4-page Case Study - Posted 10/12/2011
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Leading Manufacturer Boosts IT Capabilities and Performance with Centralized Platform
Electrotherm (India) Ltd. had been growing at a CAGR of 92 percent for the past six years. To drive further efficiencies in its infrastructure, the company decided to centralize and standardize its infrastructure on Microsoft technologies. This exercise required the implementation of a range of productivity and communications tools including Hyper-V virtualization technology, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and Microsoft System Center family of products. The new platform is easier to manage, automates IT processes and requires fewer resources. As a result, Electrotherm has improved business efficiencies, communication, and collaboration. In addition, the new IT infrastructure fosters business growth while contributing to a reasonable reduction in carbon emissions.
||Our objective was to provide value to business users. With SharePoint Server 2010 users have the tools at their fingertips to help them work effectively. We are seeing a productivity increase of 30 percent.
Electrotherm (India) Ltd.
Electrotherm (India) Ltd. is a engineering metal melting industry since 1983. The company is headquartered at Ahmedabad, with manufacturing facilities in Ahmedabad, Baroda, and Kutch in Gujarat, and Bellary in Karnataka, India. It is the only Indian company with indigenously developed world class technologies of global scale. The company caters to the domestic market while exports form a major component of its turnover. The company services the global markets around the world with specific focus upon Middle East, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Africa while catering to 31 countries around the world.
Today, Electrotherm is a multi-divisional ISO 9001:2008 certified global company holding a 2,500,000 kw market share in the metal melting industry globally. It is amongst the foremost steel and engineering companies of the world. The engineering innovations for the global metal melting industry have been possible due to its focused 2500 employees, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and R&D centre.
The company has grown rapidly over the last six years. However, it was concerned that its technology wouldn’t keep up in an increasingly demanding business environment. Thus, it was imperative to put in place technology solutions that promote business growth.
The problems that Electrotherm employees were having with the company’s IT infrastructure weren’t hard to diagnose. Without any formal system in place it was a daunting task to maintain operational efficiency. Centralized monitoring of servers and applications along with network security was a pain too.
With an older open source solution, UMS, emails were getting lost. “After sending an email, we used to take a printout of the same and go to the concerned person to discuss it,” says Vishad Rahangdale, CIO, Electrotherm. “There was no assurance that email reached.”
At this time, Electrotherm determined that fully integrated tools and capabilities were essential to fulfilling the business requirements. The company made centralizing and standardizing the infrastructure an essential requirement for its solution.
“Ideally, we wanted technology that was seamless, and transparent,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “The situation here wasn’t ideal.”
To lay the foundation for future growth, the company needed a solution that would improve IT management, enhance security, and optimize user experience. Furthermore, the solution had to support the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.
||In our complex information environment consisting of many different applications and technologies, it is important to have a single monitoring, management, and control system for optimizing IT services. With the deployment of new solutions, our business operations are much more smoother and increasingly efficient.
Electrotherm (India) Ltd.
Electrotherm felt confident in choosing technologies from Microsoft to centralize and standardize its infrastructure. “We identified Microsoft as a great source of tools and solutions that not only provide a single, clear view across environmental components but are built for the enterprise business and ready right out of the box,” says Vishad Rahangdale.
In conjunction with Microsoft Services, the company defined the vision and scope to meet its business requirements. This was followed by the design and implementation of the core infrastructure which was built around Microsoft’s Virtualization technology (Hyper-V), Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and Microsoft System Center family of products. Between December 2010 and April 2011, the company implemented the complete infrastructure including email, desktop, unified communications, document management, and collaboration.
Electrotherm updated its existing directory service, replacing it with Active Directory Domain Services found in the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. The result was server consolidation, greater manageability, disaster recovery functionality, and a more functional, hierarchical structure.
Hyper-V technology was used for all virtualization efforts at Electrotherm. This helped to reduce hardware and operations costs and greatly improved the company’s ability to provision new servers.
The email system was upgraded to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, reducing capital and operating expenses while adding high availability, disaster recovery, larger mailboxes, unified messaging with voicemail and email, and faster performance.
With this overhauling of the infrastructure it was now more important to efficiently and effectively manage and monitor the same.
The company thus chose Microsoft System Center solutions designed to optimize and standardize IT infrastructures through the use of standards and policies that enable easier management of computers and servers.
Electrotherm is now using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 to assess, deploy, and update its servers, desktop PCs, and laptop computers. Configuration Manager provides the company with continuous visibility into hardware and software assets, who is using them, and where they are. It also includes tools that simplify the management and delivery of software updates, and helps ensure that IT systems comply with desired configuration states and power management policies.
To further maximize server use and to address the inefficiencies of decentralized infrastructure management, the company implemented Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007. By using Virtual Machine Manager, employees can manage the physical and virtual infrastructure components and centrally manage and allocate server resources to help further improve server utilization.
Additionally, Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 is being used to meet end-to-end service-management needs of the company. The IT staff uses Operations Manager to monitor all its virtual machines and, eventually, all its physical servers. This specifically includes monitoring the state, health, and performance of its server infrastructure.
The company is also using Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 to automatically back up its critical Microsoft workloads.
Electrotherm also deployed Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010. “What we liked about TMG is the secure web gateway that provides comprehensive protection against web-based threats,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “Multiple layers of protection allow us to use the Internet without worrying about malware and other threats.”
To provide more resilient and latest communication tools for all employees, Electrotherm also implemented Microsoft Lync Server 2010. Lync Server provides the infrastructure for connecting the different communications tools. It also provides a single interface that unites voice communications, IM, and audio, video, and Web conferencing into a richer, more contextual offering. For all internal instant messaging and office communication needs including both video and chat, Electrotherm integrated Lync Server with Exchange Server and Active Directory. It has helped to deploy IT and security policy effectively.
In 2011, the company also adopted Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for all its document management and collaboration needs. Initially the usage was minimum but with time Electrotherm started to see the capabilities of the collaboration platform. It then decided to take advantage of enhanced web content management features, automated workflow and publishing, easier integration with line-of-business systems, and a streamlined development environment. “We recognized SharePoint Server 2010 as the gold-standard in collaboration,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “We wanted to continue to build on this platform because the toolset it offers is superior in the marketplace.”
Using SharePoint Server, the company is building on its collaboration capabilities along with streamlining operations. Co-ordination between internal supply chain agencies and daily activity reviews have been automated. Vishad Rahangdale explains, “Being in a capital goods manufacturing industry where every order is treated as a project, the jobs have to be executed in parallel tracks with high degree of co-ordination to avoid slippages. Time spent on daily reviews only to understand the progress of the job at various levels was hampering the productivity. With the introduction of on-line job-update on SharePoint workflow, dialy review meetings have been stopped thereby substantially increasing our productivity.”
Similarly, other automation workflows like marketing for branch and head office co-ordination particularly customer order status and spare stocks, have been very useful to improve time to respond to customer. SharePoint is being extensively used for both knowledge and information management, and document management.
Vishad Rahangdale sums up the move to Microsoft technologies, “Throughout all implementations we established a great relationship with the Microsoft team. The implementation process was very smooth. We continue our journey to optimize IT infrastructure with Microsoft as our trusted adviser.”Benefits
By adopting a Microsoft centric infrastructure Electrotherm has gained greater IT efficiency, faster email delivery, and is experiencing reduced carbon emissions. The Microsoft technologies also allows for better collaboration, quicker sharing and easier communication between the company’s employee base.
More Efficient IT Processes
By using Microsoft solutions, Electrotherm has been able to centralize and formalize the management of its IT infrastructure and the corresponding services that it supports.
“In our complex information environment consisting of many different applications and technologies, it is important to have a single monitoring, management, and control system for optimizing IT services,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “With the deployment of new solutions, our business operations are much more smoother and increasingly efficient.”
Improved Tools for Business Users
Initially, employees were resistant to using new solutions. One, they did not want their work to be monitored. And two, there was spectism about the failure of the new solution. However, this whole engagement gave Electrotherm employees deeper insight into Microsoft technologies and how they could work in its environment, highlighting new features and capabilities and putting them into practice. “We came away with a better overall understanding of what the technologies could do in our specific situation,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “Today, employees are satisfied with a fully reliable system and a solid infrastructure management platform.”
Significantly Reduced Costs
Electrotherm has experienced an annual decrease in its IT expenditures, thanks to its adoption of Microsoft technologies throughout its environment. Server side resouce optimization using Hyper-V 5.0, security policy deployment, real time visibility on IT assets, and remote support, all result in continued savings.
“Centralized monitoring and support capability of System Center Configuration Manager has helped to reduce end user support cost,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “Also, effective messaging has helped reduce printing cost by more than 60 percent across the group.”
Better Collaboration for Increased Productivity
By providing a range of technology solutions that work together to support efficient communication, Electrotherm fosters an environment of collaboration across its workforce. The implementation of SharePoint Server 2010 has helped the company to improve its collaboration, enterprise and web content management tools so that business users can work more efficiently, more autonomously, and more successfully.
“Our objective was to provide value to business users,” says Vishad Rahangdale. “With SharePoint Server 2010 users have the tools at their fingertips to help them work effectively. We are seeing a productivity increase of 30 percent.”Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
For more information about the Microsoft server product portfolio, go to:
www.microsoft.com/servers For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
For more information about Electrotherm (India) Ltd. products and services, call 2717-660550 or visit the website at:
www.electrotherm.com This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.