CPL Online - Adaptris - Integration Anywhere

Case study
CPL Online achieve transference of data between platforms

“We’ve saved budget by being able to implement a very structured, reliable platform” David Dasher, CTO

CPL Online is a leading provider of digital learning and staff engagement tools within the licensed hospitality and retail markets. The company flourished after developing a range of innovative eLearning courses and, after a period of rapid growth, CPL Online widened its technology-led product and service offer, providing online business solutions. This included software development, database and front-end design, mobile app development and consultancy. The company is now part of CGA, the leading hospitality market measurement, data and research consultancy.

David Dasher, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) was one of the founders of CPL Online and has been part of the business for 9 years, overseeing technical development. CPL Online has three key technology partner systems in HPCC and Adaptris (both part of RELX Group) and Microsoft Azure; everything else is custom built in-house.

The challenge

Like many companies, CPL Online was looking at the transfer of data between platforms. This centred around ingesting data into a big data platform as the company was starting to interface with a growing number of clients, and consequently more systems (for example, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SQL and even CSV files).

Facing the cost of the additional, dedicated headcount required to fulfil to write interfaces and APIs into these platforms, which would then need to be kept up-to-date and scheduled, CTO David Dasher decided it made sense to invest in a robust technical solution as an alternative. Building a completely new, in-house solution was considered but this was dismissed as a viable option due to the huge amount of time, effort and specialist knowledge this would require.

Looking for a solution

David was attending a HPCC Systems Summit where one of the speakers was Jeff Bradshaw, CTO for Adaptris. Explaining how the Adaptris’ integration platform and suite of adapters could ingest data from hundreds of different sources into their big data platform, quickly led to a series of demos to CPL Online. Within a few months the benefits of this solution resulted in implementation commencing.

What was implemented?

CPL Online use two primary tools: Microsoft Dynamics and Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS – used for resource tracking). David wanted to introduce a real-time profit and loss platform, connecting costs on employees, with project tracking information and sales/product data enabling a truly 360-degree view of the business. Unfortunately, the systems didn’t “talk” to each other, so the objective was to ingest all that information into the CPL Online big data platform. This began by the necessary analysis and work with client and product data.

The Interlok™ adapters and the Adaptris integration platform available made this connection simple. Data is constantly ingested and available to the CPL Online data science team who begin working on projects around it. It also directly interfaces into the SQL server, so CSV files can be ingested as well as data sent back out to clients. A big benefit for David, is that the company is now able to spray data directly into HPCC – no imports means a considerable saving.

What CPL Online had to say about working with Adaptris

“There’s never been any downtime. Anything we have thrown at the system has been handled efficiently and without any problems. Adaptris looks after more and more of our business now and I can only see that going further. We’ve saved budget by being able to implement a very structured, reliable platform, but actually the speed to be able to get up and running and the stability as we grow is also a significant benefit. It covers all corners”.

Integration platform

  • Pluggable service oriented architecture
  • Out of the box connectivity to hundreds of applications and data communications standards
  • Event-based tracking and visibility of messages in real-time
  • Common data model across the deployment makes it cost effective to deploy additional components

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