Case study

Powering expansion through digital transformation

Unlocking and unifying data from legacy and homegrown systems

Obelink, a Dutch company, is a renowned company in the world of camping and outdoor. Starting as a small one-person business in 1959, Obelink now comprises 65,000 m2 with a successful eCommerce website with the widest range of outdoor in Europe. An extraordinary achievement, thanks to 50 years of business with vision. But how do you focus on a successful future with such a successful past, a future in which more and more depends on connected applications and the urgency to be flexible?

Like many organizations Obelink already had a complex set of applications with multiple data silos at the start of theproject, including an ERP, WMS, POS, eCommerce; and a PIM system was due to be added! Obelink's objective was to create a digital environment ready for rapid expansion. Therefore, we needed to unlock data from the existing systems in their IT ecosystem. "We want to be ready for the future bybuilding standardized digital eCommerce processes that support total digitization." - Obelink

Alumio's integration platform was implemented to unlock the data and connect these systems in a future-proof way.Data, both on and offline, across all systems is synced through Alumio, so it is always up to date. We want to be able to serve clients and digitize all business processes. As data exchange can bear a heavy load on the connected systems, through Alumio, we can keep our core systems stable.

Integrations

  • Product sync Akeneo to Magento
  • B2C customer (company and contacts) data login and account creation process
  • Stock and availability
  • B2C pricing process
  • Warehouse integration for delivery and logistics processes
  • Omnichannel order process POS, eCommerce and BlueRetail
  • Refunds process

Endpoints

Magento 2 PWA for eCommerce

Futureproofing was one of the reasons for Obelink to switch to Magento. The modern architecture and API ensures that Magento can be modified in a modular way. A component that no longer meets future requirements can be replaced. Moving to a new eCommerce platform also raised questions – Obelink wanted to go a step further than just renewing their eCommerce site. The transition to Magento offered the perfect opportunity to start with a clean slate. How do you connect this new eCommerce platform with the rest of the IT ecosystem? How can you make the entire landscape of applications modular? How well is it prepared to connect with new applications and platforms?

Akeneo for PIM

Also, there was a desire to have catalogue management in a dedicated Product Information Management (PIM) application – Obelink chose Akeneo. This may sound straightforward, but when you list which data these applications need to exchange with each other, the complexity becomes more tangible.

  • Product information from PIM to webshop, ERP and WMS
  • Product stock from WMS to ERP, from ERP to the webshop
  • Price updates from PIM to webshop, ERP and WMS
  • Orders from webshop to ERP, from ERP to WMS
  • Customer data from webshop to ERP, from ERP to the webshop
  • Package shipments from WMS to ERP, from ERP to the webshop

...where do you start with such a large wishlist?

Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) via BlueRetail

NewWay's BlueRetail ERP has gained a leading position in the retail sector. BlueRetail is a powerful, flexible and user-friendly ERP package that automates almost all retail functions within retail companies. BlueRetail has a modular structure and is extremely suitable for retailers.

Warehouse Management System (WMS) via RealtimeWMS

RetailWMS is a leading system offering support for storage and in- and outbound logistics questions. A webshop no longer has to rely on the simple and limited logic which is provided by theeCommerce or ERP system. The entire logistics process is digitized so that you can prevent common errors.

Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) via BlueRetail

RetailVista is a great POS Cloud solution.Very flexible, scalable and easily integrated. The flexibility and features for loyalty challenged Alumio to solve some complex issues due to the loyalty points, gift cards needing to be synchronized between ERP, WMS, POS and theWebshop. Obelink said they were “Very happy with the result: we can now start digitizing because our ecosystem is not slowing us down anymore!”

Solution

Alumio's iPaaS is the center of a future-proof IT ecosystem ready for digital growth

Endpoints

Integration Partner

Customer

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

Data structure

A challenging case

Due to the multiple data sources, a piece of custom business logic is needed for every data stream. A full package of requirements regarding the processing and exchange of data:

  • The information must be exchanged, but at different intervals. Stock must be updated as quickly as possible, whereas enriched product data does not have to be constantly updated.
  • The required information is distributed across multiple applications. Data from different sources must therefore be retrieved and migrated.
  • The information must be adapted in multiple applications, that in turn also exchange information. An 'infinite loop' of data exchange must be prevented.
  • Data structures and fields must be converted so that another application can 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.
  • Not every application can deliver data at any time.

 

In one word: challenging!

Breakthrough limitations

With Alumio iPaaS

Obelink's original ecosystem ran beyond its limits. Various applications were responsible for exchanging important data, while not really designed for that purpose. Every application 'improvises' with various scripts and adjustments to exchange data with dependent applications.Some consequences of this are (a) difficult to gain real insights, (b) direct dependency, and (c) necessary customizations.

Most organizations are in a similar situation: a network of many applications where ad hoc connections are made.Understandably, keeping up to date often requires pragmatic improvisation. But when you start thinking about a robust IT ecosystem for the future, you have togo one step further. 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 interchangeablity.

Monitoring helps 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.

Data and information flows must become first-class citizens.