Case Study: Carrefour Builds Innovative Mobile Commerce Application With Convertigo

Carrefour’s IT ecommerce group chose the Convertigo Mashup Server, which enabled the IT team to utilize innovative integration technology to deploy a mission-critical mobile shopping app in seven weeks.

Carrefour is first in the retail industry to deliver a continuous user experience between PC and smartphones. Customers can start online shopping on a PC and complete it on a mobile handset, or vice versa.

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*Good for you, great for everybody

 

Brief Overview

Project

A new m-commerce application for iPhone for French customers of Carrefour (soon to be extended globally).

Challenges

Connecting and mixing the essential applications and data assets in the shortest amount of time possible; enabling those assets to automatically adapt and remain connected as the internal application infrastructure and consumer mobile device market evolves. Synchronize four different teams in different business units.

Solution

With the Convertigo Mashup Server, data and business logic can be integrated without coding even if the application has no API* or one with poor documentation. It can also be mixed with classic data sources from SOAs.

Results

Convertigo delivered the project in less than seven weeks and on a fraction of the budget that would have been required if Carrefour used traditional back-end integration tactics.
The new application inherits all business logics from back end applications with no additional effort. The new shopping app, MesCourses, is now available on the Apple iTunes store, and will soon be available on other mobile platforms.

 

“ Time to market was key. If we would have used traditional integration methods, we estimate it would have required 6 to 8 times more money and time.”

Hervé Thoumyre CIO, Carrefour

 

Challenges

To increase market share and remain competitive, retailers must continuously enhance the customer experience. Today, this experience must be as strong online as offline. Seeking a solution to enable customers to fill in their cart from various electronic devices they use throughout the day. The Carrefour IT team faced the typical resource challenges of large global retailers: how could it deliver such an innovative IT project internally and externally, and within reasonable timeframes and budgets? In addition, Carrefour needed to synchronize development efforts across four different IT teams located in different business units and subsidiaries. And each team had its respective project backlogs.

Objectives:

  • Differentiate from competition.
  • Be first to market with a new multi-device shopping process.
  • Set a new standard for integration projects at Carrefour.
  • Mix difficult-to-access business applications and data.
  • Retain all business logic within the back end so that Carrefour can easily adapt to the exploding number of mobile handset models.
  • Reduce IT pressure by using new technologies for more agility and reactivity.

 

Solutions

As an agile platform residing within the middleware layer, the Convertigo Mashup Server exposes and orchestrates the best of existing application for a new generation of applications and usages. Convertigo outperforms alternative solutions with this capability, which enables the reuse of all existing systems without modification or additional coding. With Convertigo, Carrefour completed the project in record time and on an extremely efficient budget. Below are the technical details of the deployment:

Convertigo is used as a central platform to connect and mix different sources via the following C-EMS modules:

  • C-EMS WEB integrator converts without coding, delivering the Ooshop application into a complex web service able to execute simple and complex orchestrated real-time transactions (read and write).
  • C-EMS XML/SQL connector pushes and pulls information from specific databases.
  • C-EMS Sequencer mixes and serves different sources into one “intelligent” service.
  • C-EMS Legacy integrator could be used in the future to engage with partner and supplier mainframes.

 

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In-between i-phones and Carrefour applications, Convertigo is serving and exposing multiple business processes into one compact service which can be consume on any device.

At this time, a C-EMS license for one dual-core machine is enough to handle 100 simultaneous transactions. Carrefour chose an on-premise internal installation, Convertigo servers are also available in the Convertigo elastic cloud to scale on demand.

 

 

Reasons for this choice:

  • Short term: deliver a mobile app mixing heterogeneous business apps in record time
  • Mid and Long term: Use Convertigo as an agile middleware component to deal with the myriad of back end business applications and front end devices

 

“ Convertigo solutions delivers promises from performances and reliability perspectives. We now plan to use the Convertigo Mashup Server for other projects inside Carrefour because of the non-intrusive way Convertigo is providing.”

François Pereira, IT Multichannel & Online Group Director

 

Results

Time to market: Carrefour set a new record for the time required to deliver an innovative integration project.

Total cost of ownership: With Convertigo, data and business logic can be natively integrated using innovative technology that accesses the source from the front end, and without coding.  This means a drastically reduced cost structure for integration projects.

Customer satisfaction: Carrefour provides customers with powerful apps and innovative features that other retailers don’t have.

A new standard platform for other integration projects: The Convertigo Mashup Server is ideal for countless other integration projects inside the enterprise.

Other highlights: Mobile-specific revenues streams are created as users adopt the new application, which provides a fast, easy and responsive user experience made possible by Convertigo’s technology. Carrefour is already benefiting from increased market visibility, and has also established a new competitive advantage.