This article is based on an online round table " The connected data economy” organised by Blents, Boomi and Pointury on October 27, 2022. We learned from Renta Solutions, FCR Media and Cebeo how they create value with connected data.
There is certainly not a lack of data. Knowing how to use it strategically, is what provides a competitive advantage and creates additional business value. The trick for data to become valuable is to connect it efficiently to data from other sources. This is happening in many organisations right now and is resulting in a connected data economy. Here are some examples.
Renta Solutions focusses on IT applications for car renting & leasing and for fleet management. They have built a modern interconnected application landscape allowing to efficiently manage, connect and scale their landscape. This has facilitated their growth whilst keeping them agile.
Erik Maes has been managing Renta Solutions since 5 years after a career as IT strategy consultant. He explained that Renta Solutions connects 200 car owners with 5.000 dealers (garages and tire centers) with the help of integration software from Boomi and experts from Blents. To do this, they use data coming from leasing companies, dealers, car and tire manufacturers. Artificial intelligence uses this data to e.g. approve maintenance costs.
Car owners are leasing companies or major organisations such as Colruyt, who buy cars themselves for their employees. Leasing companies like Leaseplan, Atlon, ALD, Arval, KBC Autolease, D'Ieteren Lease have fleets of 50.000 to 100.000 cars. They have to buy and maintain cars on a regular basis.
As the driver does not pay for maintenance and repairs, there is a risk that a local garage would charge too much. The databases of Renta Solutions and their artificial intelligence avoid this. Car owners also have to deal with speeding tickets every day. Renta Solutions supports these fleet companies by helping the police to send fines directly to the drivers.
Erik explained that starting to use Boomi was easy. Since everything is available in the cloud, as a lot of building blocks and connectors are available and as the integration software is easy to use, they could start to "play" right away. For Erik access control, security and logging are also key elements that could easily be added thanks to Boomi.
Boomi provides a single instance multi-tenant iPaaS platform (on Amazon), to easily build integrations. The development environment in the cloud allows for a quick start as all connectors are available. A second component is the run time engine, which can be installed in any cloud environment, on premise or can be hosted by Boomi. One of the strengths of Boomi is that everything is available in the same cloud environment.
Erik advises to have some knowledge in house although he mainly relies on Blents for Boomi expertise. Their sourcing model of combining experts in Belgium and India works well for Renta Solutions.
FCR Media is the largest Belgian digital marketing agency for SMEs. They are known for the "Gouden Gids".
Bart van der Heijden, CTO at FCR Media Belgium, is responsible for the Technology & Marketing department, after having taken on roles as enterprise architect, head of IT strategy and architecture, and transformation director.
Bart explained that after the acquisition of Truvo, they completely transformed the company and rebuilt the organisation of people, processes, products and technology from scratch. From an IT point of view the existing on-premise architecture was replaced by best of breed solutions in the cloud. All applications are integrated with each other with connectors in Boomi. The graphical user interface makes it very easy and efficient to build new processes. It allows to have data interchanged real time in every step of the customer journey. This integration is a key element of the enterprise architecture.
Tom Schroyens, IT Delivery Manager at FCR Media Belgium, added that customer relationship management, order fulfilment, provisioning, billing, cancellations and other processes are all very efficiently organised via Boomi's connectors with different platforms and API's. By bringing best of breed solutions together and connecting them efficiently business value can be created.
Boomi offers an API management tool or allows other API management tools (e.g. Azure API management) to document and management their API's.
Cebeo, member of the Sonepar Group, buys electrical and electronics products from suppliers and redistributes these to professional customers such as installers. Cebeo is market leader in Belgium. Sonepar is a global market leader for distributing electric equipment. They have 27 billion € turnover, 45.000 employees in 40 countries. The latest trend is about renewables: solar panels, loading equipment for electric vehicles and home batteries.
Maikel Vandorpe, IT Applications Manager at Cebeo, explained that data and integrations are seen as the big enablers for the next digital transformation. They are currently building their next web-shop, integrating data coming from Sonepar, suppliers and customers. Cebeo is following a best of breed SaaS approach rather than in-house development. In order to avoid extra latency, Cebeo is migrating all applications to the cloud. New business applications are being rolled out and the implementation of new technology is in progress. The aim is to replace all business applications by 2028.
This event was offered by Blents and Boomi.
Blents is specialised in integrated data services with high-quality people whose mission is to integrate systems and partners on a daily basis and on a global scale. We believe that connecting and integrating, from all perspectives, is an important part of everyday life. Both in business as in our personal life, integration functions as the glue that brings things together. Our teams help small as well as large organisations around the globe to drive digital transformations. Bringing together a unique combination of technology expertise, deep industry knowledge and the world's best integration consultants. We don’t just try to be the best, we strive to be legendary. For more information, visit www.blents.be.
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Boomi instantly connects everyone to everything, anywhere with our cloud-native, unified, open, and intelligent platform. Boomi is trusted by more than 18,000 customers globally for its speed, ease of use, and lower total cost of ownership. As the pioneer at fuelling intelligent use of data, Boomi’s vision is to make it quick and easy for customers and partners to discover, manage, and orchestrate data, while connecting applications, processes, things, and people for better, faster business outcomes. For more information, visit www.boomi.com.