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Global Omnium is an international corporation with 39 subsidiaries operating in the water management sector. With a 130-year history, Global Omnium has grown from a strong position in the Spanish market to become a global leader. Today, it is active in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and across the LATAM re¬gion. With a growing world population placing ever greater pressure on water supplies, demand for Global Omnium’s expertise and technological solutions has continued to rise. The company operates 368 wastewater treatment plants and 21 drinking water plants that employ 3,100 people in the field of water cycle management alone. It is recognised as a pioneer of advanced technolo¬gies to make water networks more efficient, resilient and responsive. In 2019, Global Omnium received the Aquatech Innovation Award 2019 as the best technological IOT platform for digitalised water management, and in 2020, Global Omnium was shortlisted as Best Water Treatment Company (Spain and Latin America) by IAgua, the Spanish and Latin American Association of Water Treatment. Its subsidiary Idrica is driving digital transformation in the water treatment sector by supporting water companies and municipalities in the fields of management, operations and maintenance, engineering and consul¬tancy. Konica Minolta’s bizhub Evolution, in turn, helps Global Omnium to make their international tender participation processes secure and more efficient.
Global Omnium has successfully delivered complex, important infrastructure projects to many corners of the world. However, getting to this point at all can be a challenge. Winning business from public partners involves a time-consuming, highly technical process. At any one time, the company is participating in multiple public tenders in several countries and in different languages. Hence, managing documentation alone is a considerable logistical challenge. Within the tender management process, Global Omnium wanted to resolve two issues:
Firstly, information for public tenders can come in numerous formats – from hard copies to Excel spreadsheets. The company sought to convert all of these tenders into a consistent format – Microsoft Word documents – yet, it lacked the tools to do this efficiently. Instead, it had to rely on time-consuming manual processes.
Secondly, outside of the Spanish-speaking domestic and LATAM markets, tenders are most frequently received in different languages, mostly in English or French. As a result, the Global Omnium team could not respond to a tender until the documents had been first converted and translated into Spanish. Once the department created a tender response, it needed to translate it again to provide a reply in the original language. The company often used basic, time-consuming online tools which did not offer the necessary quality for a technical text. In addition, professional translators were needed to ensure a greater level of accuracy.
Due to the importance of document processing to its business, Global Omnium had already come to trust Konica Minolta with its highly reliable MFP solutions. When seeking powerful and reliable solutions for scanning and document management, it had found that Konica Minolta’s products delivered a combination of speed and accuracy that was superior to its competitors’ offerings. After initially investing in Konica Minolta solutions in 2011, Global Omnium had renewed its contract at the end of 2018 to provide more than 300 MFPs to its Spanish locations.
Konica Minolta’s MFPs had accelerated Global Omnium’s document management workflows. Now the company was interested in exploring the possibilities offered by its wider solution eco-system. Having optimised printing and scanning, could Konica Minolta address critical bottlenecks in the desktop environment?
M. Ángeles de Pedro of Global Omnium’s Corporate Development contacted Konica Minolta to discuss the company’s tender management challenges. To Konica Minolta, it was clear that bizhub Evolution’s flexible on-demand model and services would perfectly suit Global Omnium’s needs. In particular, the powerful Convert tools and Translate service were ideal for Global Omnium’s challenges. “The implementation itself was remarkably simple. As a cloud-based platform, there was no need to install software onto devices or within the existing IT infrastructure,” explains M. Ángeles de Pedro. Once an account was registered, the team at Global Omnium were immediately able to access and test the services they needed – Convert to Word and Translate.
bizhub Evolution is the on-demand platform for smarter business processes from Konica Minolta. It provides a platform for cloud services that help organisations simplify business processes and accelerate everyday tasks. Services can be activated and used on demand on all devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets and bizhub MFPs. With bizhub Evolution, businesses only need to pay for the services and tools they actually use. It therefore offers an affordable way to access specific features, such as secure pull printing, cloud fax, document conversion, translation and much more – without the need to invest in expensive dedicated solutions. In addition, organisations can extend their capabilities as their users’ needs change with the Evolution Applications Store. The solution is described as being ‘unique to the market’ by Keypoint Intelligence, which gave the platform a gold award in its 2018 Buyers Lab report.
Global Omnium agreed to an annual subscription to both the Convert to Word and Translate services for three users. Due to the efficiency and speed of both solutions, this small team were now fully able to meet the needs of the tender process. In addition, they were able to fulfil additional requests for support from other business units that also recognised the value of the solution, for example, when for digitalising and converting old contracts to Word. The ability to limit and administrate the users with access to the solution was also an important consideration due to the commercial sensitivity of tender responses. “Companywide, Global Omnium operates to a very high level of security, so it was important that bizhub Evolution was able to meet the exacting requirements of our IT department,” commented M. Ángeles de Pedro. “For security reasons, work on tenders is seldom conducted outside of the office. However, thanks to its secure, cloud-based model we also have remote and mobile access. This has proved incredibly useful when urgent access to the applications was needed outside of working hours - for example, when working on a tender response over the weekend.”
Convert to Word enables users to create Word files from either digital documents or hardcopy originals. At Global Omnium, this solution quickly demonstrated its value. In particular, Convert to Word makes it effortless to create accurate Word versions out of sections of text from a PDF original. This feature delivers significant time savings. With tender documents also containing a mixture of technical information in different formats, the application’s ability to convert content while retaining formatting and images was especially useful. And it was a decisive advantage against most used solutions in the market. The team were also impressed by Translate, which proved easy to use, fast and consistently accurate. The solution is equipped with an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered engine and utilises a self-learning algorithm to deliver its translations of technical texts. Global Omnium independently tested its reliability by asking native speakers, and received excellent feedback on the results. Translate also offered the advantage of retaining page layouts during the translation process. This means any tables, paragraphs or images from the source document remain in place when exported as Word .docx files. With both applications, the ability to dispense with arduous manual steps and multiple applications greatly facilitated the handling of tender documents in high-pressure, time-sensitive situations.
The team at Global Omnium have appreciated bizhub Evolution’s flexible, on-demand model, including the option to add other services as required. While the company initially started with just the Translate application, Convert to Word was added soon after. Global Omnium signed an annual contract for each application covering a specific number of pages per year for conversion or translation respectively. While a subscription model was most suitable for these key applications, M. Ángeles de Pedro thinks that the option to use occasionally required services on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis is very appealing. This flexibility also ensures that the bizhub Evolution solution can be easily adapted to meet any future business requirements that may arise.