Franchise System Financial and Data Integration
Pulling together data from SaaS solutions from a variety of vendors into a central reporting data mart and accounting system
Phase Three Brands, an operator of over 50 Hardee's and WingStop restaurants, utilizes an ecosystem comprised of multiple different SaaS tools to manage everything from POS to Payroll. MercuryWorks developed integrations with the various systems that pull data together into a central repository, standardizes that data and then integrates it all into their enterprise accounting and financial system.
Projects that involve integrating with another vendor’s system are inherently more complex. Integrating with eight other systems really describes a “wicked problem”. When we first began work with Phase Three they had a legacy integration system created that was behind on the technology front and used a variety of integration patterns. The original development vendor was no longer involved and Phase Three was extremely limited in their ability to make even small changes to the processes.
MercuryWorks updated the existing code base, restructured the data flows, and migrated the functional pieces to a fully modern .NET solution that leverages Azure cloud resources. A focus on decoupling each step and having well-defined data hand-offs provides a high degree of reliability and traceability.
With the new ecosystem in place and running smoothly, Phase Three has been able to implement multiple process changes in their upstream SaaS products that generate new data points. Adjusting the flow of data from source to data mart to General Ledger transaction posting is now a straightforward and dependable process that can be implemented quickly to allow the back office work to keep up with the speed of business.
Decoupled Azure Architecture
Each step in the data flow is isolated as a discrete element to reduce system coupling. This provides outstanding continuity, simplified problem diagnosis and superior extensibility. System modifications are safer and easier since engineers need only manipulate loosely-coupled interaction points within the Azure architecture.
The system implementation automates every possible human (and therefore error-prone) touchpoint. Automated build and release pipelines ensure technical moving pieces are reliably and consistently deployed every time. Automated logging of each step of the flow enables easy monitoring of the process and quick awareness of actionable issues.
Transactions imported from the diverse SaaS solutions are harmonized into a single data mart format and then posted via API’s to the Sage/Intacct accounting system automatically. Data outcomes are also posted into Intacct so business users can view transaction summaries to validate results against expectations within their daily-use software tools.
Other Key Highlights
Elevated System Continuity
The new solution ensures that when there is an issue with an upstream SaaS system that data from the other integrated systems continues to flow into Phase Three’s systems
Improved Technical Elegance
The modernized Phase Three integration architecture allows for much easier technical diagnosis when problems occur and requires reprocessing only a single step
Permits safer system modifications since each discrete step’s well-defined contract isolates and encapsulates business rules at each juncture
"For most people, neither financial systems nor data integration are exciting topics. For me, life can become exciting (not in a good way) when either go wrong. Our new MercuryWorks solution has kept this part of my work life a non-event and that gives me great appreciation for their work!"
Chief Financial Officer
Behind The Curtain
C#, Entity Framework and the .NET Core were used to implement all business logic and data marshaling for the application. Enterprise authentication practices and Core tie-ins provide a locked-down and robust security platform.
Provides a robust data storehouse and query platform to store all enterprise data, marshal data for integration and provide a source to the app’s API tier. In-cloud SQL Server was used to provide instant scalability and rapid querying.
Provides database storage, web app, authentication and web services. Azure provides an ideal solution for back end mobile applications with a multi-data center Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud solution.