Wakefern is now using TPS NFM—which supports many servers and clients, including the System p and System z* platforms, Linux* and Windows—to move all of its data, both with its retail members, its business partners and internally, between systems. This solution provides a centralized transfer solution integrated with all of the hardware and software platforms deployed at Wakefern. Additionally, NFM has a graphical interface that allows the company’s operations staff to monitor and control all of its file-transfer requirements in real time, ensuring guaranteed delivery.
As Murphy explains, “The NFM framework actually resides on the UNIX* server, but we can view the file transfers, maintain NFM configuration information and manage file-transfer schedules using Internet Explorer.” The operations staff now knows what was delivered and what wasn’t. If something wasn’t delivered, they can easily recognize that, make the necessary adjustments and resubmit the job.
A Controlled Implementation
As with all IT undertakings, projects never seem to end. Wakefern began the NFM data-transfer rollout with some 400 systems and is now up to 780. And as Murphy points out, “We’re still growing it.”
This step-at-a-time approach has been deliberate; both Hawalka and Murphy know a controlled implementation is often better than a big-bang deployment. Any minor hiccups the company might’ve had during the implementation were easily rectified with no loss in productivity. Because the company has much experience with the product, it can easily bring other companies, stores and business partners into this new data-transfer fold. That approach has paid off. According to Hawalka, the TPS solution had an “ROI of approximately two years.”