Key challenges

  • Monitoring the quality of data being sent by source systems, globally.
  • A need for more end-to-end visibility between business platforms enabled by Heineken’s four middleware solutions.
  • Shortening the root cause analysis with failing messages.
  • Improve and consolidate the monitoring of Heineken’s middleware layer, including API Management, B2B Gateway and integration platforms.

Key outcomes

  • A Splunk solution allowing Heineken to have extreme observability into its data journeys.
  • Real-time visibility into the health of the brewer’s infrastructure, business processes, and transactions.
  • Business insights can be gained through the predictability generated from the holistic system visibility.
  • Reducing root cause analyses for solutions from weeks to seconds.

From left to right: John Bilay (Rojo), Madhuri Mayank (Rojo), Swati Singh (Rojo), Guus Groeneweg (Heineken), Iris Nuij (Rojo).

A global challenge
With its portfolio of more than 300 brands, Heineken is operating in over 190 countries. Their activities range from vendor orders to the transportation of products, to thousands of financial transactions per day. Groeneweg: “We are accountable for developing and operating all of Heineken’s interfaces globally. So, this can be from a local ERP application in Vietnam to a logistics routing application in Vietnam, or from a local external payroll provider to the global payroll system. You can imagine, if we operate with thousands of our internal applications and on top of that external integrations with banks, logistical partners, etc., we process about 25 million messages per month.” Each message contains its own data contributing to the indispensable activities of the brewer.

“When we initially heard about this use-case from Heineken, we knew it was unique and challenging. But if one could do it, that would be Rojo.”

Splunk

Groeneweg identified the pain point precisely: “If a singular message contains incomplete or incorrect data, a chain reaction occurs, which had a severe impact on the brewer’s business activity. This can take up to several weeks to identify the source of an incomplete or incorrect data point. This costly response time negatively impacta the business operations. The key challenge was to create instant visibility for our operating companies and global functions into the information being exchanged in the integration domain at all times.”

Extreme observability
Groeneweg: “We have Splunk as a solution in our Heineken portfolio. I was looking for a partner that could leverage our Splunk environment to help us accomplish total transparency and observability into our data and processes. However, when we started looking for an expert, it could not be just any Splunk expert, they also had to be knowledgeable on the topic of data integration.” That is when Rojo Consultancy was added to the equation.

This collaborative effort resulted in the development of a Splunk-based solution named XOMI. This stands for eXtreme Observability and Monitoring of Integrations. To produce this extreme observability using Splunk, it was vital for XOMI to visualize the end-to-end data exchange in its entirety. This also included the four middleware solutions that facilitate this global exchange for Heineken. This solution is responsible for enabling the business to see the journey of data in transit and monitor if the activities were successfully executed or failed while processing.

“What we didn’t know at the time, was that we would soon be able to know in the blink of an eye whether or not we could go to sleep at night, or if we would have to put some extra hours.”

Guus Groeneweg,
Product Owner, Digital Integration, Heineken

Predicting the future
Through the iterative collaboration between Rojo Consultancy and Heineken, Splunk’s data-to-everything platform was challenged and leveraged to its fullest capacity. This resulted in the solution XOMI which includes a number of dashboards to help the brewer stay on top and have a finger on the pulse on the operational health of the infrastructure, business processes, and transactions. The integration team and their internal stakeholders are now able to identify issues in a matter of seconds, understand them, and where possible solve them instantly. XOMI reduced the response time and the general quantity of escalated incidents. The Integration operation team can now identify system performance degradations within minutes.

Ultimately, this solution enables Heineken to gain new business insights, based on the predictions that the integration team is now able to make. The solution does not only offer on-demand insights into the business processes but also keeps an extensive history of previous actions. Such a rich history offers the necessary data to facilitate machine learning and lays the foundation for AI-driven predictions into the brewer’s current and future business operations.


Figure: An impression of XOMI.

Together, Rojo Consultancy and Heineken were able to overcome a critical, yet common obstacle on a global level. In today’s rapidly digitalizing world, it’s in every business’ best interest to ensure a seamless data exchange. Regardless of its size.

“With the creation of eXtreme Observability and Monitoring of Integrations (XOMI), Heineken has proven to be serious about innovation in its industry and en route to becoming the world’s best-connected brewer. There is a world of difference between a proof of concept and delivering a fully operational connected system. This is not marketing noise but rather measurable improvements that can be seen clearly in the tangible benefits from the daily operations. Together with Rojo, the team at Heineken took the challenge to convert business and IT needs into an innovative technological solution that yields significant value from day one. It has been a fantastic journey to collaborate with one of the world’s best brewers at the forefront of digital transformation.” – Roberto Viana, Managing Partner at Rojo Consultancy.


Impression of iDigit, which allows for monitoring of the system performance

“Together with Rojo, the team at Heineken took the challenge to convert business and IT needs into an innovative technological solution that yields significant value from day one”

Roberto Viana,
Managing Partner at Rojo Consultancy

About Heineken
Founded in 1864, the Dutch brewing company HEINEKEN is active in over 190 countries and possesses more than 300 brands in its catalogue. To facilitate its activities, the brewer employs approximately 80 thousand people worldwide.

About Splunk
With an availability in 21 regions, the American software company Splunk offers a fully comprehensible data platform to its clients. With a focus on end-to-end visibility, data-driven business insights and security, Splunk allows its clients to build a strong data foundation. Founded in 2003, the company currently counts over 7,500 employees.

Want to accelerate the digital transformation of your business?