Linpac opts for EBICS TS to make its payments secure

Since 2011, Linpac Packaging Pontivy has used the Exabanque software to manage its banking communication. Jean Clemenceau, Manager of the IT Department, explains how the use of digital signatures for payments was implemented within the company.

Tell us about Linpac.

Linpac Packaging Pontivy is a subsidiary of the English group Linpac, which produces cling film and plastic food containers. For transportation purposes, our container factories have been set up as close to our customers as possible all over the world (Germany, Spain, Italy, Belarus, China, and so on). Only two sites produce cling film. One is located near Shanghai, China, and the other, where I work, is at Pontivy.

We work with some 260 customers spread across the globe, with 80% of our production aimed at the international market. In 2013, we posted a turnover of €130 million.

In France, we employ just over 400 people.

How is the financial department at Linpac organised?

The accountancy department has 11 people, two of whom manage cash reserves, payments and the banking relationships.

In 2011, we went ahead with the financial consolidation of a number of entities. Today, they are managed by Linpac Pontivy.

Why did you choose Exalog’s software and what was the background to that choice?

A while ago, we used to work with a software package hosted in-house. This required considerable human and financial resources on our part, as we had to install dedicated servers and perform regular updates. When the EBICS protocol replaced Etebac, we were left unconvinced by the overly expensive solution proposed by our partner.

While looking for a publisher, and on our bank’s advice, we got in contact with Exalog. In a financial sense, the Exabanque software has turned out to be very competitive. In terms of maintenance, the SaaS (Software as a Service) mode won us over as it went hand in hand with a significant reduction in our internal resources. Through its demonstrations, Exalog silenced our fears about the functional coverage of the product, and after seeking the opinions of users, we confirmed our choice.

How did setting up the software go in general?

Thanks to good cooperation between our team and the Exalog team, the roll-out of Exabanque was done gradually and no major problems occurred. The migration of our data was seamless.

What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Once the software had been set up, our users got to grips with it pretty quickly. It really is an easy and user-friendly tool. Whereas our old tool was complex, Exabanque is intuitive and adapted to everyday needs. The management of access rights is particularly efficient.

When we chose Exabanque, we had few applications hosted off-site and we feared that it would be sluggish because our ADSL line is not that strong and because we thought the Exalog servers would be overloaded. In the end, we never had those kinds of problems and response times were perfectly good.

The SaaS mode also considerably lightened our maintenance load, as we had been hoping.

Why did you decide to implement the use of digital signatures?

Before 2011, we used to carry out our banking exchanges in Etebac 5. We were therefore used to signing our orders digitally. Indeed, as our signatories often travelled a lot, it was not logistically feasible to use paper signatures.

When we adopted EBICS, we obviously wanted to continue to work in this way. That is why we opted for the TS version of EBICS.

How did your transfer to EBICS go?

We did not encounter any particular difficulties when we moved to the EBICS protocol, but it took some fine-tuning to set up the digital signature keys. At the time, at the request of our key provider and to ensure that it worked well, we used a fixed version of Java which caused security problems. For almost a year now, we have been able to upgrade our versions of Java without disrupting how our signature keys work.

What conclusions can you draw from the overall implementation of your Exabanque environment?

For the future, we hope to make the data exchange between Exabanque and our ERP more secure so as to meet the requirements of our internal auditors. More specifically, we want to ensure the integrity of the bank details of all third parties registered in our ERP. We are also in contact with the Exalog support staff in this area.

As for Exabanque itself, we have nothing but good news and are satisfied with the software. What is more, we use almost all of its modules. The results have been very positive.