MuleSoft Migration Streamlines and Simplifies ERP Business Processes for Manufacturing Client
A customer in the manufacturing industry needed to achieve data synchronicity and interoperability to optimize and streamline their business processes across three systems: SAP, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM.
The business uses Dynamics 365 to track leads, manage customers, create quotes, and close orders. Dynamics 365 must integrate with the ERP system, SAP, to generate accurate quotes based on material inventory and pricing. Additionally, SAP must be notified when an order is placed to begin the delivery process. They also leverage Salesforce for product warranties, product repairs, and customer billing.
Before engaging with Big Compass, the customer hired a third-party consulting firm to integrate their various systems and build point-to-point interfaces for a majority of their business processes. The consultancy used TIBCO Scribe as the middleware solution.
When the engagement with the third-party consultancy first began, the client’s technical leadership didn’t have a long-term roadmap or vision for an enterprise level IT network. Their primary goal was to integrate three disparate systems, automate business processes, and improve operational efficiency.
To complicate things further, the external team didn’t adhere to modern best practices for implementation, and they didn’t document the Scribe solutions. This lack of documentation made it incredibly difficult to deploy maintenance and enhancements. The point-to-point architecture led to several additional challenges for internal users, including:
- Limited visibility for business users — records, and even entire scheduled process jobs, would silently fail until a user eventually noticed an issue in one of the target systems.
- No reusability — each Scribe solution was designed to satisfy a single use case. The next use case, regardless of any similarities and requirement overlap, needed to be built from scratch.
- Could not scale to meet future business needs — while the Scribe solution simplified the integration with Dynamics 365, this simplification limited the ability to scale. As the organization (and its data footprint) grew, many Scribe jobs failed due to the inability to handle large datasets.
- System crashes due to redundant calls and unnecessary strain — different flows in Scribe pulled the exact same result set from the source system, but sent the data to different source systems. A better-optimized solution design was needed to eliminate duplicate workloads and reduce excessive traffic.
Internal users weren’t the only impacted audience, either. Since the Scribe interfaces weren’t configured to use secure communication, customer personally identifiable information (PII) data and payment information were all vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Big Compass has extensive experience with many middleware solutions, and this depth of knowledge allowed us to quickly and accurately reverse engineer the existing Scribe applications. The reverse engineering process allowed us to extract and infer all of the formerly undocumented business requirements.
The first step was to analyze each of the existing TIBCO Scribe flows and determine which processes were no longer needed by the business. Next, we assessed each of the remaining applications to create a formal recommendation that outlined which apps should be migrated to MuleSoft. We then looked at each of the use cases together for similarities and reuse considerations.
Once the migration roadmap was created and alignment with business users was achieved, it was time to implement the recommended solutions. Using MuleSoft and various Azure service (including Azure Service Bus, Log Analytics, and DevOps) we:
- Built System layer APIs for each of the relevant end systems.
- Set up a VPN tunnel (because the ERP instance is only accessible from within the customer’s private network).
- Used an API-led approach for the new applications so the customer could realize the benefits of an API-lead approach.
- Improved operations support by setting up log forwarding for the CloudHub applications and built custom application alerts for scheduled jobs and connectivity errors.
- Provided development documentation around coding standards, design documents, and runbooks (including logging standards, which the legacy Scribe flows did not have) and standards for all MuleSoft applications moving forward.
Using the coding standards, log forwarder, and Big Compass’ MuleSoft Agility Framework, we also provided a project template that will be the foundation point for all MuleSoft applications moving forward.
The customer’s legacy TIBCO Scribe flows were successfully migrated to MuleSoft. Best practices, optimizations, and enhancements were applied while preserving all existing functionality. Ensuring that vCore license costs do not significantly exceed the former Scribe licensing fees will be a straightforward process going forward.
As a result, the challenges noted above (including limited visibility for business users, lack of reusability, limited ability for custom configurations, and system strain) were all solved with Big Compass’s solutions.
Now, the customer can enjoy an enterprise-ready application network that allows for more efficient utilization of their resources. Plus, stakeholders now understand the benefits of API-led connectivity and the necessity of discoverable, reusable, and expandable assets. This newfound understanding will help them avoid similar problems in the future.
The benefits of this new API-lead approach have been far-reaching, too: The changes also permitted another solution to be easily onboarded in the company’s European branch.
This client’s story is one example of how Big Compass helps organizations plan and build data agility into the DNA of their operations. With data agility, it’s possible to innovate more, adapt quicker, and move faster using fewer resources.
If you want to learn how your organization can solve its data-related challenges and become more data agile, Big Compass can help — contact us today.