Messe Berlin - Facts vs. gut feelings

With up to 80 events of its own and events for guests taking place beneath the television tower in Berlin every year, the Messe Berlin company is one of the ten trade fair companies in the world with the highest turnover. As regards the high standards in relation to organising trade fairs and exhibitions, the IT-based support of business and logistical processes as well as the provision of IT services to exhibitors are of critical importance to the company. As early as the middle of 2002, the Messe Berlin company had as part of its strategic considerations decided to outsource all of its IT services to the company T-Systems GmbH.

Substantial cost reductions as an objective

There were two decisive factors in this respect. “On the one hand, we wanted to save on costs. We had a significant handicap compared with the existing IT costs,” says Reinhard Haferkorn, Head of Administration and IT Coordination at the Messe Berlin. “On the other hand, it was a question of replacing the existing island solutions across the boardwith a standard SAP solution. It is easy to make such a change with just one service provider.” About 20 employees moved to TSystems during the term of the contract – without any problems, stresses Haferkorn. TSystems took on all of the employees and had them retrained so that they could use Oracle after using SAP. “Today almost everyone is still on board.”

Creating comparability

As part of a fundamental review of the contract by Maturity’s benchmarking team, the contract was to be checked for formal deficiencies, while the scope of the services, quality and price were to be analysed. “Both its consultants’ specialist know-how and its competence with regard to databases spoke in favour of Maturity,” says Haferkorn. Both parties shared the costs for the project and, after all, both parties are to benefit from the additional transparency. “A price comparison was not at all easy in our case,” says Haferkorn. Normally, there would not be any trade fair companies in the comparison groups, which meant that Maturity had first to identify companies with comparable complexity and requirements. “And then we only had one basis of comparison, the monthly flat rate for T-Systems’ all-inclusive package.” Consequently, the team of consultants had to price down all of the content for individual services, from applications development to PC operating, ascertain corresponding prices and comparable prices, and subsequently price everything up again.

Confirmation for both contractual partners

Messe Berlin and T-Systems can be happy with the results of the analysis. “Both sides are now very relaxed,” says Haferkorn. “We have reached the goal of making the pre-specified savings, the prices paid by us are slightly below the market price and in all probability will remain positively in accordance with the market until the end of the contractual term.” There is potential for improvement in, amongst others, the areas of data security and monthly reporting, which up until now have been organized in a rather poor manner. Furthermore, in the old contract the way in which changed requirements in relation to new and additional services affect prices in a concrete manner was not sufficiently resolved.

Download the case study IT benchmark at Messe Berlin as a PDF file

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