Flextronics Aims for Flexible Connectivity

Uses Baan integration framework to bolster online trading with customers, suppliers

Herndon, VA  September 10, 2002  Electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Flextronics has implementing an integration framework solution from Baan in a bid to extend its support for online trading with customers and suppliers.

Flextronics has deployed Baan's iBaan OpenWorld solution, which includes the OpenWorld Adapter, Gateway, Broker and Studio Developer applications.

Baan says that the solution provides Flextronics with a standardized architecture for enterprisewide connectivity to the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) and advance planning and scheduling (APS) systems, increasing reliability and reducing maintenance and support.

This will help Flextronics to further extend its support for online trading with customers and suppliers by automatically formatting all orders to help ensure compatibility with the company's iBaan Enterprise system and resolving customer sales and inventory queries in real time, according to the solution provider.

The EMS provider had faced the time-consuming task of integrating its systems with those of various partners and customers on a one-by-one basis. "We were previously facing challenges posed by trying to interface our own Baan enterprise systems with those third party systems run by our customers," said Roger Yang, corporate development director at Flextronics. "This involved a duplication of effort to adapt the systems and hundreds of customized interfaces."

Using the integration framework has alleviated Flextronics of the task of writing traditional individual interfaces to support multi-system data transfer, reducing a process that previously took two weeks to just one day for testing and mapping.

Flextronics has also started to build iBaan OpenWorld into its generic "ERP Service" XML-based application that uses Web server technology to transfer customer requested data in real time between the company's core ERP system and those of the systems used by its customers.

James Simpson, senior director for e-business at Flextronics, said: "iBaan OpenWorld has offered us a more reliable interface. Whereas previously it was just not possible to perform real-time validation, and we had very little visibility of process failures, we can now support data transfer from system to system. This gives us greater flexibility to communicate with our Baan systems, a significant reduction in business object interface (BOI) development time, and most importantly, real-time response and data validation for our customer processes."

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