This project illustrates how companies can use open source solutions to meet, and even exceed, their requirements. The centralized database provides deeper analysis, and the data integration technology will allow creating links with other systems in the future. The reactivity of the Talend team, especially when it comes to developing specific connectors, helped us to quickly bring high added value to our client.Marc Sallieres, General Manager, Altic
An international hospitality group
With hotels on all continents, Accor is a worldwide leader in tourism, catering, and hotel management - all very competitive fields. The group is always looking for ways to improve its processes, to increase productivity, and to meet the demands of its clients.
Archiving and regulatory requirements
Accor is also facing a number of regulatory constraints, such as the legal requirement that all client communications be retained for a specified period of time. A copy of each reservation or cancellation was archived in an MS Outlook file stored on a file server, but this system made it difficult to access the data - only an IT analyst was able to perform this task.
Accor's reservations department (whose activities span 11 geographical sites) wanted to facilitate searching through the archives by deploying a centralized database, properly indexed with metadata. In addition, they needed to deploy a reporting solution to generate ad-hoc reports on this data.
“The only way to meet these needs was with an operational batch implementation,” said Christophe Antoine, a project manager with Talend. “The group handles over 6 million messages annually (an average of 17,000 per day, with seasonal peaks), and this volume increases by 8% to 10% annually.”
Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, an open data integration solution
Proprietary tools from vendors like Informatica, IBM (data integration), and Symantec (email archiving) had already been disqualified - not only for their steep acquisition costs, but also because of their heavy hardware requirements. The group also considered manually developing email extraction processes. A quick feasibility study proved that the cost of this solution would be prohibitive.
After looking at several solutions, Altic, an open source solutions integrator, selected Talend Open Studio for Data Integration for the group. “There were three main reasons for this choice,” explains Marc Sallieres, Altic's General Manager. “First, the ease of use of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, and its specific components for email collection, data extraction, and database loading. Then, our strict budgetary requirements made an open source solution a very attractive option. The fact that Talend Open Studio for Data Integration leverages standard hardware was also important.”
A final consideration was the very quick ramp-up time - just a few days with Talend's technical experts and the solution was live.
Talend's solution collects email, archives it in a standard format, extracts relevant information (email destination, subject, message body, etc.) as well as structured data (arrival and departure dates, hotel identification, rate, etc.). This information is then cleansed and, if necessary, transformed and restructured before being loaded in a MySQL database.
Easier retrieval and reports
The integrated Business Intelligence platform - comprising Talend Open Studio for Data Integration and SpagoBI for reporting - leverages a Web interface for complex searches. Once the relevant content has been found, a copy of the reservation or cancellation can be retrieved online. Reservations agents can access this information directly without involving IT people.
Email is now processed in near real-time, providing far better productivity for the reservations department.
Beyond the ease of searching and viewing information, the group has also met important regulatory constraints quickly and inexpensively - it took only two weeks to build the solution. Additionally, the solution builds custom reports that help analyze the reservation/cancellation process in greater detail.
“This project illustrates how companies can use open source solutions to meet - and even exceed - their requirements,” concludes Marc Sallieres. “The centralized database provides deeper analysis, and the data integration technology will allow creating links with other systems in the future. The reactivity of the Talend team, especially when it came to developing specific connectors, helped us to quickly bring high added value to our client.”