A leader more demanding about himself than others

Miguel Freire

A leader more demanding about himself than others

Miguel Freire 52 years old, is the new partner and chief operating officer of askblue.

It was already part of the team but will now strengthen its corporate and management structure. Miguel Freire, who in recent years has managed askblue’s business consulting area, will lead the Portuguese technology consultant’s new business unit, focused on application maintenance. By assuming the position of Operations Director Miguel Freire also becomes a partner of the company. In your new mission you will be focused “In response to constant market developments and legislative changes that have a daily impact on increasingly complex IT applications, both technologically and functionally,” he explains.

Graduated in Applied Mathematics and with a 30-year career in project management and coordination. Miguel Freire becomes askblue partner in a context of company growth and diversification of its offer, which led to the creation of the Operations unit.

The structure now created will integrate two distinct areas, Application Maintenance and askblue technology center, a support center deployed in Lisbon and Coimbra (at the Pedro Nunes Institute), which is focused on the evolutionary maintenance of Outsystems and .NET / SQ projects. In addition to managing and developing the company’s operations, the new director will have the additional responsibility of “developing partnerships, particularly international ones, aimed at strengthening geographical coverage and models of services and solutions “, he adds.

Experienced manager – with companies like Accenture or Oni Telecomunicações in the curriculum, always in positions Management – Miguel Freire first became team leader at age 31. Today, as it is then, you know that the basis for building successful businesses is knowing how to drive professionals to success. That is why it assumes as a professional ambition “to grow professionals personally and professionally. Making them progressively and appropriately overcome new challenges and responsibilities, encouraging their proactivity, positivism, integrity, rhythm and thus elevating the excellence of the company. as a whole“. It emphasizes “creating opportunities for growth and challenge that fit the ambition of all members of your team.

Recognized among peers as a pragmatic leader, very focused on results and goal achievement, Miguel Freire says he is more demanding about himself than others and argues that this should be the profile of the good leader. A role whose purpose is to help teams reach their maximum performance potential.

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askblue adds maintenance services in new unit

askblue adds maintenance services in new unit

askblue has launched a new business area that will integrate evolutionary maintenance services and core application support.

In this new Operations unit will also be integrated askblue technology center, a structure that is distributed between Lisbon and Coimbra and which is centered on OutSystems and .NET / SQL technologies.

The center corresponds to one of the two areas of the new unit. The other is Application Management and will be responsible for “the evolutionary maintenance and support of core client applications, including development, functional and technical design, testing, incident and problem management as well as support lines”, explains the company.

The new askblue Operations unit will be led by Miguel Freire, who will also take on roles as a partner of the company. In a statement, points out that Miguel Freire has “vast experience in the management and coordination of demanding projects in different areas”.

By the end of the year, the askblue technology center will increase the team to 20 people. The structure provides remote support services, collaborating with the companies in the maintenance of applications created by askblue or by third parties.

The askblue business was so far divided by the business areas dedicated to Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing. The creation of a new business area is explained by Pedro Nicolau, CEO of the company, as “a natural evolution of our offer and recognizes a need that we have been identifying in different customers.” New unit

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Forum
Banking: tailor-made solutions to fit your clients´needs

Forum
Banking: tailor-made solutions to fit your clients´needs

Digital banking has become the answer to clients´needs, accustomed to an increasingly technological world. Therefore, we have the ability and the intention to solve our financial problems whenever, wherever and however we want.

Focusing on the Client
Élia Faustino, askblue’s Senior Manager

The expression created in 1909 by Harry Selfridge, “The Customer Is Always Right” could have been the slogan for the revolution operated by the new business model of digital banking: highly customer-oriented, meeting their needs and expectations, regardless of the point of contact, be it physical or digital.

This business model’s objective is to respond to a new generation of clientes with consumer profiles and expectations, who seek and value a permanently available and accessible partner, satisfying their needs and providing them with an easy, fast, agile and adequate experience in line with their profile.

These clientes expect the same kind of digital relationship they have with their favourite online retailer to have it with their bank: regarding all the services and/or products, at anytime and anywhere, without any formalities and without the unnecessary visit to the bank. In other words, they demand the same kind of efficiency, convenience, proactivity, accessibility, mobility and agility which they would demand from an online company like Amazon. The possibility of opening a bank account within minutes, their permanent access to a set of services ranging from a simple balance check to accessing credit operations, by providing exclusive online products and by the reduction or absence of bank charges associated with these operations, make digital banking all the worthwhile because of its uncomparable advantages.

It is not only client expectations that are shaping the business, but also the way in which players position themselves and the entry of new competitors with new concepts which make the existing financial ecosystem evolve, providing a more agile, more transparent and less bureaucratic context to clientes.

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AskBlue distinguished as OutSystems Partner of the Year

AskBlue distinguished as OutSystems Partner of the Year

The national business and technology consulting company was distinguished as Partner of the Year 2018, in Portugal, by OutSystems. AskBlue is Elite Partner since 2018 and has a team of 30 professionals working in this technology.

AskBlue was honored as Outsystems “Partner of the Year 2018” in Portugal. This distinction recognizes the pioneering spirit of the company and the strategic focus on this technological platform.

AskBlue CEO Pedro Nicolau said: “We have a long-standing commitment to this technology, accompanying many of our customers in their digital transformation processes with solutions that respond to their business needs. The distinction we receive now recognizes the commitment and work developed over the years, as well as our commitment to quality and excellence in all the projects we have developed for and with our customers. “

AskBlue’s commitment to this technological partnership is part of the growth strategy outlined by the company, and meets the growing number of requests for solutions developed in OutSystems’ low-code technology platform, as well as helping to create a solid competitive entry base markets, through the execution of projects mostly in the nearshore regime. Partner OutSystems since 2015, the company is, since 2018, OutSystems Elite Partner.

Over the years, the company has developed projects in organizations from the most varied sectors, from Finance to Health and Distribution, Public Administration and Utilities.

The success achieved is based on its unique ability, together with its customers, to develop new business, enhance the value chain and optimize and transform operational performance in each project. These results are also recognized by customers, who continue to choose AskBlue for the development of new and challenging projects.

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Multidisciplinary and committed teams guarantee the success of organizations

Multidisciplinary and committed teams guarantee the success of organizations

Ana Rosado and Sofia Bastos dos Santos, Askblue’s Senior Partners, in an interview conducted by – Positive Country – in the “Women’s Month”.

WE WOMEN!

Is it still difficult today to assert a technology company being a woman? Are there still any doubts about women’s performance in these domains and areas of technology?

[SBS] Fortunately, the presence of women in all sectors of activity is increasing and technology is no exception. Companies in this area generally favor meritocracy, regardless of gender, which tends to attenuate any prejudices of any kind. Of course, the existence of a culture of inclusion, as well as evaluation systems and well-defined careers, are critical success factors for this reality. These are the contexts that we have at AskBlue from day one and that guarantee transparency and equity in the management of people.

Is it vital that we continue to strive for gender equality and opportunities?

[SBS] It’s still important, of course, but it will certainly require different approaches and priorities, comparing to 50-60 years ago. Fortunately, the legacy we leave to our daughters, in this context, is very different from the one our mothers left us. But in a society where domestic violence is a problem and women are the main victims, it is a society where there is still a lot of work to be done, in a much broader landscape than just the professional context or restricted to it.

What are the characteristics that allow a company, although young, to be able to implement itself so effectively?

[AR] Founded in 2013, AskBlue excels in the field of information technology. AskBlue’s main differentiating feature is the commitment to build up an excellence team, since the inception of the company, able to understand and integrate technology knowledge of technology knowledge with business knowledge. The team is made up of recognized professionals in the market, with diverse professional experience in national and international environments and in complex organizational contexts. To these elements we have been adding a group of people from different scientific areas, from the best universities in Portugal, that have been trained in the various technologies and molded in our company culture. These features enable AskBlue, along with its customers, to develop new businesses, enhancing the value chain, optimizing and transforming operational performance, step by step, in each project delivered, ensuring AskBlue’s success and recognition in the marketplace.

Is market knowledge and specialized human resources a factor of differentiation?

[SBS] As already mentioned, AskBlue is committed to the excellence and seniority of the team, bonded to the ability to innovate and look for the best solutions for our customer’s needs. Resources skills and experience combined with transparency in the internal management processes, allow for a good working place and for talent development. These factors are the foundantions of AskBlue’s excellence and recognition in the market.

With a turnover of about five million euros in 2017, has the company been betting on new markets and sectors?

[AR] AskBlue began with a strong focus on the financial market, that is the genesis of the company. However, we have been increasingly developing business, increasingly, in other activity areas, such as Health and Retail. The skills and abilities of AskBlue’s team are transversal and can be applied in several industries.

What, in fact, are the services that are available to customers?

[SBS] AskBlue services focus on consulting, technology, operations and outsourcing.

AskBlue is a company that likes challenges. Are national companies already capable of launching challenges and analyzing value propositions?

[AR] There is a wide range of companies in Portugal with high levels of sophistication, from traditional sectors to the most differentiated. The number of new companies and startups is an example of this, especially with innovative digital offerings, to realize that there is a great potential of professionals and companies capable of competing globally. AskBlue itself started in 2018 an internationalization process towards Northern Europe and the Middle East, with notable results and already with ongoing projects.

Looking at the future, what are AskBlue’s main goals for 2019?

[SBS] We want to continue to grow in a sustained and balanced way. We recently launched the technology center – askblue tehcnology center – which is an important step forward to expand our capacity to deliver software development and maintenance services, strongly expected to grow throughout 2019. We are focused and committed to continue to affirm ourselves in the market along this year .

In your opinion, what new brings the feminine vision for the management and reach-out for success of AskBlue?

[AR] The success of AskBlue is entirely due to the effort and commitment of the team. It is a very diverse team, profiles more senior and junior people professionals, with a balanced mix of technical, analytical and business oriented profiles. The mix of profiles enables the achievement of complementary visions of the same problem. Complementarity and difference produce good outcomes and solutions. Therefore it is not a masculine and feminine “way of doing” or a distinctive professional vision capability, but rather more the integrated work of a multidisciplinary high performance team, team, mobilized around an objective and with an enormous spirit of mission: to deliver with quality.

CHALLENGES OF THE CURRENT WORLD

Today’s WORLD CHALLANGES arise new and diverse challenges for businesses. AskBlue’s offer was designed to help customers respond to these challenges by keeping up with what you do best?

[AR] Clearly. AskBlue’s offer was designed aligned to the value chain that customers are looking for and need. The challanges of digital transformation are not entirely exhausted in technology. Business and process knowledge is an important part of this value chain. We work with this component in consulting and technology offerings. In this last one we obviously have the technical knowledge of the most present technologies in these processes of digital transformation, in order to deliver a final product of quality. The offerings of operations and outsourcing complete the value chain, allowing customers to focus their teams’ attention on what is strategic at all times, and complement their capacity, with more or less intervention on their part, in day-to-day management , using our offerings of operations and outsourcing. Both are good alternatives, particularly as regards the management of the application space that must be maintained, at a time of business life, where the latter is growing as a result of the coexistence of assets that are still being discontinued and are still alive. Others, which are produced at high speed in the context of ongoing digital transformation processes.

TECHNOLOGY IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR

As Fintech begin to gain more and more prominence in Portugal, can AskBlue be the right partner to transform an organization and equip it with what it takes to compete in this industry?

[AR] The Fintech are inherently to the requirements of the technological development a capital intensive business, which has gained its market position very much based on a strong differentiation of the price when compared to banks. An example of this is the business generated in the field of internal and cross-border payments area. Managing an equation of capital requirement and price competitiveness is a challenge of scale, valuation of the asset for a future sale or of imminent need of differentiation of the business, where the opportunity space is increasingly difficult. AskBlue distinguishes itself by its in-depth knowledge of the financial sector business and specific operations. This knowledge capital is an important strength of AskBlue, either for a bank that decides to acquire and integrate the business and platform of a Fintech, either for a Fintech that needs to differentiate its business. Currently, Fintech’s are not an AskBlue’s focus area.

Consumer paradigms in terms of financial institutions are also changing. Does the need sharpen the ingenuity to create solutions that respond in advance to the needs that customers may have?

[SBS] The financial sector organizations, like other industries, face challenges in managing interactions with their clients, providing them with a positive experience and following them through their personal and professional development. On the other hand, the challenges of regulation also create pressures for the management of organizations. Understanding how to better serve customers, responding to their behavioral needs in the context of increasingly demanding regulation is surely one of the main challenges of any institution in the industry. AskBlue’s teams have been involved in digital transformation initiatives, working for  key players in the financial industry, as well as in the implementation of legal and regulatory initiatives, such as the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation).

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NextStep Outsystems – Amsterdam

NextStep Outsystems – Amsterdam

Innovation Awards 2018 – CTT and AskBlue, as Implementation Partner, distinguished with the award in the Time to Value category.

CTT was distinguished for several digital transformation projects using the low code platform of OutSystems. Among one of the distinguished projects is the Customs Process, which improves the customs clearance experience of non-EU objects.

AskBlue has been collaborating with CTT in the development of several projects in the scope of the ongoing digital transformation in this Company.

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Who’s Who in ICT in Portugal

Who’s Who in ICT in Portugal

Digital transformation is, in the first place, the transformation of business. It implies a redefinition of expectations, the areas of activity of the companies and the way they manage the relationships with the entire ecosystem in which they are inserted, from clients to suppliers.

A key aspect of this change is the breakdown of barriers leading to many markets through technology. From the financial sector to distribution and transport. For national organizations, it is essential to understand this new digital reality as technology can leverage its growth and offer new services, leveraging unprecedented information, mobility, cloud computing and all other technologies. And empowering your teams for this new digital world.

This is the key role of information systems: making innovative forms of interaction and management possible with more and more detailed information about customers clients, with the possibility of personalizing offers at the individual level and monitoring in real time the evolution of business. And, fundamentally, making it possible for any entrepreneur with vision and boldness, to launch their project on a global scale.

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Opportunities of the new era within the financial sector

Bolsa de Valore

Opportunities of the new era within the financial sector

The more agile institutions that are able to create a more sophisticated, integrated and personalized user experience are the ones who will be successful in this new paradigm.

Emerging new technologies and changing consumer habits and expectations of response are changing the paradigm on which financial institutions have based their success.

The regulated market, the natural requirements to reach a maximum number of consumers through face-to-face channels (the agencies), services offered only possible at the counter, the “closed” data and payments management, the checks are all a reality, which makes it more difficult to compete in the current market, where digital has become the norm and where new rules of operation have opened up financial services to new competitors.

Currently, interaction is done on a mobile application or on a home banking page. Traditional financial advisory models are quickly being replaced by proactive consumer research and analysis where the consumer gets to know, learns about and compare online before questioning their institution of reference, and they quickly change if they feel they are getting a below standard service.

Disintermediation has been transforming the traditional space for financial institutions and the way we make payments, with an increasing number of transactions made by organizations specializing in online payments, and even one of the main changes for a banking institution is the existence of credit to buy a home which has become less and less of a problem, as the transition rules have become easier and more agile.

New consumers, like the so-called digital natives, also expect financial institutions to respond to their new models of interaction and lifestyle. Finally, regulation has created new challenges that require more of systems and processes.

As one would expect, this challenge also creates a vast array of opportunities for institutions that are faster and more agile taking advantage of this new reality, including using technology to compete more effectively. As the new technologies, coupled with regulation, allow the entry of new players into the market, who are more agile and based on digital paradigms. This is an extraordinary time, as expectations are being redefined and, as a consequence, the scope of services provided by financial institutions is broadened.

A substantial part of this change is about the digital transformation of businesses, in which sectors such as retail and telecommunications pioneered the implementation of omnicanal solutions, which have created new expectations for consumers, who expect from their financial institution the same levels of sophistication and personalization. The more agile institutions that are able to create a more sophisticated, integrated and personalized user experience will be the ones who will be successful in this new paradigm.

From a technological point of view, there are no limitations regarding the digital transformation process of companies, relating to devices and communications as in software components. Nowadays, mobile phones have more data processing and storage capacity than the most powerful personal computers of five years ago and the software is developed through productivity platforms that reduce delivery time to a 1/3 of what it was normally required.

Thus, the framework that the industry is going through, in an era of economic recovery, creates unique opportunities for the transformation of organizations, in a customer-centric logic in which the experience of interaction is a fundamental aspect. What is the path, what strategy to follow, how to serve each customer profile, what technologies to implement and how fast to implement them and how to define the processes that ensure that all these changes translate into effective service excellence for clients; this is the new challenge to which banks must respond.

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CTT establishes partnerships to launch of new mobile applications

Entrada dos CTT

CTT establishes partnerships to launch of new mobile applications

The CTT mobile application will enable any user to search for maps to locate CTT post offices, search for postal codes, track postal orders, and request ‘SIGA’ orders to forward mail. In addition, this service also allows you to check the amounts owed to the SCUT tolls and obtain ATM (MultiBanco) references in order to proceed with your payment.

CTT will have three new mobile applications available to its customers. In a statement, the Portuguese postal company reveals that it has established a partnership with OutSystems, a developer and offering low-code platforms that allow rapid development of business applications. It was the base of the three services developed by “Askblue”, a consultancy firm dedicated to the development of projects and with strong skills in information technology.

The CTT mobile application will enable any user to search for maps to locate CTT post offices, search for postal codes, track postal orders, and request ‘SIGA’ orders to forward mail. In addition, this service also allows you to check the amounts owed to the SCUT tolls and obtain ATM (MultiBanco) references in order to proceed with your payment.

With CTT’s E-Follow customers will be able to track, change and send orders from a smartphone or tablet. These shipments can be requested at any time and place, with the payment made on the application. Finally, the Via CTT will allow receiving the your mail in digital format and can be viewed on the smartphone.

Pedro Gomes, Director of Systems and Information at CTT, states that “as a leading company in the physical communications market in Portugal, digital transformation was mandatory to continue to provide the best experience to our customers. The adoption of the OutSystems platform and the partnership with Askblue have been fundamental supports in this digital journey of CTT “.

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Bar Association with new electronic voting solution

GuilhermeFigueiredo Ordem do Advogados

Bar Association with new electronic voting solution

The Portuguese consultancy firm AskBlue has implemented a pioneering e-voting solution for the Congressional Bar Association (OA). elections to facilitate access from any device: computer, tablet or smartphone. Therefore, it also aims to stimulate the national participation of about 30 thousand lawyers voting, since it is a process that is usually carried out in person.

The technological innovation in question is supported by the product Scytl Online Voting, an electronic voting system that has already been used in countries such as the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, France or Germany.

“The use of the solution was a pleasant surprise, due to the ease and adherence registered by the electronic vote. It was an excellent experience and allowed us to prepare ourselves better so that the governing bodies’ next elections will be a success, “said Guilherme Figueiredo, OA staff member.

The platform combines seven polling stations with distinct lists of candidates, and its security is due to its patented cryptographic protocol (private digital cryptographic keys). According to Ana Rosado, an AskBlue partner, “the electronic vote has the strong potential to bring citizens and organizations closer together, contributing to more inclusive and informed societies”.

Filipe Castro, sales director of Scytl, believes that this was an innovative project “unparalleled in the legal sector in Portugal”. “We believe it is a pioneering solution and with numerous possibilities of growth in Portugal, in the most varied sectors of activity,” he added.

Through a voting receipt, voters can anonymously check whether their vote has been registered by the Scytl Online Voting system, audited and certified by several governments worldwide.

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