As the largest car distributor in Belgium, D'Ieteren seeks to optimize its customer management. That's why the company has moved around 4,500 employees onto Office 365, Microsoft's leading SaaS platform. At the same time, it wants to continue to guarantee the independence of all its entities and partners, which include more than 200 car dealers. D'Ieteren Auto also wants to provide good support to its O365 users, without affecting their autonomy. "CoreView's SaaS management solutions proved to be the best solution for this," says Stijn Soens, Realdolmen's Enterprise Technology Architect who shared the responsibility for the implementation.
D'Ieteren Auto increases dealer autonomy thanks to Office 365 virtualization using CoreView
A company like D'Ieteren Auto has plenty of interaction with its partners, such as its network of independent dealers. This makes streamlined and pragmatic management of an O365 tenant essential. An entity, known as a 'tenant', can be imagined as a container where all the Microsoft cloud services used by the company are stored. The space required for this is reserved in the Windows Azure data center.
Ensuring independent management
Harmonization of account management (users, mailboxes, access, applications), a security policy, traceability, availability, responsiveness: all these aspects of tenant management are crucial for D'Ieteren Auto itself. At the same time, it is essential to ensure independent management for its partners, legal entities that do not belong to the car distributor.
There's a paradox and conflict here between harmonization, rationalization and independent management.”
Driven by the car distributor itself, more than 200 independent dealers have all been migrated to Office 365 within a single tenant. It was very important for D’Ieteren Auto to convert this monolithic, single O365 management environment into a separate tenant or management environment for each dealer, and to ensure that dealers could not see each other's environments. "And of course, separating business units, even if they're all contained in one logical whole like the same tenant, is just one of the possible options offered by CoreView's management software" says Stijn Soens.
Transforming tenant management
D'Ieteren Auto needed a better way to manage and organize its tenant. And CoreView enabled that crucial transformation. Today, the car distributor manages approximately 4,500 users under the new solution, split into 35 vTenants (virtual tenants: the legal or official entities within one physical tenant). "We'll shortly be adding another 1,500 users, as well as a number of new vTenants," says Giovanni Palmieri.
Realdolmen was responsible for implementing the new management solution. Stijn Soens and his colleagues had already assisted D'Ieteren Auto in their migration to Office 365. "By involving our service desk, we also took over the total management of this central environment, both for D'Ieteren itself as well as their dealers. Today, the same service desk is the first point of contact for dealers in case of questions or problems with the management of their virtual tenant." To quickly familiarize all dealers with this new tenant management without having to provide formal training, Realdolmen also produced a handy one-page flyer or 'cheat sheet'.
Writing custom scripts
The proposal to rely on CoreView came from Realdolmen, who had already successfully implemented this supplier's SaaS management platform on several occasions. "A successful demo then got the ball rolling," recalls Stijn Soens. "After a preliminary phase working alongside CoreView, in which we set up the new logical subdivisions and assigned the management tasks, configuring the new management portal took no time at all. It's a huge benefit that you don't need any rights under the O365 environment to manage them from the CoreView portal."
However, not all of the desired functionalities were included as standard in the CoreView platform. In order to cover the full scope of D'Ieteren Auto's needs, Realdolmen wrote a number of additional scripts tailored to the customer's requirements. "In my role as architect, I also like to do everything I can to increase the added value of their investment in CoreView. Their VPN configurations, for example, are very specific. If I can integrate these into their CoreView environment and thereby promote the autonomy of their dealers, I'm not going to ignore this option. For onboarding their dealers, you could then use the CoreFlow module itself, which they included in the implementation to improve their administrative efficiency," adds Stijn Soens.
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