Pfizer Belgium wants to stay in the lead in the production of medical solutions. For that purpose, they considered a platform innovation as key in realising their strategic goals.

Platform innovation - Process Automation 4.0 (Framework 4.0)

Context & Challenge

Important drivers and challenges for this project were:

  • Industry 0 insights, with Pfizer applying new technological capabilities.
  • Outdated software architecture, not equipped to efficiently set up new medical production lines.
  • Monolithic applications resulting in excessive maintenance and production costs.
  • Current project management not adapted to realising new and additional requirements in an evolutionary and incremental way.

As the medical industry is one of the most regulated industries, upfront thinking about new architectural styles and accompanying processes is key. So, ready-to-use documentation was the first required delivery. Pfizer acknowledged they needed an agile, evolutionary and modern ICT platform, not only from a technological and architectural point of view, but also from SDLC processes’ point of view.

PENCIL42 was selected to assist Pfizer in this strategic project thanks to our proven architectural and technological experience.

We provided the following solutions:

  • Technology: We defined and documented the new architecture starting from realistic modern architectural principles, based on the strict requirements that come with medical production lines.
  • Method: We introduced the accompanying SDLC & DevOps processes from requirements to production, including the vital testing procedures. Agile delivery is based on the SAFE framework.
  • We delivered a first strategic component illustrating and proving the value of the documented architectural principles.

Today the first strategic component is in production. We are starting the roll-out of the new architecture towards the Pfizer ICT teams in full collaboration with the Pfizer Enterprise Architect.

Pfizer uses this documentation to allow other external parties to deliver according to the required Pfizer ICT architectural standards. Within Pfizer International, Pfizer Belgium is now considered a strategic frontrunner compared to other Pfizer production plants.


Key aspects of the delivered architecture

Too often the attempt to introduce a new architecture fails due to a lack of focus on other aspects than merely the technological ones.

At PENCIL42 we know that architecture goes beyond introducing new technologies. We take a holistic approach that covers all aspects needed for a successful introduction. The necessary training materials come with the documentation of the new architecture.

Project Methodology:

  • Implementation of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Analysis Techniques:

  • Story Mapping and Customer Experience Design (customer journeys, personas, wireframes)
  • User Stories
  • Domain-driven Design
  • Micro Services
  • Event-driven Design
  • Business & Information Modelling
  • Process Modelling
  • Modelling tool: Enterprise Architect


  • Setting up a continuous delivery pipeline including continuous integration and continuous delivery/deployment: automating software and integration testing, release and deployment management as well as infrastructure management.


Technology used

  • Microsoft .NET
  • Event-driven micro service architecture based on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud (an industry leader according to Gartner)
  • Containerisation: Docker and Kubernetes.
  • Event-driven messaging backbone: Kafka
  • Front-end: Vue.js.

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