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Electrolux cleans up after-sales service with real-time info

Antony Adshead
Electrolux will go live in the first half of 2004 with an integration project to provide real-time access to technical information to after-sales service staff around the world.

The project, which is part of Electrolux's customer relationship management strategy, will link disparate sources of data from IBM AS/400s, Windows NT and 2000 and mainframe systems to provide technicians with product data and handle customer service enquiries.

The goal is to enhance the company's service management system, which manages Electrolux's after-sales service operations.

The system will provide technical staff with access to information about warehouse stock and technical documents about parts for white goods sold by Electrolux Group companies such as Zanussi, AEG and Tricity Bendix, via a PeopleSoft user interface.

Heidi Bauer, middleware leader in Electrolux IT, said, "The challenge has been in replacing hundreds of applications with a single robust infrastructure, but it has been quite straightforward to build the integration layer.

"The benefit to us is that we are able to avoid any costs by using the infrastructure and data we already have. As a result, we are able to get a lot more out of that data."

In the first phase of the roll-out in Germany, Electrolux is using Commercequest's Process Manager for Data integration software with IBM MQSeries middleware to connect 11 applications in a mixed AS/400, Windows and mainframe environment - the result of a series of business acquisitions.

The Commercequest software allows users to transfer data from one application to another by programming format changes, which translate, for example, flat files into XML.

The software guarantees delivery of data between applications and allows users to log and view transfers.

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