VAT - Swiss-based world market leader in high-vacuum valves uses BE-terna and Microsoft Dynamics 365
Case study

VAT - Swiss-based world market leader in high-vacuum valves uses BE-terna and Microsoft Dynamics 365

4 min read Jun 18, 2018


With a global market share of around 45% in 2017, VAT Group AG is the world market leader in the development and manufacture of high-vacuum valves, multi-valve modules and metal bellows. These are used in production process that require the highest degree of cleanliness, such as the manufacture of semiconductors or flat screen displays. Now the listed corporation is working with BE-terna and Microsoft to prepare itself for further growth and a groundbreaking switch to cloud.

Digitalisation and growth at record speed

The semiconductor and display sectors are booming; turnover, profit and employees are increasing at a dramatic rate – all signs point towards growth at VAT. The Swiss Rhine Valley-based company, which primarily supplies its vacuum valves to manufacturers of machinery for the production of semiconductors and flat screen displays, increased its turnover by 36% to almost 700 M Swiss francs last year and VAT expects a further increase of between 15 and 20% for the 2018 financial year. Business development on this scale requires a modern ERP solution – one which can grow with the company and its increasing challenges.

Optimally equipped with Microsoft and BE-terna

The high-tech Swiss company embarked on an extensive and intensive selection process to find the right ERP solution and an experienced software partner. In this selection process BE-terna dazzled in the scenario workshops and impressed with the latest Microsoft Dynamics 365-based technology as well as extensive industry know-how. This view is shared by Martin Vaplon, CIO of the VAT Group:
In an extensive selection process lasting over a year BE-terna impressed us in particular with its considerable consultancy expertise. Choosing the right system is just one factor. In our opinion, choosing the right implementation partner is far more important and constitutes a key prerequisite for a successful project. During the selection process we discovered that several systems would have been suitable for our company. In addition to the technical solution itself, the expertise and experience of BE-terna were the factors which proved to be decisive when it came to our decision in favour of Microsoft Dynamics 365.
The ERP project is set to begin in June with a view to making the everyday work of around 2.000 users easier after the go-live in 2021.
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A solution that grows with you and a platform that promotes innovation

With the highly-scalable software solution Microsoft Dynamics 365, VAT can continue to pursue its growth strategy. The modular-design ERP application can be added to with customer solutions and functions and expanded as needed, quickly and cost-effectively. Microsoft Dynamics 365 and BE-terna will help VAT to optimise its business processes and the management of its production processes. What's more, the high-tech company will be able to use Dynamics 365 to its full potential thanks to the Microsoft platform for business applications. This will allow the innovation-driven company to develop, adapt and expand its own apps etc.

This means VAT can encourage the ideas and innovations of its employees and allow them to get involved in designing digitalisation solutions themselves directly within the system. For instance, the Business Application platform can be used to create apps and adapt these to custom business requirements without any prior programming knowledge. These apps have access to all the necessary business data in Dynamics 365 and device functions such as cameras and GPS. As for the operating model, VAT has decided to go cloud-based with its new ERP system and benefit from the endless possibilities of a future-proof solution. In addition to the high degree of flexibility and scalability, the plannable costs, expert maintenance, and the highest security standards prompted VAT to opt for cloud.

About VAT Group AG

VAT is the leading global developer, manufacturer, and supplier of high-quality vacuum valves. Vacuum valves from VAT are business-critical components for highly developed processes involved in the manufacture of innovative products used on a daily basis, such as mobile devices, flat screen displays or solar panels. VAT is made up of three reportable segments: Valves, Global Service and Industry offer high-quality vacuum valves, multi-valve modules, membrane bellows and associated value-added services for a range of vacuum applications. The VAT Group is a global player and employs over 2,000 members of staff. The most important production centres are located in Haag (Switzerland), Penang (Malaysia) and Arad (Romania). In 2017 it amassed net sales of 692 million Swiss francs.

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