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January 2010 – Norma France migrates its EDI flows from X25 to ENX: feedback

Interview by Nadine Buisson-Chavot, GALIA

GALIA: Tell us briefly about Norma France.

Norma France SAS, formerly Société Des Colliers Norma, was founded in 1981.

Its headquarters and production facilities are in Briey, in Meurthe-et-Moselle department. The company also has a sales department in Courcouronnes, in Essonne department. Norma France specializes in manufacturing systems to transport liquids (fuel, water, degassing) for the automotive industry. Its main customers are French and European automotive manufacturers including BMW, Ford and Volkswagen Group, and automotive original equipment manufacturers such as Valeo and Hutchinson, to name a few.

GALIA: Why did you launch a project to migrate your EDI flows from X25 to ENX ?

The starting point for our analysis was our project to replace our IBM AS400 system in summer 2009. The IBM AS400 system is a key part our IT system because it houses our EDI translator, our communications software and our ERP. The basic version of the new machine was not compatible with X25 cards without an add-on module. The add-on module significantly increased the machine’s cost, and there was no way we were going to invest in the add-on module for a technology that had already been scheduled to shut down. So we had to quickly find a solution that could replace our X25 line for our EDI flows. Using the ENX network soon proved to be the solution !

GALIA: What solution did you select for this project ?

We decided to use Orange Business Services’ ENX V2 service over a 512 Kbps SDSL line. We now communicate through secure VPN connections and IPSec tunnels. We also formed a service partnership with Numlog to monitor and deploy the project. Numlog is a GALIA member and Orange Business Services partner. Numlog publishes software and integrates solutions for logistics and technical data exchanges and network security, and also has its own VAN – HUB-Master. We migrated our X25 point-to-point connection with Renault to an ENX point-to-point connection and used Numlog’s VAN for connections with our customers and suppliers.

GALIA: What were the various project implementation stages ?

The key date was April 1, 2009, the day we signed our partnership agreement with Numlog. We quickly moved through the stages after the agreement was signed. Numlog ordered the SDSL line from Orange Business Services, requested our ENX number from GALIA and obtained the necessary information from our partners. On May 10th, our ENX infrastructure (firewalls) went live. On June 10th, we installed and configured the OFTP over IP module on our communications software (CFT400 version 2.41 sp8 by Axway) and conducted initial message sending and receiving tests with Numlog and with Renault’s ENX support team. The next day, our EDI flows with Renault went live. Finally, on July 7th, we went live with our partners on Numlog’s VAN. In total, we only needed three months to migrate all our EDI flows.

GALIA: What is the financial impact of this project ?

In practical terms, before migration our monthly costs were €1,527. After migration they are €1,167. We invested €5,188 in the project. The investment covered the SDSL line activation fees, project monitoring by Numlog, Numlog’s purchasing and configuring the firewalls and purchasing and configuring the OFTP over IP module for our CFT400 communications software. We estimate a return on investment in 14 months and a minimum annual gain of €4,310, based on average monthly consumption of 6,000 KC.

GALIA: To sum up, what did you think about this migration project ?

Circumstances forced us to move up the X25 replacement project. The end of X25 communications was scheduled and costs were increasing. Renault wanted to migrate all of its partners’ EDI flows by the end of June 2010. Moving to ENX also gave us the opportunity to use this network for other flows, in particular for technical data exchanges. Timing was key to synchronize all the operations; we were able to switch from X25 to ENX on D day. We thought the process would be complex, costly and require a huge time investment. Thanks to our excellent partnership with Numlog, operations progressed simply, faster than scheduled and were more economical financially. After several months, flows are transferred smoothly and quality of service is around 95%. Our flows are sent very early in the morning (between 5:00 and 6:30am), and the few problems we’ve had were solved the same morning. The benefits are undeniable and we are thrilled to have completed this project so quickly.