Master Data launches site and vessel lists

Master Data has recently deployed two lists in the Microsoft Master Data Services (MDS). One presents information about all locations where our colleagues work, while the other is a vessel list showing a set of information about the fleet.

The lists allow better planning of local support, incident handling, planning of equipment replacements etc. and they help prevent mistakes. This is because several Excel spreadsheets in multiple copies in the organisation are replaced with one central location for the data. This eliminates redundancy or inaccurate versions of the same data.

The site list has information about the local site and the active IT equipment being used to access DFDS’ IT systems. Each local site has a unique name and a unique code that once utilised and built into the computer, server and network names can ensure tracking of all IT assets belonging to that specific site.

Currently, the vessel list contains general information about the ships. However, we are planning to collect the technical data from the fleet management system, Sertica, and compile it in Master Data Services. This will result in a complete list.

Once the master data is utilised fully in the MDS, the site list and the vessel master data will be the ‘foundation’ to eventually link that asset information to the necessary operational systems.

Centralised lists contribute to smarter working and smoother integration
Jaenet Viale, IT Operations & Support, and Pawel Siedlecki, Master Data, coordinated the lists, and introduced them for IT Field Engineers and others who need to register the data. Appointed stakeholders also have access to ensure that parts of the data about a site or vessel are updated.

Lloyd Middleton, IT Operations & Support, says: “As the control of adding and removing sites and site codes have been centralised, we are now able to delegate the maintenance of certain information, e.g. users per site, to the local field engineers in IT Operations & Support. This is without extra administrative work and republishing the list. Since the end of March, they have been able to maintain relevant data directly in the MDS.”

IT & Digital kick off the work towards a new operating model

The kick-off of Momentum was the first online townhall meeting with more than 250 participants

On 11 May, more than 250 IT, Digital and colleagues from the other divisions gathered at a live online townhall meeting to kick off the change project “Momentum” towards a new operating model.

CEO Torben Carlsen and CTO Rune Keldsen presented the purpose of Momentum, which is first and foremost to make IT & Digital a more integrated part of DFDS.

Torben says: “IT has over the past years developed from being a cost center to becoming an integrated part of business and business development. Our future is non-existent if there is no Digital & IT to back us up. IT & Digital should not be a supplier and the business not a customer, but instead we will work together in One DFDS. This vision is supported by the entire EMT.”

To support the creation and implementation of the new operating model, Rune and his team have initiated five workstreams: Strategy, Structure, Process, People and Technology. These workstreams are headed by VP Sophie-Kim Chapman, CTO Rune Keldsen, CIO Office Manager Mikkel Growth-Andersen, Digital Fulfilment Manager Liv Olsen and Head of IT Architecture & Strategy Jakob Fredfeldt. If you have questions or suggestions, no matter where in DFDS you are placed, you are more than welcome to reach out to the sponsors.

Rune says: “There is a motivation and a willingness to take the next step towards a new operating model. An operating model which is more agile and flexible, which allows for more autonomy and freedom to act and which is centered around creating an impact and value for DFDS. I am looking very much forward to this change journey together with you, and I highly appreciate your motivation and support.”

Guide: How to connect and work from home

In light of the current situation, a number of colleagues have approached IT Support about working from home. IT Operations & Support have now provided guidelines covering this.

Verifying who you are when working remotely is extremely important for IT security. Please follow the Multi-Factor Authentication guidelines below before you try to use any applications via Citrix. Note that both Velocity and Phoenix is available in Citrix.

How to register and set up MFA (Multifactor Authentication)

  • MFA is a security process used in DFDS to make sure it’s really you logging in to our systems outside of DFDS. You just need to either download an app to your smartphone or register a number to confirm who you are on a mobile or a landline. You can find the guide here about the automated phone call. In case you don’t want to use the call-back method, please see this guide about installing the Authenticator App.

Two ways to connect to DFDS using equipment not supplied by DFDS


Skype for Business on External PC


Bring your office equipment home in agreement with your direct manager:

  • For laptop users: Bring your laptop home and connect via Citrix. As most programs can be accessed through Citrix, avoid using the VPN client, if it’s installed, as it can overload the hardware controlling this. You may, in agreement with your direct manager, bring home monitors, docking station and keyboard if you need it.
  • For desktop users:  If you have a private, non-DFDS laptop, use that and connect via Citrix. If that’s not an option, you can bring home your full desktop including monitors, keyboard, cables and everything in agreement with your direct manager.

If you have any questions, please send an email to IT Support.


Bo Kristensen has accepted new job outside DFDS

I am sorry to announce that Bo Kristensen has decided to resign from his position as General Manager, IT after 16 years in DFDS. Bo has been offered a position as CTO in a company where he will be building up the IT area from scratch.

Bo will be missed for his deep technical knowledge, positive energy and drive to bring DFDS to the next level of technical maturity. Bo has had a huge part of building up the Tech hub and attracting talents to DFDS which other companies in the industry can only dream of. Bo has his last day in DFDS on 31 March and I wish him all the best in his new endeavors.

We have started the search for Bo’s replacement but from today Stefan, Michel, Stephen, Jon and Mathias will be reporting directly to me.

Rune Keldsen
Chief Technology Officer

DFDS at analytics summit Superweek

Astrid Illum represented DFDS at Superweek 2020 with talk and panel


As technology develops – so does DFDS. On 28 January Astrid Illum, Head of Product & Digital Analytics, represented DFDS at the annual Superweek Analytics Summit, to be at the forefront of Digital Analytics with colleagues from around the globe.

Previous participants and new ones were back on the snowy mountaintop in Hungary that they visited last year, and what better place to have a summit than on one?

Here Astrid gave a talk. The topic was the familiar challenge of combining the needs of both customers and companies in relation to storing data about our website visitors – data which enables both functionality and higher relevance in the user experience. The angle on the talk however was a pretence of a visit to the future in which things look dramatically different to how they look now.

“I wanted to take a couple of the key challenges in our current data landscape and turn them around. What if there was an even higher abundance of data about users? And what if that data was never owned by companies but by the users themselves?” Astrid explains. In the future scenario data was part of a trade between companies wanting to sell a product and the potential customer. Astrid continues: “My aim was to focus on what value data can bring to all parties, and how we can safeguard the interests of our customers while at the same time allowing companies to sell their services and goods.”

The same topic was explored in a panel in which Astrid participated alongside acknowledged analytics figures such as Stéphane Hamel and Aurélie Pols, who are well known for also caring deeply about data privacy and an ethical use of customer data.

The ERP Project group celebrate 2019 achievements

The ERP Project group celebrating with dinner and show at Wallmanns in Copenhagen

The celebration kicked off with a strategy session where each area of the project presented what they had achieved during the previous year, and Project Manager Luisa Bæk Lund and Programme Manager Mikkel Groth-Andersen gave the team high appraisals.

Some of the greatest achievements from 2019:

• Project:
Full speed on all tracks, successful Clarification and Design phases, new team members added in Poznań, roll-out plans in place

• Finance:
New Chart of Accounts + Financial dimensions created in D365

• Master Data:
To include CDS as part of ERP (Common Data Service for Apps is a platform allowing users to integrate programs and build custom applications and automated workflows)

• Procurement:
Great collaboration with stakeholders within and outside the ERP project team

• HR:
New CPO and People DIO, and new approved project plan

• Test:
Test process was set up and configured in Azure DevOps, Process testing Phase 1 defined and executed by Columbus, and new test strategy plan defined

• Change Management:
Change Management activities started in each area of the project

The team ended the day with a well deserved dinner and show at Wallmans.

Luisa says: “On Friday we gathered the full project team from both Poznań and Copenhagen for an afternoon with strategy sessions and a celebration dinner. It has been 18 months of hard work and tight deadlines and there are many things to celebrate. In busy lives, we often forgot to celebrate achievements. Once again thank you to everyone who is making the ERP project a reality – you deserved to be celebrated!”

Mikkel says: “How do you celebrate the fact that we selected a new backbone to digitise our back-office functions? How do we get people from different countries with over 10 nationalities to feel as one family with one major task on their shoulders? Well, you can call in for long and hard workshops and then end up in a 150-year-old circus building with a dinner full of singing and dancing. And find yourself amongst not only dedicated people doing a quality job but also celebrating life with an inclusive and true-to-heart approach to all colleagues. It was truly a wonderful evening.”

Phoenix implemented on Sète-Yalova

Our colleagues working on the IT and Digital integration of our Mediterranean offices into the DFDS network

Following months of dedicated work both from the development teams as well as the local offices learning the new ways of working, Phoenix, our core IT system for the freight business, went live on the Sète-Yalova route and reverse route on 22 and 23 January. This is the first ex-UN Ro-Ro route to switch to the new booking system in BU Mediterranean. More routes will follow in the next couple of months.

This marks an important milestone in the IT and Digital integration of our Mediterranean offices into the DFDS network as well as a contribution to Pillar B of the Win23 strategy. The successful go-live required a great effort in preparation by the Phoenix, EDI, MyFreight, BI, Website, and Marketing teams as well as the valuable input of our offices in Sète, Yalova and Istanbul in order to come up with smart solutions under the coordination of Michael Herbaek and Attila Gulyas as project leads.

“As with any project like this, the implementation process was not without challenges, however these have been efficiently managed through proactive coordination efforts and quick solutions by the team.” says Daniel Capes, FM Team Lead.

“Our teams of superusers, system analysts and developers were deployed across three locations in close coordination through the day, working together with our colleagues in Sète, Yalova and Istanbul to get everything ready for the sailings. We are thankful for the hard work of everyone involved.”  explains Sara Ryden – Product Owner Phoenix, BU MED.

Phoenix to be implemented on other routes 
This first go-live is just the start of the Digital and IT implementation roadmap in BU Mediterranean. Phoenix will be introduced on almost a bi-weekly basis to new routes and the entire process is expected to be completed at the end of March.

“We are pleased that the first go-live has been successful and look forward to providing our customers and colleagues in the Mediterranean with an improved Digital experience.” says Lars Hoffman, Vice President & Head of Business Unit Mediterranean.

Aligning with the rest of DFDS
“Some of the positive effects of the new system are already starting to show, while it is still early days, we can definitely tell that there will be significant efficiency benefits in aligning systems processes with the rest of DFDS” says Alihan Murat Tutuncu, Phoenix Superuser in Istanbul.

“We have put an enormous effort in implementing Phoenix in BU Med. This was a team effort so I would like to thank everyone who involved in the development phase. Once the users are fully up to speed with using Phoenix in these weeks, MyFreight will be introduced gradually to the customers as the new way of making bookings with DFDS” says Aslihan Tur – Software Supervisor.

Besides the mentioned systems, GTMS will also be soon implemented for gate operations in Pendik Terminal.

Our colleagues from the office in Yalova

Our colleagues from the office in Sète

Event storming workshop in Turkey

The Bosphorus team from our IT Development Centre in Turkey is currently working on the XMS project, which is the software used by the cross-dock terminal in Arendal.
The team has identified 15 modules consisting of various features that the final app must offer the customer. The development of the first two modules is already completed.

Jan Devrim, Director of IT Development Centre Turkey, says: “We invited stakeholders for a two-day workshop with the whole development team.
To create a business model that we can use during development, we used the workshop-based method, Event Storming. It involves gathering all stakeholders to align understandings of the business domain and the problem at hand. This results in a solution that ensures the business domain experts and technology experts reach a common agreement before developing the app.

With the help of sticky notes and an enthusiastic group, we acquired an insight of the terminal operations and warehousing that we are trying to model and enabled technical experts to communicate clearly and transparently. Together with Product Owner Jonas Granlund, we planned the project from the beginning to the end.

The team and stakeholders matched expectations about the big picture and the flows of the project. Software Developer Ahmet Aydın also shared a demo showing the current status of the existing app. By identifying the business value and complexity for the 15 modules, the participants could agree on the absolute minimum viable product (MVP) which is a version of the app with just enough features for the business to use it beneficially and also aims to capture feedback for future development. It was determined that the task management and warehouse modules would define the MVP.

A new name was needed for our application with the addition of the warehouse module, and the participants went with “Astrid”.

Merged Ferry Freight DIO and IT Fulfilment Departments streamline processes

Merged Ferry Freight DIO and IT Fulfilment Departments reduce complicatedness and overlapping roles. As some roles disappear, we are looking for solutions for five colleagues.


During September 2019, the Freight DIO Office and the IT Fulfilment Management Team of the Ferry Division merged into a single department under the Management of Michael Herbæk.

“Even though everyone has done a great job and worked hard to deliver results, the previous complicated structure made it difficult to improve processes. Therefore, the purpose of the merger was to reduce complicatedness to improve our digital processes and ability to deliver better solutions faster,” says Michael Herbæk, Head of the merged Freight DIO and IT fulfilment department.

“We have now had time to evaluate the optimum structure for the department, and have identified a number of overlapping functions and opportunities for streamlining our processes. As a result we will put in place a new structure that follows the one introduced in Logistics. This new structure strengthens the role of Product Owner and dedicates Product Owners to supporting specific objectives & capabilities. We are confident that these changes will help us achieve the goals of the merger of the departments,” says Michael.

“Unfortunately, those more streamlined processes will mean that some roles will disappear and this will regrettably reduce need for staff in the department by a few positions.”

“The people affected are all very good colleagues who have done a great job, and we are therefore doing our best to look for other opportunities in the organisation. There are still five persons left without a role in the organisation, and we are now in dialogue with them and their union representatives in order to look for other solutions. The affected colleagues are working in the UK and Holland, and naturally, we will support them to the best of our ability in the process ahead if no solution can be found at DFDS,” says Michael.

Rune Keldsen to be our Chief Technology Officer

I am extremely pleased to announce that Rune Keldsen (40) will join us as our new EVP and Chief Technology Officer by 1 March at the latest.

As Chief Technology Officer, he will be a member of the Executive Management Team with responsibility for the digital organisation headed by Sophie-Kim Chapman and the IT organisation formerly headed by Gert Møller. Sophie-Kim will report to Rune, as will Gert’s former direct reports.

Rune comes to DFDS from a position as Chief Digital Officer of the Nuuday Group (TDC), which consists of media and technology brands like Yousee, TDC Business, Telmore, Fullrate, NetDesign, Hiper and Blockbuster. He brings with him an impressive track record from the Nuuday Group, where he was first responsible for the development of the customer experience across the entertainment platforms. For the last three years he has been the frontrunner of a digital transformation, moving Nuuday towards becoming a digital service provider. Most recently, he was responsible for the digital organisation across all of Nuuday’s brands.

Rune gained a Master’s degree specialising in IT from Copenhagen Business School in 2005. He started his career at the software company ScanJour (now part of KMD) in 2006 and moved on to the Media-Saturn Group in 2010 as VP of the Project Management Office. He joined Yousee/Nuuday in 2013.

I very much look forward to welcoming Rune to DFDS. I am confident you will all support him in his and our work to take our digital transformation to the next level and make our IT and Digital organisation an even more important contributor to the success of DFDS and our Win23 strategy.

Torben Carlsen


With Rune Keldsen as Chief Technology Officer, the Executive Management team is complete. The team now consists of: Torben Carlsen (CEO), Karina Deacon (CFO), Peder Gellert (EVP Ferry Division), Niklas Andersson (EVP Logistics Division), Anne-Christine Ahrenkiel (Chief People Officer) and Rune Keldsen (Chief Technology Officer)

IT Development Centre Turkey develops new tool

Logistics and shipping businesses are creating lots of freight documents that customers usually are not aware of. These documents are transported with the cargo and provide details about the shipping and customs as well as storage information.

However, handling physical freight documents is time-consuming. It requires a lot of manual work, and it is inefficient, time is lost and errors occur. It also takes up a lot of space to archive physical documents, and it takes time to find them again.

Per Hjelmström, Process Development Manager, says: “In a fruitful collaboration between DLC Arendal and the Bosphorus Team from the IT Development Centre in Istanbul, we have developed a document scanning solution. It focusses on the cross-docking version of GTMS (General Terminal Management System), XMS, which is the software used by the cross-dock terminal in Arendal. Here, products from a supplier or manufacturer are distributed through an inbound dock and then directly transported to the outbound transportation dock with little to no handling or storage time.”

The aim is to only handle the documents once, that is when they are being scanned and stored in a digital format in the cloud. The system takes care of the rest. When the documents are digitised, they are searchable, accessible and easily shared internally or with our customers via links. We’re also planning to make the documents available to customers via a web portal. That way, we can increase our transparency and provide our customers with faster services.

Developer from Team Bosphorus in Istanbul, Anıl Taşçı, says: “This solution was the first module that was developed for the XMS (X-dock Management System), and it is the first step in our digital transformation journey in Arendal. It fulfils the need for digital transformation and digital archiving of paper documents. Two specific main functionalities are splitting up and merging PDF documents, which is the most common format for holding and sharing digital documents, and it is supported by almost all scanners, browsers and mobile devices today.”

This way of handling documents has led to quality improvements for our customers and a lean and more efficient outbound process where the sources of errors have been significantly reduced.

The digital document management is a prerequisite for further digitisation of the Arendal X-dock, with a goal of simplifying operations and delivering transparent X-dock services of an excellent quality to our customers.

With XMS, you can upload freight documents. When the documents are uploaded, they are searchable, accessible and easily shared internally or with our customers via links.

Istanbul team joins Integration support

Three developers in the Istanbul Integration team have now joined the rotation in EDI and Integration support. From left: Haluk Iltas, Yusuf Tezcan and Kemal Teke


DFDS continues to gather locations into a fully unified business. The newest example of this is the addition of our Istanbul office into the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and Integration support teams, which handle a large variety of request tickets from across the organisation. Many parts of the business rely on this support, including Logistics, Ferry, Finance, Sertica, Product Owners and Human Resources.

To strengthen the function, three developers in the Turkish Integration team, Haluk Iltas, Yusuf Tezcan and Kemal Teke, have now joined the rotation in EDI and Integration support, adding Istanbul as our third location for this function together with Vlaardingen and Copenhagen.

The developers began handling support in week 42 with Integration Developer Jan Kierstein on location to assist and to train them in all the different support requests. The trio will have support duties, often in the first weeks to quickly acquire experience, with dedicated backup support from colleagues in Copenhagen and Vlaardingen.

Jan says: “We went through all tickets in Topdesk for EDI Support, handling internal alerts, emails from external parties, internal users, etc. Even though they handled a big variety of support requests a lot more will probably come over time. Handling EDI/Integration support is an opportunity to look at many different solutions and set-ups, interacting with many different parties and learning more about all DFDS’ systems. The issues faced can be technical, operational, wrongly entered information, network problems, external parties having issues and much more.”

After their initial support weeks, the EDI/Integration support will be handled in rotation by:
Bent Christensen, Vlaardingen
Frans Faneker, Vlaardingen
Haluk Iltas, Istanbul
Yusuf Tezcan, Istanbul
Kemal Teke, Istanbul
Rajesh(waran) Kalaiselvan, Copenhagen
Mikael Lund, Copenhagen
Thor Fischer-Olsen, Copenhagen
Jan Kierstein (Hansen), Copenhagen
John Andersen, Copenhagen

Monthly EPR status: Project on track

The ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) project is currently on track and going according to the plan.

Luisa Bæk Lund, IT Project Manager, says: “During the last couple of months, we have conducted more than 20 workshops as part of the design phase. Additionally, a revised roll-out plan has been approved by all finance managers and programme owner, Jesper Mikkelsen Heilbuth, VP. Lastly, a change management training and education tour has been planned with the first stop in Poznań this week.”

From today, each month a brief status on the ERP project will be shared on the ERP project page on the Bridge.
The status covers updates on:
– Overall project status and progress (by Luisa Bæk Lund, General Project Manager)
– Finance status (by Vinothkrishna Rangamani, Finance Project Manager)
– Infrastructure and Integration (by Sunil Behera, Technical Solution Architect)
– HR status (by Jørgen Svare, HR module Project Manager)
– Procurement module (by Mona Todnem, Procurement module Project Manager).

“The programme management team hopes this will create more transparency around the ERP project and sees this as a great way to share how much work and effort is being put in by track leads and project members,” says Luisa.

ERP Project: Start of change management education and training tour

Katharina Faarup, Change Management Coordinator in the ERP Programme and Mikkel Groth-Andersen, CIO Office Manager & CISO

The ERP programme management has initiated an ERP change management education and training tour, starting in Poznań and Copenhagen. The purpose of the tour is to ensure that everyone involved in the ERP project has the proper toolkit to manage the people side of the implementation, and the events will be facilitated by Mikkel Groth-Andersen, CIO Office Manager & CISO, and Katharina Faarup, Change Management Coordinator.

Mikkel says: “The events will include different sessions about change management, SMART* targets, RACI matrix** etc., and there will be presentations, training and exercises, as well as personal coaching. Using different formats for the sessions will help create both high-level overviews of theories and in-depth discussions of specific tools or cases.”

“Most managers and specialists at DFDS have at some point encountered ADKAR*** and change management. However, we will adopt a much wider focus, and provide training in the different tools to support direct interaction with colleagues, and occasionally colleagues in crisis.”

“It does not matter whether you are a beginner or expert in the different subjects in the training programme. The important part is wanting to engage with others and, together with your colleagues, wanting to find a way for all of us to succeed in this highly-ambitious implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365FO and Talent.”

If you are not located in Poznań or Copenhagen but would be interested in having an ERP change management education and training event at your location, please contact Mikkel Groth-Andersen.

See the training programme here

*SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely
**RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed
***ADKAR stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement

Be aware of spoofing!

We all know about phishing, and we have probably received a few phishing emails ourselves, with a more or less professional appearance. Now IT is asking us to be aware of spoofing, as at least one employee has received an email that is apparently from Niels Smedegaard.

Gert Møller, CIO, says: “This sort of scam is quite normal, and goes under the name of “spoofing”, which is when a criminal pretends to be someone else. Now, this criminal hadn’t done his homework, but they will soon find out that they should have used Torben’s name instead.
There is nothing IT can do about this apart from blocking the email address. However, then they just change it, and on it goes. So we urge everyone to be very careful and not fall into the trap.”

This is an example of what a spoofing email can look like:


Good morning Geert, how are you?

I am currently finalizing a high priority transaction for the group, regarding a bid for the acquisition of a foreign corporation.

Baker and McKenzie lawyers offices in charge of this deal, just notified me now, not to process this case from the headquarters and to use a foreign subsidiary to avoid leaks and insiders trading.
I shall give you more details later about this.

Therefore, I did choose you to supervise this operation with my attorney Daniel Fesler (from Baker and McKenzie) and myself.
No one else except the three of us must be informed at this time.

As a first step Geert, as soon as you get this message, send me immediately the available today’s cash flow (bank statements) of our bank accounts in Belgium so that I can forward it to my attorney.
Also give me another phone number where you are comfortable to speak with him.

As soon as I receive both information, I will send you further instructions for the day.

Med venlig hilsen / Best regards,

Niels Smedegaard

Success for IT Development Centre in Istanbul

Our teams at the IT Development Centre in Istanbul have many reasons to be happy these days. They just moved into a brand-new office, joining the rest of their BU Med colleagues, and since the start of the centre last November, they have welcomed over 25 new team members. With Senior Director Jan Devrim at the helm, the centre now employs over 30 colleagues working with IT solutions for mobile apps, cross-docking and warehousing for Volvo and Arendal. The team works on electronic data interchange (EDI) that automates the way we communicate and exchange business documents, such as invoices and purchase orders, and they provide integration services too. Very soon a Phoenix team and a warehouse team is expected to join the office, increasing the number of colleagues to 40.

Gert Møller, VP & CIO, says: ”In its short lifetime, the Development Center has already created great value to DFDS. The cooperation regarding cross-docking and warehousing is highly appreciated by business representatives at both Arendal and Volvo also Logistics in DFDS is very pleased with having dedicated EDI developers in Istanbul. Likewise, Sophie-Kim Chapman, VP & Group Digital Officer, is very complimentary about the mobile app team.

The products are delivered on time, and they are also both sustainable and developed in the correct way. The IT Development Centre is a great example of our ability to constantly develop the most effective IT and digital solutions that support our future growth and success in line with Pillar B of our strategy WIN23. It gives us the opportunity to establish development teams for projects and tasks we previously outsourced, and it provides important support to our IT development teams in Copenhagen and Immingham. Jan Devrim has been fantastic at managing his teams, and he has contributed heavily to the current success of the IT Development Centre” says Gert

Senior Director of the IT Development Centre in Istanbul Jan Devrim says: “Our great cooperation with the other IT teams at different locations ensures that we always end up with a solution that has been tested and reviewed thoroughly. I hope this rapid success will continue and pave the way for more solutions. We have to keep the momentum going, which is why we are sending teams to attend relevant training and events around Europe to be up to date on cutting-edge technology for implementation in the end product. “

The item indexation project: 20,000 items have now been validated in Sertica

Sertica is DFDS’ maintenance and procurement system for vessels, terminals, workshops and equipment pools. Now a new milestone has been reached in the development and improvement of the system. The project team has completed a brand new item structure for workshops and equipment pools and all items have been validated by the business and placed in the new structure.

Christiaan van der Leest, Product Owner and Project Leader, says: “The aim of the project was to develop a global standardised catalogue of all inventory parts and suppliers within Logistics and Freight Shipping to enable enhanced use of master data and procurement opportunities for terminals and workshops.”

The item indexation project offers several benefits to the business, such as enabling full transparency of spare part purchases across entities, enabling development of statistics across entities with regards to performance, cost etc. and enabling more automated procurement processes.

Pernille Dyrmose, Head of Operational Procurement, says: “It is a great benefit for the business and also for Group Procurement. Now we have a structure enabling us to review spend across workshops on specific item level, thereby leveraging scale and being able to compare pricing. Managing and structuring master data is a challenging task, but the benefits are obvious and this once-off exercise can be used long term in DFDS.”

The project group consists of Christiaan van der Leest; Daniel Smith, System Analyst; Kurt Jourquin and Stuart Whitbread, Business Drivers and Marek Kovac, Master Data Coordinator.
The SteerCo is comprised of Pernille Dyrmose; Michael Willy Heiland, Head of Group Master Data; Sean Potter, Divisional Head of Digital & Systems; Jens Antonsen, Vice President and Hans Henrik Pedersen, Divisional CFO.

“After a difficult start where we had to structure enormous amounts of data, we have been able to break it down into small treatable figures, allowing the business to make the validation, and we have now delivered the data back to the Master Data team in Poznan. More than 20,000 items have been validated and moved into the new structure,” says Christiaan.

“I would like to congratulate Christiaan and Business Drivers and extended team for their efforts of the past period to deliver this project and the benefits this will bring DFDS. It has been difficult at times, but the new alignment and transparency this gives all locations offers smarter operational practices for the future,” says Sean Potter.

Microsoft D365 to be evaluated as system for new ERP platform

Mikkel Groth-Andersen

As we have previously announced, DFDS is about to introduce a so-called ERP platform, which will replace major systems such as Visma and CapNordic in Finance. It will also be our new HR platform and our new indirect procurement platform – and is probably our largest IT project so far, affecting just about everyone at DFDS.

In April, the ERP project group announced that the new solution for an ERP platform, Microsoft D365, had finally been chosen after more than a year’s hard work.

Clarification phase
The clarification phase began right after the new system had been chosen. “We are now well into the clarification phase of the project. The purpose of this phase has been to understand if D365 can meet all our business and IT requirements – more than 500 in total,” says Mikkel Groth-Andersen, CIO Office Manager CISO.

You will soon be heard
“Business will be thoroughly heard in the design phase, but we have not settled on any particular way to form our data model or dimensioning of the system yet. Although we are all very eager to proceed to the design phase, we have to be very patient, so that we are certain that we understand the new system and its capabilities and possibilities so that we can stick to the overall strategy of standard solutions for the absolute majority of functionalities.”

27 June
“On 27 June, we will decide If we still believe that D365 is the best choice for a future ERP platform. If we decide that it is, we will sign the Microsoft license agreement and confirm the contract that we have previously signed with Columbus, which is the consultancy company that shall assist us with the implementation,” says Mikkel.

Insights and design sessions
In the autumn, all business areas will be invited for insights and design wishes sessions.
“We want to make sure that we are all on the same page regarding what we plan to build so Visma and CapNordic are successfully replaced. We also need to prepare for future ways of doing business when we design processes and data modelling. After the first implementation phase, there will be a phase 2 in which we will focus more on creating new processes and supporting functionalities.”

Future communications initiatives
There has been a strong wish to get more information.
Mikkel says: “We will address this wish by having quarterly townhall meetings in both Poznan and Copenhagen where we will give a general update on the progress. We will also create a new meeting format for VP and Directors, where we will discuss strategy and functional areas in addition to updates on plans and progress areas.”

For questions about the ERP – Microsoft D365 project please contact Mikkel Groth-Andersen.

One DFDS: Major project to integrate BU Med in Phoenix

At the planning workshop, this strong team got together to ensure the efficient and very important integration of BU Med into Phoenix, aligning processes with the rest of DFDS (From the left): Anna Åkesson, Alex Shaw, Aslihan Tur, Recep Bostan, Jette Lundquist, Jan Berslen Devrim, Michael Herbæk, Gert Møller, Attila Gulyas and Sean Potter. Missing from the photo but in attendance: Cenk Altun and Selcuk Boztepe)


It was an exciting, major development when UN Ro-Ro (now BU Med) became part of DFDS in April 2018. Since then, many colleagues have worked hard to integrate BU Med with DFDS. With Peder Gellert at the head of the table, managers and teams from BU Med, Technical Organisation, IT, Digital, procurement, sales and HR have all been busy with this.

However, dare we say that no integration work is as complex and demanding as integrating the Phoenix operational booking system and associated systems. Associated systems include EDI, which directly links authorities and financial institutions with DFDS, and Future Freight (My Freight), which is the digital solution for our customers.

No surprise, therefore, that we are talking about heavy workloads and complex tasks, keeping DIO and IT officer Sean Potter’s team in the ferry division more than busy, along with teams in IT, Digital Marketing, Business Intelligence and other departments.

Many people are putting a lot of hours and energy in this, and for a very good reason. “It is extremely important in our work that we become one DFDS. As we start using DFDS’ systems, our reporting and operational processes will synchronise, and our colleagues in the field will start using the same language, same methods and same reports as the rest of DFDS,” says Selcuk Boztepe, Head of BU Med.

Meeting about gaps and timeline

The work took a leap forward recently when the various teams met in Istanbul to discuss the findings from a gap analysis between DFDS systems and those of BU Med, which Michael Herbæk and his IT team had carried out.

“It was a very productive workshop, as was a subsequent meeting with the wider project members, and I would like to thank the teams involved for their great contribution. First of all, I welcome working with Selcuk and his BU Med team across the different locations. They are very committed to the task and very helpful. My thanks also go Michael Herbæk and his team for the excellent gap analysis overview, and to IT & Digital which ensures we meet expectations and deliver the required systems and processes in a timely and efficient manner,” says Sean Potter, Head of the Ferry Division’s DIO and IT team.

The Phoenix integration, the process and system developments will be carried out at these locations and on these routes one after the other:

1: Mersin – Trieste
2: Yalova – Trieste, Patras, Bari
3: Pendik – Toulon
4: Pendik / Ambarli – Trieste, Patras, Bari

Big team

“It takes quite powerful teamwork to ensure that BU Med is fully integrated into DFDS, so that operations, processes, sales, services, reporting, branding and management can be synchronised with the rest of DFDS,” says Sean Potter, who invited the following managers to represent their areas:

Operational Process Mapping                                                                                        Attila Gulyas
Gap Analysis between Current Systems and DFDS Systems                                        Michael Herbæk
Go to Market Strategy                                                                                               Jette Lundquist
Technical developments, Phoenix, EDI, Future Freight (My Freight) requirements                 Alex Shaw
Preparation of Phoenix for Roll-Out across network                                                Jan Berslen Devrim
Training of Users and Change Management                                                                       Dan Capes
Business Intelligence, Legal and Compliance

The Integration Sponsor Team from BU Med, the Ferry DIO Office and IT & Digital also participated, together with several work stream leads.

The DIO Office has various significant Divisional projects on-going in 2019, BU Med being one of these.

A happy update from Development Center Turkey

Team Bosphorus, one of the three teams in the Development Center in Turkey.


Our colleagues have worked hard on the Development Center in Turkey since last November, where they were just a handful of people. Now they are about to hit 22 team members.

Jan Devrim, Senior Director of Development Center Turkey, shares an update and a few success stories from the development.

Implementing a Development Center has been an interesting and a happy journey. We had to find a temporary office, hire first team members to initiate the spark, talk and talk and talk. It was a lot of talking, honestly.

Today, we have three major teams who are already delivering results, which makes me happy.

Integration team in Turkey is now well integrated
Our Integration Team, which is a part of the DFDS Integration Team, has completed many tasks so far. One of the major projects was the move from Amtrix. It was quite a learning experience and results seem to be very satisfying.

Michael Johansen, Team Lead for Integration, says: “The team in Turkey has learned rapidly and helped the Brexit process on top of Amtrix.” The Integration Team was recently in Istanbul to meet with their team members, to integrate further and for a short trip to beautiful Bosphorus. But we could never forget the great help and support of Rajeshwaran Kalaiselvan who has stayed with us for months. The first task for Integration Team was completed in December 2018.

Developing a new version of GTMS while optimising the current system
The second team is focused on the X-Dock version of GTMS (General Terminal Management System) that started development in February. This is the software used in Arendal terminal for managing inbound and outbound cargo.

Team Bosphorus is developing the new solution, currently called XMS, which will be overriding GTMS in the course of this year, and even now the feature shows great opportunity to create value for us and for our customers. Team Bosphorus are focused on coding a cloud based, scalable solution and the first feature has already been completed and is just about to be used in production. It includes scanning documents with multiscan features.

Also, another team was founded with Akif and Orkun to support the current version of GTMS. The team has already added value for the current application. Per Hjelmström from Arendal says that “they have saved hours of work every day with the optimisations.”

New app will ensure an improved customer experience
The third team in Istanbul is the App team, which is working on the new mobile application that will be in appstores somewhere in June. Our customers will be able to see their tickets, learn about schedules, and later they will have more opportunities to support our passenger business as well as freight. We can say that the team is processing fast and we are very excited to see it in the Appstore.

I hope this rapid success will open the doors for more solutions, and our development center here will fast forward from baby steps to running. This was real teamwork and I believe we have learned a lot, not from failures but successes.

Phoenix superuser conference on board Crown Seaways

25 superusers of Phoenix met on board Crown Seaways for a two-day conference with members of the Phoenix fulfilment team and Product Owner Ian Cowie.

Recently, 25 superusers of Phoenix (the core IT system for the freight business) met on board Crown Seaways for a two-day conference with members of the Phoenix fulfilment team and Product Owner Ian Cowie.

Sam Kinnaird, IT consultant for Phoenix, says: “While enjoying the sights of the Norwegian fjords and the Copenhagen – Oslo route from the comfort of the conference room, we had useful discussions about how the UAT (user acceptance testing) process can be simplified to pave the way for quicker releases. We also discussed support and shared knowledge about various Phoenix-related matters.”

Superusers from almost all of the DFDS port locations were given a walk-through of the Phoenix roadmap and could ask questions and share ideas for improvement. There was also a presentation from Marta Grytka, Business Intelligence consultant, about how Tableau is being rolled out across DFDS, and how using smart data is improving decision-making in both operations and IT.

Ian Cowie says: “Initiating and maintaining a happy superuser community is a pivotal factor in everything we do within our development and release cycle of Phoenix. I would like to thank all the Phoenix fulfilment management team for their efforts in making the event successful and to all superusers who took time from busy operational areas to fully engage in the conference. I hope the conference can become an annual event to ensure best practice is continued in the future.”

Superusers from almost all of the DFDS port locations were given a walk-through of the Phoenix roadmap and could ask questions and share ideas for improvement. 

DFDS to kick-off game changing ERP platform

Major IT initiative:  DFDS is implementing a so-called ERP platform that will replace systems such as Visma and Capnordic and be our new HR and indirect procurement platform. It will  be integrated with all major systems,  automate and improve quality in processes and help most of us increase efficiency in our work. The project will be kicked off in Copenhagen on 29 April.

The solution chosen is the new Microsoft D365 cloud system.

DFDS is on the brink of launching one of its biggest IT initiatives ever, and if your work involves a computer, it will most likely also affect you and your daily work.

The initiative concerns the purchase and implementation of the so-called ERP Platform. And as innocent as this may sound, the ERP platform will not only replace major systems such as Visma and Capnordic in Finance and other places, but it will also be our new HR platform and new indirect procurement platform. It will replace legacy systems and automate, digitise and improve quality in processes in those areas. It will also enable DFDS to be much better and faster at meeting demands from colleagues using the system and customers and partners working with us through integrated systems. It will therefore also need to be integrated with our fundamental sales and operating systems like Phoenix and Seabook, for example.

In short, it will be key to DFDS’ future ability to increase efficiency as well as our ability to respond to changes and new requirements.

Clarification phase begins
Therefore, it is a major project that in its first stage involves 30 dedicated experts from Finance, IT and business who have been working on the selection of the best system for the platform for more than a year. Now the team has reached a critical milepost and found its implementation partner by signing a contract with Danish-based international consultancy company Columbus just before Easter.

This means we can enter the long-awaited project clarification phase, which we began this week with Columbus. After the Clarification Phase, the ERP project can deliver its recommendation on a detailed programme scope on 28 June.

We will then have the opportunity to finally purchase the licenses for our future ERP platform, which will be Microsoft Dynamics 365. We have already negotiated and agreed on license prices, terms and conditions with Microsoft, but will only sign the agreement provided the Clarification Phase is successful.

On 29 April, DFDS and Columbus will arrange a kick-off in Copenhagen for the core programme participants and various stakeholders and follow it up with town hall meetings in other locations such as in Poznan, where our Polish colleagues have waited more than patiently for this programme to commence.

On behalf of the entire programme team,

Rene, Mona, Luisa, Mikkel and Jesper

The Integration Team brings DFDS one step closer to process standardisation with EDI request forms

The Integration Team now has request forms at the ready to simplify and standardise the EDI process. From the left: Mikael Lund, Michael Johansen, Jan Kierstein, Kinga Tiem, and seated is a very busy Thor Fischer-Olsen.


There are good reasons as to why we use smart systems for documents rather than typing everything and sending it manually. It’s fast, standardised, less prone to errors, and we save our typing fingers for other tasks. This is something EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) does for us, so that our systems can work reliably and efficiently with customers’ systems when sending and receiving documents, such as bookings and invoices.

The Integration Team is happy to announce that forms are now available that will allow DFDS employees to create EDI requests in TOPdesk, which will assist the process of standardisation.

From now on all EDI requests should be submitted via forms in the TOPdesk Self-Service Portal shown below.

Our EDI Integration page in the TOPdesk Self-Service Portal

How to find the page: Self-Service Portal / Place an order / EDI Integration

CIO Gert Møller plans to retire at the end of 2019

The end of 2019 will see the end of an era in DFDS when DFDS’ IT icon Gert Møller will retire from his position as CIO.

“I have considered this for some time as I would like to spend more time on other things. I have decided to announce it already now to give DFDS the opportunity to plan the management change and recruit a new head of IT as early as possible. This will allow everyone to adapt to the new management in the best possible way and maybe even enable me to spend some time as an advisor for a new CIO,” says Gert.

It will be a strange feeling for Gert when he hands over the department to a new CIO. Although he started in his current position in 2002, he has worked with DFDS far longer – as a consultant developing cargo solutions from 1987. As a head of IT from 1993 to 2000 when the company grew from 900 staff to 9000. As a consultant during most of the two years he was employed outside DFDS. And from 2002 and the next 17 years as a CIO.

“I fully understand and respect Gert’s wish to step down after so many years in the center of our IT developments and operations. His importance to DFDS can hardly be overrated. He is an intelligent, hardworking and experienced manager who knows his IT business inside out, and what is more, he knows DFDS’ business and the transport industry inside out. With Gert at the rudder, our IT capabilities have increased massively in size as well as in tasks and complexity in line with the transformation of DFDS into a much larger and far more digitized company,” says Torben Carlsen.

“Gert has decided to announce his retirement in the same planned, conscious and responsible way he has been managing IT, again demonstrating why he has been so valuable to DFDS and paving the way for the future,” says Torben.

“We will now start the process of finding a replacement for Gert,” he says.