Rising costs, expansion plans and dissatisfaction with its current SAP server hosting approach has led ANZ energy drinks company, Frucor, to Fujitsu’s Cloud services door.
Frucor ANZ group IS manager, Paul Miller, said the contract with current provider Unisys was due to finish in April 2011.
“We went to the market and decided Fujitsu’s Cloud SAP offering was the ideal replacement for us.”
Frucor has been an SAP customer for 10 years.
Miller said the company had “struggled” with the traditional hosting approach.
“Hosting agreements are sometimes just another way to sell a lease contract," he said. "The vendor is going to buy the hardware and storage area network (SAN).
"They tend not to be using a shared storage system that is going to be dedicated to your company."
Fujitsu’s capability as an SAP support provider was a factor for Frucor choosing its services, said Miller.
“The previous company that was helping us with that just didn’t have that kind of scale,” he said.
Using the Cloud also gives Frucor the flexibility of adding on what it needs as required, he said.
Frucor’s SAP servers are currently outsourced to Unisys, while in-house servers run its business intelligence (BI) applications. In the first phase of Frucor's strategy Fujitsu will provide the service delivery management, SAP Support and the transition of Frucor's core applications.
The in-house servers are hosted at Frucor’s locations in North Strathfield, NSW and Auckland, New Zealand.
“This will be an architectural change for those guys [in Auckland] but given the amount of data that goes between the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and the BI system, we thought it would be logical to put that data alongside the ERP host,” he said.
Miller admits he had some concerns about offshoring its New Zealand data across the Tasman.
“Given the growth of our business in Australia, there are pros and cons either way.
We’re thinking that concentrating our BI servers next to the ERP host that the net performance for end users will be similar,” he said.
Frucor has also used Cloud to consolidate physical servers over the past two years.
“We looked at the SAN servers that were due to be replaced this year and worked out what it would cost to do this in house versus putting it into the Fujitsu Cloud and working out the end cost," Miller said.
Included in that calculation was the cost of the staff running the virtual machines. Miller said it preferred to use those staff on projects that will add more value to Frucor.
“Running the servers and operating systems doesn’t give us competitive advantage, it just ends up been a cost. Fujitsu can do it at a much reduced cost,” he said.
The Cloud will aid Frucor’s European expansion plans with the first market to be Spain.
“The Spanish launch is one of many that Frucor is going to be doing with our Japanese company, Suntory," he said. "All of that expansion needs to be supported out of our SAP billing system because we’re opening up customer and distributor relationships.
"There is a large market (in Spain) with our core V energy drink in the 18 to 24 age group even with the recession."
V holds a 42 per cent market share in Australia, according to Australian CEO, Jonathan Moss.
There is also the possibility that Cloud services could be part of a wider IT project drive for Frucor.
“It’s on two fronts because we’ve talked amongst Suntory group companies and looked at what we could do that would leverage some of the issues that we’re trying to solve worldwide," Miller said.
"SAP hosting was one thing we all agreed on and the other Suntory companies are keen to follow what we do in Australia."
He added that Suntory run services using Cloud, but not on the SAP system.
“They’re looking into the Fujitsu cloud option as they want to set up a data centre using Cloud services in the next year.”
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