Consul Consolidated is a leading Indian company in the manufacture and supply of a full range of power conditioning, power back-up, energy conservers and solar products, services and solutions. The company currently has a turnover of 200 crores and has set an aggressive growth target of being a 500+ crore company in the next 3-4 years.In 2013, Consul acquired Megatech, a Pune-based, dedicated power electronics company, specializing in Power Conditioning, Power Backup and Renewable Energy.
Consul currently operates 2 modern manufacturing facilities located in Chennai and 1 in Pune, which are ISO 9001 and 14001 certified. The company has one of the largest Pan India service network with 7 regional offices and over 75 branch offices across the country. Over a period of 3 decades, the company has built an enviable base of more than 250,000 installations across India, Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Consul India Hosts India’s First SAP HANA Implementation on Netmagic's Data Center
Technology Challenges That Led To Transformation
Key part of IT that runs business at Consul India is an ERP application. Earlier their entire IT setup was a server room within the head office at Chennai where 2 servers in a rack hosted the ERP, a third-party solution. The Pune-based Megatech that was acquired also operated a home-grown ERP that was run by the company.
Other applications that supported the business at Consul India were a CRM solution and an Email application that was on a SaaS model.
The IT team needed a robust plan to face the growth objective that was put forth by the new management. The need of the hour was transformational change in the way IT was being looked at, and what IT would deliver to fuel the growth plan.
The IT team led by Vijayakrishna KS, Assistant General Manager - IT set out to lead this transformational journey. "The first step in this journey was to clearly understand the challenges to business as well as the need for delivering value to the business plan of aggressive growth," explains Vijayakrishna KS.
One of the key challenges faced by the team was standardization of IT across the company and the group. The current situation was that there were 2 ERP solutions running across the two group companies - Consul India and Megatech. While Consul India was running a SaaS-based CRM solution, Pune-based Meghatech did not have a CRM application. The email solution also had to be standardized across the group companies.
There was a need to consolidate Infrastructure that run the business and then chart way for next level of transformation at Consul India. Another key challenge the company faced was the lack of a robust data center facility to take care of their future IT needs. They were looking for a robust, reliable, scalable and cost efficient solution for their data center needs.
People to manage an in-house data center was a challenge. Monitoring and management of the data center - either in-house or hosted with a third party - was daunting the IT team. "We did not want to hire and retain people to manage and monitor the data center infrastructure," says Vijayakrishna KS.
What Did Consul India Do To Address These Challenges?
Phase 1 of the Transformation Journey: Outsourcing IT Infrastructure
Since they were looking for benefits of a L3+ data center facility, the company decided to outsource their data center infrastructure.
"When we decided to upgrade our Infrastructure part of IT, we had to take some well-informed decisions. We were not ready to look at the various aspects that go into building up a future-ready data center infrastructure – 24x7 monitoring, redundancy, power and cooling, real-estate management of the DC, people and processes to run a future-ready DC," says Vijayakrishna KS.
During this phase, Consul India continued using their current business applications as is, but from a third-party data center.
Phase 2 of the Transformation Journey: Standardization of Business Applications
Next steps towards the transformational journey was to standardize the business applications. Consul India standardized on SAP and BO (Business Objects) as their ERP, CRM and BI (Business Intelligence) Solution.
"SAP proposed SAP HANA, but we made it very clear that the SAP boxes are to be hosted at a professionally managed data center. We would be the first greenfield implementation of the solution in India," says Vijayakrishna KS.
Phase 3 of the Transformation Journey: Data center Infrastructure
It was decided to outsource the entire infrastructure to a professionally managed, third-party data center facility. "Since we had moved the old infrastructure to a third-party setup, we evaluated them as well as other major DC vendors" says Vijayakrishna KS.
After evaluation and discussions, site visits, Consul India chose Netmagic to host their entire data center infrastructure. "Phase 3 of the IT transformation was to have a robust, reliable and scalable setup for the business applications," says Vijayakrishna KS.
The expectation from Netmagic at this phase was the following:
- Real Estate - to host full-rack Flex system from IBM
- Power and Cooling
- Bandwidth - 4 MBPS
- Managed Services
Netmagic also manages entire data center infrastructure with their 24x7 management and monitoring services.
- Full rack co-location (6 KVA)
- 4 Mbps bandwidth
Choosing the right provider is key, and here, the partner’s clear understanding of the client needs is critical to providing the right solution, and delivering desired results and benefits.
A key reason which prompted Consul India to choose Netmagic as their technology partner was the provider's ability to respond to customer needs quickly. "Netmagic’s support to setup the infrastructurethroughout our transformational journey has been phenomenal. They went out of their way to help us achieve our objectives. Their understanding of our needs and ability to respond to it is commendable,"claims Vijayakrishna KS. "The commitment from Netmagic’s senior management is really comforting,"he adds.
"Areas where Netmagic scored above other service providers were Security, Availability and Data Center Operations," exclaims Vijayakrishna KS.
"Even post sales, the Netmagic team has been proactively involved with us to make the journey as smooth as possible. They have been able to solve issues and some that even we haven’t been able to think of," claims Vijayakrishna KS.
Netmagic’s highly skilled and competent team enabled Consul India to run their IT providing reliability, availability, flexibility and scalability as strategic benefits.Consul India runs a robust data center setup with 99.99% uptime for all their business applications that is scalable and reliable.
One of the key advantages derived by Consul India in hosting their data center infrastructure at Netmagic was that it was SAP certified. "Any doubts we had about compatibility and smooth implementation and running of SAP was addressed by this," says Vijayakrishna KS.
"Netmagic data center is professionally run and state-of-the-art. A key differentiator from other DC providers is that their facilities are non-descriptive - no boards - which in itself confirms that security is a key priority at Netmagic," says Vijayakrishna KS.
Consul India has been able to standardize their business applications and their infrastructure with Netmagic, and has a fully resilient IT setup. In an organization where key skills are focused at running the business, having a partner who is committed to their business is a desired benefit that Consul India enjoys today.
Key among the benefits derived to Consul India are:
- High availability of IT infrastructure and 99.99% uptime ensuring always-on business, and improved customer experience with zero downtime
- Scalability and flexibility of IT infrastructure to accommodate future projects and growth
- Round-the-clock support, maintenance and technical expertise help Consul India benefit from faster turnaround times (TAT) for technology deployment and improved performance levels
- Robust and scalable IT infrastructure supports Consul’s strategic business objectives and growth plans
- Standardized IT environment
- Secured environment to run their business
- Data Center infrastructure setup that is reliable, robust, scalable and supported 24x7
Committed SLAs, reliable and highly available infrastructure, business understanding, committed delivery of infrastructure,and the trust factor between the two companies were conducive for the longitivity of the partnership.