MoveteX develops its planning software on Combell’s powerful hosting platform
East Flanders-based MoveteX is a Belgian company that counts FIFA among its customers. Its RefAssiST app helps plan sport competitions so efficiently that, in amateur football alone, players can drive 500,000 less per year. For the hosting of its various apps, MoveteX relies on Combell’s powerful managed hosting, which provides the computing power required by the algorithms.
Greater efficiency thanks to smart planning
MoveteX from Herzele (East Flanders) was founded in 2014 and specialises in smart planning. Together, business founders Ken De Norre - De Groof and Dieter De Naeyer have developed a new piece of software that helps plan sport competitions more efficiently. Dieter De Naeyer, who is also a referee, said it was high time such an app was released.
Composing series, creating a schedule, appointing referees… This is a colossal task when everything has to be done manually, especially when no less than 120,000 appointments need to be planned! But their RefAssiST app helps complete this job in just one day thanks to smart algorithms.
And the Royal Belgian Football Association was not the only one to be seduced by this system; FIFA now also uses it to track and appoint referees. Flemish newspaper De Standaard published an article about the benefits of this solution: “Even programmeren en hup: miljoenen kilometers minder”.
Many sectors struggle with complex planning
However, Ken De Norre - De Groof and Dieter De Naeyer realised that there are many other sectors where companies and organisations could save a lot of time and money thanks to more efficient planning via mathematical optimisation techniques. Their company MoveteX (short for Move To Excellence) thus began to further specialise in optimisation of complex planning for all kinds of sectors.
The company provides solutions for hospital planning, staff planning, and even transport planning. From a service-based business, MoveteX gradually became a product-based company. They developed a standard toolbox, which allows to create a solution tailored to the specific needs of all sorts of customers.
Dieter De Naeyer: “Our greatest asset is our ambition to go one step further than other companies that simply launch a standard product. These solutions often cost a fortune, include many features, but unfortunately not the couple of features the customer really needs to have everything planned automatically. Our solution is unique, because it is generic and can be perfectly tailored to the specific needs of the customer”.
An API to connect to the company software
As part of this strategy, MoveteX decided to start using a cloud-based API (Application Program Interface) for the second successful product they developed, namely M4Logistics.
Ken de Norre-De Groof: “Such an API is actually like a building block, which can be easily connected to a system where no planning module is available (or where a poor one is available). With the API, we open up our planning software to our customers, because it is capable of communicating with their software packages. Via the API, we receive the necessary information from our customers (e.g. the fact that 1,000 parcels need to be delivered using 15 trucks). Our software then calculates the optimal routes: which trucks will carry a given parcel, taking account of volumes, the customers’ preferred delivery time windows, mileage, etc.”
So, this cloud-based API makes it possible to optimise logistics for companies that supply goods to their customers, since the Movetex software automatically handles complex planning jobs for the customer via the API. Bubble Post, for instance, is using this solution to plan deliveries more efficiently.
MoveteX also wants to use APIs for upcoming projects. Just think of solutions for companies that struggle with staff planning or production planning. The API would then be offered as a subscription model.
Ken De Norre - De Groof: “The great advantage of using an API is that we can connect our product to existing software platforms. ERP companies, for instance, are equipping interfaces with our M4Logistics API, so that they can also offer optimisation to their customers.”
As Dieter De Naeyer points out, availability is essential with such an API. “When you want to work using an API, you need to guarantee the customer that the interface you make available to them for their data will be available at all times. This is why we chose Combell, which was able to offer us tight SLAs.”
The tights SLAs offered by Combell guarantee that the API of our M4Logistics solution is available at all times [Dieter De Naeyer, MoveteX]
Combell application hosting: powerful hosting that takes care of everything
The various products, such as RefAssiST and M4Logistics, are fully developed in-house, in C# ASP. Thanks to this custom development, MoveteX can respond very quickly to the needs of the customers. For its hosting, MoveteX first teamed up with Amazon AWS, which unfortunately failed to produce the expected results. Remote support was actually one of this service’s greatest weaknesses.
The company consequently switched to Combell by the end of 2014. “We chose Combell because they are the greatest hosting provider in Belgium, and we immediately had a good feeling about the way they approached our project”, declares Ken De Norre - De Groof. “Thanks to Combell’s experience and permanent monitoring on both sides, we succeeded in obtaining a stable and correctly sized environment, whereby our users can use a very efficient application – you should not forget that the algorithms require huge amounts of computing power from the machines; never underestimate this!”
In addition to web hosting for the websites of MoveteX, RefAssiST and M4Logistics, Combell also provides Dedicated Cloud Hosting for the application and the API. The scalability of hosting is a major asset in this context. Dieter De Naeyer: “In the beginning, it was only for RefAssiST, which had about 60 users. When we add new customers such as FIFA or new products such as M4Logistics, Combell helps us expand the server environment if necessary. Our previous hosting provider did not offer that option”.
The Service Level Agreement Plus provided by Combell is crucial for MoveteX. Permanent monitoring offers excellent uptime guarantees, because the API and the applications must be available at all times. Ken De Norre - De Groof: “With the SLA Plus, we know Combell keeps an eye on things for us. We can now focus on our business, which is optimisation. For us, hosting is like a ‘burden’ we do not want to deal with.”
“Combell takes care of everything related to our hosting, so that we can concentrate on our core business.” [Ken De Norre - De Groof, MoveteX]
Personal contact also plays a major role. “We usually get in touch with our account manager Siegfried Deleyn, but sometimes also talk to more technically skilled people if necessary. When we had to scale up our hosting solution, for instance, we have been put in contact with the right people at Combell, who guided us all the way. I like Combell’s personal and customer-oriented approach very much”, concludes Ken De Norre - De Groof.
In his last few words, he said: “We definitely recommend Combell to people who want to stay focused on their core business, and do not want to deal with hosting-related issues”.
Read more about application hosting, website hosting and cloud hosting, and find out how Combell develops solutions tailored to specific hosting needs.
“We definitely recommend Combell to people who want to stay focused on their core business, and do not want to deal with hosting-related issues” [Ken De Norre - De Groof, MoveTeX]