The combination of sector focus, innovations and internationalisation is their recipe for success
Turnover at the internationally active Materna Group grew by a good 14 percent to reach 254 million Euros in the 2017 business year (turnover 2016: 223 million Euros). During last year, Materna achieved their greatest growth with IT projects for German federal and state public administrations (around 20 percent) as well as with SAP consulting and implementation projects for large and medium-sized industrial companies (around 40 percent). “The very positive development in the last business year also continued sustainably in the first quarter of 2018 which saw 15 percent growth. So the year got off to a very good start,” reports Materna CEO Helmut Binder. The Materna Group now employs more than 2,000 staff worldwide and is specialized in digitalization and IT projects for large companies and public administrations. The company recruited more than 240 new staff last year.
Sector focus is a growth driver
In the public sector, Materna once again continued to grow by more than 20 percent. Traditionally, this is the company’s strongest sector and contributes around a third of group turnover. Other important sectors include the automotive industry, telcos and the airlines and airports business. Materna intends to position itself even more strongly in these sectors in future. In the automotive industry, in addition to IT-focussed topics such as service management and IT automatization, Materna is addressing topics like chatbots, augmented reality and digital experience which sees them getting more involved in topics directly related to end customers.
Acquisition in the cloud market
One important development last year was Materna’s 100 percent takeover of ComConsult Kommunikationstechnik GmbH from Aachen, which, since April 2018 is now known as agineo GmbH (www.agineo.de). With more than 120 ServiceNow-certified staff, Materna forms the largest independent implementation partner for ServiceNow technology in Europe. agineo is a specialist in ServiceNow technology, one of the strongest growing US-American companies for Enterprise Service Management software from the cloud. Enterprise Service Management is now one of the most important IT trends for companies wanting to process their internal procedures and workflows with a standardized software tool from the cloud.
Digitalization impacts on project business
Materna’s project business is a clear indication that digital transformation has really arrived in companies and public administrations. The latest key topic of “digital experience” now plays an important role for customers. Demand is rising accordingly, among other things, for solutions dealing with customer service processes, chatbots and augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR). AR/VR, for example, opens up many advantages for the fields of maintenance and after sales in the automotive sector. AV/VR can be used to provide assembly and repair instructions in 3D, enabling service staff to access additional technical details for complex repairs, which technicians can then see displayed as virtual objects displayed in their field of vision.
The federal and state governments’ e-government acts have ensured that digitalization is also making good progress in the public sector. In this context, and continuing on from their considerable gains in 2017, this year Materna has already been able to win a range of framework contracts with federal and state administrations to implement digitalization projects e.g. for the BWI (central IT services for the Bundeswehr), in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Lower Saxony.
All change for applications development
Developing and modernising business and specialist applications is also one of Materna’s key areas of business. Microservices and DevOps processes are playing an increasingly important role here. In more and more customer projects, the software architecture of applications is being based on microservices run in container-based infrastructures. One advantage of these infrastructures is that customers can operate the applications both in their own data centres and in the public cloud. But Materna also complements this by deploying cloud native developments for the platforms from Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM and Microsoft which utilize readymade services from the cloud providers.
Everything speaks to everything in the IoT
In the field of IoT (Internet of Things), Materna delivers a full service package comprising business process analyses, technology consulting, prototype development and concept studies, feasibility studies, cloud integration, visualisation and software development. Successful IoT projects by Materna include data collection and control for street lighting systems, data evaluations for wind power plants and a solution for monitoring vending machines. At this year’s Hanover Traide Fair, for example, Materna used a service automation showcase to demonstrate how the IoT sensors incorporated in machines can be linked up to automate handling for service tickets.
Innovation initiative continues
Materna has been consistently extending the Innovation Center founded in the year 2016 and has now proudly received the Digital Excellence Award from the local IT-Club in Dortmund, where Materna’s headquarters are located (http://www.it-club-dortmund.de/digital-excellence-award/). In addition to technological innovation focuses such as blockchain, cognitive computing and data science, the Innovation Center also fosters innovative methodologies, for example by putting on hackathons and design thinking workshops. Their research cooperations with universities, including those in the Ruhr Region, are also being extended.
International locations growing
The Materna Group has continued to grow and increase the number of its international locations. Last year locations in Spain, India and Malaysia were opened as well as a second location in the USA: Materna uses their international locations to address solutions for airlines and airports (kiosk systems for automated passenger and baggage handling), as well as for SAP consultancy services for the production industry through their subsidiary cbs (www.cbs-consulting.com).
As a leading IT consulting company, Materna employs more than 2,000 staff throughout the world and achieved a group turnover of EUR 254 million in 2017. Materna is a full service provider delivering a complete range of services for the premium segment: from consultation and implementation through to operations. Materna advises and supports companies and public administrations on all matters related to digitalization and delivers customized technologies for agile, flexible and secure IT. Their customers include IT organisations and user departments in companies and the public sector. Materna is organised in six business lines: IT Factory, Digital Enterprise, Government, Communications, Mobility and cbs, their subsidiary for SAP from Heidelberg.
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