The story of WITS
WITS Worldwide IT Solutions di Wilhelmus van der Ham & C. sas
WITS Worldwide IT Solutions di Wilhelmus van der Ham & C. sas is a limited company founded by ing. Wilhelmus van der Ham in 2000.
Personal history, Dutch period and Italian freelance activities
Wilhelmus (Wim), born on the 1st of June in 1966 and raised in the Netherlands became a Bachelor of Science in Informatics on the Hague University of Applied Sciences in 1988. Already before graduating, he first approached a product produced by Data Language Corporation (DLC) called Progress. He learned the product during an internship and later was hired by the company that offered him that choice called “Genico Software”. For “Genico Software” he developed a Progress application for NCR Netherlands called Incoming Order & Backlog System together with a strong team lead by Jacques Bais and Tom Koenders.
The early years in Italy
In 1992 Wim moved to Italy to join his future wife Patrizia in Venaria Reale (Torino). They got married in 1993. The first period in Italy Wim worked as a freelance consultant but in March 1993 contacts had been established between NCR Italy and NCR Netherlands as NCR Netherlands agreed to share the application build for them as long as NCR Italy implemented a module for stock management. Wim entered the team in Italy responsible for this development which was concluded around 1995. After that Wim kept working for NCR Netherlands until they finally migrated to a worldwide common solution. He also worked as external consultant for Largotim, later BDM Largotim and TRW ISCS and currently QAD Italy after the acquisition in 2002. During that consultancy period he met and worked together with Flavio Boaretto and Corrado Vignarelli.
External consultant for Progress Software Italy
In 1998 Progress Software opened an office in Italy and Wim proposed himself as an external consultant. He worked for Progress on two major accounts: Fondiaria SAI and Costa Crociere, as well as being a trainer delivering several Progress courses.
WITS – Worldwide IT Solutions history
In 2000 Wim founded WITS thanks to his new account rag. Giancarlo Cicala and continued to deliver external consultancy for Progress Software Italy and their major accounts.
CSBF Informatica and the social services department of the city of Milano
In 2001 a collaboration was started with CSBF Informatica of Franco Clerici to develop a new information system (SISS) for the social services department of the city of Milano. That become a successful project and lasted for 10 years. After initial development finished in 2003, many more modules were developed under maintenance contracts until 2010 when a new service provider took over. In the meantime the city of Milano is serviced by a new company called Atena Informatica and WITS is still providing support to Atena for the migration process from SISS to their flagship product iCare (Sisa for the city of Milano).
Rapelli SA and Orior AG
In 2003 Wim met Corrado Vignarelli again during the Progress Developers World in Dublin in May 2003 where Wim was a speaker. Corrado had started working full-time for a Swiss company called Rapelli SA in 1999 and later had become responsible of the EDP department. WITS started to work for Rapelli in 2006 and has ever since provided Progress DBA and System Consultancy.
In 2010 Martin Boesch from Rapelli was looking for an information system for the internal sales department. WITS started development of a tailor-made solution called “Piattaforma Rapelli” build on top of the existing QAD MFG/pro installation with great success. Development went on for about five years and involved also a resource from Realtà Informatica called Enrico Marello. Wim and Enrico had already met when Wim provided Progress Consultancy to a company called UTET S.p.A.
After all new developments on “Piattaforma Rapelli” for Rapelli SA were stopped in 2015 WITS signed a maintenance contract with Orior AG, the holding company to which Rapelli SA belongs, and continued to provide maintenance on the developed modules as well as Progress DBA and System Consultancy. WITS was part of several migration projects for Rapelli under this maintenance contract. In 2015 a module of the “Piattaforma Rapelli” was converted into a generic “Orior Image Tool” for Orior and all its controlled companies featuring a web-service interface to SAP. This year (2020) in Orior the new version of SAP (SAP S/4) is going to be adopted, including Rapelli, and the existing “Orior Image Tool” is undergoing a migration to become “Orior Image Tool V2”.
EcoSafe’s “Safe and Sound” solution
In 2014 WITS started a collaboration with EcoSafe to analyse, develop and deploy a Software Solution for the Health and Safety management in a company. The first customer for the software solution called “Safe and Sound” was Granarolo, a major Italian food company focusing mainly on milk and all derived products, headquarted in Bologna. The collaboration with EcoSafe continued until 2018 when installations where created and deployed for several customers, in particular Armacell GmbH, a german multinational company for which a complete event registration module was developed. The collaboration finished when EcoSafe decided to migrate to a web based solution.
Progress Partner Demanet
In 2018 Demanet (a Progress partner from Carpi in the province of Modena) called for help on creating the electronic invoice directly from their flagship solutions Mosaico and Made ERP MES. Wim and Demanet’s CEO Adriano Casari had already worked together on Mosaico and together they had founded the Progress User Group Italia on the 21st of December 2012. The electronic invoice had already been introduced for the Public Administration between 2014 and 2015 but has become mandatory for all private companies on the 1st of January 2019. The electronic invoice is an XML document containing all required and optional information of an invoice and with the adaptation in Italy all electronic invoices have to be sent to the National Tax Agency to be valid. WITS has also supplied it’s services for changes in Demanet's CRM Solution based on Progress Dynamics.
Progress Partner Sintesi Software and Centro Libri
In 2018 another Progress partner company called Sintesi Software required to implement DBA and AppServer monitoring for one of their major customers Centro Libri (Brescia). WITS partnered up with White Star Software to be able to offer an instance of ProTop. After initial setup and installation WITS also implemented Change Data Capture (CDC) for Centro Libri. It serves as synchronization of data between Progress Database and Microsoft SQL Databases using the generated CDC data. Finally OpenEdge Replication has been implemented to have an up to date backup database available in hot standby on a second server.
Progress Consultancy for Costa Crociere
Wim had already worked for Costa Crociere as an external Progress Consultant at the end of the previous millennium and has continued to deliver his services to Costa Crociere in several projects like migrations to 9.1D, 10.2B and recently 11.7. WITS has been delivering Progress Sr. consultancy for the GDPR projects and this year to prepare migration to Linux.
Future and on-going projects
Currently, due to Covid-19 lockdown, all on-site consultancy has been interrupted but several development activities are still on going. In particular the “Orior Image Tool V2” for Orior and Rapelli with SAP S/4 web-service interface and the implementation of the credit transfer using the pain.001 protocol.
Maintenance for Rapelli will continue until the migration to SAP has been concluded. DB and AppServer monitoring for Sintesi Software and their Centro Libri customer will continue for at least another year.
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