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Michael Hill deploys MuleSoft integration platform across ANZ store network

Integration platform MuleSoft has announced jewellery chain Michael Hill has deployed its Anypoint Platform. The integration platform aims to improve IT flexibility and responsiveness to changing business and market requirements by automating connectivity between Michael Hill's best-of-breed applications, including its customer relationship management, mobile and point of sale systems.

Michael Hill's retail footprint includes 289 stores across New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States. The company has set aggressive growth targets for 2014 including the opening of 20 new stores around the globe, an increase in e-commerce sales and the move towards implementing a customer-focused omni-channel model.

The first integration project using Anypoint Platform will support these targets by integrating CRM data from six different touch points to create a single view of the customer.

This will enable seven key areas across the business including in-store, online, customer care, customer engagement, marketing and mobile to drive a more intimate consumer experience by ensuring coordinated, consistent communication with customers. 

The Anypoint Platform will replace manual integration practices which Michael Hill says has become increasingly time-consuming and difficult due to a growing number of applications within the company.

MuleSoft says if the integrations were to be carried out manually, Michael Hill's CRM project would require every touch point to be separately connected to each of the seven areas of the business, resulting in a total of 42 separate integration tasks. By deploying Anypoint Platform, integration is automated and the number of integrations reduces to 13, with one for each touch point and business unit.

The platform also provides an easy point of integration for any additional applications that may be deployed in the future.

“One of the challenges of a best of breed philosophy is the need to connect discrete systems and remove independent silos,” says Adrian Wallace, software development manager, Michael Hill.

“As we have grown, the scale of integration challenges has also grown. We needed a way to automate this connectivity because if our architecture were to continue to grow without a change in approach, we’d be in danger of looking like typical messaging spaghetti.”

“We see a service bus-driven architecture as a way to avoid that and at the same time, it gives us a capability to become more responsive to changing business demands on the IT department,” he says. “MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform provides a natural path for integration and offers a massive improvement to our productivity.”

The retail chain says major factors leading to the selection of MuleSoft included the platform's ability to cope with the varied environment of in-house and on-premise applications at Michael Hill, as well as peer and analyst recommendations.

Deployment and ongoing support for the CRM integration project is being provided by MuleSoft partner and Australian-based integration expert, SixTree.