When half a million users are doing the same thing at the same time, IT operations need to focus on the right capacity, on security, and on stability

Client: Flex Applications

Flex Applications are market leaders in web-based personnel administration systems, handling everything from time reporting and travel expenses, to payroll administration. The company was founded in 1990 and has a presence in 8 locations in Sweden and one in Oslo, Norway. The company currently has over half a million end users who report, in one way or another, via the systems.

The challenge

One of the factors underlying Flex’s success and growth is the way that their offering has always been characterised by a close shadowing of the rapid pace of technological development. Flex has gone from a client-based solution at the start of the millennium to web portals and a range of services that are all fully accessible via cloud services. Every new technological step forward that Flex takes is rooted, at all times, in their demanding customers’ requirement for a combination of high-level operational security and the right capacity. The demands that this approach imposes on the partnership and collaboration between Flex and Iver are substantial.

We started getting enquiries from really big companies, and with those demands came new security requirements on the part of our customers. They started asking for encrypted databases, their own SQLs, and backups that were mirrored in different cities. We were seeing completely new levels of demands and questions about the security of our platform from those we had previously encountered – which I personally saw as a really nice challenge, explains Björn Jareblad, CEO at Flex.

Flex needed an IT operations service for a range of SaaS services and efficient server clusters for customers sharing the same version of FlexHRM. One recurring challenge was the load increase that happens at the same time every month when numerous reports are being processed simultaneously by all of Flex’s customers.  


The solution

Flex and Iver have been working together since the start of the new millennium, and the collaboration quickly developed into a partnership with a shared goal – satisfied Flex customers who required access to stable, modern, and operationally reliable systems. Flex and Iver have set up joint steering groups that continuously develop Flex’s applications in order to ensure proper functionality and performance. Iver has also, in order to address the monthly recurring issue of load increase, developed load balancing and other support functions that use server technology, in order to optimise the operational performance.

Many of Flex’s customers operate in the field of HRM services and have their own virtual server platforms, and often also use Windows applications. This increases the requirement for supplementary technology, such as MFA-VPN for payroll administrators, and SFTP that secures data transport between HRM and payroll systems.   

Iver is an important partner for us. Our close cooperation enables us to be one step ahead and to ensure that our solutions address our customers’ existing and future challenges. Our close partnership also ensures that we can bring new, major customers online in our environment without any operational impact on our other customers, continues Björn Jareblad.

Factors for success

One important factor for success in the development of Flex’s platforms and the underlying operations is the close cooperation over the years. The Flex IT department has always maintained an ongoing and intensive dialogue and relationship with Iver, in the latter’s capacity as provider, with the focus at all times on the end result for the customer. The partnership is characterised by a sense of collegiality, rather than one of customer and supplier.

It’s increasingly common, nowadays, for us to receive enquiries about and demands for ISO-certified datacentres, and questions about our systems’ information security, and Iver absolutely lives up to both our requirements and those of our customers in these areas. The fact that Iver has datacentres in both Sweden and Norway is also important to us, as this is a business-critical issue for our customers. By working with Iver, Flex is able to deliver world-class SaaS solutions, concludes Björn Jareblad.

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