Sustainable software use in times of digital abundance

We are proud of our software that has been working stably for 25 years and that can still communicate with modern applications today.

Didier Stickens

In an era where technology is constantly evolving and new means of communication are taking over, we do not often consider the durability and reliability of software. For instance, our customer BNP Paribas Fortis recently shut down the fax module of our API-HUB (gateway) after more than 25 years of loyal service. In this blog, you can read why sustainability is also important for software.

The story of BNP Paribas Fortis

More than 25 years ago, BNP Paribas Fortis, then known as ‘Fortis’, installed a communication gateway (API Hub) developed by Coteng. This enabled the integration of various business applications directly or indirectly related to telex, fax and e-mail. This eliminated the requirement for a physical telex or fax in every office. The gateway transformed those communication into e-mail or vice versa. The telex module was deactivated around 2010. An SMS module was added earlier. With the rise of e-mail and scanned documents, the use of the fax module decreased, but not enough to stop fax functionality completely. Only in June 2023 – after more than 25 years – did BNP Paribas Fortis disconnect the fax module from the gateway.

New features for gateway

Gateway continues to process millions of e-mails and text messages every day. For several years, it has been adding the archiving of personalized commercial e-mail traffic to customers, a legal requirement for financial institutions. This process involves converting e-mails sent via the mailing application into PDF files and then delivering them to the archiving application. This is a great example of how an existing application can be adapted to new needs, thanks to its modular architecture.

Smart architecture

New technological developments follow each other at a rapid pace, constantly challenging companies to follow and implement new digital trends. In such an environment, it is essential to invest in software solutions that not only meet current needs, but also evolve with future requirements. This calls for a thoughtful architecture from the beginning. If not, the chance is high that an organization will have to undergo a heavy migration to new systems every 5 years, which rarely turns out to be flawless in reality.

By using SAAS solutions, many companies hope to get rid of these issues. Strictly technically, this will work. Whether the SAAS solution will also functionally evolve along with the needs of your organization and at which price is less certain. That is why it remains important to think carefully about the entire architecture, even when using SAAS solutions. Modular work, high-performance interfaces and strong data management make it possible to evolve quickly, cost-efficiently and in an innovative way.