We have witnessed in recent years the rapid success of companies that have put technological innovation at the center of their business. At the same time some realities that have failed to evolve have seen falling rapidly certainties gained in years of great success.
The COVID-19 emergency has distorted the commercial dynamics and user behavior also in relation to the supply of basic necessities. 
Having an online presence has become a necessity to deal with the economic crisis resulting from the pandemic, in fact it is necessary to respond to the new market needs that are now rooted in consumer habits.
In this context, e-commerce systems represent an effective response to develop both short and long-term business.

Now is the right time to open an online store

Electronic commerce is at a turning point. Forecasts as every year estimated double-digit growth as for fifteen years in Italy. The Coronavirus effect is changing the cards on the table for many sectors that are experiencing exponential growth.
Not in all cases this increase has a positive reading key; in many contexts it may not be prepared and structured to meet a demand so high.
This obviously generates a negative boomerang effect for the company.
Operators who know how to correctly interpret and deal with this moment will be able to gather new customers to retain loyalty over time.
This will also be the year in which many merchants will open the online channel initially to be able to dispose of inventories, but later to compete in a new demand space that is being created: online sales from physical stores.

The Fides product to start selling online

In the last half year, Fides has invested heavily by launching a suite of products for the Retail market.
The experience gained in the sector in recent years has allowed us to be able to take this path by creating solutions for companies that so far have only managed offline stores as well as obviously those who are already structured for e-commerce.
Our offer is totally modular in order to be tailor made regardless of the context or the purchase flow.
The omnichannel infrastructure allows to be able to intercept different clusters of users, above all thanks to the innovative features included in the mobile applications that we create.
The intuitive management allows you to have a very short phase for configuration, drastically reducing the time to market.
The entire offer is designed to make the work of entire companies efficient, from the marketing area to sales or logistics managers thanks to a high-performance section dedicated to analytics, also useful for the management of offline stores.
In fact, our goal is to combine the online experience with that of the traditional shop in just three steps:
-Customer interaction based on the use of artificial intelligence that studies purchasing behavior.
-Promotion of products based on customers.
-Continuous communication with the customer or potential customer, even after sales.
Contact us to discover our offer and to start your online experience.
Find out more on: https://www.fides.it/en/projects/retake-en/

Our company’s Innovation Manager speaks

About a year ago the development of our first product dedicated to the world of retail began, customized for the Expert Somma Group and released a few days ago.
Its realization saw the Fides Innovation Lab work with strong enthusiasm and intense rhythms.
With great pride Paolo tells us about an important starting point for Fides: “Retake is the first project of the Innovation Lab that takes hold in such an important reality”.

Retake wants to revolutionize the world of e-commerce, where does the idea come from and how does it work?

<<RETAKE does not want to revolutionize the world of e-commerce, but only to make it more human-centric.
Fides puts the serenity of its collaborators at the center of its life and, this first product, follows this idea.
More than a year ago, we talked with Antonio (our CTO) about how to deal with the world of retail, trying to change the style of purchase by users.
Obviously, the thought immediately went to giants such as Amazon or Alibaba.
These realities have changed the perception of the purchase by each of us, with systems that push compulsiveness and that increase customer satisfaction exponentially.
We deeply studied their style, ideas and followed their examples, while remaining firmly on the ground.
The next step was to undertake the development of a product based primarily on the concepts of user profiling and artificial intelligence.
Almost simultaneously, the Expert Somma Group (one of the largest members of the Swiss Expert chain) contacted us to ask us for the remake of their web portal… et voilà! We proposed RETAKE that was immediately liked, so as to push product development towards a project designed for a huge customer reality.
This has consistently changed our plans, leading us to simultaneously develop important software design decisions.
Today the product moves on an ultra-modern technological stack, planting its feet on terrains such as machine learning and geolocation, capable of making the user experience very pleasant>>.

What are the main modules and the benefits that this solution can bring?

<<RETAKE is built on several modules which can be divided into mandatory and secondary.

The former see, for sure, the app for smartphone and tablet devices, around which the entire project revolves.
In addition, all the back end architecture constitutes a fundamental module without which you could not receive the essential information that the user uses through the mobile app.
Finally, the content management system is the module that allows our customer to control, with a very high degree of automation, the data that their customers view within the mobile app and, above all, to use an analytics platform to better operate in marketing.

Among the latter, we list the sister web application of the mobile app and an in-store touch system capable of making the user experience at the store very interesting.

Obviously, artificial intelligence season everything and ensure the perfect harmonization of content on the preferences and needs of each individual end customer>>.

How do we differentiate ourselves from competitors? Why should a user choose us?

<<In fact, we do not aim to differentiate ourselves from our competitors, on the contrary, as I said earlier, we look constructively at the different platforms, drawing lessons from people who, perhaps, have been working on them for many years and taking advantage of their right choices and their intuitions, but always trying to further improve them and make them “ours” guaranteeing the concept of human-centric.
We are not interested in compulsive purchasing, but we are interested in making a better service so as to increase customer satisfaction and, consequently, an increase in the visibility of our customer>>.

RETAKE connects sellers and customers, what are the news?

<<The bond between seller and customer is more or less the one between two boyfriends, characterized by ups and downs.
We try to make the positive moments more perceived, thanks to the possibility of dressing the experience on the user so that he always feels at the center of attention.
The Expert Somma Group today is able to get in touch easily with the individual customer through various channels.
Communication is now bidirectional and this feature is viewed in a completely positive way from both sides>>.

How is marketing, sales and customer support managed?

<<The Expert Somma Group today has the opportunity to better manage its marketing campaigns through the use of the analytics system, capable of defining in detail the behavior of its customers by reading the data and concentrating it in customizable “sections”.
Like the major players in online retail, the product is concerned with making the purchase phase simple for the normal customer.
It can be performed in a classic way through a debit-credit card payment system or thanks to the Pick & Pay concept of the Expert Somma Group, which allows product booking and collection in the store.
Customers are currently assisted through the classic channels of our customer, even if we are working in these days on a new module dedicated to after-sales that allows to centralize requests and to process them quickly and easily>>.

Try now the shopping experience that gives you RETAKE. Download now the app of the Expert Somma Group, designed to make your online and in-store purchases easy.
Apple App Store: https://apple.co/380TVMB
Google Play Store:  https://bit.ly/2Ypiyzj

“Measure what is measurable and make what is not measurable.” (Galileo Galilei)

A quote from Galileo like this makes the idea of what we mean when we talk about “measuring” immediate: discovering the truth.
What does it mean to measure within a company?
“Analyze”, “number”, “check”: technical terms but which have as common meaning the goal of taking a photograph of reality. Seeing and understanding what happens before, during and after the production cycle is possible thanks to the Management Control.

What is management control?

Today in a company, intuition, experience and a sense of responsibility are necessary but no longer sufficient requirements.
To govern internal complexity and external uncertainty, it is necessary to constantly know the actual state of performance through a management control system that has been appropriately lowered in the individual company.
Management control is an operating method aimed at guiding the company towards the achievement of the objectives set in the planning stage, proposing reports and data with which the company trend is analyzed.
Bringing to light any critical areas as well as reasons of pride for a company is what it feeds on to evolve on the market and be more and more competitive.
All this is based on the coordination of the various sectors of the company, with the aim of governing the efficiency and operational effectiveness of the processes and keeping the profitability of products and sales under control.
Management control in Fides is essential as an engine of actions and continuous growth.

Pasquale is the representative of this important reality within the Fides family. He also deals with purchases, transfers and logistics, being also Data protection officer (privacy) and responsible for security for Fides.
Due to its nature can be sectored everything it covers, making a management control first of all on himself and on their working figure.

Management control: how does it work in Fides?

Pasquale: “Management control is interesting in a company such as Fides which is divided between different business units: from offering consultancy services, to the realization of projects within its delivery centers to the activities carried out in the innovation lab.
The management control that is carried out in the company is applied to the various operating offices trying to optimize all business units by implementing collaboration between departments to make both processes and margins efficient.
As a company controller I try to have as much information as possible on all aspects and activities, I thank colleagues from all departments who are always available and collaborative. Without teamwork, no single person can be a winner

How management control is done: some practical examples

Pasquale: “It may happen that analyzing the data of some activities it is necessary to take corrective measures. This may mean in some cases investing in the training of staff resources to allocate them to different activities, creating new growth opportunities also for the resources themselves.
Another aspect that I follow is the creation of internal processes aimed at simplifying and optimizing everyone’s work.
An example can be that of a process designed for the initial phase of a new staff.
When the resource is allocated by our sales managers, a precise procedure is performed which facilitates the administration’s work for the subsequent process of taking on billing and all the other necessary phases “.

What tools do you use?

Pasquale: “Among the systems used there is GPG an ad hoc management system through which we manage to have parameters on which make forecasts and which is constantly adapted to the needs that arise, managing to obtain more and more detailed analyzes from time to time.
Together with Salesforce, one of the most functional CRM for the management of the commercial area, are the tools that allow us to plan strategies and make decisions

Has the way of working changed in this historical period?

Pasquale: “The activities are the same, except for trips that for obvious reasons are completely stopped. I use this time to develop new solutions and make the company more functional”.

Nothing we do is more important than hiring people. At the end of the dayyou bet on peoplenot strategies.” (Lawrence Bxidy, former CEO of General Electrics)

Human resource management is the set of procedures and systems applied within a company to organize staff performance and reap the greatest benefits.

Managing human capital effectively and efficiently is not only supportive but also of fundamental importance in terms of investment for the achievement of corporate goals and objectives.
The two-way relationships between administration and staff create the true network of stability on which the organization and strength of a company is based, which as such must ensure continuity over time.

What are the main activities it covers personnel management?

Setting up an efficient organizational structure in the company is essential, staff management is not one of the company’s activities, but it is the main activity.

Human beings are not a means to an end, but an end in themselves”! (Immanuel Kant, philosopher)

Personnel managers have an agenda full of commitments that must be managed well to avoid oversights or shortcomings.
Lorena and Giuseppe form a real Fides team that travels according to precise and high-value principles. Their collaboration and their technical skills have made it possible to bring value, not only in their business, but throughout the company. By ensuring precise and careful management, they allowed the formation of a working group aimed at continuous improvement.

What are the values that cannot be overlooked?

Giuseppe: “Humanity. The human relationship is the basis of everything, our role is to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings. Sometimes mistakes or misunderstandings can arise with other employees and must always be diplomatic and keep calm. This is a fundamental aspect of our work.”

Lorena: “In addition to fully agree with Giuseppe, I would like to add that the first example of humanity in our reality is from Umberto, Founder and CEO of Fides, who has always oriented the company to the family and focused its mission on humanity placing the human being in the foreground with his own attitude. When we talk to colleagues we never go to a higher level, but with coherence and transparency we interact with each member of the company with empathy. “

What are the things to avoid?

Giuseppe: “Avoid being unprepared. Always be available, ready and efficient to meet the demands of all staff, always leaving the emotional sphere out. Never panic over the requests we receive. Ours is a very delicate job, but we have always tried to set an example in terms of behavior and to clarify the situations that have arisen “.

How has your job changed in this period?

Lorena: “We constantly align with the whole administration to stay updated on everything as if we were in the office. With colleagues from other departments, we noticed that we must be even more human than before. In this period in which physical contact is lacking, it is increasingly necessary to “put yourself in the shoes of others” and being able to communicate empathically has an even stronger value. In addition, Fides is a dynamic company in constant change also with regards to staff renewal and even in this difficult period we have not stopped continuing to work according to the values and mission of our company “.

“In this period of Smart Working we detected a significant fact – adds Giuseppe – thanks to the work from home all the staff are working safely and as a result there is a reduction of required sick days which have fallen by 73%. From the point of view of efficiency and effectiveness, our staff has improved. In addition to the diseases, there are also marked reductions in the holidays and hours of leave required, which contribute to the increase in company productivity.
These data emerged allow us to reflect on the effectiveness of Smart Working: each resource, having no time constraints, can organize his day without sacrificing work, managing to be active and concentrated and to achieve the set objectives.
However, it is important to underline that the comforting data of the improvement of the general performance of the resources is a little “clouded” by the changing market, however, it remains a very significant food for thought

In Italy, more and more frequently these days, we hear of Smart Working a road that many companies are walking at this time to appease the emergency Coronavirus.
We try to understand how it works, what are the benefits, and why the IT industry is used for some time.

What is the Smart Working?

The Smart Working is how to run the business relationship with organization goals, which has no precise daily time and place of use, where the worker has the tools to perform their duties independently.

This type of work has, among others, aims to increase the sense of responsibility, the power of delegation, managing time and priorities and facilitate the reconciliation of private life and working times.
This is why it is also called “a new managerial philosophy based on giving people back flexibility and autonomy”.

Smart Working in Fides

This method of carrying out one’s profession is not practicable only by staying in one’s own home, but also between work groups located in different locations.
Thanks to digital tools, new ways of collaboration have developed over time, which favor and facilitate communication, the creation of networks of professional relationships both between colleagues and with figures external to your organization.
In Fides, we have been undertaking Smart Working and Remote Working methods for years and in multiple contexts and projects.

Today we are going to talk about it with Vincenzo, Senior Software Developer who often works remotely on important projects from the Fides delivery center in Naples.

“How do you organize remote work?”

“In my case, the initial phase of the activity consists in going, for a given period, to the customer’s site where they work closely with the latter’s employees and often also with other suppliers. In this period of analysis, we learn all the necessary information concerning the environment both technically and functionally, providing total autonomy at work setting up the necessary tools to work remotely.”

“Which activities are performed remotely on your team?”

“After taking over the activities, the internal teams in Fides are created for the different projects according to the customer’s needs and the group’s skills.
To provide a general overview, I now describe some projects that we have remoteized for customers located between Florence and Padua. For example, in Florence, we deal with application maintenance and development of evolutive on a financial and banking services portal for the Private Banker, through which users have the opportunity to manage the assets of their customers, providing investment advice such as purchases of securities and shares on the market. We respond to requests for bank officials also providing them with support in using the platform.For an important customer in Padua we manage a product used by various banks to make requests for loans and mortgages. In this case, after learning the functional and technical knowledge, we are creating new features while remaining in close contact with the customer’s management from our Naples office.”

“What do you think about Smart Working and remote work?”

“In my professional experience I have always been in contact with people located elsewhere, thus adopting the dynamics of remote working. I believe that working smart is the future, but in reality like ours is already the present. As a country we still have to get used to this reality and to manage ourselves by creating very precise regulations, but once this difficulty is overcome I presume it becomes a best practice to work in this way in the sectors that allow it, alternating with meetings de visu so as not to lose the human contact that remains always essential.”

Umberto Cacciopoli, CEO Fides, PRESENTS RETAKE the Best Practices Award for Innovation, an initiative aimed at spreading the culture of innovation through the presentation of projects and success stories.

BeeLife will be born in a few months, an idea that comes straight from the Digital team, almost instinctively. Who but the bees are the protagonists of the regeneration of our planet?
Through entertainment games and challenges we have tried to convey to the public the importance and commitment of these little creatures who, like us, with every single action can help to make the system work.

The concept is modeled around two pillars: augmented reality and persistent multiplayer.
But what do they mean? Multiplayer says the same word, the players face the challenges of Beelife, without ever meeting, not being real-time multiplayer. On the other hand, persistent because every time a user participates in the experience it will create part of an ecosystem (in our case the hive) visible and perceptible by all other users.

– Each user will drag their hexagonal cell into the hive, which will fit perfectly between the other cells created by other users thus forming a perfect mix between interactivity and team work – Paolo Di Capua, Innovation Architect in Fides.

BeeLife is made up of five different workstations that differ in activity.
The basic entertainment is certainly augmented reality that indicates the player the various steps to reach the realization of the hive. One of the most dynamic phases is definitely the gaming sector, a sort of arcade puzzle in which the bee lying on the cubic floating system will overcome traps or enemies characters.

But let’s get to the juicy notes, for modeling we worked on systems such as Cinema 4D and Silo 3D while the software was made entirely with Unity technology and the recognition of the so-called markers. The software recognizes precisely the marker that reproduces an augmented reality, each time it shapes different three-dimensional elements with a different interaction between them.

Let’s take the example of hexagonal cells. By framing the marker, the user generates a cell that is transported from one location to another without the need to frame the marker anymore. The cell arrived at the next location is launched into the hive which, through an algorithm, will never position itself in the same area but alongside or in the middle of other modules. The created cells persist at that location for the duration of the exhibition so that the public could see the hive built by all other users. It was also possible to develop something that real-time could give the idea of what the others were doing at that very moment: that while a user places his hexagon hive and the other user instead framing the hexagon sees the first user’s hex move on his smartphone.

The final scenario we are presented with is a surreal ecosystem, made up of cells that turn into flowers with very bright shades: you immediately feel the vehemence of nature that cannot be destroyed or managed.

Third appointment with the We are Fides section: Elvira Uliano, Sales Manager in Fides speaks to us.

We are Fides: Flash interview to our Sales Manager Elvira Uliano.

What made you choose this profession?

First of all, customer satisfaction at work delivered and then the possibility of being able to collaborate with a very large number of people.

The passion for technology and the daily challenges of this sector are the characteristics that led me to pursue this career.

The variety of tasks assigned inspires me to do this job with passion.

What can not be missing from an account manager as a character gift?

A good account echoes the client’s needs and manages patiently critical with the resources that can arise in the company.

What is the biggest challenge of your job?

You must always be ready, available and with a very high attention threshold. The timing plays a crucial role to fight competition.

The account for the customer is a reference point for any problem or need the customer picks up the phone and asks for quick fixes, if not immediate.

You have to handle last-minute requests in a streamlined, knowing how to fit them into all the tasks in place at that time. You have to know how to draw and schedule everything possible in order to satisfy customers and accept the changes in the running understanding the priorities.

Being in direct contact with the client gives the opportunity to get feedback on its work and good ideas for the business strategies of the company I represent.

If you had to describe your work with 3 words which ones would you choose?

Unpredictability. Promptness. Versatility.

Personal motto

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Second appointment with the We are Fides section: Antonella Cangiano, Delivery Manager in Fides, tells her story.

Tell us how you became the queen bee of delivery

I joined Fides with the mission of transferring the know-how acquired around Italy in thirty years of career. Covering the role of delivery manager implies being a reference for juniors, since my arrival in the company I have worked on the team I had available, making it grow without distorting it, reasoning about objectives to be achieved in the medium and long term. I managed to impress them by adding together the expertise of all you can get important results as a group and not only with respect to individual projects.

How do you keep your team motivated?

From the first day I asked my team to be enterprising, to dare.

I promised the delivery people that they would grow quickly thanks to the support of my experience. This was also possible because I found people who have a passion for this job, an expectation for growth and a hunger for knowledge.

In reality, rather than a group of developers, we are a coach with his team competing in the championship: each of us in the instant in which there is a difficulty knows exactly what role we must take sides in.

What aspects of your character that turn into strengths?

I am a concrete and extremely rational person. I distinguish the personal sphere from the professional one very much. I often say to my team that initially we did not choose each other, but today I would choose them one by one.

Another aspect is the passion that I send: we must lead by example rolling up your sleeves before asking others for efforts.

Most of all, it helps me to do this job better is modesty, in the way my experience weighs exactly like that of others. 

In spite of all the words (and I’m worn out!) I am a person who lets the facts speak and this is what I expect the delivery to do. I want to manage and make grow it for a long time. 

Here in Fides, the delivery is identified with the “Make Avenue” clan. I think there could be no better term than Make to define the delivery that I carry on.

The We are Fides section starts: in the first interview we met Marco Forte, Project Manager in Fides.

How did your experience in the company begin?

I still went to high school when during the summer I came to Fides to do the so-called apprenticeship. I learned from my superiors making myself available to any activity that could be formative for me.

By doing so even before graduating I started my professional career in what was initially a curiosity which soon became my biggest passion.

For me Fides is a second family; my professional figure has grown here and as the CEO Umberto Cacciopoli considers me a son so I count him as a father. He welcomed me very young by believing in me from the first day giving me the opportunity to grow and I am grateful to him.

In more than 10 years I have learned so much and countless were the rewards from labor and human point of view shared by my colleagues.

What features are needed to perform this job?

To listen. It may seem trivial but knowing how to listen is at the basis of a path of professional growth.

Making yourself available and proactive is another fundamental point: understanding what the needs of those who work alongside you or in other teams are, understanding what the critical issues are to offer by offering your support helps you integrate and make your colleagues understand who to count.

It often happens in case of need to take the field especially in the relationship with customers. Customer management is among the most complex activities to learn, but I try to help the junior personnel from “behind the scenes” to make it do their own experiences without bypassing them.

A practical tip for those who are approaching the IT world?

There are no shortcuts or manuals to follow literally. It is a job that holds many surprises, everyday you meet challenges to face.

Every project I’ve worked on has its own complexities, but this shouldn’t scare juniors, quite the opposite. Understanding the functional domain of a new context helps to integrate and grow quickly.

What I would recommend is simple: follow those who have been doing this for years as a shadow. Being a sponge and absorbing the experience of giants. I learned this way and still continue to do it because you never stop learning, get involved.

In this sector nobody is there every day to tell you what to do. Underlying all you have to have a passion for what you do; there is a need for sacrifice and constant commitment but today I can say that I would make the same choices forever.

My mission is to convey the same passion to anyone who joins this company.