Talend Makes Light Work of Legacy Integration for Aliaxis

We considered various solutions when faced with this integration challenge. However SAP and Business Objects were very expensive in comparison to the value and benefits that we have realised through the implementation of the Talend solution.
Martin Clothier, Solution Architect at Aliaxis


Aliaxis, a privately held company, was created as an independent group in 2003 and has been a major force in its industry from the beginning. The Aliaxis Group today employs more than 15,000 people, is present in over 50 countries throughout the world, and is represented in the marketplace through more than 100 manufacturing and commercial companies, many of which trade using strong regional brands. Each of these brands is firmly established with the community of trade professionals in its local market, and a number of them are widely recognised international brands.

The Aliaxis Group is an international group consisting of businesses primarily engaged in the manufacturing and commercialisation of plastic products for fluid transport relating to four key market segments: building, sanitary, industrial and utilities.

The Challenge

There are a total of 8 businesses in the UK that form part of the Aliaxis Group. Faced with the insurmountable challenge of integrating data across a host of existing legacy systems the Group is currently working to implement a common ERP system. The ERP system that the Group has chosen to implement is Microsoft Dynamic AX. Across the Group there are three legacy systems, one an Oracle based system called Willow, the second a SQL Server called eFacs, and has an AS4000 Geac System 21. Large volumes of structured and unstructured data across the organisation, saved in various formats including spreadsheets, presents a huge integration and management challenge.

The Solution

Faced with thousands of customers and suppliers and more than 10 000 different products, the Aliaxis Group has approached this challenge head on and for the first phase of the implementation, the company used Talend  Data Quality to clean the data in the Willow system. The next stage of the implementation resulted in the company taking the cleaned, sanitised data and integrating it into the new ERP system.

Data quality entails more than helping companies get correct data into their information systems; it also means getting rid of bad, corrupted, or duplicate data.

Clean data is key when integrating information across systems, because misinformation can proliferate quickly - internally of course, but also to business partners. With today’s interconnected information systems, bad data spreads the same way viruses are spread by travellers: erroneous information can spread quickly to other applications. The cost of compromised data is incalculable; including lost sales, wasted productivity, loss of reputation or goodwill, and missed opportunities.

All functionality is completely integrated with Talend Data Integration, Talend's leading open source data integration solution, ensuring that data quality is built into the integration processes during the design phase.

One of the core decision-making factors when choosing the Talend solution was Talend’s direct connector into Dynamics AX ensuring that the data being input into the new system will not break any existing rules in the newly implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX system.

Once input into the system, Talend Data Quality will continue to monitor the data and will give users an idea of any potential issues that might arise.

Martin Clothier, Solution Architect at Aliaxis, stated: “We highly recommend the Talend Data Quality and Data Integration solution. The ease and speed of the data quality cleansing as well as efficiency of the integration were key considerations in choosing Talend. Furthermore the fact that the solution is so competitively priced and was able to offer a connector directly into our new ERP system was hugely advantageous.”

“We considered various solutions when faced with this integration challenge. However SAP and Business Objects were very expensive in comparison to the value and benefits that we have realised through the implementation of the Talend solution,” continued Martin.

“Going forward we plan to use Talend as part of our master data management solution, for example when we have a new product or customer that needs to be set up, we will take data from end users, pull that into a staging database, take the record, validate the data and apply rules which will enable us to broadcast it using Talend. The various Group companies will then be able to access this customer record and enrich the data for their specific use.”