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Q8 Italia leads an enterprise-wide move to IBM Cloud Pak for Integration
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Sometimes, when you’re on the verge of something big, all it takes is a little push to get things started.

For Q8 Petroleum Italia, that little push came when its fellow subsidiary, Q8 Northwest Europe, embarked on a logistics project that would require the use of APIs.

As it happened, this new project came along just as Francesco Bove, Business Innovation Manager at Q8 Italia, and Simone Rischia, IT Infrastructures, Operations and Security Manager at Q8 Italia, were discussing updating their approach to business integration.

Q8 Italia had been using an IBM integration product for several years. The Q8 Italia team was preparing to move to the IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration platform, which would provide additional integration capabilities, facilitate API management and set up the organization for an eventual move to containerization.



Standardizes API management across 3 distinct business units

Lower licensing costs


Expanded licensing from one organization to three for just 20% more using incremental licensing

Q8 Petroleum Italia was the first operating unit to introduce this type of platform, and we were successful with the IBM product. We strongly recommended that the other operating units in Europe move to IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, too. Simone Rischia IT Infrastructures, Operations and Security Manager Q8 Petroleum Italia

At the same time, Bove and Rischia hoped to extend the IBM platform’s use to the entire organization. The Q8 Northwest Europe team’s proposed logistics project provided just the impetus they needed.

Rischia explains: “We saw this as an opportunity to standardize the API platform throughout the organization. Q8 Petroleum Italia was the first operating unit to introduce this type of platform, and we were successful with the IBM product. We strongly recommended that the other operating units in Europe move to IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, too.”

A single platform with multiple advantages

As one of the largest petroleum companies in Italy, Q8 Italia operates service and fueling stations all over the country. Its sister company, Q8 Northwest Europe, operates in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Both organizations are subsidiaries of Kuwait Petroleum International, which has operations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

With such a broad reach, it’s been difficult to standardize on a single integration platform, but it was clear that such a move would help streamline operations and reduce development costs. Both Rischia and Bove saw IBM Cloud Pak for Integration as the right platform to standardize on, though for different reasons.

For Rischia, the key advantages were strength and security. “We introduced the platform in combination with IBM® DataPower® Gateway. The new platform will expose APIs externally, so security is critical. DataPower is probably the biggest value to us from a security perspective as compared to the competition.”

For Bove, flexibility was key. “We are a diverse organization,” he says. “We need to guarantee the standardization of processes, but we also need some flexibility because the Italian market is quite different from the Northwest European market,” he says.

With IBM Cloud Pak for Integration, the team at Q8 Italia was able to create three separate API catalogs—one for Q8 Italia, one for Q8 Northwest Europe and one for Kuwait Petroleum International. That way, all three arms of the company can develop APIs that work within their specific markets.

At Q8 Italia, that work began with building out digital payment processes for business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. At the same time, the organization is developing a mobile app that will allow business and private customers to make payments using their phones. The solution will also integrate with Q8 Italia’s loyalty program app, Club Q8.

Says Rischia, “We are starting to increase the number of services that will be available for our clients through apps. APIs are a faster and more relevant way to for those services to interact with our back-end systems.”

We are a diverse organization. We need to guarantee the standardization of processes, but we also need some flexibility because the Italian market is quite different from the Northwest European market. Francesco Bove Business Innovation Manager Q8 Petroleum Italia
Bigger things to come

With the IBM Cloud Pak for Integration platform, Q8 Italia has done more than standardize the company’s API management approach: the solution also provides a way to safeguard B2B and B2C operations. Rischia explains: “We have used the software to create specific rules around capacity, performance and security. Each API must be validated before it can go live. Without those validations, our clients would see severe disruptions—and those, in turn, would have an immediate impact on our brand reputation.”

The solution has also brought about significant savings for Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. Bringing both Q8 Northwest Europe and Kuwait Petroleum International onto the same platform as Q8 Italia meant that the company was able to take advantage of incremental licensing, purchasing just 20% more licenses to support all three organizations.

Both Rischia and Bove see the solution as another starting point for even bigger things. Rischia is eager to start using the containerization capabilities of the platform, which is optimized for deployment on Red Hat® OpenShift® on any cloud or IT environment. “We are starting to use APIs to develop a new cloud-native application based on Docker and Kubernetes, and we are trying to migrate some of our existing applications to containers,” he says.

Meanwhile, says Bove, “I can confirm that this was a big success that will open us up to other projects like this, where we can scale up from one operating unit to another. We’re really working together as a corporation for the first time.”

Q8 logo
About Q8 Petroleum Italia S.p.A.

Q8 Italia (link resides outside of ibm.com) is the Italian branch of Kuwait Petroleum International. Introduced to the Italian market in 1986, the company operates more than 3,000 service stations, as well as a fleet business unit, aviation and marine units, and a logistics, trading and operations department. Headquartered in Rome, Q8 Italia’s 2018 revenue was EUR 6.7 billion.

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