Canon Europe wanted to unlock the potential of its data and use it to improve its customer experience by giving business-to-business (B2B) customers greater flexibility and opportunities for self-service.
Canon Europe worked with IBM and TCS to extract the data in its system of records using microservices, APIs and the IBM Cloud.
Improves the customer experienceby providing greater flexibility, self-service options and multichannel support
Establishes a platform for innovationwithout affecting existing systems or data
Delivers business rules supportin the IBM Cloud, making it easy to modify rules as needed
Business challenge story
Extracting value from growing digital content
As companies around the world create more digital products and solutions, the amount of digital content that they and consumers generate continues to grow exponentially. That’s a huge opportunity for imaging businesses such as Canon. But first, Canon Europe needed to unleash the potential stored within its systems. “A few years ago, we launched a transformation program to unlock the hidden potential of our core business and our system of records, through technology innovation and application modernization,” says Nitesh Saini, Principal for Technology Foundation and Business Intelligence, Canon Europe.
As part of that transformation, Canon Europe also wanted to improve its customer experience. In the past, B2B customers needed to call or email account managers to modify their contracts. But Canon Europe knew that it needed to give its customers greater flexibility. “We realized that we needed internet-centric quality of service, multichannel support and high availability. And we needed the data that’s locked in our system of records,” says Saini.
Taking advantage of cloud-based services
Canon Europe has relied on IBM as a strategic partner for many years. In the past, Canon implemented IBM Business Process Manager software to manage its business processes, and IBM MQ and IBM WebSphere® Service Registry and Repository software as part of its service-oriented architecture (SOA). So for its next project, the company turned to IBM again.
“When we started our digital transformation, it was an obvious choice to go with IBM,” says Saini. “For the partnership, but also for the capabilities that IBM Cloud provides. It’s not just the API management or the database; it’s a whole set of capabilities and services extended by IBM Watson®.”
Canon Europe worked with IBM and TCS on the project. TCS came up with a strategy to help Canon Europe minimize the impact of the digital transformation on its system of records. “We created a data layer on the IBM Cloud and wrote an ETL [extract, transform and load] job to sync the data from their enterprise systems to the cloud. And we adopted a microservices approach because we wanted to be very sure that the components are completely independent of one another,” says Akhil Hada, Global Technology Lead for IBM Application Platform, API Management, DataPower and BPM at TCS. While developing the new solution, the TCS team used the DevOps pipeline on the IBM Cloud so that it could quickly add new features.
“We might need to expose our data to customers, to partners, to our sales organizations. So we developed public APIs using IBM API Connect® software on the IBM Cloud along with an IBM DataPower® Gateway device,” says Saini. Canon Europe also uses other services within the IBM Cloud, including the IBM WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile platform, which serves as the computation engine between the API Connect software and the company’s IBM Db2® database.
Adding key capabilities
With the IBM solution, Canon Europe gained three key capabilities. First, the company now has API management capacity through API Connect software, which helps improve the quality of its customer service across multiple channels. Second, the business benefits from the data layer on the IBM Cloud, which provides access to the organization’s valuable data without affecting its system of records. Finally, Canon Europe now has a microservices architecture and WebSphere Application Server Liberty Profile software to support its pricing and business rules.
“The IBM solution has given us a platform as a service, which complements our existing landscape and helps us achieve the business potential that we are looking for,” says Saini. “The solution has given us the strategic advantage of moving ahead with a multispeed IT, provisioning to the capabilities and the expectations required by the business on the digital transformation, while ensuring our core business is not disrupted.”
With the new solution, Canon Europe changed the way it interacts with customers. Customers now have the ability to alter their contracts themselves. And Canon Europe is adding multichannel support so that customers and partners can engage with the business using a web browser or a mobile device.
Headquartered in the UK, Canon Europe is a subsidiary of Canon Inc. of Japan, a leading innovator and provider of imaging solutions that was founded in 1937. Canon Europe contributes around one-third of Canon’s global sales revenue and employs approximately 18,000 people across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
Founded in 1968, IBM Business Partner TCS is a global leader in IT, consulting and business solutions. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, the organization has more than 350,000 employees spread across 49 countries and revenue of nearly USD 18 billion. The company helps customers with their IT transformations, working across industry verticals.
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