Talend offers the only open source data integration solution which is really enterprise-ready and which provides all the necessary features - a professional solution, quality technical support, and a high degree of integration with MySQL and the rest of our environment. Its appropriation is easy and fast and it offers many customization options.Lionel Beaudet, Technical Manager
The leading French MVNO
Offering a simple, innovative, and complete solution, leveraging the Orange network, Virgin Mobile France is the fastest growing Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in the market today - 94% of their 700,000 customers report that they are happy, or very happy, with customer service.
Virgin Mobile France services are sold by Omer Telecom, a joint venture between Virgin and Carphone Warehouse.
Launched in the United Kingdom by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Mobile also has offices in Australia, Canada, France, India, and the United States. Over 10 million customers in the world benefit from its services.
Open source: architectural choice and economic necessity
Since it began operations, Virgin Mobile France has adopted open source technologies for both practical and economic reasons. "The MVNO business is very specific and there is no dedicated turn-key solution," explained Lionel Beaudet, Technical Manager at Virgin Mobile France. "We had important customization needs and with access to the source code we can keep control of our information system. Even the open source quality-price ratio is unbeatable."
Today, most of the information system at Virgin Mobile France relies on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl) stack-Web applications, CRM, Back Office, and MySQL comprise the architecture.
"Our databases manage high data volumes-our customer base will reach one million subscribers in 2008 and their calls generate close to 5 million invoice tickets per day. These volumes are continually increasing," said Lionel Beaudet.
In a very competitive sector with more and more players, MVNOs are facing important challenges, particularly in terms of accounting and marketing. "With more modest means than traditional operators, the MVNOs must carefully manage their growth (the number of customers has doubled in one year). They have to deal with profitability and at the same time know their customers better," explained Nasser Naili, Senior Manager at Logica. "They need to deploy a performance management system that covers different areas such as finance, marketing, and provider relations. The senior management at Virgin Mobile France is aware of those issues and wanted to implement tools that could address those challenges."
Towards global performance management
Even if the teams at Virgin Mobile France were completely satisfied with the transactional performance of their information system, reporting and performance monitoring capabilities were lacking. "We needed to implement a data warehouse to meet the analytical needs of several lines of business, especially marketing, sales, and finance," explained Lionel Beaudet. "After a tender for the outsourcing of this project, we selected Logica, which recommended Talend Data Integration to extract and transform data from the production databases and to consolidate it into the data warehouse database."
The Logica solution comprises four main areas:
- Sales Performance Management - sales per month and day, distribution of sales per channel, customer profiling, etc.
- Marketing Management - usage segmentation and analysis through the decryption of millions of invoicing tickets - to create new offers better fitting customers needs.
The first area is now operational and the second is being deployed. Soon to come are:
- Customer Service Data - number of calls, offering changes, migration, etc.
- Financial Data - mainly to manage risk and fraud.
The only enterprise-ready open source data integration solution
Virgin Mobile France uses Talend Data Integration to extract data from the production databases, transform this data, and integrate it in the data warehouse database. Organized according to a star schema, this database allows efficient and fast selection and aggregation of selected data to guarantee analytical accuracy.
"Talend Data Integration organizes data by fetching it in different production database tables and consolidating it in the data warehouse. It helps us go beyond the limits of transactional systems to offer our users high performance reporting services," added Lionel Beaudet. "With hindsight, we can affirm that Talend offers the only open source data integration solution that is really enterprise-ready and which provides all the necessary features - a professional solution, quality technical support, and a high degree of integration with MySQL and the rest of our environment. Its appropriation is easy and fast and it offers many customization options."
Virgin Mobile France chose Talend Data Integration for two reasons. "First, we are benefiting from high quality and very reactive support services. Logica implemented the solution, but we now manage it in-house, even though we occasionally require support. Second, this solution facilitates collaborative work and gives us the ability to work as a team on the same project-a big time-saver," said Lionel Beaudet.
"The benefits gained by Virgin Mobile France can be found in two strategic domains - senior management has a better sense of the business and this allows them to respond quickly to changing market conditions and to define priorities. And the marketing team now has the information it needs to gain market share and grow customer loyalty," said Nasser Naili. "The system makes the company more agile and is a real market differentiator."
When the last two parts of the initial project are deployed, Virgin Mobile France plans to develop its reporting system to integrate new offerings and to take note of regulations as they evolve. "A data warehouse project never ends and we will continue to refine our tools so as to respond more quickly and accurately to the needs of our users. Versatility and ease of maintenance are also very important aspects of the integration solution," concluded Lionel Beaudet. "On that point, Talend Data Integration gives full satisfaction."