Beam Suntory has been creating sophisticated spirits since 1899, when Shinjiro Torii began adapting western-style liquor to Japanese tastes. Now, the company is looking far into the future by sending whisky to space. On August 16, six samples of whisky, ranging from a 21-year-old vintage to a more recent creation, will travel to the International Space Station on the spacecraft Kounotori. Some samples will return to earth after a year, while others will age for a total of two years before whisky experts on the ground taste them and deliver the world’s first verdict on how being in space affects the aging process (for whisky, at least). No word on whether astronauts will be able to imbibe.
While Beam Suntory is not yet fulfilling orders from space, the company has made some rapid advances in its operations on the ground recently, thanks in part to working with Jitterbit. As the third-largest premium spirits company in the world, Beam Suntory needs to manage a lot of detailed customer and product information across many different systems (and regions). Because people in different regions have different preferences and needs (not to mention languages), the company’s regional offices operate fairly independently when it comes to sales, support, and marketing activities. Though this is necessary and useful in many ways, it can cause some frustration and confusion as well.
For example, Beam Suntory lacked a reliable, effective way to track and follow up on customer inquiries. Imagine getting a subpar batch of Jim Beam and submitting your concern to Suntory, but not receiving a timely response. You might feel a bit frustrated that Beam Suntory could send liquor to space but not respond to your email quickly. It was also difficult to track brand spending and enable employee collaboration with the company’s existing IT infrastructure.
To fix these issues, Suntory wanted to standardize on a single global integration platform, so that all of its crucial business processes could go down as smoothly as its whisky. By adding a Jitterbit layer to synchronize its Desk.com and Force.com apps, among others, with the company’s SAP back end, Beam Suntory started creating a multi-faceted integration cocktail that employees and customers alike could enjoy.
Some of the information that Jitterbit helps bring together for Suntory includes campaign and key account information, customer contact details, support claims, and sales volumes. About 80 percent of these integrations are managed in a graphical user interface, making it much quicker and more intuitive for business users to build out the integration instead of relying on IT. This creates a strong foundation for Beam Suntory to keep building on in the future. And the entire integration process was very quick, taking only a couple of weeks and one internal full-time staffer working with a consultant.
To get some more detail on the integration and some of the lessons learned from this process, including the importance of having a roadmap (whether you’re going to space or just to a cloud integration platform), we encourage you to watch the full webinar, which covers Beam Suntory’s integration experience in more detail:
Even if they’re not going to outer space, Beam Suntory employees now have more time to kick back, relax, and enjoy their own products because the company is using Jitterbit behind the scenes. Maybe they can even watch a movie.