As a result of a merger, Qatar Media Corporation’s (QMC) IT infrastructure was a mix of legacy systems and stand-alone applications. Lacking a complete view of QMC’s entire business operations, its management had difficulty controlling and maximizing business resources. The company deployed Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, enabling its management to have better visibility of the company’s business operations and better control over them.
Qatar Media Corporation (QMC) is a Qatari public sector company that provides quality radio and TV broadcasting services within and outside of Qatar. Established by the State of Qatar in 2009 from a merger of various radio and TV stations, including Qatar TV and Radio Corporation, QMC today has more than 2,000 employees. The Corporation is the parent for most of the domestic media in Qatar, including Qatar TV (Arabic and English), Qatar Radio (Arabic Program), Qatar Radio (English Program), Qatar Radio (French music), Qatar Radio (Urdu program), Qatar Radio (Arabic Holy Qur'aan), Sout Al Khaleej (Arabic music radio), and Al Dawri TV Sports Channel.
Islands of Stand-Alone Applications and Legacy Systems
|The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 has enabled our managers to have better control of our business operations, activities, and resources.|
|Mohamed K.A. Waleed|
ERP Project Manager
Qatar Media Corporation
As a result of the merger, QMC’s information technology infrastructure inherited legacy systems from its merged business entities. Various media outlets and QMC departments, such as finance, supply chain, human resources (HR), and payroll, also had their own separate, stand-alone applications. “The islands of stand-alone applications and a lack of a centralized computer system caused various issues within the corporation. We had difficulty controlling and maximizing resources of different departments and did not have a complete view of QMC’s entire business operations,” says Mohamed K. A. Waleed, ERP Project Manager at Qatar Media Corporation.
Many of QMC’s existing applications were inadequate to meet the needs of its departments. For instance, its HR department had inadequate systems for employee recruitment, appraisal and evaluation, and salary adjustment. Computing staff payroll for such a large corporation also took too long, averaging seven to ten days. In addition, the legacy systems often led to data that was incomplete or erroneous which QMC’s IT department addressed by developing new in-house applications. However, such approach only highlighted the lack of an integrated solution and added to the number of stand-alone applications, making the complete IT environment even more complex. In Search of a Complete and Integrated Solution for Better Business Visibility
“It was clear something needed to be done. We needed a complete, integrated solution that allowed us to have better control of our business and its resources, and provided better visibility of our business operations,” explains Waleed.
QMC searched for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and evaluated potential solutions, including Oracle which had been used for HR and accounting by one of its merged business entities since 2000. “For us, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 appeared to be a better choice because of its ease of use, integration, and customization features which are not present in Oracle solutions. Microsoft Dynamics AX is also open, so you can develop whatever you need,” says Waleed. Pricing and implementation factors also leaned towards Microsoft Dynamics AX: Microsoft had an enterprise agreement with the Qatar government to provide Microsoft products to the government and its agencies at preferential prices and with enhanced services support.
|Before, I had to go here and there looking for ways to address our IT application issues. But now, with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in place, I have a control solution that solves these challenges from my desktop computer.|
| Mohamed K. A. Waleed|
ERP Project Manager
Qatar Media Corporation
In addition, Qatar TV and Radio Corporation, a corporation absorbed into QMC, had previously sought to deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP, a Microsoft business solution for small and midsize businesses that includes integrated business intelligence, collaboration and communication tools. The deployment, however, had not been completed at the time QMC was established, so Microsoft Qatar offered to replace Microsoft Dynamics GP with Microsoft Dynamics AX, which has improved functionalities and features. QMC agreed to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX after this solution’s capabilities were highlighted in a demonstration by Microsoft Qatar to QMC’s top management and department heads. Project Implementation in a Large Business Environment
Qatar Datamation System (QDS), one of Qatar’s most diversified business solution providers, won the tender for the implementation partner, and joined forces with Maison Consulting & Solutions, a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics partner, to start the implementation project for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in May 2012, targeted to finish in eight months. The project was to involve removing all stand-alone applications in all departments and business entities (except media solutions) and replacing them with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as a unified, integrated solution. With over 2,000 QMC employees using legacy systems, it was critical for the deployment process to receive wide-ranging support from users and executive sponsorship. Facilitating the implementation process was a circular issued by QMC’s Chief Executive Officer, asking all department heads and employees to cooperate in this project.
The project used an on-premises model, with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 being stored on a server at QMC’s Doha head office in Qatar. Local network users of QMC, listed in its Active Directory and with the appropriate IT authentication, could access the application even if they were not actually at the QMC head office. The project also entailed integrating Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 with media solutions for QMC’s radio and TV stations. In addition, QMC IT department personnel were trained for a post-implementation role, including managing, design and customizing reports, maintaining the system, and handling system security and user authentication.
Initially running in parallel with existing systems, the project went live in December 2012. After the parallel run generated identical results in existing systems and the new ERP solution, QMC switched exclusively to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. Describing the project, Yehia Nabil, Microsoft Qatar Dynamics Channels Manager, says: “The project was quite complex since it affected thousands of employees. It also involved integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 with media solutions in QMC’s radio and television stations and phase out of QMC’s legacy systems. But we never had any doubt that the project would be completed on time, given the project support of QMC’s top management, department heads, and users.” Better Business Visibility and Control of Business Operations
The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, as a complete, centralized and integrated solution across QMC’s various media stations and departments, provided QMC’s management with better visibility of the company’s business operations. “The deployment of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 has enabled our managers to have better control of our business operations, activities, and resources. The ease with which our managers can access business data and generate reports from a single ‘dashboard’ solution also facilitates better and faster decisions. Even the completion of payroll reports, which used to take ten days, is now accomplished in just one day. Hence, feedback on this project has been exceptionally positive,” says Waleed, who was the Project Manager for the implementation of Dynamics AX in QMC. Next Steps This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.