Paris Mutuel Urbain (PMU)

. . . 80% of the turnover of a race is played in the 10 minutes that precede it. In this context, 10 minutes of unavailability would result in a one million euro loss.

Paul Cohen Scali, CIO and COO

PMU Bets and Wins on TIBCO Mainframe Modernization

Transformation, new knowledge, quality control


"PMU's business is based on the processing of information and transactions, so it is not surprising to see an integration platform play a critical role," says Paul Cohen Scali, chief information and operation officer. "Over the years, we have used the platform as a facilitator of our strategy of evolution of our information system, from the introduction of sports betting and poker, to the re-platforming of our horse-race betting system. The challenge was critical for us: it was about reappropriating our information system and supporting the development of new services while guaranteeing day-to-day operations."


The company acquired TIBCO ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks™ and TIBCO Enterprise Message Service™ in 2007, and launched its first project a year later. "The idea was to start gradually, extricate some information from the mainframe, then use the TIBCO platform to receive the betting data and broadcast out the ratings [odds]," says Mr. Cohen Scali. "This information is important for players. Thirty minutes before each race, we recalculate them every 30 seconds before communicating via multiple channels: racecourse screens, website, mobile applications . . .

"We went further in 2010, relying on TIBCO to orchestrate the dialogue between sports and poker betting and mainframe managed accounts. In 2011, we expanded to integrate point-of-sale systems, enabling exchanges between 20,000 devices and the mainframe, which at that time was still our transactional base."

In 2016, PMU started addressing its final mainframe migration step. How do you secure a change in technology that supports 25 million euros per day? "It was fundamental to ensure that the new platform could work with production departments. For two months, we conducted a double run, with operations supported by both the mainframe and the new platform."


Error Detection, Problem Prevention

For the double run, PMU combined the integration platform with the TIBCO BusinessEvents® Complex Event Processing solution. "Throughout the double run, this solution detected bugs that seemed minor at first, but that in practice could be very detrimental. This phase was therefore crucial to secure migration."

Reliable Bet & Revenue Recording

The TIBCO platform handles 1,800 transactions per second to support the 200,000 bets PMU records in one hour and the 30,000 account movements that result from them. "To fully understand the criticality of the platform, you need to know that apart from the Quinté+ support race, 80% of the turnover of a race is played in the 10 minutes that precede it," says Cohen Scali. "In this context, 10 minutes of unavailability results in a one million euro loss.

Transformation, New Knowledge, Mastery of IT Systems

"In a few hours, we changed universes. Beyond the platform change, we have also profoundly revised our relationship to the information system. We gained back knowledge of our platforms and mastered the core of our business. Taking full advantage of the potential of an integration platform and the resulting logic requires a real learning curve. Even with a strong appetite, which was our case, it takes time."

Quality Control

"We are using TIBCO Spotfire® to control the streams coming from the sales outlets and detect any anomalies."


Today, projects are continuing with TIBCO, especially through Spotfire data visualizations.


Transactions/second, bets/hour, resulting account movements

Paris Mutuel Urbain (PMU)

The leading horse racing operator in Europe and the third largest pari-mutuel company in the world, PMU is an Economics Interest Group (GIE) whose mission is to provide a foundation for French horse racing.