As a reminder Telindus is a brand of Proximus Luxembourg SA. Founded in 1979, Telindus Luxembourg accompanies all companies and public administrations in their digital transformation by providing holistic ICT and telecom solutions as well as tailor-made support services. Its areas of expertise include fixed and mobile telecommunications, ICT infrastructure, multicloud, Fintech solutions, cybersecurity, business applications, managed services and training. Within Telindus, the Apsal and Gesall department is dedicated to the development of two software packages for payroll management and accounting respectively.
Born 33 years ago, the Apsal/Gesall department will soon celebrate issuing 200,000 pay slips. A figure that is constantly increasing, and an impressive share in the Luxembourgish market, which has around 445,000 payslips published per month. Charles Kremer is the current head of department for the Apsal-Gesall business at Telindus.
“In my role as manager, commercial activity is still important. In the Apsal/Gesall department, we develop accounting and payroll software, but then we have to sell them and position them in relation to the competition.
In the field of accounting, competition is strong with French or Belgian software publishers who can easily extend expand to Luxembourg. On the other hand, there are no non-Luxembourgish publishers in the field of payroll in Luxembourg. “That doesn’t mean that we don’t have competition at a national level!” Currently, there are 13 people in the department headed by Charles Kremer.
“We redeveloped everything and started from scratch, with SQL databases.”
Being able to start from scratch
According to Charles Kremer, innovation has been a constant for thirty years. The Apsal and Gesall software itself has undergone the transition from a classic database system to the possibility of completely dematerialising pay slips and consulting them via a mobile application today.
“It is rather for the distribution of certain information to their employees.” These products are not aimed at the general public, but the digital transformation of companies pushed the department to create a Gesall.net version 3 years ago to make it easier for their customers to consult them.
“We redeveloped everything and started from scratch, with SQL databases. Before we used two worlds, Microsoft and SAP. Now for both tools, we are only in the Microsoft environment.” The department is now developing its 5th generation of software, because technology, legal provisions (RGPD in particular) and mobile solutions are mutating faster and faster and are becoming an integral part of the administrative management of companies.
“I remember the first IBM 5120 PC that ran on 8-inch floppy disks with a capacity of 128K! We were able to run the software with that! A software lifecycle of 40 years is unthinkable if you want to stay in the race. That’s 10 to 20 years maximum. Knowing that to migrate your customers it takes 4 to 6 years. That’s what we did and this allowed us to solidify our installation.”
An Apsal/web version should also be released soon and the cloud department has set up a virtual token app. Client companies are looking for robustness, reliability and durability of the software.
“Imagine: you are a fiduciary who deals with 500 clients with an accounting management tool, it has to work. Some produce more than 10,000 payslips, so just imagine if the payslip engine was unreliable? I hear the arguments against the ISO 27001 Cloud. So we need to secure our software. Logins and passwords need to be changed regularly. This is where the token comes in.”
“We are not in the fintech business. When we only do accounting and payroll management, there are clients for whom that is not enough so we are solidifying our offer.”
Innovation is collaboration
For 30 years, the Apsal/Gesall department has been pursuing a continuous and profitable evolution by regularly adapting its technology to the evolution of the market. As a master player in Luxembourg, it does not plan to go global yet as the Grand Duchy, with a constant and future growth in the number of employees, remains the bearer of a perennial activity with high added value.
In order to keep its software solutions up to date, the department prefers to draw on the skills of those surfing the disruptive wave: the best of each and every one.
“We are not in the fintech business. When we only do accounting and payroll management, there are clients for whom that is not enough so we are solidifying our offer. That’s why we work with partners who each have their own specialities: human resources, commercial management, time management. Our approach is that a partner is an added value. »
The interest here is to work with other companies in the form of partnerships and subcontracting to combine the latest technological innovations with the department’s historical activities on a case-by-case basis and to offer their customers a high-tech, complete and up-to-date service.
“We are very open. I favour the two-way business contribution approach. If you have a solution that can interface with ours, we work together. You can bring us customers and we can bring you customers. Experience has shown that the VAR – Value Added Reseller – approach is not the right one because it forces us to invest in specialisation, in the product, in follow-up, in support, whereas I want to keep a team that remains specialised in our two core activities, namely accounting software and payroll software. Each to his own speciality.”
In-house development, outsourced disruption, innovation through aggregation, excellence in customer service… A strategy that has enabled Charles Kremer’s department to position itself as a near leader in its field for over thirty years in Luxembourg and to continue to look forward to the next three decades with confidence.