The production management software publisher Courbon Software has migrated from client hosting to Cloud mode. Axians accompanied them in this quality upgrade, meeting the challenges of security and availability.

MES – three little letters that represent a sizeable challenge for manufacturers. The Manufacturing Execution System, or production management software, covers the entire manufacturing chain, from receipt of the raw materials through to product labelling. An MES provides production process monitoring, product traceability and machine performance measurement.

A key player in this market, Courbon Software publishes two solutions, one (Producim) dedicated to agrifood, chemicals and manufacturing, and the other (Pharmacim) to the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology and cosmetics.

Previously, this VINCI Energies software company offered its solutions exclusively in “on-premises” mode. This dedicated hosting was preferred for technical reasons, and also due to a lack of maturity in the market.

“Labeyrie Fine Foods wanted to relieve its IT teams of operations, monitoring, backup and solutions maintenance tasks.”

The change in approach was triggered in 2020, when it won a call for tenders by Labeyrie Fine Foods. This agrifood group, which markets the Labeyrie, Blini and Delpierre brands, was looking for hybrid or even SaaS-based hosting for all its production facilities.

“Labeyrie Fine Foods wanted to relieve its IT teams of operations, monitoring, backup and solutions maintenance tasks,” says Bernard Durand, Sales Engineer at Courbon Software. “Our solutions were already fully web-based, with no need for the customer to install anything on their workstations, which made the move to SaaS (Software as a Service) mode much easier.”

Premium SaaS

To move its offers into the Cloud, Courbon Software enlisted another VINCI Energies business unit. The ICT solutions specialist Axians addressed the issues of cybersecurity, availability (greater than 99.9%) and business continuity by replicating data on a remote site. Axians also provides processor and memory capacity, which can be increased according to need.

The shared offer made it possible to combine application access, hosting, updates and application support in a single subscription. “The customer only has to deal with a single point of contact,” says Bernard Durand.

This offer is distinct from the traditional SaaS model in which companies all use the same application and have upgrades imposed on them by the provider. Courbon Software instead provides a “premium” SaaS approach. Each customer has their own version of the application and their own database, without being forced into a “versioning” policy, and above all, without having to segregate their own data.

“For an MES that exchanges data with different automated systems and business applications, platform stability is essential,” continues the Courbon Software engineer. “Any version change entails a huge amount of non-regression testing.”

The objective is therefore to create a “core model” that meets all use cases identified at Labeyrie Fine Foods. Production lines for duck and those handling smoked salmon, as on the pilot site, do not have the same constraints. This project will be expanded over several years, and is expected to roll out to a dozen of the French group’s production facilities.

17/05/2021

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