Brocacef: smarter exchange of data allows faster response to changing market conditions

Brocacef Group is a group of companies which operate in the field of pharmaceutical care. The clients of Brocacef Group are pharmacies, general practitioners, hospitals and nursing homes, pharma suppliers, veterinarians and healthcare consumers. Brocacef Group employs around 5.000 employees who strive every day to create and deliver smart, personal and accessible care.

New middleware environment

Mr. Frank Appeldoorn is manager internal applications at Brocacef. Frank: “Brocacef has the ambition to become the most appreciated healthcare partner in the Netherlands by delivering personal, accessible and affordable care to everyone. To realize this ambition, ICT and the possibility to share information fast and easily are very important. We also develop new customer and service concepts based on the logistical and customer data we have available.

All of our companies exchange large volumes of data with partners. Besides this interaction with the outside world we see strong growth in internal communication and data exchange between our various application systems. From a business perspective, the need to create even more connections with the outside world keeps growing. Another important reason was our recent acquisition of Mediq Pharmacies Netherlands. In order to integrate the companies, a lot of information will need to be exchanged between the various platforms.

Our middleware environment is a true life line for our organization. This is where all orders enter our company, so downtime is simply not an option. Therefore we have consulted our partner ECS International and decided to implement a new middleware platform.”

ECS solution based on Cleo VLTrader & Clarify

Mr. Bob Rietveld is project manager at Brocacef. “The project New Messaging Platform is a program designed to increase the maturity of our middleware environment. In the past we used Cleo LexiCom, an MFT Client only application, for the secure exchange of data with trading partners. Besides that, we used separate FTP and mail servers and a lot of custom made software.

Not only the amount of connections was grown significantly within Brocacef. We also have to support a wide range of different protocols such as EDI, AS2 and Web services connections. In short: we had a very complex environment. In order to improve manageability and ensure a future-proof environment we followed the advice of ECS International and decided to implement Cleo VLTrader and Clarify as basis for our New Messaging Platform.”

“This solution allows us
to respond faster to
new developments in the market.”

The implementation

ECS International has taken care of the installation of Cleo VLTrader and Clarify and supported the IT department of Brocacef in the use of the software. VLTrader and Clarify are running in the production environment and for the coming year Brocacef aims to migrate more interfaces to the data integration solutions of ECS. The overall volume of exchanged messages is expected to show a strong growth, also caused by the integration of the two companies.

Frank Appeldoorn: “The implementation of Clarify initially started with connecting the wholesale ERP system to the service bus of an external system for integral transportation planning. We had to finish this part of the project fast, in order to realize synergy benefits from the acquisition of the company. We are now able to combine shipments from multiple locations to the individual consumer. As a result, we can deliver better and faster care at lower costs.”

The experiences

Frank Appeldoorn: “The cooperation with ECS International has intensified. The people of ECS International are passionate and have a hands-on attitude. They are always helpful and have a lot of expertise in the field of data integration.

What I found remarkable is that one of the ECS employees actually came to work for us during his holiday. There was a lot of pressure on the project in order to go live in time and ECS International has responded very professional to that.”

Bob Rietveld: “The Cleo products offer good value for money. VLTrader is easy to operate and offers a lot of functionality. Clarify is more complex, but that is logical considering the extensive functionality this solution offers.

With the support and expertise of ECS International we have now build our data integration environment and have gone live with a number of data streams. Of course there have been some issues along the way, but these are handled effective and fast. We are very satisfied with our partnership with ECS International. We notice in all aspects of our cooperation that ECS is a trustworthy partner of Cleo; all of our experiences and feedback are handled professionally by both ECS International and Cleo.”

The benefits

Bob Rietveld: “Our new middleware environments offers Brocacef a number of significant benefits. At Brocacef we used one middleware environment, at Mediq they used multiple different environments. This consolidation means a significant simplification of our application landscape, allowing us to handle information exchange and data integration in a much more flexible way.”

Frank Appeldoorn: “Our new environment has made the integration between Brocacef and Mediq much easier, from an IT perspective. Ultimately this allows our organization to work smarter, faster and cheaper. At the same time we can service our customers better by making information from the whole organization available via portals.

Brocacef operates in a complex and dynamic world with strong competition. The smart solution we have developed in cooperation with ECS and Cleo allows us to respond faster to new developments in the market.”



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