Following the initial shock at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects, 2021 saw national governments responding to the crisis by placing special emphasis on budget allocations to address the emerging health challenges. They also focussed on the recovery from economic uncertainty and planning for a more sustainable future through investment in new systems and procedures reflecting the new reality imposed by the pandemic.
However, it has also been a case of reprioritising. Significant portions of national budgets were allocated to bolstering health systems and alleviating the effects of the economic slowdown in the population.
Emergency funds were also made available through international funding organisations and unions in 2021. The aim was to assist national governments in their efforts to contain the pandemic and respond to the immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as to reorganise processes for the future. This is most characteristic of the European market where the Commission put in place the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). As the centrepiece of Europe’s recovery plan, its aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
Through this temporary recovery instrument (established in early 2021), the Commission raised and allocated €723.8 billion in loans and grants to help the Member States address challenges identified in country-specific recommendations under the European Semester framework of economic and social policy coordination. We expect the opportunities offered by the funds available through the RRF to mature in earnest in 2022.
This paradigm shift in business impacted the focus of Netcompany-Intrasoft’s Public Sector Sales effort.
Internationally, having built a strong record of wins during the past year and given the tight deadlines to deliver our products for the ERMIS, PERSEUS & Compliance contracts in 2021, our strategy has been to continue pursuing new business deals connected with both State procurement calls and direct awards from our customer contract renewals or upgrades.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has weakened the State procurement calls. Examples include customs-related business cases in Romania, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Ukraine, as well as taxation-related business cases in Denmark, Greece and Serbia. The list also includes social security business cases in Morocco and Greece, and the compliance business cases in Cyprus, Romania, Malta and Greece.
As regards direct awards from our customers, this has proven to be hectic due to the MASP/ UCC tight deadlines set by the EU. As a result of this situation, we expect to significantly expand our customer base and generate new opportunities for cross-selling and upselling our products in the months to come.
Finally, on the topic of project delivery, our efforts and commitment to our product offering over the years has resulted in the successful conclusion of the ERMIS product for the Danish Customs agency. There is also Compliance (Risk Management) delivered to the Danish Customs Authority. Another example is PERSEUS for Uganda’s National Social Security Fund.
All three product-based projects were delivered within full production capacity, validating our central decision to invest on Customisable Products for the Public Sector market, particularly in the domains that require a high level of process standardisation. what is more, these production successes run in parallel with the disciplined and continuous evolution of our Product Portfolio to reach the targeted Release Roadmap per product. This enabled us to pursue business opportunities in a more competitive and business- complete manner.
The International Markets
With a decline in new international opportunities, the focus of our activity was geared towards our current customer base. As such, we reached out to customers with legacy systems in view of replacing existing infrastructure with new platforms. We also targeted customers who were looking to add new features and functionalities to an existing system. This strategy was successful with the
Danish Customs Authority, the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK, the Lithuanian Customs Authority, the Swedish Tax Authority, and the Customs Authority in the Republic of North Macedonia.
- Danish Customs Authority, Denmark
Additional assignment: Export & Transit
The purpose of this additional assignment was two-fold. Firstly, to ensure both that ERMIS Export/Transit out-of-the-box pre-configuration is compliant with the Union Customs Code (UCC). Secondly, to make sure the level of pre-configured functionality with respect to Export and Transit (and which are included in the signed contract) is sufficient to enable an eventual third party to implement the Danish national Export and Transit requirements based on the ERMIS platform. For instance, it contains the provision of configuration consultancy services to ensure the ERMIS Platform is correctly pre-configured in terms of these basic functionalities in a UCC-compliant manner. This will enable ERMIS to be eventually configured and implemented under a future project and to meet the Danish national Export and Transit requirements. This new assignment will run for a maximum three years.
- HMRC, UK
Maintenance, Support renewal and additional assignment.
In September 2021 we signed a five-year Maintenance and Support agreement with IBM following a direct award from HMRC for a five-year contract for the Maintenance of the Declaration Management System.
The contract value is €2.3 million, whereas the contract also has a provision for evolutive maintenance and a series of Change Requests are expected to be submitted during the fiveyear duration of the contract. The expected Change Request (new assignment) under this contract for the Exit and Automated Export System implementation on ERMIS in 2022 is valued at €1.1 million.
- Customs Authority, Republic of North Macedonia
A 30-month service contract for the evolutive maintenance of the Customs Declarations and Excise Processing System (CDEPS) was awarded in May 2021. During the course of this contract, significant upgrades will be scheduled. The value of the contract is €955,000.
With the pandemic reaching a peak in 2021, the Greek market showed significant signs of resilience in the face of the challenges posed by the lockdown and remote working measures applied to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Greek Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) programme and the launch of several large projects it funded contributed to the market’s sustainability and growth.
Netcompany-Intrasoft won a number of significant projects in 2021. The most notable projects are listed below.
- National Social Security Organisation (eEFKA)
Greece’s eEFKA approved an extension contract worth €2.5 million. Under this contract, Netcompany-Intrasoft will provide development services for eEFKA’s main IT systems. With our extensive experience in the social security domain, we will assist eEFKA in adopting operational and institutional changes through amendments and further development of its IT systems.
- Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE)
AADE approved an extension contract worth €800,000. Under this contract, Netcompany- Intrasoft will provide development services for AADE’s critical IT systems. The contract requires a team of highly skilled professionals to handle the mission critical systems’ needs (Taxation System, Customs System, Audit System, etc.) to ensure adherence to legislative and institutional changes.
- Technical Chamber of Greece
Single Digital Map
Following the launch of Greece’s RRF, Netcompany- Intrasoft was awarded the first major project funded. This is the Single Digital Map for the Technical Chamber of Greece. The project’s total budget is €36 million of which 48.5% (€17 million) is for Netcompany- Intrasoft and the remaining 51.5% (€19 million) for our partner OTE. The scope of the project includes the creation of an integrated information system, which will collect and integrate digital geospatial information held by different bodies of public administration and e-government. It concerns the status of ownership, construction, exploitation and protection of real estate to make it available through a single online platform. Its goal is to improve and expand the services provided to citizens, public and private entities, as well as investors. It will do this by creating one-stop integrated services for economic and investment activities related to construction in the sectors of Tourism, Business Activities, Development of Public Real Estate and Housing.
We also launched our bidding or business development efforts in several product-focused opportunities in the European region (mainly) and beyond (selectively). These included the complete modernisation programmes or componentised renewals of the IT application infrastructure. Some included upgrade programmes in which our customer base adopted our Product portfolio. These efforts involve certain or foreseeable business cases in the domains of Customs & Trade Facilitation (e.g. Greece, UK, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Costa Rica), Taxation (Greece, Serbia, the Netherlands, Norway, Uganda, Denmark and Costa Rica), Social and Health Insurance (Morocco, Republic of North Macedonia, Greece and Romania) and Compliance (Greece, Malta, Republic of North Macedonia, Luxembourg, Denmark and Costa Rica).
At the same time, we are pursuing a significant piece of the Greek public sector’s digital market pie. It is a sector the Greek government is planning to support with funding from the Recovery & Resilience Fund and the European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027. Several significant projects are expected to be tendered within the current year 2022 in domains that are of significant interest for our company, such as the MAP of the Greek Customs, the new e-Procurement System for the Greek state, the new Integrated Information System of the National Social Security Institute, the new Integrated Information System of the National Health Insurance Organisation and the IT modernisation of public hospitals. Our company will focus on these cases since they are at the core of our expertise and capacity.