Azure Integration ServicesBizTalk ServerSQL Server.NET / .NET CoreASP.NET Core MVC

A Partnership That Matures Like Fine Wine: A Case Study of IT Integration for Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard partnered with Multishoring in 2012 to develop a global document exchange solution using BizTalk, leading to a 10-year collaboration that improved integration processes across all branches.

In 2012, the weather podcast for Multishoring suggested sunny with a chance of Spirits as Pernod Ricard, the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits, asked us to help them with a solution to enable document exchange across its global branches. Since Pernod Ricard already collaborated with us on an integration project for their Polish branch, they recognized us as first-class BizTalk experts. They entrusted us with creating a dedicated BizTalk solution for the entire company. Our collaboration on this project has spanned over 10 years, allowing Pernod Ricard to seamlessly integrate all its branches and continuously improve its integration processes.

Spirit O’clock: Multishoring and Pernod Ricard’s BRIDGE Project

We were involved in Pernod Ricard’s first global integration project in 2012 when they extended the functionality of BizTalk installed on servers at one of Pernod Ricard’s locations in France with a pan-European data exchange module codenamed BRIDGE (BizTalk Realtime Integration Data Global Exchange). This module utilized Web Services to enable support for data exchange interfaces with the secure AS2 protocol.
These interfaces transfer documents from the JD Edwards ERP system, used in all of Pernod Ricard’s branches, to the Connect system and then to other company branches. The Web Services used by BizTalk Bridge were partly provided by JD Edwards and partially created by Pernod Ricard’s IT Department.

Since then, Pernod Ricard has been using BizTalk BRIDGE to exchange data such as multi-shipment orders, inventory activity or status, and dispatch and reception notifications between its locations worldwide. It was then quickly extended to exchange messages with EDI providers and 3rd party logistics companies.

Business Benefits of the Initial Project

  • Ability to exchange data across all of Pernod Ricards’s branches, customers and logistics providers.

  • Cost-effective approach for project implementation (over 50% cheaper than comparable France-based providers).

Engaging in a Longer-Term Cooperation

Since 2012, we have progressively incorporated most of Pernod Ricard’s branches into the system, adding new types of data to be exchanged, such as invoices, settlements, and warehouse shipping orders. We’ve tended to the developed solution with unwavering care while exploring uncharted territories of new solution development and crafting blends of technology that leave connoisseurs in awe.

Testimonials

“When it comes to our internal IT needs, we put emphasis on reliability and competence. That’s why we collaborate with Multishoring—an IT partner you can not only depend on but enjoy working together for a decade.”

Tomaz Praprotnik
Head of Integration CoE

Migrating to Azure Cloud and Optimization of Integration Error Handling

A few years after we stepped into the spirited world of Pernod Ricard, we embarked on a major optimization project, aiming to enable a cloud-based integration and improve the integration error-handling processes. Until 2017, the error management system for BRIDGE relied on Microsoft InfoPath forms sent via email. However, as the number of messages increased, this solution became inefficient and did not offer all the features Pernod Ricard needed.

The challenge was to:

  • Replace the inefficient BRIDGE-related error management system based on ageing Microsoft InfoPath and emails with a custom solution that provides more accurate data on errors and a more flexible approach to notifying and handling them.
  • Provide more information on errors and a self-service enabling approach to notifications and their handling.
  • Provide visibility over all the flows being run on BRIDGE.
  • Allow cloud-based integrations and publishing of on-premise APIs.
  • Speed up the integration processes.

Uncorking the Perfect Solution

Like a connoisseur seeking the perfect blend, Pernod Ricard decided to transition its integration solutions into a hybrid architecture by migrating to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. This move allowed Pernod Ricard to leverage Azure Integration Services components and connectors for new integrations. With our guidance, Pernod Ricard has developed a custom solution accessible through a web browser called iTrack, which visually represents all errors originating from BizTalk and Azure. Pernod Ricard now navigates the intricate tapestry of integration with elegance and finesse.

Solution in numbers

>2 mln
flows a month
about 200
affiliates
>2.000
users

iTrack has significantly improved error management by providing the following features:

  • A list of errors with search capabilities based on given criteria;
  • Quick access to error details, including rendering XMLs in several predefined form formats and associated messages;
  • Ability to reprocess a failed message by resubmitting it to a Web service on BRIDGE;
  • Ability to add a new error via a Web service or API;
  • User role management system;
  • Notification system with a configurable recipients list based on predefined criteria;
  • Full visibility and traceability of running flows on Bridge.
Figure 1 – Hybrid integration platform for Pernod Ricard with the iTrack tool for integration error handling

iTrack has become the central hub for integration tracking and error handling for regular users, providing valuable detailed information about flow executions that the integration teams can use for validation and debugging. It leaves no error unturned and no sip of data unappreciated.

Business Benefits of the Optimization Project: A Toast to Success

The optimization project, which involved changing the integration architecture to a hybrid one and creating a custom tool for integration error handling, has resulted in a grapevine of business benefits for Pernod Ricard:

Better error handling, flows, and messages management

Better error handling, flows, and messages management

iTrack has provided Pernod Ricard with statistics they previously didn’t have related to errors, correct flows, and messages.
Faster error resolution

Faster error resolution

Improved error management has resulted in a reduction of more than 70% in the time taken by the support team to resolve errors on the platform
Better performance of the BRIDGE platform

Better performance of the BRIDGE platform

– The move to the cloud and the improvement in error handling have significantly contributed to the enhanced performance of the BRIDGE platform, which is a critical solution for Pernod Ricard.
– A scalable API management platform for securing and publishing APIs.
Faster cloud integrations

Faster cloud integrations

– Low-code development due to the availability of Azure cloud components and connectors.
– Increased integration possibilities. Azure API Management allows publishing APIs hosted in the cloud and on-premise.
– Fully automated build and deployment based on Azure DevOps.

Additional Improvements: Raising the Bar of Excellence

Since 2017, the bouquet of Pernod Ricard’s branches has grown, and more of them were added to its integration solutions, including those from Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. This has resulted in an increased need for our extended support, which we provide 24/5.5 to cover the daily business hours of Pernod Ricard’s global branches. For this sparkling collaboration, we have also deployed many self-service portals for Pernod Ricard users, enabling them to:

  • Request access to the necessary APIs for creating integrations. Upon request validation and confirmation, the relevant API values are automatically generated.
  • Request access to resources on the Azure environment for the development of integrations. Upon request validation and confirmation, the necessary resource group is automatically created on Azure, Azure DevOps, and SharePoint environments, with user permissions granted.
  • Define triggers for using Azure interfaces without direct access to the Azure infrastructure.

These self-service portals have streamlined the work of the integration team, eliminating the need for manual configuration and handling of repetitive requests. In addition, Multishoring has created a Center of Excellence to share best integration practices based on the created integration infrastructure across different branches of Pernod Ricard worldwide.

Testimonials

“iTrack not only provides us with real statistics of the BRIDGE platform, but it also gives us real-time flow tracking information that proves very valuable to our integration teams. It has transformed our ways of working and reduced support calls by over 90%.”

Tomaz Praprotnik
Head of Integration CoE

Summary

  • 2012: BRIDGE project, enabling data exchange among Pernod Ricard's branches using BizTalk and Web Services.
  • 2017: migration of integration solutions to Azure, optimizing error handling processes.
  • Introduced iTrack, a custom error management solution, providing detailed error tracking and notification capabilities.
  • Expanded support to include branches from Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
  • Deployed self-service portals for API and resource requests, reducing manual configuration efforts.
  • Established a Center of Excellence to share best practices across Pernod Ricard's branches.

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