Dupouy SA’s Critical CA 2E ERP System
Based in France, Dupouy SA is a specialty exporter of food and non-food products to the French West Indies, French Guyana, and West and Sub-Saharan Africa. The company faces increasing competition from major food distributors such as Carrefour and Auchan, which are expanding into their market. The company’s CA 2E applications, including its ERP system, are critical to keeping its prices competitive and for meeting market demand.
Although the business requirements are complex, the current software globally corresponds to the business need, and Dupouy is happy with its IBM i platform. However, the company needs to improve the software regularly to meet market constraints, work with new business partners, and implement new legal requirements. This is difficult with its current CA 2E applications because:
- An IT partner that no longer exists developed the software more than 20 years ago with Synon/2E and RPG on the IBM i5 Platform.
- Dupouy does not own CA 2E, which left it struggling to keep up with maintenance activities.
- Dupouy does not have the skills for development: It is difficult to find people with CA 2E and/or RPG skills, making it a challenge to implement requested improvements.
- The green screens are very limited and out of date.
- Users have difficulty accessing the software outside the company’s headquarters.
Dupouy decided to embark on a modernization project with the following requirements:
- Keep the existing business logic developed during the last 20 years
- Update the screens with additional data and more intuitive, user friendly features than the green screens
- Use the software outside the company headquarters, preferably in its customers’ premises with no constraint between the software and the workstations, ideally using a Web browser
- Retain the i5 platform, which runs without any problems, and with no internal IT skills
- Minimize the impact on current business operations as much as possible during the rollout in terms of testing and training
- Train CA 2E staff quickly
Dupouy reviewed the options for modernizing its CA 2E applications and decided that a software rewrite carried significantly more cost, risk, and time. Also, no other ERP package would stick seamlessly to its business needs and would require expensive, time-consuming customizations.
Working with French IBM i integrator Belharra, Dupouy deployed CM First Group’s CM M3 product. The solution migrated the business logic developed with CA 2E toward CA Plex, which is more efficient for Dupouy’s business needs. The company can buy additional licenses of the development tool for a moderate budget and therefore have an available environment for development.
CM M3 transformed more than 10,000 Function Objects in CA 2E to CA Plex, Java, and Linux, with more than 95 percent of those function objects automated. Because the previous business logic was working fine, the testing workload was diminished dramatically. The rollout was done gradually, having the possibility to revert, if necessary, to the former software.
In addition, CM M3 integrates CM WebClient to generate a modern browser application and enable use on both desktops and tablet devices. The project added relevant information and features and removed useless data and functionalities. The Web-based screens are now more user friendly, providing users with all the requested data needed to work more efficiently.
“We are happy to report that the CM M3 transformation process was a non-event to the business, and gave us a browser-based platform to make necessary improvements to the application quickly and easily.”
– Bertrand Gambet, Technical Director at Belharra
In all, the migration process was a “non-event” for the customer, according to Belharra. CM M3 was able to migrate all the same level of functionalities as the former software. Once the new software was cleared of useless items and all parties were confident about the robustness of the new application, improvements have been developed on the base of the new, tested software. Dupouy suffered no business impacts during the rollout, and the training needs were very light and done internally.
After the project was completed, Mr. Bertrand Gambet, Technical Director at Belharra, commented, “We are happy to report that the CM M3 transformation process was a non-event to the business, and gave us a browser-based platform to make necessary improvements to the application quickly and easily.”
CM M3 Resources: