Universal Music Group

Invenio build an Integration solution for Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world’s leading music company.  Since their incorporation in 1934, they now own and operate a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries.

Universal Music Group and Invenio

Invenio have been working with UMG since 2010 on multiple projects including their SAP migration to HANA, implementation of the Invenio P2P solution, SAP rollout to new countries, Supply Chain on SAP, COPA redesign, SAP Finance rollout internationally, Solution Manager CHaRM implementation, as well as their SAP Finance global support to name a few. 

Business Challenges

Due mainly to its size, Universal Music Group had in place a very complex landscape of systems and processes, which made management and scalability a real challenge. Most data processed was done on a manual, ad hoc basis, which often resulted in failed transactions not being visible, causing delays in service. A general lack of an end-to-end reconciliation of data between the business systems and ERP meant that processing was slow, inaccurate and complicated. In addition, Universal Music Group were struggling with other, more pressing issues, such as:

Reconciliation: Because Universal Music Group spans over 60 countries, the creation of basic business information reports took a long time. This was because the reconciliation of the vast amount of data needed to create the reports was a slow process, and this resulted in reports often being out of date by the time they were ready. This was exacerbated by challenges in country specific applications feeding data to their centralised ERP due to data processing and delivery issues.

A Non ESB Landscape: At first, Universal Music Group did not have any form of ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) to manage their systems effectively. This made their landscape incredibly complex and volatile, with multiple possible failure points. To sum up, their landscape looked something like this:

  • Nearly 70 different external systems, all sharing and requesting data
  • 40 separate integration server instances to manage
  • 190 independent interfaces and services, used to create a string form ESB
  • A combination of real-time and batch integration features
  • Multiple country applications and data being translated into multiple languages, including French, German, Spanish and Japanese
  • 12 different end-point connectors were used to communicate with the external world
  • Peak processing requirements of 20 million messages a day
  • A single interface was used for the processing of up to 8 million invoice lines in less than 2 hours
  • Constraints to the maximum message size of 6 Gigabytes Repeated replication of 30 million master data rows

No Centralisation: Again, due to the number of different countries Universal Music Group operates in, there was a continual problem with centralisation. Each country has their own specific business tax rules and local statutory requirements, most of which demand certain business attributes to be present. Because those attributes are only needed by that branch, creating a centralised process that can be used across the board in every country was almost impossible. Data security was another concern, as secure and confidential information sent between different locations was transferred in an unsecured way, making it a significant data security risk.

Invenio's Solution

Using years of experience and information gained from detailed examination and study of Universal Music Group’s infrastructure, Invenio were able to custom build an integration solution which addressed all of these concerns, along with other sideline issues.

Invenio were able to achieve:

  • A unified enterprise architecture, complete with reusable services to enable plug and play functionality using Mule ESB
  • Complete Integration of all systems and processes, making master data available from various interconnected source systems in order to speed up the process of data gathering and reconciliation
  • Creation of a scalable integration architecture that can expand with every new country that is added to the central ERP instance with ease
  • Implementation of audit and end-to-end reconciliation functions for SAP, giving it the ability to compare the data received by, sent from and to the business systems
  • Stable operations in order to manage the integration platform and infrastructure, using a 24x7 operations team to cover each geography, including Japan, the UK, Europe, the US and Canada

The Results

The single biggest advantage of these new systems is the inherent reusability of services. Services and applications no longer need to be individually created for each new instance, and instead common functions can be reused across the business. This made data communication between business systems easy and simple. Because each business application communicated with ESB instead of directly with the SAP system, users have the ability to upgrade and patch, without the risk of a co-dependant systems failure. More applications were available for use thanks to the implementation of cluster nodes, with minimal downtime for maintenance. Universal Music group also benefited from:   

  • Increased scalability, with the ability to create additional users or businesses and handle increased transactional volumes
  • Reports can now be generated and delivered to the CXO team within 3 days, instead of 10
  • Complete or partial automation of processes helped reduce the need for manual intervention and dependency
  • More secure data transfer and communication, including features such as digital signatures and encryption. Confidential data is transferred without local storage, making it difficult if not impossible to be read by unauthorised systems
  • Complete visibility of all transactions and end-to-end reconciliation, giving more control to users
  • The complete elimination of system crashed – reduced from an average of 1,500 per year to zero