Arranging an integration strategy with the Azure Integration Platform (Services) together with Broad Horizon
Blokker Holding was dismantled three years ago, resulting in the IT management – which was provided by Blokker Holding – needed to be redesigned. The system was very out of date and in need of replacement. This offered Blokker the opportunity to make new choices for the design of the IT landscape. Broad Horizon spoke to John de Keuning, an IT manager at Blokker, about this project and the future-proof solution that the company found for it.
Out with the old, in with the new
‘The advantage of starting all over again is that it offers the choice to truly do new things,’ explains John. Azure Integration Services turned out to be the solution that best fit the demand set out by Blokker. ‘We then noted that Broad Horizon positioned itself as a partner for integration platforms.’ Blokker and Broad Horizon previously became acquainted via a prior project. When the challenges concerning integration Blokker is facing were discussed and the wishes were clearly mapped, Broad Horizon joined in to help in the process of rebuilding existing interfaces with the Azure Integration Services.
John: ‘We then drew up an entirely new information strategy, to ensure that Blokker could replace its own information landscape.’ In part because of the collaboration, Blokker was able to replace all of the systems except those on the cash registers. In general, these were older systems which had not been maintained for a longer period of time.
‘New things kept getting added which then needed to be linked to the old system in an improvised way. All of that required tailored work. To replace that system, we needed to take significant steps,’ explains John.
A start was made on creating a new order management system to send online orders in a different way and we have just started on the last big implementation – a new ERP system.
John: ‘Afterwards, we tackled an IT landscape which comprised over 500 integrations.’
Implementing integrations on this scale also represented a complex challenge for Broad Horizon. For this reason, clear choices were made in consultation for example to reuse data from Azure.
John: ‘This means that you can prepare data on the Azure Integration Services in a single action from your master data system and then use this data at different places. In our experience, this is an efficient way of doing things and represents a way to cut costs.’
According to John, an Azure Integration Services implementation does not always aim to achieve a faster market – partially because it concerns a lot of work. ‘But it is a great way to prepare for tomorrow’s market. Once those concepts are ready, your time-to-market becomes shorter.’ New systems are easier to integrate because the IT landscape is ready for them.
Foundation for the integration of Platform as a Service
To Broad Horizon, the collaboration with Blokker formed a good foundation for implementing innovations in existing integration platforms.
This integration service provided by Broad Horizon has developed into our Connect Plus service.
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