Infoteam is mastering complexity with a multi-disciplinary approach

Infoteam SA is based in the heart of the industrial park of Villars-sur-Glâne near Fribourg. There, the visitor is quickly seduced by its warm and friendly atmosphere. This is maybe due to its leaders and their merits, but it is also thanks to the original structure of its organization chart, which favours freedom of thought and allows both the managers and the forty employees to take initiatives.

This year Infoteam is celebrating its 20th anniversary of working on IT solutions for industry, service companies and public administration. Like most well-established SMEs, the company has gradually strengthened and built on its experience over the years, enabling it to satisfy an ever-increasing number and variety of customers. Growth leads to new corporate infrastructure

The Swiss company’s story may sound somewhat familiar. As soon as they graduated, two engineers decided to start their own business. They landed their first contract and dedicated a whole year to this assignment. Then jobs followed one another enabling them to gain experience. Eventually, the two founders became specialised in automation, software development and in the IT management of electric grids. Over time, the company steadily developed into other fields and progressively expanded to meet various demands. If in its beginnings, the company only aspired to meet some of their clients’ overall requirements; it gained expertise and adapted its internal organisation to provide integrated solutions. Now, Infoteam is recognised as a multi-disciplinary leader far beyond the canton of Fribourg.

Building on a steady and balanced growth, in 2007 the management decided to take a fresh look at the structure of the company and its corporate identity. As a result Infoteam was split into five teams: Automation Engineering, Software Engineering, IT Services for Enterprise, Web & Mobile Solutions, and Energy Solutions. Although the forty employees are now spread across these divisions, it remains an essential objective to nurture close teamwork between the engineers. Infoteam’s main ambition has always been to meet - without delay - the needs and requests of its customers, and to be proactive rather than reactive. We believe our clients appreciate the benefits of the flexible structure of our company, which enable us to immediately adjust to the workload or the complexity of any project. Moreover, Infoteam expanded in 2007, opening a subsidiary in Valais. The local customers value the proximity of this branch of the company. Clients with complex requirements

Some of Infoteam’s past assignments demonstrate the versatility of the firm based in Villars-sur-Glâne. For instance, the very complex website of Geneva airport which had to take into account various interactions 24/7; the electronic management of the artificial cloud  «blur» of Expo.02 in Yverdon-les-Bains; the regulation of the water level of Lake Geneva; the control of the water network of Lausanne; or the management of the  highway tunnels in the canton of Neuchâtel.

These projects have earned us recognition, but other less spectacular applications also reveal the level of our know-how, particularly in industrial IT. Indeed, production line-related tasks (automation) require not only expertise, but also specific skills. Our ambition is to optimize the management of production in order to retrieve essential data for use by our clients. There is no point in overloading the user with information, such as unnecessary figures or statistics. Our job is to carry out an accurate needs analysis based on very close cooperation with the various divisional managers involved. It is then up to us to come up with the best solutions, providing everything needed by the different branches  and enabling them to share information and work together, as required.

Set to thrive

Infoteam is now focusing specifically on two fields where its services are set to thrive. These are, on the one hand, the knowledge management and information sharing that are critical to the operation of all companies, and on the other power optimisation and energy efficiency through IT.

For some years now, the company has been working on knowledge management and information sharing tools that will enable companies to rationalise their administration. Our proposed solutions are much in demand, demonstrating a clear need in this field. Today, truly successful companies are looking for high IT efficiency, in order to simplify tasks for managers and all staff. Making all the data and existing documents available to anyone in the company is a task that involves every department: administration, management, production, traceability, certification, quality control, external services, contact consumer service, and so on.  Meanwhile, editing, back-up and data sorting are handled in a central database, while data sharing and access to documents are subject to authorisation at an individual level and delivered whenever necessary, depending on the confidentiality level of  documents.

When it comes to power optimisation and energy efficiency, the goal is to reduce and then keep the overall energy consumption down at the lowest level possible, using optimisation tools that facilitate analysis and control processes, as well as supervision and maintenance.  Again, simple methods are essential because users do not always have an IT background.

Many other firms are active in advanced IT systems for industry and service companies. Most of the time, they are expert in one or more of the fields we are involved in. For us, this creates very interesting synergies, since the services we provide usually involve several departments of the same client.  Our advantage is that we often know what is happening upstream and downstream of the assignment we are handling. In any case, the IT market is huge and the needs are always growing, not least in IT architecture and the harmonisation of corporate networks. Thanks to those trends, serious and structured businesses clearly have promising future prospects.

By Jean

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