Replace In-House SFTP Servers with Cloud MFT

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How AB InBev modernized batch file data exchange with its remote networks

Anheuser-Busch (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewery, has a network of wholesalers who in turn have a network of retail outlets. Data is collected from the retailers and fed back to the wholesalers, who then feed it back to AB InBev. The store-level data collected drives critical sales-related decisions for pricing, inventory control and other tactical decisions to optimize sales and market share.

“If Anheuser-Busch loses shelf space in a store in Clarksville, Tennessee, they know it right away”1

These downstream networks have relatively low IT infrastructure and technical resources to manage systems required to transfer in-store data back to AB InBev headquarters. Therefore, a resilient solution is required to ensure guaranteed delivery of file exchange between the remote networks and headquarters.

AB InBev developed an in-house client / server system to control the data flow with the remote networks. Built in the late ’90s, this monolithic system became outdated and presented a number of challenges for a business that relied so heavily on having near real-time market data.

The main challenges were

  1. Limited in-house resources to maintain system
  2. Slow wholesaler onboarding
  3. Brittle, scripted point-to-point connections with wholesalers
  4. Log-based troubleshooting for error remediation

In 2018, AB InBev had embarked on a digital transformation initiative that was to move most systems to the cloud:
“We have a three-to-five-year plan to be mostly on cloud,” Harinder Singh, Director of Data Strategy said. “… in the data journey, we are 100% on cloud, except for our source systems.”2

As part of that initiative, AB InBev looked to replace its legacy SFTP system with a cloud MFT solution. MuleSoft was the chosen integration platform (iPaaS) for extraction, transformation and loading (ETL) and via Thru’s MuleSoft integration solution used Thru for file transfer integration with its remote networks.

data transform for SAP by using mft agents to grab files from stores and Thru to transfer files in a MuleSoft flow

Results

  • Dramatically improved data flow reliability
  • Faster rollout of new wholesaler integrations
  • File transfer system is now fault tolerant and high performing

Benefits

  1. Cloud-native platform – eliminates code maintenance and infrastructure.
  2. Wholesalers onboarded and configured in minutes, not days, via a pub/sub model.
  3. Single pane of glass visibility into all file transfer activity for both Anheuser-Busch and wholesalers.
  4. Real-time alerts and notifications simplify troubleshooting.
  5. MFT Connector for MuleSoft provides plug-and-play integration and improves durability of MuleSoft flows.

To find out how Thru can help you migrate from a legacy on-premises system to a cloud-native MFT, speak to one of our MFT experts today.

 

1 http://edition.cnn.com/2004/TECH/ptech/02/25/bus2.feat.beer.network/index.html
2 https://www.nastel.com/from-big-beer-to-big-data-inside-ab-inbevs-digital-transformation/

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