Vortal was a pioneer in the electronic procurement sector in Portugal. Its operation began with eConstroi, in 2001, that was made for the engineering and construction industry. Then, they went on to the Public Administration (the first electronic public procurement procedure was made via Vortal in 2006), health and corporate sectors.
After 13 years, technology evolved immensely. Examples of this are platform integration with client’s management software (ERP), emergence of digital signature and certification, electronic payments, and, most recently, the collaborative contract management and dynamic procurement systems.
Thanks to these developments, Vortal was included by Gartner in the 2018 report “Magic Quadrant for Strategic Sourcing Application Suites”, as one of the 10 world companies that complies with the strict requirements that must be met to be included in this independent report made by analysts on eSourcing technologies.
The recent recognition of Claranet as an Azure Expert MSP, by Microsoft; the inclusion of this company in the Magic Quadrant for Data Centre Outsourcing and Hybrid Infrastructure Managed Services, Europe by Gartner; and the success cases and experience in migration of existing applications to a Cloud environment, were the aspects that determined our choice.
Pedro Coelho Cabral
Keeping international leadership in the public and private electronic procurement market is one of Vortal’s main challenges. The company, which specialises in eProcurement and eSourcing solutions, is now releasing new products to the market in order to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of companies and the public sector.
Pedro Coelho Cabral, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Vortal, says that all the conditions are gathered for a second moment of public and private entity digitalisation, in terms of the “use of solutions that are more effective in managing contracts, catalogues, qualification and assessment of suppliers, among other Vortal solutions”.
The interoperability between electronic public procurement platforms is one of Vortal’s areas under development. Vortal is the leader of Interplat, an European consortia that is co-funded by the European Union, that aims at implementing interoperability standards between Portugal, Germany, and the Netherlands, and that expects to show results already during next year.
Vortal must keep on evolving and improving its platform to stay within this level of recognition. Pedro Coelho Cabral explains that they are already working on solutions that use machine learning and predictive analytics to add to the offer they provide to their supplier clients, and that this will help them increase efficiency when searching for the most suitable business opportunities, or when preparing competitive proposals.
Vortal’s commitment to permanent improvement was shown with the release of its new nextVision platform, in early December. This new solution relies on a Cloud-based platform that brings the agility needed to develop new features and deliver them to users quickly. Without this, it would not be possible to develop or deliver the new solution to end clients.
Innovation and usability are the keywords when it comes to this goal. Many changes were made to deliver this proposal, especially at the infrastructure level. Vortal also relied on a managed services provider (MSP) that was a reference both nationally and internationally.
Pedro Coelho Cabral explains the path that was followed in order to release the Cloud-based platform Vortalnext to the market:
We have about seven months of operation in Azure and we have a more stable platform, with evident improvements in performance and a more fluid and faster user experience. The management of the resources that support our platforms is more flexible, allowing us to create, shut down or modify the characteristics of the resources that we consume in a much more agile and controlled way, which confirms that we have made the right decision and that we are on the right path”.
He also adds that Claranet “played a vital role in the project since its very early stages. They accompanied us very closely in the migration and the expertise they made available to us in fine tuning operations, troubleshooting, previous migration experience and Azure resource management was of enormous value”.