REVIEWER: Rock Blanco, president of Prime Numbers Technology.
BACKGROUND: Prime Numbers Technologys flagship product, Travel GPA, offers a complete travel program management and analysis service based on policy compliance and performance against other companies in the Travel GPA database. Overall, the system tracks all trip data, customer activity and customer profiles to help agents make better decisions and make them more quickly. Because the system works on all global distribution systems and on all platforms/browsers, it can capture, export, and rebuild data from any platform to any platform.
PLATFORMS: Red Hat Linux Enterprise on a Dell server with two quad core 2.33GHz processors, 4GB memory, and eight 73GB drives in a VMWare environment.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Travel GPA benchmarks a companys major analytics (airfare, car rental, hotel, etc.) based on an overall grade detailing individual components and generates a report card equivalent to an individuals own credit bureau report. These benchmarks leverage real-time travel data and history from tens of thousands of companies across the globe. Getting reliable and high-performance access to numerous sources of data is the lifeblood of our systems. Over the years, we had custom-coded some 15 different data collection mechanisms, which were becoming too complex to maintain. We needed to identify a more robust way of developing and operating our data integration processes.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Prime Numbers Technology built its product and its business around Talend Integration Suite. With Talends algorithms and open source extract, transform and load, I can take extracts from any source. We did new data extracts from Sabre's TRAMS, Agresso, TravelMan from TRX's Hi-Mark, CrossFire, Amadeus' Global MAX - all the major back-office systems. Now we can bring on a new extract that someone may present to us within no more than two days, and on average one day.
STRENGTHS: Were handling billions of transactions, and we interface with a huge number of diverse sources and a variety of data. We might be dealing with 45 different currencies and perhaps 18 different languages or we might need to merge an HR feed to a particular system. Before Talend, and using the tools that were available at the time, it took us three to four years to build the 15-plus different interfaces we needed. We replicated all those interfaces on Talend in three months - more than a 90 percent increase in productivity. Talend is the reason that were in business today. Id never worked with a tool like Talend but the ramp-up time was really fast. Its easy to learn and to use, and we were quickly able to leverage the efficiencies that are so inherent in the platform.
WEAKNESSES: When developing complex jobs, we've been experiencing some performance issues with the connection to the centralized repository. Talend's technical support team has told us that an architecture update in the most recent version will eliminate this problem.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We evaluated Talend's open source data integration solutions based on recommendations from peers in the travel industry followed by in-depth discussions with very big companies who had already incorporated the technology. Cost was a consideration. We didnt have the right tools to handle data collection and consolidation in an appropriate time frame with the resources we had available. The alternative would have been to dedicate an entire department and a huge budget to do what Talend Integration Suite lets us do with just a handful of people.
DELIVERABLES: Our business is data. With Talend weve got a fast, reliable way of feeding dashboards that give companies a consolidated view of their performance in real time. Using Talends connectors, I can take extracts from any source. We developed a host of new data extracts from the leading providers of content in the travel industry and continue to add new interfaces on a regular basis.
VENDOR SUPPORT: After only a few weeks of prototyping, we decided to invest in a subscription license of Talend Integration Suite - their enterprise-grade data integration platform. Throughout the process, Talend was very responsive, from initially recommending current users we could consult, to providing comprehensive training on some of the more complex functionality.
DOCUMENTATION: We downloaded Talend Open Studio from the Web, got the user documentation and went through a couple of online tutorials. In two hours, we were up and running and developing our first data integration jobs. The community tools (forum, wiki, etc.) complemented the manuals as a source of information.
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