Have you ever heard of vendor lock-in? What is it and how can it become a commitment for suppliers and their customers?

Often, the goal of suppliers is to solidify a direct, continuous, and trusting relationship and loyalty with their customers. This type of relationship, however, is not always easy to manage. The vendor lock-in comes into play when a client company ties itself to its supplier of products and services exclusively, becoming dependent on the supplied service, on the ad-hoc designed product or on the implemented technology so much that it cannot back out from the relationship so easily. Change is possible, but only with a high and expensive effort in terms of time and resources. Indeed, this is called the lock-in effect.

What does the vendor lock-in entail?

If, on one hand, working with a low number of suppliers results in the reduction of process complexity and in their homogeneity, on the other, it decreases the client’s negotiation capacity. Moreover, increasing the number of contractual and organizational obstacles, the potential shift from a supplier to another becomes increasingly complex. Just think of the supply of technological services and/or products: you have license agreements to observe and all the investments to structure the project team in terms of updating and developing specific skills – especially in the case of yearly projects. That’s why the consequence is a locked-in effect with the customers.

Why did GreenVulcano adopted a no vendor locked-in approach

Usually, when carrying out a substantial product development – or better, a development that could affect systems supporting the company’s core business – two of the main concerns of who has to choose the partner/supplier to rely on are: in the short term, efficiency – that is, the solution must be supplied on time and must be of high quality; and, in the long term, what happens after the delivery. Clients are afraid that the solution will depend on the supplier. Thus, they want to be sure they might find new suppliers somewhere else if necessary. What solutions? GreenVulcano adopts a different approach from those currently on the market.

We aim at efficiency, providing a high-quality product in full respect of any deadline and with the tools that allow the customer to change supplier whenever necessary – as Gaetano Rossi explains, GreenVulcano’s Vice President & General Director. Our customer can choose to stay with us only if they believe we worked fine together. That is, we set our projects following an agile methodology that allows us to share our know-how with the customer. Customers will be included in all the stages of the project’s realization. They immediately acquire all the necessary information and the gained know-how is co-managed in spaces/repositories by both the customer and the supplier.

GreenVulcano’s approach towards its own customers

As stated by Livia Bochicchio, GreenVulcano’s Scrum Master and Project Manager:

Customers are able to follow the projects autonomously – after the development of the product – thanks to manuals and instructions or, even, the source code provided by our team. At the end of the project, usually, we share the information repositories: a complete package both at the code’s level and at the related information one. It’s our way to relate to the customers with honesty and transparency, giving the customer our availability and allowing them the necessary autonomy. I believe this will become a benefit rather than an issue in terms of loyalty. Because it allows the customer to have their project’s keys in their hands in the best conditions possible. 

Our strength? We provide all the technical product-related documentation and we explain how certain features work and what potential issues may arise. We aim at our customers’ satisfaction, not from their dependencies in projects that could last years. We want our customers to stay and work with us because they are satisfied with our working methodologies. When a problem arises – for instance, issues during the testing phases – we provide a report on what happened together with hypotheses of other potential issues that might occur later to ease our customers’ operation during resolution. Qualitatively, hence, we provide a 360-degrees product whose goal is to allow our customers to be independent from us and to avoid  the locked-in effect.

Keywords of the no vendor lock-in approach?

Autonomy, transparency, trust, know-how. 

Do you want to know more about it? Write to us. We’ll be more than happy to tell you about our approach and our offering.

Safeguard of cashflow is fundamental for any business and Creopay, the first “cash delivery” platform, helps companies solve all the diverse issues related to required payments.

Through the fintech app, the company creates a proprietary customer database from which it sends a direct payment link – which works with all the main payment circuits. This way, cash flow increases simply and rapidly, consequently improving the company’s profitability.

It is an effective and efficient way to help businesses grow quicker even in difficult moments, allowing them to digitize a critical process such as payments ad fiscal compliance, without having to spend large sums of money for this kind of service.

Whether it is dormant accounts, payment requests to activate a supply contract or even to cash in the rent, you only need a “digital” memo, sent via SMS or email, and a simplified and accessible procedure via a link to give the opportunity to the other party to safely settle heir account.

GreenVulcano Technologies is a high-profile company: we could realize a project from scratch and have it just like we wanted it

Antonio Fontanelli – CEO of Creopay #cashdelivery

The web cash in is universal and is provided with a custom POS. This can be activated immediately and it only takes a few minutes to through the process. This way, businesses can receive payments from all over the world in whatever currency.

Creopay is the ideal solution when it comes to the management of expired or recurring payments thanks to the opportunity to set up installment plans.

From debts to service subscriptions and even to most conventional invoice management with the possibility to set up automatic sending with the correct amount to be paid.

Creopay makes the contractual relationship smarter by relieving the user from bureaucratic stress and hardship and providing the payer with a lean, quick and comfortable payment solution on any device.

There no unnecessary costs in any part of the user experience and cashing in is quick and utterly traced. The product, moreover, is compliant with the Italian law for fiscal and banking matters. Debt reconciliation is instantaneous and automatically produces a receipt of payment to safeguard both the involved parties.

In the case of recurring use, the customer can also save the payment source for future operations – a very useful function when dealing with recurring customers of installments.

The fintech solution is extremely accessible and optimized:

  • payment links are active 24/7.
  • the platform is utterly on the cloud.
  • processes are automatic and allow massive database management or to send single, instantaneous requests.

A quick and timely product you can connect to your payments with just a few clicks.

The use of the fintech app is an autonomous process in 4 stages:

  1. Activation of the account’s Cloud, fully secured and according to the GDPR regulation on data saved by the company.
  2. Creation of a “customer-debtor” list, a simple document the user can brand with his/her company’s name through the upload of .csv or .excel files.
  3. Payment requests (single, multiple or massive) individually or in installments.
  4. Timely and real-time reports of all the activities and of solved payments.

With what kind of customers can I use CREOPAY?

  • Active customers that can use the various possible options for single payments or for installment plans, subscriptions or rents.
  • Customers with expired accounts. You can send a link to pay via alternative, digital and quick payment sources if I problem occurred on the main source.
  • Non-performing customers. Creopay allows for massive credit management companies to efficiently recover the payment and to identify operations and strategies for the next actions to implement on the database (thanks to the data analysis service provided on the platform).

GreenVulcano’s contribution to the realization of Creopay

Creopay was one of the innovative projects GreenVulcano recently followed and supported. The project embraced both the application architecture and the creation of the manuals for managers and users.

The rebuilding of Creopay 2.0, designed by GreenVulcano Technologies, is a web-based, cloud-native, safe distributed and scalable application based on a multilevel architecture on three layers:

  1. Presentation
  2. Business services
  3. Persistence

The Presentation layer deals with the UI for all the activities carried out by human users and involves both the back-office and the user face for the end-users. The data of the Presentation layer are supplied by the Business services layer while further data are shared via API with third-party services.

The Business Services layer contains a set of loose coupling services following the principle of “Decompose by business capability”. APIs are listed according to safety and business functions in conjunction with event-driven processes. Automated and programmed tasks deal with the completion of Creopay 2.0’s business processes.

The Persistence layer contains a set of databases to safely store business information and metadata.

A final security layer deals with the IAM and secures the Presentation layer and all the following structure.

Creopay 2.0’s Architecture

Creopay 2.0’s architecture is based on PaaS (Platform as a Service) and cloud development and deployment environment. An infrastructure natively scalable and based on containers. It is a more efficient, quicker and lighter solution.

The container structure allows the application to be encircled in auto-consistent environments, ensuring an extreme deployment velocity, scalability and ease-of-use for porting among development environments, tests and production.

The platform allowing to create and execute Creopay 2.0’s container is Docker, an open-source, flexible and user-friendly platform. The architecture of the containers is regulated by monitoring servers that trigger the system and keep monitoring the execution of independent containers. The execution harmony among the various containers is ensured by solutions such as Kubernetes. Kubernetes is the leading product to manage medium and large architectures. It is an open-source project made by Google. This way, all the various, Linux-based containers make the application easy to distribute and scale according to whatever necessity with a high degree of abstraction.

The architecture designed for Creopay 2.0, thus, allows the fintech company to have a more efficient management of workloads.

Last month, we had a review of our 2020 and what it meant to us.

In the last few days, Alfredo Adamo, historical member of the great GreenVulcano Technologies family and CEO of AlanAdvatage, expressed and sent us a wish to all of us.

“Many of you often heard me say: “We’re the strongest! Only health can stop us… And it’s not doing it”. I think this touched on all the issues we faced as a company and as a great family in 2020.

More than once I said this sentence is “my motto” and, luckily, thanks to the skills af all the people working with us, I could repeat myself in all these years. Month after month, what we call our network grew in size, number of people, revenues, in the whole overall value. Today, our network earns more than 30 million euros in revenues and our reputation is growing as well.

Never before our health was put to the test by this devious virus! Unfortunately, it hit some of us directly. Some of us lost relatives, friends, loved ones. And it is to all our beloved ones that left us during this terrible year – whether due to the virus or for other reasons – that we send all our love.

However, what we kept seeding and harvesting in 2020, we’re sure it will blossom in 2021. We have all the opportunities to do increasingly better. Thanks to the great work we’re all carrying out, I’m sure that the famous green of GreenVulcano Technologies will also be a sign of hope for the recently started new year.

I’d like to remember once more the story of Professor Randy Pausch, who passed away in 2008. In September 2006, Randy Pausch was a brilliant math professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He had a wife, three kids and he passionately loved his job, his coworkers and his students. Suddenly though, doctors diagnosed him an advanced pancreatic cancer. One year later, on September 18th 2007, Pausch held his last pulic lecture, his “Last Lecture”, in front of four hunded people and left his last message to friends and coworkers: “Achieve your childhood dreams”.

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” – Carnegie Mellon University – Sept. 18, 2007

We are hence entering this new 2021, full of ambitious goals and new projects, trying to be close, kind, united. Seek help from a coworker and you’ll receive it. Remember, we are all a videocall away, just a few seconds away from each other… Let’s not lose our spirit.”

“It feels good to achieve our childhood dreams. And as you get older, you may find that “enabling the dreams of others” thing is even more fun,” Randy Pausch.

We want to start 2021 with this wish by Alfredo Adamo. We want to start from the complex reality of these last months without forgetting the quality our group showed in this trying period, with exceptional adaptability skills.

Company news won’t lack, the first for 2021 is quite important too: the onboarding of Gaetano Rossi as new Vice President – General Director. The arrival of Gaetano in GreenVulcano Technologies represents a natural step forward in the growth and improvement strategy we are carrying out for the group and the whole network.

Gaetano started his career in the ICT industry in 1991 in Telesoft and has been there for 8 years as a Project Manager. He then moved on to working in several companies of the Telecom Italia galaxy: for instance, from 2005 to 2013 he was in Shared Services, where he covered management roles until he finished his adventure as OSS Development and Management Director.

From 2013 to 2017 he had an extremely important experience in TI.IT (Telecom Italia Information Technology): up to 2014 as ADM integration & Testing Manager, from 2014 to 2017 as BSS Mass Market Systems Manager and then as Digital BSS Delivery Manager.

Under his coordination, and thanks to the support of more than 300 employees an 500 consultants, TIM became a true multinational giant. A colossus which is still a model of reference, besides being the pride of Italian telecommunications in the world.

The target we’re aiming at is clear and simple to understand: to help Team GVT to achieve an astounding professional, technical, organizational, economical and – above all – people-oriented growth.

We’re approaching the end of 2020 and as a corporate group, and more importantly a second family, we think it’s important to share with you our exciting vision for next year. 

We’re living in an increasingly digital market, more and more inclined to adopt new technologies and more sustainable methods for the city life. GreenVulcano Technologies has always been on the forefront of what drives the widespread adoption of technologies and lifestyles previously considered avant-garde. Rest assured that we won’t let these new opportunities slip away.

Even the new methodologies of work from home, for instance, were confronted in the best way possible – in line with the innovative disposition of both the company and each of us individually. Our Co-founder Gianfranco, last May, recommended to us 10 ways to feel mentally healthy when working from home during the lockdown. They turned out to be extremely helpful in organizing our working day at home. Keeping us from going crazy!

Maurizio Fiumara, Senior Manager of the group, contributed more than once on the company blog titled dealing with the topic of social recruiting. As a result,we were able to add 25 new colleagues to the team in just the last 18 months.

As a company, we did not hesitate to respond to the emergency by allowing our teams to work from home. I can definitely assert that the work-from-home methodology worked. All our colleagues kept working efficiently and willingly, fully supported by the company board. And this wasn’t restricted to simply working matters. We also organised virtual coffee breaks and periodic meetings where we could discuss various topics and have fun.

A few weeks later Mario Stefanutti, CTO of GreenVulcano Technologies, opened the doors of the R&D lab. He described the collaboration among our colleagues during the end of the first wave, here is how he remembered those moments:

We realized that we’ve been technically ready to change for some years. We have audio/video communication platforms, cooperation tools and adequate, efficient, and mature technological means that play a very important role. Mankind will necessarily make good use of this work-from-home experience. It will become an increasingly important tool in the future even after the emergency.

Looking back, 2020 started off strong with the establishment of the new spin-off Sensoworks, which deals with IoT and infrastructure monitoring. By the end of January, Sensoworks was officially launched and not looking back, as was discussed  on our blog

Sensoworks is the culmination of the many successes we experienced in the field of IoT. This success was the driving force behind the need to create its independence. However it will always contain the DNA of our (growing) family.

As you may also know our second spin-off, Automyo, demonstrates our desire towards experimentation. In this case, distilling the essence of automation and robotics and using it to give birth to our RPA product called Claudio. The timing of this couldn’t be better. 

Among the many successful projects we also wanted to call attention to ePopZeb. This project was developed together with Regione Lazio. It was just recently completed and shown on the virtual screens of this year’s virtual Maker Faire conference. Very exciting to see this take place.

Nearing the end of 2020, the topic of sustainable mobility, especially that of micromobility, was a key focus. GreenVulcano Technologies didn’t miss the opportunity to mention its contribution to this topic. The details behind this can be found in our recent press releases, as well as some special  TV appearances by Marco D’Ambrosio, the group’s Business Developer, and Claudio Ortenzi, Senior Analyst.

But if 2021 is the year of mobility, as reported by Mario Stefanutti, we can’t help but to have a special mention of all the fantastic news from the IoT monitoring front. Since May, Sensoworks has had the good fortune of working with Autostrade per l’Italia and Anas for a number of monitoring projects resulting in a real and relevant impact on the national infrastructure. Likewise, Sensoworks has also secured a partnership with Acea, which we’re sure will bring us many, many beautiful updates in the coming year. 

But above all, we have to thank our fantastic team. Without it, we wouldn’t have any of these marvelous victories. 

We aim to increase the number of team building activities in 2021, so as to get to know each other even better and to be closer than ever. If 2020 has taught us anything, it has shown just how much we can give as individuals and as members of a bigger team.

Happy holidays to you and your families from all the GreenVulcano Technologies group.

We already talked about sustainable micromobility in an interview last August as a potential opportunity for business in the future. At the end of 2020, we think it is the right time to take up the topic again and take stock of its performance.

This year, in the Italian market of shared mobility, we witnessed an exponential growth of subscribers to services as car sharing or scooter sharing. Just think that, at a national level, there has been a 48% increase compared to 2019 for the former, while the latter registered a 45% increase. In all this, bike sharing also grew by +8% year-on-year. 

In terms of absolute number of active vehicles, bikes make up the majority of the sharing fleet, but the 554% increase in the number of electric scooters is a clear indication of the market development in that direction.

If we take into account that the mobility industry – also from an “anti-Covid19” perspective – has been at the forefront of institutional and political initiatives since 2019, with incentives to buy more eco-sustainable and easy-to-drive means of transport in urban areas, then we have to be optimistic.

All the data and the brand-new tech features in the mobility sector lead us to one only possible result: 2021 will be a great year for shared mobility. 

The recent pandemic represented a challenge initially quite complex for the sharing industry, especially for pooling among individual users, that is sharing one only vehicle – for instance, in an Uber ride or in a private car subscribed to services as the famous BlaBlaCar. 

However, the pandemic and its consequences on the market also brought deep changes, which we think will last long in time. If the industry grew in such relevant numbers in the midst of a health crisis, we can only imagine how much it still can grow once the emergency is over and bureaucratic and technical limitations are overcome. 

In particular, among the various market segments, the one with an extreme growth potential is that of urban micromobility. 

Micromobility is different from the other vehicle sharing services since – as the name goes – it involves smaller rides, easier to drive in urban areas and that cover shorter distances. 

Just 10 years ago, to buy some groceries we might’ve taken our cars. Today, we can rent a bike or an electric scooter just a few steps away from home and “give back” the vehicle once we’re done. This way, not only contributing to the reduction of traffic and pollution (environmental and acoustic), but also to our own wellbeing, exercising our muscles in a cleaner atmosphere. 

GreenVulcano Technologies has this exact mission in mind: to do everything we can to develop more efficient, more effective and more environmentally sustainable technologies. For this reason we cooperated with leader companies in the mobility and automotive industry such as Octo Telematics and PopMove, to research the best solutions to the many problems affecting our city lives. 

Today, the mobility industry has never been so disruptive, especially in Italy, where all the biggest cities provide these kinds of solutions, with an increasing rate of conversion.

GreenVulcano Technologies is, hence, fully integrated in the world of mobility and of the new available solutions. We must reduce the negative impacts of an outdated mobility, through the implementation of methods of urban mobility which occupy less space and pollute less – we’re talking both noxious gases and non-stop noise. 

Data at hand, we believe that 2021 will be a wonderful year for micromobility. Institutions have extended their micromobility experiments until 27 July 2022, supported by a market increasingly inclined to adopt this kind of solutions to move around cities. Moreover, we also see an increasing interest in starting new micromobility projects in all Italy.

We believe that micromobility is a rising market which hasn’t reached its peak yet and where the opportunity to experiment new solutions, products and services allows us to move forward towards a more sustainable and livable society and urbanization.

Mario Stefanutti

Mario Stefanutti is a CTO with more than 20 years of experience with complex IT infrastructures and systems. Experience gained on major companies like Telecom and Reply, where he’s covered roles from Solution Architect to Technical Project Leader.
At GreenVulcano he manages the R&D Lab in Rome and he’s responsible for the strategic definition of technical developments of all GreenVulcano products.

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