Meet our customer hero
Low voltage electrical systems may not be the talk of the town. But they should be. They are what keep a data center chugging along to discover the next big idea, a patient in a critical care setting on the way to improvement so she can go home in time for the holidays, and an energy storage system robust enough to handle renewable sources and grid upgrades no matter the turbulence in the market.
For over a century, Socomec has been at the forefront of this industry. With a focus on electrical device manufacturing and services, Socomec’s systems and over 400 technicians around the globe touch our lives daily in more ways than you may know.
But with new macroeconomic headwinds and geopolitical disruptions, keeping low voltage systems secure and efficient has become more important than ever. To face these challenges and continue innovating, Socomec took a new approach to integration, boosting security, improving efficiency, and achieving total visibility over its business workflows with webMethods and webMethods.io hybrid integration.
Socomec’s transformation is all about what it can see.
“For a long time we used a kind of document workflow engine to manage and orchestrate business workflows,” says Michael Kister, IT Manager, Socomec. “It was a solution from another time, that really wasn’t designed for what we needed to do moving forward. As a result we were doing point-to-point integrations and had a limited overview of what was going on between our applications and solutions. Quite rapidly we saw the advantage to the webMethods platform for all the integration ambitions we had in mind at Socomec.”
Those ambitions included exchanging data between applications internally and externally, including those of partners. More and more, the business was also using Salesforce and other cloud applications.
Socomec completed its ERP migration for the whole group, and redesigned workflows and processes with webMethods for around 100 applications. 65 redesigned business processes now orchestrate around 10,000 interfaces per day. “Our project included integrations for back office tools, and ERPs related to order management, invoicing, stock management, and purchasing. We are currently implementing the same for our technicians,” says Kister.
“webMethods has given us a 360-degree, centralized view of everything that’s going on. Now if we want to change one thing, for instance, we can see exactly how other areas of the business and integrations will also be impacted,” says Kister.
Socomec’s order tracking, for instance, runs on the platform internally and for partners, customers, and distributors. All have access through Salesforce communities, gaining a full view of the status of orders and business activities, including quotes, orders passed on to Socomec, invoices, shipments, and more.
In the latest phase of the project, Socomec has added webMethods.io to integrate with SaaS-based applications like Salesforce —and is using an API Gateway to eliminate complexity and boost security. “Previously we had a very complex architecture consisting of different layers of security, including firewall proxies, and more,” says Kister. “We were able to replace all of this with an API gateway. Now we no longer expose our internal infrastructure, and no longer have the security risks that entails.”
The transition to running more services in the cloud also meant Socomec cut down on processing resources— saving money, adding scalability, and leading to environmental and sustainability wins that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
Simplicity and security are great. Saving resources and improving staff morale are wonderful.
One of the major outcomes of the webMethods.io project is that business leaders are now more autonomous from IT—and IT staff doesn’t waste time on tasks where they aren’t needed and don’t feel fulfilled.
A good example is in order fulfillment. When an error is triggered—due to a financial block, lack of inventory, or the wrong product being sent—the business department is notified immediately, has access and visibility to the whole workflow within a console, and can act to correct the error with a few clicks.
“In the past nobody would know an error occurred until days or weeks later,” says Kister. “And even then, IT would be called in via email and assume the problem required an update, SQL change, or some other technical intervention that wasn’t actually needed. Now, business staff can solve most exceptions on their own, and IT is only involved for technical reasons.“
With hybrid integration off to a great start, Socomec is ready to look ahead.
“The next big topic we want to take on is moving to microservices instead of the old-fashioned, monolithic installation of tools,” says Kister. “And, of course, we also want to move to DevOps for managing projects.”
webMethods puts Socomec in prime position to take on both.
These innovations will keep Socomec ahead of the competition. Which also benefits everyone whose life is quietly impacted by Socomec’s wide-reaching devices and services.
It’s all largely possible by taking on the challenge of achieving 360-degree vision, limiting security risk through simple, focused technologies, and bringing together the power of the cloud, APIs, and hybrid integration.