REVIEWER: Pierre-Eric Menuet, system integration project leader at Eurofins.
BACKGROUND: A French company founded in Nantes in 1987, Eurofins Group is among the first providers of bioanalysis in the world and specializes in analytical services for the environment as well as pharmaceutical and food industries. Eurofins has more than 7,000 employees, generated revenue of a460 million (approx. $700 million U.S.) in 2007, owns a network of more than 100 laboratories in 29 countries and a portfolio of about 25,000 analytic methods to validate the traceability, authenticity, origin, safety, identity and purity of biological substances and numerous products.
PLATFORMS: Intel x86 running Microsoft Windows Server 2003.
PROBLEM SOLVED: As part of its rapid growth plan, Eurofins engages in a high level of M&A activity, adding several labs from around the world to its portfolio annually. Until 2005, in an attempt to streamline processes, each new laboratory that joined Eurofins was equipped with the same information system. This strategy proved to be problematic for employees as well as customers, moving the management team to permit diversity among production systems by replacing only some components and developing interfaces to integrate other applications with the information system at the companys headquarters. Talend Integration Suite plays an integral role in pulling together information from these disparate systems.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Eurofins needed to have a clear inventory of the data flows - those documenting the inputs of biological substances analyzed - that go through the information system in order to better control and homogenize these flows. Our goal was to preserve the autonomy of all the laboratories, which have their own IT departments, while also offering consistent global services. Eurofins found Talend Integration Suite to be a fit because it is very robust and has a graphical interface that makes it easy to map out the data flows. Its open source nature enables us to keep control of the entire process.
STRENGTHS: From the beginning, we benefited from the user-friendliness of Talends software, which has sped up customization and enhanced the developments that weve conducted for each labs needs. Talends product support is very reliable, and the community contributions are very dynamic, evolving the product quickly and often generating new components we may require. Talend Integration Suite offers us a collaborative layer, enabling many developers to access the same projects. The Integration Suite delivers enterprise-ready features while maintaining the integrity of an open, flexible solution for our heterogeneous and geographical diverse network. Talends solution is used throughout the company, for local as well as enterprise-wide projects.
WEAKNESSES: We could use more advanced XML processing components for our complex uses. We understand that up until now, Talend has mostly been investing in connectivity to databases and applications, but we expect that Talend will provide more powerful XML management in the near future.
SELECTION CRITERIA: To meet various integration needs, we had initially decided to resort to a proprietary solution. After analyzing what was offered on the market, we selected a competing product but were quickly pushed to abandon this solution due to the pricing model and because the offering did not meet our real-time integration or customization needs. Talends accessibility and openness made it an easy decision. We downloaded the solution, ran some tests on key data sets and then used the tool in a successful pilot project.
DELIVERABLES: Today, two laboratories have data that is integrated, and eight projects are planned for the coming year. Eurofins relies entirely on Talends solutions for all integration needs. Talend Integration Suites ability to standardize certain processes and reuse them in future projects saves our integration team time and resources, which translates to higher profitability. We improved the Microsoft SQL Server connectors, which are incorporated into Talend upgrades.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Talend is coupling a traditional technical support offering (with unlimited incidents, guaranteed response times, etc.) with the open source community tools (forums, wiki, bug tracker, etc.). This combination is highly efficient and allows for a tighter collaboration with the vendor.
DOCUMENTATION: We received a comprehensive set of documentation and tutorials that provided the guidance we needed to initiate and execute our project. This visibility on the tools roadmap comes along with a transparent relationship with Talend.
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