Monecam Group Bases its Future Service-Oriented Architecture on Talend Enterprise Data Integration

Going beyond operational data integration and processing, Monecam is turning Talend's solution into an Enterprise Service Bus- Data Quality and MDM will be next.
Talend Data Integration offers a lot of related components (i.e., beyond the ETL world), handling, for example, FTP transfers or file management in a directory. It's an all-in-one solution that can also serve as a user-friendly and easy-to-use software workshop.
François Pichoud, Software Architect

A leader in electronic payment

For nearly 15 years, the Monecam Group has led the credit card industry by offering products and services that cover the entire spectrum of electronic payment. With annual revenues of €33 million (US $47 million), the group processes one billion electronic payment transactions and manages more than 150,000 electronic payment terminals. Respected by banking establishments as well as organized commerce, the Group has 250 employees (including 100 technicians). The company's Call Center is open 6 days a week and handles 300,000 calls per year.

A subsidiary of CEDICAM and Crédit Agricole's regional banks, Monecam focuses on three complementary services: equipment retailers and brands; health; and flow management, electronic banking and support services.

From Data Integrator to Talend Data Integration 

In a business based on exchanging data, Monecam has historically been on the cutting edge of data integration technology. Since 2005, the Group had used Business Objects Data Integrator to handle simple data transformation processing. In 2007, Monecam called for bids from service companies; the company needed a batch data integration solution to generate customized reports using data from automated teller machines (ATM). Two out of three responses recommended Talend solutions.

“We downloaded Talend Open Studio for Data Integration to test it and compare it to Data Integrator. We also arranged a meeting to learn more about the company-roadmap, support options, etc.” explained François Pichoud, Software Architect at Monecam. “Ever since Business Objects was acquired by SAP in 2007, we felt ignored. We had a lot of trouble activating the new support system and found it difficult to manage. The version of Data Integrator that we were using was becoming obsolete and the upgrade was cost-prohibitive. A comparative analysis with Talend Data Integration indicated that, for the same price range, Talend offered many more services and included a large number of connectors (these are all individually priced at SAP).”

The fact that Talend is Java-based was also a plus, as Monecam's information system is built on this environment; its IT teams are very knowledgeable and have been using it for a long time. “Talend Data Integration offers a lot of related components (i.e., beyond the ETL world), handling, for example, FTP transfers or file management in a directory,” added François Pichoud. “It's an all-in-one solution that can also serve as a user-friendly and easy-to-use software workshop.”

Info Center, data warehouse, and web services

Monecam first implemented Talend Data Integration to handle new development, and then to migrate old data flows that needed enrichment. This involves more than 60 data flows (excluding the data warehouse and the Info Center) and their migration will be completed by the end of the year.

“Today, we use Talend Data Integration to manage receiving, processing, and sending files end-to-end in a single data flow,” continued François Pichoud. “This data flow is connected to a dozen heterogeneous applications-bank software packages, an ERP, and internally developed applications - such as client and financial data flow management - all based on AIX, MySQL, and SQL Server. At the same time, we developed an Info Center to make trades on data replicated directly from the production database and a data warehouse dedicated to operational management. Both are powered by Talend Data Integration.”

Monecam also plans to deploy Talend Data Quality to control the quality of data pulled from the Data Warehouse. “Data must be consistent throughout the entire management system,” said François Pichoud. “While evaluating other systems, we developed a Proof of Concept last year with Talend Data Quality that confirmed our choice of Talend. In 2010 we plan to devote more resources to this issue.” Monecam established Web Services to verify the system's reliability. Errors also show up on the Nagios supervisory console. “Innovations specifically designed for this project were incorporated in a later version of Talend Data Integration,” said François Pichoud. “At the same time, we wanted to maintain certain work habits and suggested a modification of Talend's dashboard that would show all the Jobs processed during the day along with their status. The results exceeded our expectations and proved that this vendor pays attention to its users.”

Moving toward a service-oriented architecture, powered by Talend

In early 2009, Monecam considered using Talend as an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). “At that time, a component was missing, but we knew that it would be integrated into version 3.1, available later in the year,” explained François Pichoud. “We're planning to use Talend Data Integration to ensure the exchanges between application services in real-time and to orchestrate processing between different applications. Although we're only in the first stages of our SOA project, our objective is to improve reliability and productivity.”

Scheduling all processing, regardless of platform

Today, Monecam has a complete set of components that can handle processing, regardless of platform. “Talend Data Integration increasingly became our main process scheduler, saving us a lot of time and making us more responsive to our clients,” said François Pichoud. “It's easy to learn and use; some of our engineers took Talend training and then transferred these skills both internally and to our partners. In addition, the solution meets standards and best practices, while letting us enhance and adapt them to suit our environment. This customization is easy and suitable for business users, even though most of our users are computer specialists.”

In addition to the wealth of components already mentioned, Monecam feels that Talend Data Integration is a multi-function integration solution that can take on very diverse problems. “The tool meets all our needs, over and above simple data integration issues,” concluded François Pichoud. “What's more, by using external libraries, we are able to save time and respond more quickly to our clients' needs. As we go forward, in addition to our data quality and SOA projects, we are always looking for data management solutions-management benchmarks, for example. Even if our volumes are still relatively small (no more than one million transactions per day for any given process) we know that Talend offers solutions that can handle large volumes and that's very reassuring.”