Ready for the future

CE 2.0: About development, advantages and possibilities


CE 2.0 - ready for the future


If digitalization is ControlExpert‘s DNA, then CE 2.0 is the central nervous system of the company. Today, this ultra-modern, cross-company platform links all services we provide and makes them available to our customers. However it was not all smooth sailing and there was no blueprint. We talked to KaiMüller, Head of IT at ControlExpert, about the development, advantages and disadvantages.


Mr. Müller, let’s start by recapitulating: how do you look back on the 5 years of working on the platform?

KAI MÜLLER: Whew. Above all it was hard work. Developing CE 2.0 was a real challenge for the entire company. It started as a pure IT project and then it just got bigger all the time. We managed to overcome several hurdles – and paid dearly of course. It was ultimately the colleagues from different departments working so closely together which lead to our success: from the platform team to the service and migration teams, through to the accounts and sales departments. But it was worth the effort: today we have a platform which is unique in the industry.


Why is it so unique?

KAI MÜLLER: Because of its size, structure and possibilities. CE 2.0 is based on the most modern architecture. Just imagine: even using the basic version we work with more lines of code than they do at Space Shuttle. We easily reach 20 times that amount, all connected micro services included. Many times more data points can be processed than in the previous version. Whereas before a sort of block check was carried out, now every single line is reviewed in detail. That means: every single position really does go through the inspection process. That’s tremendous progress.


And how does CE 2.0 work – how should we visualize it?

KAI MÜLLER: It’s best to see it as a construction set. The process is made up of individual modules, whether checking a cost estimate or an invoice. One module could be a manual check, another could be generating a report or input processing. New services can also be integrated without problems, such as automatic image recognition or SpeedCheck, our repair cost calculation tool. That’s the main point: no matter what, it’s all well matched. The foundation for the interaction of all components and micro services is provided by CE 2.0, which is based on BPM (Business Process Management) by IBM, with which workflows can be adjusted quickly and in line with demand.


When and how did you come up with the idea of CE 2.0?

KAI MÜLLER: CE 2.0 was born about 5 years ago. We fi rst expressed the idea of being able to consolidate all checking processes in a CE company-wide global core process in 2014. It simply became apparent that, using the 1.0 version, we would no longer be able to consolidate customer requirements and the new opportunities emerging from digitalization. The platform was then launched in 2015 with the “InvoiceCheck” service which was new at the time. In the meantime we have migrated the existing processes almost completely to the new platform. In addition, CE 2.0 is being used more and more internationally – there are localized versionsin Thailand, Mexico, Spain and Switzerland for example.


What are the advantages of the new platform in the field of checking invoices?

KAI MÜLLER: The entire checking process is becoming more digitized right down to the individual items. All data listed in the invoices can be analyzed. The checks are more extensive, results are more understandable in terms of content and decisions are objectively more comprehensible. That of course does not only apply to checking invoices but also to all other checking processes.


The crucial question is of course: what does the customer get out of it?

KAI MÜLLER: Above all more detailed and thus higher quality results. The reason for this is checking the invoice at an individual item level as already mentioned. A second important point: customer requirements can be implemented much more simply and faster since new features can be added more easily. A third point: through the readout on an individual item level we generate data which, in the field of artificial intelligence, helps us to train our algorithms in an even faster and more intelligent adjustment of claims. An IT team of 100 people with an agile working style is employed for that purpose every day (see SCRUM, P. 22-23). 97 % of all development resources are reproduced here, without any outsourcing. We have the expertise in our company and the right infrastructure for it: our server environments have been designed for growth and scalability. CE offers the external environment necessary to be able toreact to customer requirements quickly and professionally.


It sounds as if the company is ready for the future.

KAI MÜLLER: Yes that’s right. The whole company is geared towards the structure of CE 2.0. That makes us absolutely fit for the future and always able to reproduce the digital processes of our customers accurately.