REVIEWER: Dominique Chemin, chief information officer at Naville.
BACKGROUND: Naville distributes 2,800 magazines and newspapers from 23 countries (including the U.S.) within the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Switzerland welcomes many tourists, and many non-Swiss people work in Switzerlands international organizations. Those people demand magazines and newspapers from their home countries. Naville meets that demand by distributing the publications. Another part of Navilles business is retail - 200 stores sell the newspapers and magazines. Naville is based in Carouge, Switzerland, a suburb of Geneva.
PLATFORMS: IBMs AS/400, DB2 and applications developed in-house, Oracle E-Business Suite and Microsoft technologies.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Naville had a particular need for data integration because different parts of its business operate on different platforms. The press distribution business uses IBMs AS/400 platform and DB2 database, while the retail stores that sell the magazines and newspapers use Oracle E-Business Suite. Naville also uses Microsoft technologies for its business-to-business Web sites. Naville needed to integrate external data from its partners. For example, newspaper and magazine publishers send Naville details on how many copies of a magazine or newspaper will be sent out. Naville, for its part, sends back data on the number of copies sold and the amount of money due to the publishers. Talend Integration Suite is used for the huge challenge of integrating all the different types of data.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: In using Talend Integration Suite, we wanted to benefit from better traceability and better monitoring of our integration processes. To achieve this, we wanted to interface our monitoring tool (Tango/04) with Talend Integration Suite for easier control of the execution and performance of our jobs. Our goal was also to increase productivity in terms of interface development in order to reduce development and maintenance costs. Finally, we were aiming at improving quality and consistency of data with Talend to improve the global management of our activities. All of these goals have been met. Right now, Naville has Talend Integration Suite with the initial three-year subscription. We have a gold support contract that guarantees high reactivity by the vendor for an unlimited number of incidents. Naville manages its integration tasks in batch mode, but we are thinking about using Talends solution for real-time needs as well.
STRENGTHS: The best thing Naville has found about Talend is the ease of use of the graphical user interface (GUI). An interface built with Talend in a couple of hours would have taken at least a day the old way, using manual coding and FTP. With Talend, its quick to build interfaces between systems, which makes it easy for all of the developers to share their development work.
WEAKNESS: With any open source product, there are minor things that could always use improvement. We hope that Talend will offer an enterprise application integration (EAI) tool in the future.
SELECTION CRITERIA: After a detailed study of the solutions on the market, Naville tested three integration solutions, among them two proprietary tools and one open source tool. We chose Talend Integration Suite based on several strategic criteria. Talend was the only one to ensure us continuity and real transparency. Moreover, their prices were much more affordable and transparent than those from the other two software providers. Talends proposal also guaranteed the continuity of the solution with an initial implementation performed by its own teams, followed by knowledge transfer. We carefully studied the performance of the respective solutions. Not only is Talends performance excellent, but the solution is also easy to appropriate and deploy. The basic functionalities perfectly met our requirements: the majority of the connectors already existed, and the others were developed by Talend in less than a week. That last point enabled us to test the reactivity of the editor and also its listening capacity. Once again, we were not disappointed by Talend.
DELIVERABLES: For the time being, we have concentrated our efforts for building operational interfaces, mainly focusing on data.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Talend provided strong training and an efficient proof of concept (POC) program. The support provided after implementation fit our general expectations.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was complete, and we were able to understand it. In addition, Talend offers a starting package with five to six days of consulting and training, which was a necessary option for us.
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