The project examples mentioned in this showcase have been collected over time. The customers may have evolved and enhanced their LANSA based solutions since this article was published.
Whether working with purchased or custom applications, on premise or in the cloud, every organization has a need to automate its manual processes, integrate its various internal applications and share data with external parties.
Business Process Integration (BPI) software integrates and automates business activities within an organization and between organizations. It makes independently designed applications work together.
The core line-of-business applications that organizations have in place often encapsulate many years of experience and knowledge and represent millions of dollars of investment. Typically the most frequent and demanding changes to the business do not directly affect the core functions of those applications. Rather, they have to do with the ways in which those applications need to interact with each other and with the outside world.
The challenge of Business Process Integration is to open up those applications so that the enormous value contained in them can remain relevant and effective in a connected world.
LANSA Composer is a BPI tool that automates:
- Transportation – Moving data between source and target
- Transformation – Mapping the data at each integration point to the expected format. In many cases, that is not just the data format, but it may also involve different data content, e.g. using rules, formulas and transformation tables to change units of measure, item codes, and so on.
- Process Orchestration – Sequential and conditional execution of tasks (the process flow).
- Administration – Auditing, error-handling/recovery, security and system operations.
BPI can substantially lower processing costs and improve the reliability and accuracy of data by reducing the amount of human effort required to complete repetitive tasks at the various integration points.
Below are just a few examples of how companies are using LANSA Composer. More case studies at www.lansa.com/builtwithlansa/process-integration.htm
- Integration in a Hybrid Cloud Environment
- Integration between Heterogeneous Internal Solutions
- Integration with 3rd Parties
- Almost Automated
Integration in a Hybrid Cloud Environment
Eagle Systems, Inc., part of the Eagle Group based in Wenatchee, Washington, USA, is a leader in intermodal transportation and container repair with locations throughout the USA and Canada.
Eagle has recently implemented NetSuite Financials, a cloud-based solution, but will keep using its custom developed IBM i-based ERP system to run its core business. To synchronize and integrate the two systems in this hybrid cloud environment, Eagle uses LANSA Composer and web services. The solution:
- Keeps the customer master and other key files in synch.
- Posts tens of thousands of ERP invoices and credit notes to NetSuite.
- Lets Eagle’s ERP system interrogate NetSuite in real time to check customer account balances.
Eagle is also using LANSA Composer to automate EDI transactions with its partners and to streamline FTP transmissions with its container maintenance customers.
Integration between Heterogeneous Internal Solutions
Green's General Foods, based in Australia, produces and distributes food products, such as baking and pancake mixes, crackers, cereals and popcorn.
Green's uses LANSA Composer to automate the integration between its packaged IBM i-based ERP system, its Windows-based Warehouse Management System and its Windows-based EDI Server.
Previously these integrations were hard-coded in custom-developed programs that were hard to maintain and often contained error-prone code. The custom programs also made it expensive for Green’s to upgrade its ERP environment
It took one business analyst less than three months to replace over 150 custom developed programs with LANSA Composer.
Green's evaluated several more complex BPM products and estimates that the cost of implementation would have been at least double compared to the solution implemented with LANSA Composer.
Robinson Manufacturing Company, based in Dayton, Tennessee, USA, is a supplier of basic and fashion boxer underwear, loungewear and activewear to both the retail and wholesale markets.
Robinson was one of the first LANSA Composer customers and is using it for a growing number of tasks, including:
- Moving inbound EDI Purchase Orders from its EDI solution (Gentran) to its ERP system
- Processing web visit logs into a database for reporting.
- Processing logs regarding PC backups and emailing users about missed/failed backups
- Report Distribution that includes scheduling, converting spool files to CSV and PDF format, and emailing reports to users.
Robinson also uses LANSA Composer for integration with 3rd parties, such as with UPS for address validation using web services.
Integration with 3rd Parties
The Pantry, headquartered in North Carolina, USA, is a leading convenience store chain with over 1500 stores in the south eastern states, operating under select banners, including Kangaroo Express®. Its stores offer a broad selection of merchandise, as well as fuel and ancillary services.
The Pantry has to report monthly on fuel sales and tax in the 13 states in which it operates. The reporting standard is EDI ANSI X12 813, but each state requires a different version and one state has moved to web services. Monthly processing involves preparation of the tax data in Excel spreadsheets. LANSA Composer automates the transformation of the spreadsheets to the required format for each state, by working out which map to use and which fields to map. It has allowed The Pantry to standardize its reporting, improve accuracy and reduce the number of retransmissions due to errors.
The Pantry doesn’t have developers on staff and the company’s Tax Analyst for Motor Fuels/Sales is self-sufficient in using LANSA Composer.
Frederic Printing, an RR Donnelley Company located in Aurora, Colorado, USA, offers an extensive range of printing services and the latest in print technology platforms.
Frederic Printing uses LANSA Composer to automate the workflow of order processing, allowing its customers the flexibility to use a variety of data formats and delivery methods.
Frederic Printing's LANSA Composer solution is implemented in a Windows and MS SQL environment and manages the receiving of orders, order acknowledgement, shipping notifications, invoicing, file management and archiving.
The solution has significantly reduced the amount of manual labor (both for Frederic and its customers), hugely increased Frederic’s print-on-demand capabilities, and facilitated better responsiveness and quality of service for customers.
Body Corporate Services (BCS), based in Australia and owned by PICA (Prudential Investment Company of Australia), is the national market leader in the provision of professional strata and community title management. BCS delivers guidance and support to a portfolio of approximately 175,000 clients across 10,700 schemes.
BCS has successfully trialled and is about to implement a solution where LANSA Composer automatically handles email attachments. Banks send reconciliation reports by email addressed to a specific BCS email address. LANSA Composer opens the email messages, detaches the reconciliation report from the email, and stores the reconciliation report in the appropriate directory for further processing.
BCS also uses LANSA Composer and LANSA Integrator for many other tasks, such as for automating the daily bank feed (collecting the files from an SFTP site, updating scheme bank balances and marking matching invoices as paid) and for the preparation and filing of thousands of electronic tax statements with the Australian Tax Office every quarter.
Many organizations have their structured integration needs covered (albeit with a patchwork of solutions), but are still struggling with their unstructured integration.
For example, they may allow business partners to send orders by spreadsheet, but it still requires manual effort to detach those spreadsheets from the email and manipulate them to a certain format, before they can be processed.
They may have a facility to receive files via FTP, but someone is still manually moving and renaming files before they can be processed.
They may have EDI or other data exchange systems in place, but the process of responding to failures might be manual and adding new partners might require programming effort.
If you have any of these half-automated integration solutions, contact us.
Business Process Integration typically operates at the fringes or boundaries of existing applications and fills-in the gaps between them and the outside world. It provides the means for those applications to interact and exchange data, by providing ready-made implementations of the relevant protocols and standards.
LANSA Composer is a design and execution platform for integrating business activities involving data transport, transformation, custom processing and administration. It offers a practical and affordable BPI solution to help organizations streamline procedures, reduce human effort and minimize errors.
LANSA Composer's visual environment allows business analysts, rather than developers, to rapidly automate and integrate business processes. It offers a simple and cost-effective way to get a wide variety of business transactions in and out of your ERP/line-of-business system with less human effort.
- Download this Showcase
- Find out more about LANSA Composer
- Download the BPI Buyers Guide: Choosing the Right Business Process Integration Solution