Cloud Approach Increases Productivity, Lowers TCO
Renesas Electronics America replaces manual processes and dramatically reduces costs using Dell Boomi AtomSphere for application integration
Renesas Electronics America (REA), headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation, a Japan-based semiconductor manufacturer that is the world’s largest manufacturer of microcontrollers and the second largest manufacturer of application processors. Renesas Electronics America was formed in 2010 as a result of the merger of NEC Electronics and Renesas Technology, which was formed in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric.
REA had an on-premises, legacy integration system that required a very manual process of custom coding by an on-site expert and was costly and unnecessarily complicated, said Joseph Coleman, REA’s senior IT manager. REA also had 27 racks of servers that had accumulated over time through mergers and acquisitions. During plans for a relocation to a new building, the company wanted to avoid managing a data center after the move and instead move all the servers to a colocation in Las Vegas. “That move helped us decide to move to the cloud,” Coleman recalled.
REA had several cloud-based and on premises applications such as a custom human resources information system (HRIS) app, systems and files that it needed to integrate. The company also had two instances of SAP — one for the headquarters and one for the U.S. subsidiary — that contained a lot of data. But this data needed transformation and integration to help with revenue forecasting to support the nuances of the local company, Coleman said.
During the evaluation stage, starting with a simple proof of concept, REA used Dell Boomi AtomSphere integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to integrate data from its U.S.-based HRIS system to Japan each day into the SAP system and global directory management systems. REA was able to complete the proof of concept by writing two to three processes.
Dell Boomi: Elegant and secure
In a bake-off against another integration solution, Dell Boomi’s iPaaS “was more elegant, easier to use and I like the security model,” said Coleman, adding that having the ability to locate an Atom on premises at REA made it easier to sell a cloud-based strategy to other areas of the organization.
For implementation, REA turned to system integrator Menlo Technologies. “Menlo Technologies was instrumental in helping REA with the Dell Boomi implementation,” said Coleman, adding that, “Menlo was REA’s first and only partner, and their blended model of onshore and offshore support works well.”
According to Gary Prioste, CEO of Menlo Technologies, the company has established a Boomi Center of Excellence, training a number of people internally so that they always have available Boomi-ready resources who are AtomSphere Integration Cloud™ certified. They’ve also developed an in-house knowledge database, a proactive approach that Prioste said helps improve Menlo’s capabilities in the Dell Boomi ecosystem and allows them to broaden the skills of Menlo employees.
After the initial proof of concept, REA worked with Menlo to set up processes for Ultimate Software integration as the first phase during the facility migration. Since then, REA has been layering new integration on top of that as needed — including integration between Salesforce.com Chatter and Zendesk for support tickets, and between Salesforce.com and SAP — as well as supporting the increasing needs of the data warehouse and the Dell Boomi integrations that populate their robust reporting database.
Menlo is also helping REA migrate data from SAP to a local database via AtomSphere, which involves master data management processes. Coleman explained that REA produces a source extraction that is posted to its FTP site. From there, AtomSphere picks it up and loads it into a SQL Server data warehouse for reporting.
To provide a color-coded, graphical interface to monitor some of these processes, Menlo has developed a dashboard based on the AtomSphere API that captures inbound/outbound transactions. The dashboard also provides REA with the ability to filter and sort data for detailed analysis and capture any abnormal behavior, filter the data by key performance indicators, and display data in tabular and graphical formats.
High productivity pays off
While REA initially was interested in an on-premises integration solution for security reasons, Coleman knew firsthand that large, on-premises solutions may be very robust, but can be difficult to scale, manage and justify. Instead, he said that because AtomSphere is easier to use, “There is less cost, and it’s easier to pick up, easier to support. REA had legacy, on-premises technology, and we needed to shed this baggage and architect a more modern, cloud-based approach.”
REA has eliminated the need for 2.5 internal resources to integrate using the custom legacy applications to one offshore resource. Coleman said that with the Atom server — a Java virtual machine sitting on a server — REA has reduced costs by about 89 percent compared to what they previously spent on maintenance, reporting, hardware and on-site support. Now, they also experience even better service.
As for the productivity improvements, with 15 Boomi integrations, they’ve replaced a number of manual processes. “We now have 57 process flows for enterprise resource planning alone — we never had that before,” Coleman said.
Coleman pointed out that Dell Boomi has also made the organization more agile in its ongoing development. “It’s improved our development estimates and resource planning now that we have an integration project using Dell Boomi,” he explained, adding that for new projects, REA now has the capability to quickly conduct a proof of concept. For example, a major customer required serialized data from the SAP system. “Without Dell Boomi, this would have been a manual process; but with Dell Boomi, we were able to build production processes, and fully test and release to production in less than one month,” said Coleman.
With the company’s customized Salesforce objects and customized Zendesk implementation, integration isn’t a simple task, but “Dell Boomi’s been able to handle the challenges,” said Coleman. “Dell Boomi AtomSphere is one of the best tools I’ve seen, and Menlo’s been a great partner to help us.”
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