FCR Media

How enterprise architecture supports radical business innovation

Case Solita and FCR Media: How enterprise architecture supports radical business innovation

SMEs have a great need for digital marketing solutions. But for expert FCR Media the market is changing quickly. A SAAS solution with differentiated levels of support should make the company future-proof. With thanks to Solita for the enterprise architecture.

If there is one market that has been shaken up in twenty years, it is that of directories. Until the early 2000s, these telephone directories were the most important source of information for those looking for a person or a company. In the meantime, the Internet has taken over this role. Online directories abound, often for a specific sector. Of course, Google also plays an important role in this respect.

This is also the case in Belgium where the hegemony of the paper ‘Gouden Gids’ crumbled year after year. Fortunately, a new activity grew out of the existing company. Exit paper directory, enter FCR Media with a full online offering for being found online.

“We offer digital marketing solutions for SMEs and help them with their digital transformation”, says CTO Bart van der Heijden, describing the company’s mission.

FCR Media has an offer for both smaller SMEs (up to 5 employees) and larger companies, which are treated as clients of a marketing agency. Of the more than 1 million SMEs in Belgium, some 22,000 are FCR Media customers. This makes it the largest player in the SME market.

Case story of Solita and FCR media: How enterprise architecture supports radical business innovation
Millenials are used to setting up their own actions online and do not need our help. They want tools that they can use themselves.

Bart van der Heijden CTO, FCR Media

Millennials require a different approach

The FCR Media team also saw another opportunity to increase its footprint. “A whole group of enterpreneurs are younger than our traditional target group,” says Bart van der Heijden.

“These Millennials want to do things differently. They are used to setting up their own actions online and do not need our help. They want tools that they can use themselves.”

This group is growing and so FCR Media provided them with a solution, christening it Sitee.io. “In Sitee.io, we offer our marketing solutions in a Do-it-yourself formula with support”, echoes Bart van der Heijden. “Via Sitee.io you have access to a CRM and customer module, a marketing automation module, a booking tool, an invoicing tool and a tool to monitor and improve your online reputation. Those who choose the business pack also get a website.”

Sitee.io saw the light of day in October 2021 and already received its first update in February 2022. “This product of course remains in full development”, says Bart van der Heijden. “In a next step, we want to integrate campaigns on Facebook and Google so that our customers can do lead generation, and we want to greatly improve the data and reporting part.”

Solita as enterprise architect

FCR Media set up Sitee.io internally as a start-up. A separate team bears full responsibility, but the team is small. Bart van der Heijden: “We are too small a company to build solutions ourselves. That’s why we engage in maximum cooperation with SaaS platforms, but also work with external partners to guarantee the construction of the platform.”

One such partner is Solita, who is brought in as an enterprise architect.

“I once started within this company as an enterprise architect myself”, says Bart van der Heijden. “It is precisely because of this that I see the need for good profiles in this area. Solita initially focused on insight into the lead data, so that we can better predict which prospects have the most potential. To this end, it worked with both the internal data and marketing team and drew out the architecture for our solution in Microsoft Azure.”

Solita and FCR Media case story about enterprise architecture
Solita initially focused on insight into the lead data, so that we can better predict which prospects have the most potential.

Bart van der Heijden CTO, FCR Media

Typical Nordics culture

Thanks to the start-up of Sitee.io, Solita’s focus shifted to the integration of existing components into the umbrella that Sitee.io wants to be.

Bart van der Heijden: “That task consisted of drawing up the roadmap and looking at the technical solution. Will an iFrame work or should we work something else out? It also included the architecture for Boomi, the Enterprise Service Bus that forms the connection between all the platforms. Finally, Solita kept an eye on whether the company responsible for development was implementing things as we had in mind. And thanks to the right division of tasks, that worked out fine.”

Even now, the work for Solita at FCR Media has not ended. Since Sitee.io continues to evolve, there is also ongoing work on the architecture side. Bart van der Heijden is satisfied with the performance of the software consultancy.

“We have many partners from other countries and other cultures. It strikes me that Solita has very much adopted the Nordics culture. It is close to Belgian culture and is characterised by a no-nonsense approach. That works well together.”

It even goes so far that the Solita consultant at FCR Media is also part of the management team of the CTO. “That counts five managers, including the consultant of Solita”, says Bart van der Heijden. “The only difference with the other four managers is that he has no people reporting to him. But let it be clear that it is the only external partner who is represented in the management team.”

Working on the future of FCR Media

Solita is thus partly responsible for the rapid start-up of Sitee.io. It is still too early to say whether this start-up will be immediately successful. “For the time being it is a drop in the bucket that is our income”, says Bart van der Heijden about this.

“But I consider it likely that Sitee.io will be much more central to FCR Media within ten years. I rather question how FCR Media will then fit into the bigger story.”

Clearly, Sitee.io is ushering in the next transformation of FCR Media, which grew out of Yellow Pages. Glad Solita has a hand in that.

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