Pharmaceutical Firm Connects ERP Systems with Magic iBOLT
January 24, 2012 Alex Woodie
Stallergenes, the second largest maker of allergy medicine in Europe, has tapped Magic Software and its iBOLT software to integrate a Lawson M3-based purchasing system running on an IBM i server into its SAP financial system, the software company announced last week.
Stallergenes is a biopharmaceutical company based in France that is a leader in the manufacture of sublingual immunotherapy medicines for allergic respiratory diseases, such as rhinoconjunctivitis and allergic asthma. The company markets its Stalair-branded products in 50 countries across the world, and recorded €216 million in revenues for 2010.
Stallergenes runs a mix of various computer systems to handle different back-office tasks, including a two-tier ERP setup that is not atypical for midsize companies with operations in multiple locations. In Stallergenes case, the company uses Lawson’s M3 ERP system to handle manufacturing, while financials are centralized on an SAP system.
Ensuring that multiple systems in a two-tier ERP setup play nice is not a trivial task. A company can spend a lot on programmers to effectively “hard wire” two or more systems together, but that close coupling can backfire when one of the applications change.
Stallergenes chose to put a third-party in charge of inter-ERP communication, and that product is iBOLT from Magic Software. iBOLT allows non-programmers to build real-time connections between two or more applications in a loosely coupled manner. The software uses a combination of graphical business process modeling, application-specific adapters, and wizards to create composite applications that connect processes residing in a variety of systems, including IBM i, mainframe, .NET, and Java architectures.
For Stallergenes, iBOLT enables purchase orders and other data stored in M3 to be automatically exposed to SAP for reconciliation. “iBOLT serves as the communication hub for our various applications. It is our ‘orchestra conductor,’ communicating natively with our various systems,” says Stallergenes CIO Thierry Gréhaigne. “It has enabled us to optimize our workflows, making them reliable and completely transparent for users, whether they are at our French, German, or Italian site.”
This is actually the second iBOLT implementation at Stallergenes. In 2005, the company used iBOLT to help build an online prescription-tracking service. That project helped Stallergenes to eliminate paper, and proved iBOLT useful at allowing the company to adapt existing systems to new technologies, Gréhaigne says.