Blog: Getting ready for the future

By Peter Wijburg - 28 Nov 2018

Blog: Getting ready for the future

Thinking about the ABF tomorrow by upgrading it today

With the ambition to provide the best and most convenient online shopping experience comes the responsibility of creating a state-of-the-art infrastructure. Just about a year ago, we transformed the web shop into the new ABF.store, an online shop that has since facilitated thousands of transactions and provided excellent service to customers throughout the world. The next step may be less visually apparent but will be even more critical to ensure you with the best ABF experience possible.

We are upgrading our ERP system, JD Edwards (JDE) to the EnterpriseOne 9.2 version. This Oracle enterprise resource planning(ERP)-system is the root of all of our work, ranging from purchasing, warehouse management, to quality control, sales, and ultimately; logistics. This allows us to optimize a number of processes which will result in such things as faster delivery time and better availability in the long run.

Our IT-Manager, Peter Wijburg, explained the new infrastructure and the necessity for the outage:

“When a company grows, so do the requirements of the customers when it comes to service. We have made great strides in the last few years, bringing our web shop up to the cutting-edge of customer experience and are now taking steps to bringing a fundamental system of our infrastructure to the next level.

We started about five months ago, with the installation of a new server room and getting the infrastructure ready for an Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). The ODA (former Sun Microsystems) is a solution in a box, capable of running our Database, our ERP, and supporting software. We decided on this system because it has great performance and – due to the way it handles data allocation – great availability of information.

Since all of its soft- and hardware is made by Oracle and maintained by one partner, it minimizes the risk of conflict in the infrastructure. Additionally, the cost of ownership is clear as it is maintained by a single partner, which cuts down on hidden costs. Lastly, thanks to the hyperconverged nature, it is a scalable system that allows us to build upon it new solutions for years to come.”

“After the upgrade, we can better provide our customers with relevant information at a relevant time.”

The JDE upgrade itself will allow us to use its EventBus systems to better connect the core data to the peripheral programs which have been custom-made for ABF. These programs are what we call the ABF-DNA and are responsible for bringing information to our employees and our customers. We are basically able to better connect the ‘engine’ to the ‘wheels’ of our operation by changing the ‘engine’ in the first place. After the upgrade, we can better provide our customers with relevant information at a relevant time, as well as better document changes in the market and optimize our internal workflow.
In the next phase, we want to use new ICT-solutions to better convert raw ERP data into usable information to feed custom- and cloud solutions, effectively expanding the ABF-DNA with new possibilities – all of it powered by the JDE EventBus.

After five months of working with a multidisciplinary team of both internal and external talent, we are almost ready to flip the proverbial switch. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone involved at ABF, as well as our partners at Amis Services, Quadira, and Cadran, who have been with us throughout the process.“

ABF.store will close shop earlier on Friday 30-11 to upgrade the existing ERP system. Our new infrastructure will be up and running by Monday 03-12, better than ever.

Cutting-edge tech. Got it.

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