Real-time data. Right-timed action.

Baqueira Beret consolidates reporting across three disparate lines of business
by Josh Young
5-minute read
Baqueira Beret ski lift on a snowy day.

Stale information can be a headache for any business. Every day organizations need to make countless decisions regarding supply chains, partner relationships, customer support and even staffing. And to make sure that these choices are being made effectively and efficiently, it’s important to have the most up-to-date records and insight available.

But when reports offer insight into what happened two weeks ago instead of what is happening right now, important decisions can be delayed, and critical issues may fester until recognized at a later date. That’s the situation that Baqueira Beret S.A. found itself facing in early 2020.

“We had been using older technology — systems that were near their end of life and could not share data,” explains Jose Luis Solé Castellarnau, Chief Information Officer at Baqueira Beret. “This situation made it difficult to provide our top managers with consolidated information in time for key decisions and was limiting our growth efforts.”

Ski championship on the slopes of Baqueira Beret

Manages a total ski area of

> 2,000

hectares

Unified the control, reporting and oversight of

3

independent business lines

[T]he ESA offers us the advantage of reduced installation and support costs, which benefit our client as well. More important, the IBM-offered upgrade protection means that we can make sure that our solution is always operating on the most current software releases.
Jordi Escoté
Worldwide Sales Manager, IBM Business Partner DEISTER, S.A.

At issue was the consolidation of business data from the company’s three unique — and operationally distinct — lines of business: its ski resort, its hospitality businesses and its travel agency. And this insufficient data integration forced Baqueira Beret staff to manually collect and compile cross-company financials and other data, storing the consolidated information in complex spreadsheets.

“It took a lot of work,” adds Castellarnau, “often days to complete. And each time we had to touch the data manually, we ran the risk of introducing errors or other misleading information.”

Further, with aggressive growth plans, Baqueira Beret often wanted and needed to add new capabilities to its back-office reporting functions. However, the existing systems often lacked the functionality to add these desired features.

“For us, it was clear that to overcome these challenges, we needed a new software solution,” notes Castellarnau. “One with high reliability and — at the same time — with greater flexibility.”

Maintenance of the sky slopes for the opening of the day, Valle de Arán, Spain
Jose Luis Solé Castellarnau (Chief Information Officer at Baqueira Beret) standing next to the base of a chairlift
Our main improvement is that our managers can now view and handle information in real time. That was near impossible before.
Jose Luis Solé Castellarnau
Chief Information Officer, Baqueira Beret S.A.
Many channels, one console
Our main improvement is that our managers can now view and handle information in real time. That was near impossible before.
Jose Luis Solé Castellarnau
Chief Information Officer, Baqueira Beret S.A.

After considering several potential solutions, Baqueira Beret chose to standardize and migrate its operations to the Axional ERP platform delivered by IBM Business Partner DEISTER, S.A.

Axional operates through a cloud-based delivery model, allowing users to access the solution through a common web browser, eliminating the need for costly hardware or infrastructure investments. And clients of the platform can choose from several back-office modules to support their operations.

“Asset management, finances, warehouse management, point of sales, business intelligence — the solution we implemented for Baqueira Beret integrates a lot of modules,” notes Xavier Adell Forné, Project Manager at Deister. “The overall Axional suite delivers a unified management console that lets their staff analyze data, run reports and access records from across all three business lines. And to make sure that Baqueira Beret could manage their business operations in real time, we needed a high-performance, reliable transactional database for the data, which is why we use Informix Enterprise Edition.”

The IBM® Informix® solution delivers a low-footprint database that readily caters to the analytics features delivered by Axional while also offering self-management and automated administrative functions. “And the Informix EDGE functionalities make it easier to enhance the solution with new functions as Baqueira Beret adds services for its customers,” adds Vicente Salvador Cubedo, Chief Software Architect at Deister. “For example, they’re going to deploy a large number of sensors — connected via an Internet of Things (IoT) protocol and combining the Informix Time-Series feature — that will feed real-time snow and weather conditions to its web portal.”

And to simplify the deployment of the Informix software, Deister relies on an IBM Embedded Solution Agreement (ESA). “We see it as a win-win,” notes Jordi Escoté, Worldwide Sales Manager with Deister. “We can deliver a simpler contract and license plan to our clients. And at the same time, the ESA offers us the advantage of reduced installation and support costs, which benefit our client as well. More important, the IBM-offered upgrade protection means that we can make sure that our solution is always operating on the most current software releases.”

Making the impossible possible

“Our main improvement is that our managers can now view and handle information in real time,” notes Castellarnau. “That was near impossible before. But with the operational dashboard displaying what is happening across all of our business — right now — in a standard format, we can make decisions more quickly and with a greater degree of accuracy.”

He continues, adding: “We can also better track and identify key indicators for areas that need improvement or additional oversight, letting us drive new operational efficiencies and synergies across our three lines of business.”

Baqueira Beret was also able to convert these visibility improvements into a number of savings. In particular, with much of the data-gathering and reporting now automated, the business was able to free up and reassign several workers to more profitable tasks. And with new efficiencies across its purchasing, warehouse management and maintenance processes, the organization could further rein in materials costs.

The new Axional-powered environment also empowers Baqueira Beret to add new services and improve the level of support it can deliver to customers. “We’ve streamlined the ski rental process,” clarifies Castellarnau. “We drastically reduced the rental timeline, and we’ve been able to allow visitors to reserve specific equipment according to their personal preferences since we have a real-time view into the location and use of our rental assets.”

Similarly, by integrating Axional with external online booking platforms, the business expanded its potential customer pool, yielding a significant increase in sales.

“From the beginning, Deister has been a true technology partner to us, helping us grow and evolve our capabilities,” adds Castellarnau. “They understood both our business and technical needs and delivered specialized consultants and engineers that made this migration fairly seamless. And the Axional ERP suite is one of the most powerful and comprehensive systems we found that makes it easy to manage the demands of our complex, cross-industry business operations.”

“And the performance and reliability of Informix was crucial in making this whole project work,” comments Cubedo. “The self-management capabilities, the Informix Enterprise Replication — we needed a non-stop system, and IBM delivered.”

But Deister is pleased with more than just the Informix software.

“We’ve been an IBM Business Partner since 1996,” adds Escoté. “And that relationship enables us to build and offer higher quality and higher value business applications to our customers. But beyond just the technology, being a partner — and taking advantage of IBM Co-Marketing funds — helps us gain better visibility on social networks and better positioning with clients. It helps us take our business and our customers where we want to go.”

Baqueira Beret S.A. logo
About Baqueira Beret S.A.

Nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees Mountain range, Baqueira BeretExternal Link is a world-renowned ski resort, boasting roughly 161 km of slopes and more than 2,000 total hectares of ski area. The business, alongside the resort itself, also manages accompanying hotels and restaurants in the region as well as an associated travel agency.

About DEISTER, S.A.

Founded in 1988, IBM Business Partner DeisterExternal Link designs and develops cloud-based business applications and technologies. The business is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, with additional offices in Madrid and Andorra.

Solution component
Baqueira Beret S.A. logo
About Baqueira Beret S.A.

Nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees Mountain range, Baqueira BeretExternal Link is a world-renowned ski resort, boasting roughly 161 km of slopes and more than 2,000 total hectares of ski area. The business, alongside the resort itself, also manages accompanying hotels and restaurants in the region as well as an associated travel agency.

About DEISTER, S.A.

Founded in 1988, IBM Business Partner DeisterExternal Link designs and develops cloud-based business applications and technologies. The business is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, with additional offices in Madrid and Andorra.

Solution component