ELPA is the Automobile and Touring Club of Greece and the county's leading roadside assistance company. ELPA is a member of the International Automobile Federation and the International Federation of Motorcycling, and services Greek and foreign motorists. ELPA used aXes to provide its network of partners secure Web browser access to its core application, including Web print spool access. The solution did not require any changes to ELPA's core solution and was delivered in a very short time with the help of business partner Mercon.
Mr Faetakes, IT Manager at ELPA, says, "Using aXes and working together with Mercon, we have added new functionality to our existing infrastructure. We are now able to offer high quality services and support to our network of partners, in a very efficient way. Our partners can access our applications directly and securely over the Web. It has allowed us to create new revenue for ELPA, in almost zero time. Now there is enthusiasm in the company to offer additional applications and add new products and services."
ELPA is a charitable association founded in 1924 in accordance with the standards of the international automobile clubs. The statutory purpose of ELPA is to serve the automotive fans and tourism sector in Greece and to support the state efforts in both areas. ELPA provides quality assistance in emergency and unforeseen events to Greek and foreign motorists nationwide. ELPA is also actively engaged in the tourist services sector, providing information and publishing maps. ELPA covers the Greece territory with 50 representatives in different cities and 25 local points of service.
ELPA was looking for a solution that would allow the business to grow additional revenue through its partners, but without weighing down the central infrastructure. Any proposed solution had to represent 'Best Business Practice'.
ELPA's comprehensive core IT system is specifically developed to support ELPA's many activities and the proposed solution had to integrate fully with the existing core solution, without the need for any redevelopment. Another main consideration was to keep the project implementation time as short as possible.
Mr Faetakes explained, "We had to find a solution that required minimal change, which would yield results quickly, effectively and naturally, and without having to pay an excessive purchase price."
ELPA chose the aXes toolset to provide its partners with Internet access to its central application, and with the help of Mercon' highly experienced technical team, was able to deliver the solution quickly.
Ensuring the integrity of communication with the central system was an important factor. Working with ELPA’s IT department, Mercon established a single secure point of access to the core application. The aXes browser interface can be used out-of-the-box, providing immediate browser access upon installation of the product. However, to improve the look, feel and productivity of the Web interface, Mercon used the aXes eXtensions palette where needed.
aXes gave ELPA the ability to quickly provide Web access to its partners. Currently partners can add new contracts and subscriptions, renew subscriptions, view procurement information and, using aXes Web Spooler, print a variety of contract types in PDF and other formats. Partners also have the ability to view and print aggregate updates to their workstations using Excel. All processes are fully automated, allowing ELPA to add new partnerships without involvement of the IT department.
With aXes, ELPA was not only able to provide a modern browser interface to its existing application, but also to deliver new Web applications using the IT department's existing RPG development skills. "For us, it was necessary to rely on the systems and skills we already had. aXes allowed us to capitalize on our existing infrastructure and investment in the best possible manner. It also allows us to communicate directly and effectively with our network of partners. New opportunities arise in a rapidly evolving market. We are now able to offer new services over the Web in this highly demanding environment," Mr Faetakes says.
"aXes real-time Web access solution has been in operation for one and a half years. In that time ELPA has experienced financial growth by adding more than 300 new partners. In addition, ELPA has achieved savings by reducing the cost of printing contracts, as they are now digitally available through aXes Web Spooler."
"Finally, I note that aXes did not need any installation of software on the client PCs and that there was no need to upgrade existing equipment. Neither was there a need to change the existing applications. Yet, aXes has given us the ability to extend our service by incorporating new companies, new partners and new applications," concludes Mr Faetakes.