Case study

Powering Expansion through Digital Transformation

Unlocking and unifying data from legacy and homegrown systems

Meet Obelink, a renowned Dutch company specializing in camping and outdoors. What began as a family-run business in 1959 swiftly transitioned into one of the largest camping and outdoor stores in Europe, selling across seven webshops in several European countries. With over sixty years of successful business experience, Obelink has become a key player in the industry and anticipates an equally successful future.

However, with customer demand changing daily, businesses must naturally follow suit and adapt to new markets. In view of this, Obelink’s successful future inevitably involves connected applications and the ability to be flexible. In other words, it involves Alumio.

Before venturing into the future, it is helpful to look in the rearview mirror and see what Obelink encountered along the way… Like many organizations, Obelink already had a complex set of applications with multiple data silos at the start of the project. Among these applications were an ERP, WMS, POS, and e-commerce, and if that wasn’t enough, a PIM system was due to be added into the mix! With a future-focused vision, Obelink's objective was to create standardized  e-commerce processes that would support total digitalization and accommodate rapid expansion. The integrations Obelink was interested in having were the following:


Integrations

  • B2C customer (company and contacts) data login and account creation process
  • Stock and availability
  • Omnichannel order process POS, e-commerce via RetailVista ‍

Endpoints

Magento 2 PWA for e-commerce

Future-proofing was one of the reasons for Obelink to switch to  Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento) since the modern architecture and API allows for Adobe Commerce to be modified in a modular way. In other words, with Adobe Commerce, a component that no longer meets future requirements can be swiftly replaced by one that does. Additionally, since Obelink wanted to go beyond renewing its e-commerce site, the transition to Adobe Commerce offered the perfect opportunity to start with a clean slate. However, some questions needed to be addressed: How could this new e-commerce platform be connected with the rest of the IT ecosystem? How would it be possible to make the entire landscape of applications modular? And how well was it prepared to connect with new applications and platforms?

ERP via RetailVista

RetailVista is an excellent POS cloud solution, given its flexibility, scalability, and integration-friendly features. However, some of the flexibility and features for loyalty challenged Alumio to solve some complex issues relating to loyalty points, such as gift cards needing to be synchronized between ERP, WMS, POS, and the Webshop. Alumio addressed all these issues and enabled Obelink to digitalize key business processes since their IT ecosystem was no longer slowing them down.

Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) via BlueRetail

Warehouse Management System (WMS) via RealtimeWMS

Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) via BlueRetail

Solution

Alumio's integration platform was implemented to cater to Obelink’s needs, specifically to unlock data and connect their systems in a future-proof way, resulting in a robust IT ecosystem. Thanks to Alumio, Obelink enjoyed standardized  e-commerce processes that supported total digitalization and accommodated rapid expansion, all while creating a seamless customer journey across all channels.

Endpoints

Integration Partner

Customer

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"As we look to expand and to digitize our organization further, we know that the foundation we have built with Alumio will not only help us scale our e-commerce platform as needed but also enable us to create a seamless customer journey across all channels." -Obelink

Data structure

A challenging case

Due to the multiple data sources involved, a piece of custom business logic was needed for every data stream, resulting in a complete package of requirements regarding the processing and exchange of data:

  • The information has to be exchanged, but at different intervals. Stock had to be updated as quickly as possible, but only when a significant change had occurred.
  • The required information was distributed across multiple applications, causing data from different sources to be retrieved and migrated since not every application can deliver data at a specific time.
  • The information had to be adapted in multiple applications that, in turn, also exchange information, all while preventing an 'infinite loop' of data exchange.
  • Data structures and fields had to be converted so that another application could read them. For example, from point-separated to comma-separated prices, from simple to configurable products and back, or adapting address structures to the requirements of the different applications.

Breakthrough limitations

With Alumio

Alumio's integration platform was implemented to cater to Obelink’s needs, specifically to unlock data and connect their systems in a future-proof way, resulting in a robust IT ecosystem. With Alumio, data is synced both on and offline across all systems, meaning it is always up-to date-and ready to digitalize all business processes. Moreover, since data exchange can bear a heavy load on the connected systems, Alumio enables the stability of core systems, reinforcing the secure and future-proof status of integrations.

Thanks to Alumio, Obelink's original ecosystem could operate beyond its limits. While various applications were responsible for exchanging essential data, they were not designed for that purpose since each application 'improvises' with various scripts and adjustments to exchange data with dependent applications. Some consequences of this are (a) difficulty in gaining real insights, (b) direct dependency, and (c) necessary customizations.

This is not an uncommon problem. Most organizations are in a similar situation and have a network of many applications where ad hoc connections are made. Understandably, keeping up-to-date often requires pragmatic improvisation, but when the goal is to establish a robust IT ecosystem for the future, data and information flows must become first-class citizens.

Ready for the future

Building a future-proof infrastructure

The new infrastructure is robust and flexible. Many of the essential data streams already run through the Alumio platform. In the meantime, the ecosystem is becoming increasingly connected and expanding. The foundation is built to introduce new platforms via Alumio. It is this flexible adaptability of Alumio that makes Obelink's IT ecosystem future-proof. Because whatever digital trends you look at: from chatbots to new social platforms and markets, from big data to social media to omnichannel andInternet of Things, everything revolves around data. Everything starts with connecting your data and applications in a smart way with new applications. Data is one of the most valuable assets of a modern company. It deserves a dedicated platform. Having the power to effectively connect new platforms is a huge competitive advantage. Alumio gives Obelink that possibility, so that we connect not only with today's applications, but also with the many that are yet to come.

Why Obelink chose Alumio

A summary of reasons and benefits

Scalable and future-proof infrastructure and software interchangeability

Alumio's monitoring features help the high performance of the integrations

Unlocking and unifying data from legacy and homegrown systems

Digitizing all business processes using Alumio as one central hub for all integrations

Alumio's integration platform is at the core of a future-proof IT ecosystem ready for digital growth. Don’t let your platform slow you down; prepare for expansion with Alumio!