Tarkett Case Study

With annual sales of 1.7 billion euros in 2009, Tarkett is a world wide leader in terms of innovative and sustainable flooring and sports surface solutions. Tarkett provides integrated flooring-, wall based- and sports surface solutions to professionals and end-users that measurably enhance both people’s quality of life and building facilities’ life-time return. 

Business Situation

Each of Tarkett's integrated flooring and surface solutions cater to a very specific customer need. The space, how it’s used, design choices, building norms and safety regulations, as well as budgets are all different – because every customer is unique and has highly individual needs. Given that people experience their lives at home, in public buildings, schools, hospitals, offices, and during sports or leisure activities, Tarkett believes that floors have a measurable impact on how people experience these places - providing the company an opportunity to enhance customers feelings of comfort and quality of life every moment of every day.

Tarkett employs about 8000 people around the world to service customers and clients every day. It has 29 production sites that produce an average of 1 million m2 of flooring every day. With such an enterprise of this size, effectively training employees is key to Tarkett's success.

 

ELearning consultant, LearningAge Solutions, is creating a suite of eLearning modules, which will be used to train all levels of staff in key areas of the business with a focus on building solid product knowledge. As part of the suite of eLearning modules, a quiz has been created that uses a visual learning environment (graphical room) to build product knowledge. Employees using this tool can take the quiz over and over until they reach Platinum knowledge level about each learning topic.

This software sits within a SCORM-compliant Learning Management System (LMS) and is being produced in 14 languages. It also exchanges data with AD, LDAP and HR applications.

The Problem

The Learning Management System (Syfadis) is being used to track each users progress throughout each of the eLearning modules. This system is an ASP.NET application running within a Microsoft Windows Server environment. The quiz, which incorporates animations is an Adobe Flex application with Flash components driven from MS SQL Server/XML datasets. Given that Flex and .NET did not natively communicate with each other, the development team needed to find a solution that would integrate the two environments.

The Solution

After searching the Internet for a solution, the development team found WebORB and after working with the product they found they could easily integrate Flex with their backend system. 

WebORB allows the C# .NET class to run on the server and controls calls between the class and external resources, such as the Flex app. WebORB also allows the C# .NET class to be run from the WebORB console, where it can be inspected and test to ensure the appropriate results are passed. According to developer Phil Glen, "This console was especially invaluable to us whilst in the testing phase of the project, allowing us instant access to data being transmitted and highlighting coding errors quickly. This eliminated a lot of debugging and ultimately saved us a lot of time so we could meet our project delivery schedule."

Solution Stack

  • WebORB for .NET
  • Windows Server/IIS
  • MS SQL Server