Dec 18, 2017
MCX helps the City Council of The Hague think about Oracle, Security, Architecture and Continuity

In 2002 Oracle initiated the first contact between the City Council of The Hague and MCX. At the time, the question was asked whether MCX could assist the City Council with the technical implementation of the Oracle E-Business Suite. These were the first steps of a long-lasting collaboration between the Systems Knowledge Centre of The Hague and MCX, which - to everyone's satisfaction - is continuing today. Department Manager Wouter van de Westeringh, is sharing his experiences.

European call for tender
At the start of our collaboration MCX provided the technical application management remotely, with the Oracle E-Business Suite running in The Hague's own data centre. This collaboration took a new turn following the 2015 European call for Tender, which was won by MCX. Since then, MCX have been responsible for the hosting and technical application management of the E-Business Suite and the Oracle Data Warehouse Environments. The Oracle E-Business Suite is used daily by more than 1000 public servants, who mainly use the Finance, Purchasing, Logistics, and Projects Modules or Oracle Business Intelligence, as well as the Human Resources Self-Service Pages.

Extremely stable environment
The City Council of The Hague considers the Oracle E-Business Suite to be a business-critical system. "Of course, this will depend on the time of day, but having an unstable or even inaccessible system is unacceptable," says Wouter van de Westeringh. He continues: "Fortunately, this is not the case, as our system is extremely stable. I have never experienced a major fault and the system has never had any spontaneous downtime. Of course, this is largely due to the knowledge and expertise of MCX."

Operational excellence
Stable systems are key for us to be satisfied. However, Wouter van de Westeringh highlights that according to him, three points are even more important as far as collaboration is concerned. "It is important for MCX to understand how we work. They help us think about our processes, understand our specific situation and act accordingly. This open way of communicating makes us true equal partners who share ideas and solutions. Together we work toward operational excellence. The interests of our public servants, and our citizens, always take centre stage. That must never be forgotten."

Help thinking
A second point Wouter van de Westeringh mentions is MCX's pro-active attitude. "MCX demonstrate their added value by interfering actively in matters that fall out of their primary responsibility. Interfering may sound negative, but it is one of the most pleasant things to wish for in a partnership. Together, we look at issues, like Security, Architecture and Continuity. A good example being the WannaCry ransomware outbreak. In such situations, MCX respond adequately and immediately and check if our systems or data are at risk. They proved in no time that our infrastructure wasn't vulnerable, and our system was not exposed by this attack. However, less urgent things are addressed adequately as well. The lines are always short, including at a strategic level. In addition, they help us think about the Cloud Strategy of Oracle, for example. They provide us with genuine and good advice."

First time right
Finally, Wouter wants to share how much he appreciates that MCX know how to ask a question. "That may sound vague, but if a partner knows how to ask the right question, and immediately puts their finger on the sore spot, a lot of time and some frustration is saved. The same can be said about issues our administrators run into. MCX help our administrators formulate the question, therefore knowing exactly what the issue is. This KPI is a joint-effort between the City Council of The Hague and MCX. The first-time right percentage is extremely high."

Flawless collaboration
In short, Wouter van de Westeringh is satisfied with the collaboration. "I would always recommend MCX to fellow IT managers. Both at a strategic and operational level they meet our demands. Our ultimate goal is to help the citizens of The Hague as effectively as possible. In this mission, I feel fully supported by MCX."

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