Everyone knows Natuurpunt as one of Belgium’s most important environmental conservation groups. But hardly anyone knows about the groundbreaking work that happens behind the scenes. Natuurpunt is all about making a change towards a better future. Partnering with The Value Hub, Natuurpunt’s IT team has developed an integration platform to pave the way for further advancements.
“With over 133.000 members and 48.000 volunteers, Natuurpunt is the largest Belgian nature conservation organization.” Next to conservation and research, they focus on raising awareness about the role of nature in our environment. Natuurpunt manages 500 reserve projects, 26.000 ha of forest area, 14 visitor centers, 19 professional teams and 200 local and regional working groups. So, it’s easy to conclude that they are a rather complex organization, which in turn creates quite a challenge for their IT team. And that’s where the story of Natuurpunt and The Value Hub starts…
“In fact, we made two important observations,” explains Bavo Cuypers, IT manager at Natuurpunt. “On the one hand, Corona made us realize we were missing out on opportunities to engage with our target audience. Let me explain: Going for a walk was – more or less – the only thing we were allowed to do during the pandemic. Thousands of people visited our website and downloaded our maps which meant we collected many email addresses we could have used to address them in the future. There was a huge potential for boosting memberships and increasing our customer engagement.
The missing link? An integrated marketing automation platform. On the other hand, we also identified several other digital opportunities for our organization, such as the launch of our new website and the replacement of several of our back-office applications. This made us realize that in order to do things right, we had some digital transformation work to do.”
At a certain point, the IT team took a step back to evaluate the situation and figure out what they were missing. It became clear that there was a need to reassess the IT application environment and how its architecture should allow for a better integration across systems and processes. That’s when Natuurpunt decided to involve a specialized partner, whose expertise could help them make the right choices in this complex challenge. Since Natuurpunt has good experiences of working with the Cronos Group, they asked them for advice on how to tackle the integration challenge. And that’s how they met Jens Mortier from The Value Hub.
The Value Hub understands that for a successful digital transformation, all parts of an organization must be involved. Therefore, before starting the integration project, the Natuurpunt IT team was invited to join a training on digital transformation. During this training, they learned how creating integration capabilities could support them throughout their digital transformation efforts. The training was followed by the selection and implementation of the future integration platform. Throughout the process, the – technical and organizational – needs, preferences and ambitions of Natuurpunt were absolute priority.
“Teamwork makes the dream work. It might sound cliché, but this principle allowed our companies to work together successfully.” For this project, The Value Hub and Natuurpunt put together a hybrid team of experts from different fields, both business and IT. “We believe that in a good collaboration, team members can learn from each other,” says Jens. Moreover, this hybrid model allowed Natuurpunt to strengthen their technical knowledge about the platform, which enables them to take ownership of the integration platform after its delivery. The Value Hub is still on board in the role of trusted advisor for the more complex challenges.
We felt that, at The Value Hub, people don’t ‘just do their job’, but they wanted to make the difference, together with our teams. And I guess that’s one of their biggest assets.Bavo Cuypers, IT manager
Not only from the business perspective, but in terms of budget too, The Value Hub advised Natuurpunt to do the right things. By putting in perspective the priorities, the team was able to select the most effective technology stack in terms of cost and capabilities.
In any collaboration, results are key. But the partnership between The Value Hub and Natuurpunt is based on more than delivering expertise and knowledge. Even if the road wasn’t always that straightforward – which seems to be one of the characteristics of complex digital transformation projects -, the trust didn’t disappear, because of the honest and transparent communication on both sides. “We now know The Value Hub is the right partner to follow up and help us out in our future challenges.”
The Value Hub is your partner that lets your organization become a digital innovator. We help you implement a vision that results in a digital ecosystem that is flexible, scalable and focusses on creating reusable capabilities. Are you curious to find out more about our added value? Contact us so we can get together and ignite your digital transformation.
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