InterSystems Data Platform Technologies Fuel Connected Solutions
CHALLENGE: The company had to address multiple data management challenges spanning interoperability, customer experience, ecommerce, and supporting physical shopping malls.
OUTCOME: CFAO has been able to unify commerce, improve customer satisfaction, and create new revenue channels. IT has become a key strategic contributor to the company’s success.
CFAO is a 4.2 billion euro logistics company based in France that does business in 36 African countries, 7 French overseas territories, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, India, and Vietnam. With 140 operational subsidiaries, CFAO found it difficult to be as responsive as they wanted. “We lacked sufficient transparency into our process flows,” says Anthony Gillaizeau, IT Manager at CFAO. “We couldn’t quickly track ordered products, the status of orders in the various systems, and so on.”
To meet these challenges, CFAO leveraged InterSystems data platform capabilities in a number of new, connected solutions.
Project Hubic Eliminates “Blind Spots”
CFAO implemented an application called Hubic to integrate various internal and partner applications (CRM, POS, ERP, etc.) and create composite business processes. InterSystems business activity monitoring capabilities provides real-time visibility into the status of every process. In addition to gaining insight into their own lines of business, CFAO makes the information available to partners and customers. Now, customers have their questions answered in real time in a self-service manner.
Another advantage of the Hubic project is that it is much easier for CFAO to integrate new applications and business partners. “A new integration used to take up to six months,” says Gillaizeau. “Now we can do it in two days.”
Digital Help Desk Answers Questions Faster
CFAO gives their digital help desk staff more complete insight into their existing knowledge database by leveraging InterSystems semantic analysis capabilities. Questions are answered more accurately, and the average response time to questions has dropped from two hours to five minutes. Plus, the improved system has shortened the training time for help desk staff.
Forex Application Automates Currency Exchange
CFAO has operations in over 40 countries around the world, and must pay their business partners in local currency. The company’s Forex application uses InterSystems data platform technology to aggregate and filter relevant financial data from various systems, present the data in specific formats, and identify any discrepancies in exchange rates. It also automates compliance with European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) requirements.
Previously, the work to check the exchange rates and perform the related hedging and EMIR regulatory compliance activities was handled manually. With the Forex application, these processes are now automated, reducing manual involvement from four hours to less than ten minutes per day.
CFAO Retail Powers Brick-and-Mortar Outlets in Africa
Leveraging their strength in distribution and logistics in Africa, CFAO is partnering with Carrefour, one of the world’s largest retailers, to open more than 80 retail shopping centers. Three types of outlets in the shopping centers — convenience stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets — will give customers access to international brands that have traditionally had difficulty penetrating the African market. InterSystems technology provides the integration backbone for CFAO Retail.
Data Platform Approach Helps Elevate the Role of IT
Gillaizeau is very pleased with the technology they get from InterSystems. “We view InterSystems data platform as a powerful and comprehensive ‘Swiss army knife’ for development,” he says. “InterSystems provides all the capabilities we need to meet our business demands, in one seamless environment. We’ve successfully developed and implemented a number of projects. As a result, IT has become a trusted strategic partner to CFAO’s business units.”