohout. Boucart: “Three to five experts sit on an advisory board, each with a specific function.” The advisory board meets four times a year to discuss progress made and the next steps to take.