The Client: Pure Fishing
Pure Fishing is unequaled in fishing solutions. But when its dealer communications system and supporting infrastructure hit the wall, Pure Fishing did what any good angler would do: asked a buddy for tips.
The trusted adviser Pure Fishing called in was Distributed Systems Services, an IBM Premier Business Partner in Reading, Pa. DSS culled the IT landscape to find an additional partner, choosing eOne Group, an e-commerce solution provider in Omaha, Neb., to help craft a solution.
|>>THE UPSHOT Called in to solve an infrastructure problem, DSS realized it needed to find an ISV partner to craft a complete solution for the customer's dealer communications system.
>> UPSIDE FOR THE VAR The solution provider searched for
the best ISV partner to team with and found a complete solution for the customer rather than simply consolidating servers and systems.
>> THE CUSTOMER VIEW Pure Fishing now has a dealer extranet that ties into its SAP back-office system and reduces customer- service costs, giving the company the ability to accommodate rapid growth.
Based in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Pure Fishing for the past 10 years has been on an acquisition binge, gobbling up a host of rod, reel and tackle manufacturers including Mitchell, Abu Garcia and Fenwick. Today, the company owns a global manufacturing and sales organization that includes more than 1,400 employees and six regional operating centers worldwide. What's more, Pure Fishing's global network of retail customers ranges from the largest retail chains to local bait and tackle shops.
But as Pure Fishing grew, the number of brands and dealer networks brought on with each acquisition taxed its ability to communicate with and replenish stock at dealer customers.
"The problem was in getting an extranet out to their dealer community," said DSS President Jim Sweeney. "When we initially engaged them we were thinking about building it for them, but when we got to looking at the effort to build from scratch, we realized that would be an expensive effort and take a lot of time," Sweeney said. So DSS set out to find a company that had a solution "that gets us 80 percent of the way there without starting from scratch," he said.
Through an IBM Linux for Leaders session, a conference that seeks to partner ISVs with IBM integration Business Partners, DSS hooked up with eOne Group.
"Even though we didn't know them personally, we were able to check them out pretty quickly," said Sweeney. "We brought them in to [Pure Fishing] and said to them, 'Maybe there is a quicker way to attack this thing.' "
Dan Watson, eOne Group president, said, "It's all about partnering and hooking up with partners; we don't do business any other way."
EOne's eOneCommerce tool, which serves as Pure Fishing's extranet to its dealer network, saved development time and money because it can sit on any platform, Watson said. Pure Fishing uses SAP as its back-end system, and with the eOneCommerce extranet, a dealer anywhere in the world can log in, select an interface with his native language and pricing data, and order products. "The extranet [automates] customer service," he said.
EOne handled the extranet application, while DSS covered the infrastructure component.
"One of the first things [established] in this relationship was that Pure Fishing was looking for the right platform to have their SAP infrastructure on," said Ann Borza, director of marketing at DSS. So the solution provider moved Pure Fishing to the IBM xSeries platform and off its multivendor piecemeal system.
"We could have just stopped there," Borza said. But, because DSS knew Pure Fishing's business, it knew an infrastructure fix alone would not solve the problem. That's what prompted DSS to troll the IBM ISV community for a partner.
"They probably would not have made the investment in just the infrastructure had we not had a solution for the business side as well," Sweeney said.
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