News

FRANK HARMSEN BECOMES DIRECTOR-SHAREHOLDER AT PNA

Frank Harmsen, 49, has joined the PNA Group in Heerlen as director-shareholder. Until the move on 1 January he was a partner at EY Advisory, in recent years responsible for transformation and digitization projects in the Netherlands and internationally.

In his new role, Frank remains an Endowed Professor of Knowledge and Information Management at Maastricht University. He is to head PNA jointly with current CEO Maurice Nijssen, who is delighted to welcome his new colleague. ‘We complement one another. Frank’s background makes him a perfect fit at PNA. His broad practical grounding as an organizational consultant for leading businesses is of great value for us. With his experience at boardroom level, we can have even more impact.’

Drawing upon Frank’s long career at major consultancy agencies such as EY and Capgemini will enable PNA to continue to develop without losing its unique character. His arrival is set to strengthen the firm’s position in the academic and commercial network. ‘In terms of our existing clients,’ says Maurice, ‘that means they will be helped better throughout the process, safeguarding their knowledge from beginning to end. As well as a wealth of consultancy experience, Frank has a true hands-on mentality. Naturally, I also hope that the two of us will together attract new clients.’

Logical step

For Frank himself, the move from a big player like EY to PNA is only logical. ‘After almost 25 years working at larger firms, entrepreneurship appealed to me. A company of my own would have been an interesting challenge, but what could be better than joining forces with like-minded people? In terms of both its business and its culture, PNA really suits me. I want to use my experience to help it take yet another step forward.’

PNA’s head office is in Heerlen, a familiar environment for Frank. ‘I’ve always had a weakness for the south of the Netherlands,’ he says. ‘In my time at Capgemini, I set up and ran a branch in Heerlen. Not that PNA is confined to the south, of course – we operate nationally and internationally.’

Productive use of knowledge

In the past few years, PNA has secured a prominent position in the market for knowledge modelling, capture, and utilization, in a way that makes organizations flexible whilst remaining fully compliant with legislation and regulations.

‘With Frank on board,’ says Maurice, ‘PNA will be even better able to undertake complete renewal and transformation programmes for our clients, including their strategic and change-management aspects. Together, we can help PNA help the world use knowledge even more productively and sustainably.’

Business Rules

What is a business rule?

Business rules are of utmost importance to all businesses and many different definitions have been suggested over the past decades. But what exactly is a business rule? This short whitepaper answers that question.

PNA Group_Short Whitepaper on What is a Business Rule

Semantics – What does it mean?

Short Whitepaper on Semantics

Someone is nit-picking, someone is splitting hairs, someone is quibbling about semantics.

A common saying used to indicate someone is focussing too much on the details, on technicalities. However, for a business, semantics can mean the difference between failure and success.

What does it mean? That question is answered by semantics, as semantics is the linguistic study of meaning. In business, semantics mainly encompasses the clear and consistent defining of business concepts. The world standard SBVR (Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules) of the OMG (Object Management Group) is dedicated to the proper application of semantics in business.

Read this short whitepaper to find out more.

PNA Group_Short Whitepaper on Semantics

Semantics – What does it mean?

Short Whitepaper on Semantics

Someone is nit-picking, someone is splitting hairs, someone is quibbling about semantics.

A common saying used to indicate someone is focussing too much on the details, on technicalities. However, for a business, semantics can mean the difference between failure and success.

What does it mean? That question is answered by semantics, as semantics is the linguistic study of meaning. In business, semantics mainly encompasses the clear and consistent defining of business concepts. The world standard SBVR (Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Rules) of the OMG (Object Management Group) is dedicated to the proper application of semantics in business.

Read this short whitepaper to find out more.

PNA Group_Short Whitepaper on Semantics

Vacancy: Implementation consultant/Knowledge Modeler (m/v)

As implementation consultant you translate the business requirements of the client into an optimally functioning software application. This involves the realization of state-of-the-art and innovative (custom made) software. You are responsible for the whole process from making a functional and technical design up until the implementation, installation, instruction and maintenance.

Next to the supervision of an experienced project team of software developers, it also involves intense collaboration with the team. The goal is to achieve optimal development results in respect to functionality as well as architecture, performance and integration with other (additional) platforms.

In order to keep in touch with the field you also work as a knowledge modeler in projects for (inter)national organizations. You support our clients by transforming their business goals into concrete processes, business rules and information flows with the associated services and tooling.

You are (in time) also capable of taking on the product ownership of one of the PNA software products. Our own software products support the process of annotating and integral knowledge modeling (data structures, processes, business rules and semantics), the design of application screens up until the generating of prototypes and applications based hereon.

What we expect:

  • A degree in higher education (Dutch: HBO or WO/university level)(preferably in a technical/scientific field).
  • You have several years of experience in the field of software development of which several years as project-/product manager and consultant.
  • You have knowledge of- and experience with the latest development methods, platforms and database environments. Also you have experience with User Interface Design.
  • You have excellent analytical and communication skills and strong project management skills.
  • You can see things from the viewpoint of the clients and you thrive in complex situations.
  • You are willing to work from our offices as well as at the location of the client.
  • You have knowledge of the world standards BPMN, DMN and SBVR or are willing to obtain this knowledge on short notice.

 

We offer:

  • A job at an especially innovative and boundary-pushing organization that, as a niche player, develops high value services and solutions.
  • An extensive education in cogNIAM®, BPMN 2.0, DMN and SBVR.
  • Opportunities to excel
  • A competitive salary

 

About PNA

PNA is an expert on the field of knowledge management. We help organizations with knowledgeintensive challenges and lay the foundation for the sustainable and intelligent use of knowledge. PNA wants to provide room for innovation and prevent the wastage of knowledge, time and money. To this end the cogNIAM® method has been developed.

Amongst others we work for ABN AMRO, ADP, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst), the European Space Agency, MoneYou, Obvion and VGZ. Our ideas are now the basis of current world standards on the field of processes, business rules, data and semantics. This way we were a leading authority in the development of BPMN, DMN and SBVR.

More information

Do you want more information on this function? Contact Wendy Lipsch, +31 (0)887770444. Are you the person we are looking for? Please send your curriculum vitae and a motivation letter to vacatures@pna-group.com. An aptitude test is part of the procedure. You application will be treated confidentially.

Acquisition as a result of this advertisement is not appreciated.

Vacancy: Consultant/Knowledge Modeler (m/f)

PNA is looking for a full time

Consultant/Knowledge Modeler (m/f)

In this function you support our clients with the transformation of their business goals towards explicit processes, information flows and the corresponding solutions. You can translate their demands to clear, unambiguous functional specifications for complex and mostly business critical domains. To this end you use the most state-of-the-art methods and technologies (like BPMN 2.0, DMN, SBVR). You advise clients about the (im)possibilities of their demands and indicate the consequences. Thanks to your expertise and personality the client can apply the present knowledge more efficiently.

You will work both in collaborations as individually. The function is both challenging and versatile. You will work in a dynamic and innovative environment where initiative is expected and where opportunities arise to excel.

What we expect

  • A degree in higher education (Dutch: HBO or WO/university level) (preferably in a technical/scientific field).
  • You have several years of experience in the fields of consultancy, information analysis and/or process analysis.
  • You have excellent analytical and communication skills.
  • You are motivated by the content of the job.
  • You can see things from the viewpoint of the clients and thrive in complex situations.
  • You are willing to work from our offices as well as at the location of the client.
  • You have knowledge of the world standards BPMN, DMN and SBVR or are willing to obtain this knowledge on short notice.

 

We offer

  • A job at an especially innovative and boundary-pushing organization that, as a niche player, develops high value services and solutions.
  • An extensive education in cogNIAM®, BPMN 2.0, DMN and SBVR.
  • Opportunities to excel
  • A competitive salary

 

About PNA

PNA is an expert on the field of knowledge management. We help organizations with knowledge-intensive challenges and lay the foundation for the sustainable and intelligent use of knowledge. PNA wants to provide room for innovation and prevent the wastage of knowledge, time and money. To this end the cogNIAM® method has been developed.

Amongst others we work for ABN AMRO, ADP, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst), the European Space Agency, MoneYou, Obvion and VGZ. Our ideas are now the basis of current world standards on the field of processes, business rules, data and semantics. This way we were a leading authority in the development of BPMN, DMN and SBVR.

More information

Do you want more information on this vacancy? Contact Wendy Lipsch, +31 (0)887770444. Are you the person we are looking for? Please send your curriculum vitae and a motivation letter to vacatures@pna-group.com. An aptitude test is part of the procedure. Your application will be treated confidentially.

Acquisition as a result of this advertisement will not be appreciated.

THE FOCAFET FOUNDATION USES COGNIAM® IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE MODEL FOR WORLD TRANSACTIONS

HEERLEN, July 2015 – Through the CogNIAM Finance joint venture, PNA is helping the Focafet Foundation to set up a uniform protocol for world economic transactions: the Uniform Economic Transaction Protocol (UETP). This is being developed in co-creation with several parties, including governments, multinationals and newconomy thinkers.

Millions of cross-border transactions take place every day and that number is only increasing. Every country has its own transaction language, with all of its associated communication problems. Barcodes, and bank-, identity- and reference numbers are aids to allowing these different languages to communicate with each other. But these remain separate data flows and that is very inefficient. With the development of UETP, the Focafet Foundation is combining transactions through a sort of secure ‘group chat’. In this way, all parties involved in the transaction automatically get the data relevant to them. All sorts of transactions are linked to each other through the entire chain.

“You could regard UETP as a common language for economic transactions throughout the world,” says Floris Kleemans, the founder of the FocafetFoundation. “Our biggest challenge in this project is communication and a clear, uniform transfer of knowledge. CogNIAM Finance is better equipped than any to create a clear language with concepts that are understandable for all users. They understand very well that it’s all about knowledge and not about format. CogNIAM Finance doesn’t ask, ‘How should information be delivered?’ but ‘What should that information be?’ We’ve only been operating for a year but UETP is known already. And that’s everything to do with the fact that people identify with how CogNIAM Finance describes the transactions.”

The first test version of UETP was launched in March 2015. Ideas from the community were accessed through a co-creation platform. These ideas lead to practical input for the protocol and for implementation. “CogNIAM Finance structures and assesses the ideas from the community and the knowledge from existing standards,” says Johan Saton, project leader at CogNIAM Finance. “We do this on the basis of the cogNIAM® classification principle. We create all output documentation for the protocol with the UETP team, in which our direct link with the OMG and ISO comes in very useful. Here we have to cope with more than just 50 ISO and other world standards; without clear knowledge modeling, that couldn’t be structured.”

The community is growing. There are already many small and large organizations in various sectors involved such as ABN AMRO, Hewlett Packard, PwC, Geodan, GS1, TNO, Atradius and a number of Dutch ministries. The first working protocol will be ready in the autumn of 2015.

To know more, see: http://focafet.org

ABN AMRO WINS NATIONAL WRITING COMPETITION

AMSTERDAM, December 2014 – On Thursday 20 November 2014, Merel van Vroonhoven, chair of AFM, awarded the Gouden Veer to ABN AMRO Insurance. This year, the jury of the annual writing competition was looking for the best financial communication text. The ABN AMRO private Liability Insurance conditions were voted first out of the 85 submissions and 5 finalists.

“For the conditions of the Liability Insurance, Pieter Eikelboom and his team pulled out all the stops to tell the customer as clearly as possible what the insurance policy does and does not cover, what procedures apply to it, and what possibilities and results may occur,” explained the chair of the jury. With this, ABN AMRO insurance took a major step towards formulating complicated insurance conditions full of legal jargon in such a way as to enable the customer to understand the contents before signing them.

PNA was able to contribute to this process through the cogNIAM Finance joint venture. It was partly responsible for the protocol-based unraveling of difficult conditions to reveal their core structure. The insight that arose from this helped the team to write understandable, consistent conditions in a readable structure. We are proud to have been a part of this major step towards simplifying financial products.

For the complete jury report Van klinkende munt naar klinkklare taal click here.

THE START OF KNOWLEDGEENGINEERING @WORK

HEERLEN, September 2014 – Every region with progressive companies needs highly-qualified (beta) knowledge workers, and the Euregio is no exception. This calls for an attractive, innovative range of educational facilities. Introducing students to regional companies during their training makes them more inclined to remain in the Euregio after graduating. PNA endorses this vision and offers work placement to student’s on the Knowledge Engineering bachelor’s degree course at Maastricht University.

Op 17 September 2014, the first students in the new KnowledgeEngineering @Work project started their work placement at PNA. These were second-year students Tomas Cremers and Hidde van Scherpenseel. “For PNA this is an excellent opportunity to get into contact with interesting students. We can make good use of talented people like these in the innovative services and products that we develop and sell at PNA, and the challenging projects in which we take part,” says Sjir Nijssen, PNA’s CTO.

With the KnowledgeEngineering @Work project, Maastricht University wants to attract highly-qualified, talented young people to the Euregio. The bachelor’s course in Knowledge Engineering is a 3-year course with modules and projects in the fields of informatics, mathematics and artificial intelligence. During their course, the students work half-time at the participating companies. “At our partner institution in Germany – the RWTH in Aachen – there is already a course in which working and academic training go hand in hand,” explains Dr Frank Thuijsman, university professor and initiator. “This course has been such a success that they can’t meet the demand for working students. Following on from Aachen, Maastricht is now going to start up a similar program. Actually, we are working closely on this with the RWTH.”

PNA is an expert in the field of knowledge management. Through its cogNIAM® method, it helps organizations cope with knowledge-intensive challenges, laying the foundations for sustainable use of knowledge. The profile of Maastricht University’s KnowledgeEngineering @Work students is an excellent fit in this respect. PNA is active in various triple-helix partnerships, such as the Smart Services Hub. In fact contact with Maastricht University grew out of this. PNA is the first company in which KnowledgeEngineering @Work students have started work.

PNA WINS EUROPEAN TENDER FROM THE DUTCH TAX AND CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION

HEERLEN, February 2014 - PNA has been granted a European tender by the Dutch Tax and Customs administration (Belastingdienst). This is the tender for ‘Annotation-Application Service(s) for agile law implementation’.

The Belastingdienst is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of regulations and legislation. To automate this, there is an intensive program under way at the moment in which a lot of information has to be gathered, processed and managed manually. Following an analysis and research, the Belastingdienst has drawn up a vision that establishes how this process can be improved and supported automatically.

Out of many offers, the Belastingdienst has chosen a solution developed by PNA on the basis of its Cognitatie product. “This solution meets the wishes of the Belastingdienst to closely monitor the process from policy to implementation for complex regulations and legislation,” says Maurice Nijssen, PNA’s CEO. “In spite of the knowledge available, it was an enormous task for employees of the Belastingdienst to arrive at a clear assessment of various regulations.”

Thanks to PNA’s solution, this will be considerably simplified. An essential part of annotating – or establishing the significance of regulations and legislation – is that this can be implemented in a structured, clear and understandable way with the aid of Cognitatie.

PNA BECOMES THE EUROPEAN REPRESENTATIVE OF THE OMG

HEERLEN, August 2013 - The Object Management Group (OMG) is the biggest and best-known non-profit organization in the field of establishing and further developing various knowledge and ICT world standards. The OMG was founded in 1989 and has more than 300 members, including a wide range of leading companies such as IBM, Oracle, SAP, Boeing, Daimler, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citigroup and AT&T.

Since 2008, PNA has been applying its specific cogNIAM® expertise to establishing and developing the world standards BPMN 2.0 and SBVR.

On 1 July 2013, this partnership led the OMG to appoint PNA’s Maurice Nijssen, Serge Gouders and Bas van de Laar ‘OMG Representatives’ for Europe. Maurice Nijssen, PNA’s CEO, will personally commit to putting the OMG more firmly on the map in Europe. “We think it’s a great honor that the OMG has asked us to champion their interests in Europe. The OMG network is perfect for getting in touch with international experts and discussing practical and sector-related developments.”

OMG_logo-blue@2x

The OMG standardization process is fast, transparent and effective. Every organization, large or small, can join. Members help actively in the establishment of future standards and have a say in deciding the content of these standards. Every member, irrespective of the size of the organization, is entitled to vote and can therefore make a real difference. The OMG has various forms of membership ranging from ‘domain member’ (for the financial, medical or technology sectors, for example) to ‘platform member’ (focused on technical or data standards, for instance).

Read more about our partnership with the OMG.

OFFICIAL OPENING OF SMART SERVICES HUB

HEERLEN, October 2012 – Friday 7 September 2012 saw the official opening of the Smart Services Hub in Heerlen. Limburg – and the Heerlen region in particular – has a strongly developed cluster and unique expertise in the field of financial, administrative and information services. In order to use this expertise effectively, and to develop a future-proof labor supply, 18 parties joined forces. Together, they have set up ‘smart services’, which, through making intelligent use of information, constitute a source of economic added value for the organizations themselves and for their clients.

Financial-economic and administrative services are strongly developed in the region, with large organizations such as the APG Group, AZL, CBS, Obvion and the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. But smaller, innovative players such as PNA and Betawerk also stand out by developing high-quality, innovative services. In addition, there are also various knowledge institutions with high-quality expertise regarding the financial-administrative and information-based cluster. Maastricht University, the Open University and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences supply thousands a graduates a year to this specific field.

PNA has a place in the steering group alongside APG, Maastricht University, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and the Municipality of Heerlen. “We see a lot of opportunities in this unique partnership between business, government and knowledge institutions,” says Maurice Nijssen, PNA’s CEO. “Thanks to the world standards that we’ve developed in the fields of knowledge management and information streams, we can help businesses and institutions to increase their profits and their knowledge capital.”

Smart-Sevices-Hub

“We think that to interest up-and-coming talent in working and living in this region, it’s indispensable to offer challenging work. Developing innovative services and products plays a major role in this. It’s precisely in this area that the Smart Services Hub can act as a catalyst.”

Read more about the Smart Services Hub (in Dutch only).