Beyond the mere cost of licenses, a traditional data integration solution would require expert consultants that would increase the cost and complexity of our information system even more. In this type of project, open source software helps control costs, and also increases the reliability and flexibility of our systems.Philippe Daniel, IT Operations Manager
Subsidized housing in the Greater Paris area
SEMIDEP is jointly-owned by the City of Paris and the local governments of several surrounding counties. It manages, builds, and renovates low-rent housing, as well as nursing homes and leisure centers. SEMIDEP manages 5,700 rental units, employs 100 people, and generates total revenues of €32.5 million ($43 million).
Financial and operational governance
The current growth of the company requires a profound change in the way it is organized. Special focus is placed on communicating with the tenants and local nonprofit organizations, and detailed analysis is required in the financial, legal, tax, and technical fields (imposed by new European accounting standards, new purchasing policy, cost controls, etc.)
To provide this level of governance, SEMIDEP's management wants to use a number of reports generated from data gathered from multiple operational systems (accounting, lease management, real estate, delinquent accounts, etc.)
"We used to manually extract data with custom coding, and integrate it into Excel for analysis," explains Philippe Daniel, IT Operations Manager at SEMIDEP. "This process had become cumbersome as well as risky, and it was taking us too long given the dramatic increase in the data requested by our different divisions."
"We were offered various solutions by several systems integrators," Philippe Daniel continues. "There were three main reasons that these didn't meet our requirements: first, the proprietary aspect of these systems would lock us in with their vendors; second they were very complex to deploy; and finally their cost was mind blowing for an organization like SEMIDEP."
When Talend Open Studio for Data Integration was released to the community in 2006, the situation changed dramatically in a market that was previously dominated by proprietary tools from vendors like Informatica or IBM. The first open source data integration solution, Talend Open Studio for Data Integration's ease of use and performance are far greater than proprietary solutions - for a much lower deployment cost and an unprecedented flexibility.
"SEMIDEP validated the performance of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration in a pilot project, which consisted of extracting data from databases and transforming it to generate an exchange format with external providers," explains Dario Jacques, a contractor for SEMIDEP. "This test, performed on the water meters management system, was a success. After a brief training session, SEMIDEP analysts were able to quickly create the integration processes."
Extending the use of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration
After the success of the pilot, SEMIDEP started a broader project to build a data warehouse that would consolidate all its Progress and SQL Server databases, as well as files, etc. in a MySQL database, updated daily. The goal is to publish reports and dashboards for operational analysis.
"All of SEMIDEP's divisions are stakeholders in this project," says Philippe Daniel. "For example, we need to not only streamline the maintenance of our 6,000 apartments, the occupancy and turnover ratios, etc. but also to produce and validate our accounting ledgers."
After SEMIDEP's decision to extend the use of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, they issued an RFP to deploy the data warehouse, develop the dashboards, and provide expertise and training services. One of the key success factors of the project is Talend Open Studio for Data Integration's ability to handle the large data volumes of the new databases without increasing the costs.
"Talend Open Studio for Data Integration addresses the majority of our data integration requirements," Philippe Daniel concludes. "Over a hundred dashboards have already been defined, and only a product like this one can meet our needs. Beyond the mere cost of licenses, a traditional data integration solution would require expert consultants that would increase the cost and complexity of our information system even more. In this type of project, open source software helps control costs, and also increases the reliability and flexibility of our systems."