Talend allows us to industrialize and automate our data integration activities, all while increasing the reliability of our financial data.Benoît Kaluzny, Project Manager at ADEO Services
The second largest in Europe and the fourth largest worldwide, Groupe Adeo is the first French player in the international do-it-yourself industry. The Group’s companies - with eight brand names including Leroy Merlin, Bricoman and Weldom - earned a revenue of 12.8 billion euros in 2010, with an annual growth rate of 15%. More than 5,000 employees joined the Group in 2010, bringing the total workforce to 62,400 employees working in 24 companies in 11 different countries. The majority shareholder for Groupe Adeo is Association Familiale Mulliez (AFM) and 15.7% of the capital is held by the employees.
Managing the increasing volume of integration flows
With an approximate annual growth of 15% per year, Groupe Adeo is rapidly expanding. As its revenue continues to increase, so do its capital expenditures (more than 400 million euros in 2010) and the number of employees and stores (nearly 500 worldwide).
Small or large, integrated or a franchise, new or old, each of the Group’s 24 companies is independent. ADEO Services is a cross-functional structure unifying the operations and management of these 24 business units. This organization has nearly 600 employees, of which 300 are dedicated to the maintenance and provision of IT solutions and work with the IT department of each business unit.
The Group’s information system is partially centralized, with the Oracle Financials ERP at its core to organize the monitoring and management of financial resources, general accounting, budget preparation, financial analysis, etc. The loading of this ERP was completed in the past by an EAI system that integrated various data originating from different applications by country (store registers, payroll, accounting software, sales, etc.). The financial ERP enables the consolidation of all this data to prepare the Group’s profit and loss statement, financial records and accounting reports.
“Our EAI was no longer supported by the vendor and the costs incurred for support were increasing at an alarming rate. In addition to this, it was becoming more and more difficult to find the resources capable of operating them. Finally, the volume of integration flows was increasing by approximately 10% per year,” explains Benoît Kaluzny, Project Manager at ADEO Services. “All of these reasons drove us to plan its replacement. With our main objective being cost minimization, we turned our attention to open source products: first because of their scalability, openness and interoperability, and second to free ourselves from the financial logic of proprietary vendors.”
Talend Data Integration to integrate 40,000 files per month
Since Talend Open Studio for Data Integration had already been tested during a data integration solution market analysis, conducted under the Group’s general technology watch, ADEO Services completed a prototype to verify the feasibility of its project.
“We had previously tested several data integration solutions, both proprietary and open source, and Talend Open Studio for Data Integration attracted our attention, first because of its economical nature and second due to its ease of use and deployment,” continues Benoît Kaluzny. “The POC highlighted the Talend solution’s ability to effectively manage files with a complex structure (multi-level files originating from some of our applications), its performance in processing large volumes of files (on average we process 40,000 files per month, some of which reach several megabytes), and its integration in our information system, namely its capacity to comply with our regulations and promote collaboration.”
The development of this prototype also allowed ADEO Services to test the responsiveness of Talend’s consulting team and the solution’s maintenance processes: job modification time, flow development time, ease of administration, etc. Ultimately, all of Groupe Adeo’s requirements were met. ADEO Services nevertheless decided to deploy Talend Data Integration, the enterprise version of the open source solution, to benefit from the collaborative work features (shared development) and enterprise-grade support.
70 fully automated integration flows
A pilot was finally completed on two existing integration flows for the French branch of one of Groupe Adeo’s brand names. After the validation and commissioning of new flows, the Group started the migration of all of the 70 integration flows operated by ADEO Services.
“Data integration operations are now completely automated (in batch mode),” clarifies Benoît Kaluzny. “We conduct consistency/quality controls before launching the processing in order to verify the structure of the file to be processed (different verifications are initiated depending on the file type). Other enrichment (crossing with other information) and transformation operations (for example currency conversion) are also completed.”
ADEO Services highlights the productivity gains obtained since the implementation of the tool. “Deployment time is very fast, but we have also saved time in the development and deployment of a flow into production,” confirms Benoît Kaluzny. “At the same time, the user-friendliness of the solution decreased learning time: a short training session at Talend enabled us to quickly get a hang of the tool’s features. Bug correction is often completed in graphical mode and does not require in-depth knowledge of Java. Lastly, with the files now being processed on the fly, which was not the case beforehand, we enjoy other gains in productivity.”
ADEO Services also points out several technical benefits. “The fact of having migrated our Microsoft servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux allowed us to experience a significant gain in reliability, with Linux being more efficient in terms of memory management. At the same time, we minimized processing time, even though we do not operate ultra-performing servers,” specifies Benoît Kaluzny.
“In a nutshell, we have benefitted from a significant decrease in the total cost of ownership compared to our former solution,” concludes Benoît Kaluzny. “Even if the end users do not see the difference, they are saving time because of the technical architecture change. At the end of the day, Talend allows us to industrialize and automate our data integration activities, all while increasing the reliability of our financial data.”