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Streamline the european business environment with first class disruptive technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - OnceForAll (Streamline the european business environment with first class disruptive technology)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2019-03-31

One major issue impacting the competitiveness of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the European business-to-business sector (B2B) is the growing administration burden of legal and compliance documentation. Until now, each time a company responds to a request for tender, it has to compile and supply a considerable number of certificates and documents. In addition, once a contract is signed with a customer, the supplier must share updated certificates and the customer verify them. This is time-consuming and expensive for both customers and suppliers, impacting competitiveness.
ALG – Attestation Légale (ALG) was launched in 2010, with the aim of providing a concrete solution to this issue in the Construction sector.

Based upon a business model in which it is the subcontractors who finances the solution, the OFA solution quickly became a reference for the big accounts of the sector, who have prescribed the use of our platform to their subcontractors. ALG has managed to ensure its growth by combining a solution adapted to the needs of its clients, supported by significant human resources dedicated to customer care, but also with a strong position toward interoperability. From the beginning, Renaud Sornin, ALG founder, wanted to offer to its customers the interoperability of their data.

By agreeing with its main competitor on a common standard, ALG provide its customers the opportunity to be visible on both platforms, allowing them to open their business opportunities.

The overall objective of the Once For All project is to design and create a new European-wide interoperable platform that connects companies, secures customer-supplier relationships and enables companies to share their administrative documents with customers more easily. We refer to it as a form of ‘LinkedIn’ for the B2B sector. Instead of having to compile mandatory documents over and over again, businesses only need to do so once. This will save them valuable time and money, as well as promote trust and security.
What makes the project truly disruptive and unique is the interoperability model – we are bringing competitors and stakeholders together to cooperate in order to build and use a platform that will benefit all parties.
We divided our workload in seven Work Packages structured around three objectives:

- Objective 1: ‘Glocalize’ the ALG secured business network: turn the European standard into a platform managing several countries and markets, and dealing at the same time with local parameters and specific needs, especially local regulations (see WP2);
- Objective 2: Prepare for commercialization by identifying and convincing Majors in 2 targeted countries and 3 markets: Germany and Spain, construction, transport and utilities (WP5 and WP6);
- Objective 3: Define an open interoperability standard with competitors from each of the targeted countries, which can connect any public and private organizations (WP3). This standard being compliant with privacy protection rules to be defined (WP4).
Since the previous periodic report, ALG has build a privileged relationship with partners in Germany as well as in Spain. Those strong links, built all along the project, have been particularly helpful in the development of our solution.

Specifically, we have:
- Designed a new international platform, in capacity to manage several countries and sectors, release this platform as a MVP in April, 2018, then almost one year later we released the final product including our pioneer’s feedbacks,
- Built partnerships without precedent in the two countries, either as a main partner like the Joint-Venture in Germany, or as facilitator, like our role in Spain regarding Interoperability. Our progress in Germany led us to build a strong relationship with our partners Zertifizierung Bau GmbH (Zert Bau), the leading certification and pre-qualification body for the construction sector, operating across Germany. Regarding Spain, we managed to engage our partners around a common goal: to produce a national standard.
- Acted on the relationships built during the previous periodic report to co-design and improve the platform, including our most active clients and users in France,
- Put ourselves in a position to market the OFA solution on a European scale for the end of the project in particular in Germany thanks to our partnership with the leader of pre-qualification in the Construction sector.
The past 17-months have changed the perspective around our company. We embraced the opportunities offered to us by the project and delivered results exceeding the expectations:

By the end of the project, we manage to:

Fill-in the European SME’s with a multisector platform that can be used in four languages (German, English, Spanish, French) and built technically to interoperate with other European platforms allowing European SMEs to benefit from a global solution. A platform built on the basis of pioneering Workshops with our French customers and German companies having chosen to contribute to the design of our solution.

Establishment of an entity in charge of marketing the Once For All solution in Germany: a joint venture between ALG and Zertifizierung Bau, a French B2B network offers a simplified process for companies to manage their compliance information in one place and the leader in certification in Germany for the construction sector. Our strategic relationship is a real opportunity to create a “European passport” for companies, starting with the construction sector. ALG because of its central position in France offers to bring together the leaders of pre-qualification in France (Qualibat) and in Germany to advance on this subject which more than the interoperability of platforms appears as the priority for the Single Market.

Creation at the initiative of ALG and the Onceforall project of a national interoperability committee in Spain: through the project carried on by ALG, the main Spanish platforms have been brought together. From these meetings it has emerged the conviction that interoperability between their platforms was a necessity for their clients but that it was impossible for them to advance on a European scale without having first implemented it at the national level. The Onceforall project is therefore at the origin of an unprecedented move in Spain, which should have the definite effect in the medium term of endowing the Spanish market with platform interoperability. As remainder, nowadays, Spanish companies are due to subscribe on several platforms and up to fifteen in some cases.

The Onceforall project has undeniably contributed to improving the competitiveness of European companies, starting with SMEs.
In France, by participating in the growth of ALG network and financing the release of a new tool, more intuitive, efficient and able to meet their present and future needs.
In Germany, by creating an unprecedented rapprochement between two major risk management players in Europe, but also by offering German companies in the construction sector an unparalleled tool.
In Spain, finally, by bringing together competitors to make them aware of the importance of working together for the good of their customers, as coopetitors.

Onceforall project is a major step towards pre-qualification of companies at European level.
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