The issues began as unrelated nuisance factors. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) application was bloated and lagged, offsite backups were unreliable, and a failover data centre for business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) was expensive to maintain. It was unpleasant for both end-users and employees, and aggravating for the IT team at one of India’s largest multinational electronics companies.
TVS Electronics, headquartered in Chennai and part of the TVS Group, was set up in 1986 and reports revenues of about US$500 million. It designs, manufactures and distributes dot matrix printers, point-of-sale (POS) terminals, printer supplies, mice, keyboards, mobiles, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). It also provides design, manufacturing and service support for telephone and ICT companies.
“We have met each challenge with powerful ideas – from our early days to the present where we offer a vast number of solutions to the electronics industry,” says Srilalitha Gopal, TVSE’s Managing Director. “This mindset has helped us anticipate and adapt to new developments. As our customers navigate the shape-shifting world of commerce, we stand by them for timely and up-to-date support. We call this Infinite Evolution.”
TVSE now needed to transform its backend systems. There were myriad issues that needed attention. For one, an aging ERP environment that had reached the end of support. Two, handling two data centers (DCs) – the production DC in Chennai and a secondary one in Bangalore that served as a disaster recovery (DR) site. And three, a slew of software from different vendors with versioning issues and tie-ins.
“We had multiple issues that needed to be resolved, but one partner to handle it all,” the CTO says. “We opted for Cloud Kinetics (CK). They had a reputation for quality and delivery.”
Corporate reputation is vital. The parent, TVS Group, founded way back in 1911, now has 60,000 employees and a group turnover of US$9 billion. “Apart from our legacy products, where we continue to be market leaders, we have also added a range of services covering the entire spectrum of after-sales service and e-waste management,” the website states. “With our century-old legacy of quality, trust, and expertise in developing cutting-edge tech products and services, we are poised to deliver need-of-the-hour solutions that span geographies and categories.”
The CK team set to work, starting with a detailed design of which apps needed to be migrated, in which sequence, and when. Since TVSE’s core apps were running on SAP on Windows 2003, CK migrated SAP instances to SUSE Linux on AWS cloud. TVSE was also running a customer relationship management (CRM) application developed through another software vendor. The CK team helped with infra provisioning and architecture review to ensure zero downtime and seamless integration.
“TVSE has been our customer since late 2014,” Karthik Santhanam, CK’s co-founder, says. “We were delighted that TVSE could realize about 40% return on efficiency. Either TVSE’s team or vendors previously managed apps. We provided the infra support during the region migration and OS re-platform projects on the AWS cloud.”
Migrating to the AWS cloud was a default decision, given that AWS is architected to be a very flexible and secure cloud computing environment. AWS supports 90 security standards and compliance certifications, and all 117 AWS services that store customer data offer the ability to encrypt that data.
Why CK? Because CK is one of the few AWS managed services providers (MSPs) in the Asia-Pacific. With 500 certifications – 150 on AWS and VMware combined, CK has implemented 300 migrations for about 450 customers in the region.
“We are proud to be the first platform-ready AWS MSP in this region to offer the full suite of services – design, architecture, migration, deployment and managing business continuity for our customers,” says CK CEO Haji Munshi. “CK manages the digital assets for over 50 enterprise customers across domains.”
An additional benefit of this re-platforming? More efficient e-waste management. Under the 2016 E-Waste Management Rules, a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRP) collects and channels e-waste generated from end-of-life electronics products to ensure environmentally sound management and disposal. TVSE is a PRO and has set up collection centres across India. It also raises awareness about e-waste through the media and training programs.
“Our technical expertise extends to re-configuring old equipment, refurbishing it, and making it as good as new. This reconditioning process enables the device to be re-used by the customer or business without compromising on the user experience,” TVSE says. “Our corporate buyback program is designed for companies to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) as well as provide ROI. The program also reduces the cost of purchasing new equipment for companies and consumers.”
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