Becoming a digital leader – Wincasa

Wincasa wants to lead the digital change in Swiss real estate. But first they had to replace the current legacy system that sat at the heart of their operations. As Wincasa’s innovation partner, Zühlke was tasked with modernising the application, ready for a cloud-based future.

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Benefits and Results

  • Application modernisation project
  • Best-of-breed application platform with custom integration layer
  • New flexible platform to support future growth
  • Improved data availability and operational efficiency

A bold plan for digital excellence

Wincasa had a bold target - to become a digital leader in Swiss real estate. But to achieve this goal a heart surgery was needed to begin with.

At the heart of every process was a legacy application that was used to manage every aspect of the business. The system had been developed in-house over the course of 15 years, becoming an ingrained aspect of company operations and culture.

Although highly functional, the system presented serious challenges to Wincasa’s strategy. The system did not have any APIs that could expose data to third party apps for instance nor was it cloud-based. Both crucial to achieve the goal of an omni channel mastery and creating real value-added services to tenants and owners.

Realizing that something needed to change, Wincasa approached Zühlke, for advice.

Using a custom integration layer to build a best-of-breed platform

Zühlke conducted an initial legacy system assessment and rather than rebuild it from scratch, helped the Wincasa team assess a number of solutions that would suit their needs. This approach allowed them to identify three solutions - ERP, Real Estate management and Construction project management - that could be integrated to create a best-of-breed solution. In line with Wincasa’s specification, all three systems were cloud-enabled, ready for deployment as virtual machine clusters in the existing Microsoft Azure environment.

With the applications defined, Zühlke set to work building an integration layer to be used to transfer and synchronise information between them. Messages were extracted from each application and passed into cloud-based micro services built on the Azure Service Bus (ASB). Those messages were then available to be imported, processed and used by other ASB app subscribers.

Zühlke oversaw the development and deployment process, helping to retrain the Wincasa project team in Agile methodologies. Having seen its effect, other departments throughout Wincasa also began to adopt Agile.

Ready to face the future

With a future-ready solution in place, Wincasa has embarked on the challenging task of migrating users and data to the new platform. The organic nature of the original real estate management platform means that extensive data cleansing and sanitising is required before it can be migrated and rolled out to the entire user base.

Two years since hand-over, new properties and projects are being added directly to the new best-of-breed cloud-based platform. Wincasa stakeholders confirm that the integration layer is performing as expected and data is being synchronised between the three core applications, helping to increase productivity and operational efficiency.

Wincasa now has a platform capable of scaling and flexing as their requirements change.

Industry: Real estate and property management

Location: Winterthur/Zurich, Switzerland

Size: 900+ employees