Hydraulic cylinder producer prepares for the future and moves into cloud computing

Djebel-96 needed more effective software, for the design and production of hydraulic cylinders that it makes for handling and loading equipment. The Bulgarian company had been using a variety of softwares, including Microsoft and other systems, but wanted a more integrated approach and to reduce IT complexity and costs. In particular, it thought that the future of IT was in cloud computing and it wanted to begin its own move to the cloud.

Business Needs

Djebel-96, Bulgaria’s leading hydraulic cylinder producer, is constantly looking into the future; perhaps one reason for its strong growth since it began exporting in 2001.

*It will be, sooner or later, the way to live. In the living room, in work, everything that you do; you will reach for some kind of web service.*
Mesru Kyashif
Innovation manager
Today, for example, it plans to build a factory to make bigger and more sophisticated hydraulic cylinders that it already produces. It assembles standard parts into an annual output of 250,000 cylinders in a multitude of configurations up to 8m long, mostly for cranes and other material handling and loading equipment. Much of the output is exported.

The company had been using a Technoclass enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for its manufacturing. However, the system, developed by a Bulgarian company and used widely in the industry, was not particularly flexible or able to cope with the production improvements being made by Djebel-96. “We had mainly technical issues,” says innovation manager Mesru Kyashif.

Djebel-96 therefore switched, at the start of 2011, from the Technoclass system to a more-flexible Microsoft ERP system, the Dynamics AX 2009. “We were improving a lot and we had to move to a very global and innovative software that was improving all the time, so Microsoft Dynamics was the solution,” says Kyashif.

The company also used SolidEdge computer-aided design software and Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Exchange softwares. It managed its IT infrastructure with Microsoft Systems Center. However, the use of software in non-manufacturing operations was patchy, says Kyashif: “We didn’t have much specialised software.”

Djebel-96, which has 250 employees, wanted to underpin growth with more efficient, flexible and integrated software. “We make decisions now for the future,” says Kyashif. It also decided that in future most businesses and individuals would be using cloud computing and it wanted to begin using the cloud to be sure of reaping the future benefits of the cloud.


Djebel-96’s switched to a Microsoft ERP system — the Dynamics AX — in part because it was looking ahead, says Kyashif: “We chose Microsoft Dynamics when we were anticipating growth,” he says. “We thought in the future there would be more and more integration with other Microsoft products.”

Its installation by Microsoft’s Bulgarian partner LLP Dynamics required LLP to develop country-specific rules for Bulgarian accounting standards but, overall, Djebel-96 was pleased with Dynamics AX. “It exceeded our expectations,” says Kyashif.

He adds that Djebel-96 expects to use more of the many functions, modules etc as it grows: “In the future it will accommodate our growth. The major milestone for us regarding Microsoft was choosing the Microsoft ERP system.”

It was therefore an easy decision to install the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365, which provides cloud-based Office tools and IT services, for its more general software needs, for 60 users. “We decided that sooner or later we would move to the cloud,” says Kyashif. “It’s also something for the future. We just went for it. It was clear.”

Djebel-96 used the local software reseller BSH, which it found through Microsoft’s Pinpoint site. Installation was completed between June and October 2013.

Although Djebel-96 did not feel the need to do many trials before making its choice, its focus on the future meant that Microsoft’s software upgrade policy was an important consideration.

Although some staff were not accomplished computer users, Office 365 is easy to get to grips with, says Kyashif. He also thinks that detailed software training is not efficient, especially as information for users is easily available online. “They just have to reach for it,” he says. “It makes sense to train people to find information themselves. It’s quite easy.”


Office 365 has given Djebel-96 more efficient and integrated IT, ready for the company’s growth. The software has improved employee efficiency and company operations. IT has been simplified. Office 365 is helping Djebel-96 to gain experience with the cloud, which it believes will eventually become a part of everyone’s life in work and outside.

• Better software integration

Office 365, particularly in use with the previously-installed Microsoft ERP system, means more effective IT, with compatibility between programs. The system will let Djebel-96 take advantage of future Microsoft developments.

• Saving time and money

The Exchange Online email system is very popular and everyone uses Microsoft Outlook for features such as email, calendar and contact management.

The Microsoft Lync messaging and conference system has ended the tiresome and inefficient planning needed previously to arrange meetings with customers and suppliers. “Lync is very well integrated in our operations. The mentality now is that it is so easy to approach anybody,” says Kyashif. “It improves project development with customers.”

The Dynamics ERP system had already allowed better updating of all stages of production and better registration of components, while giving staff a longer view of production plans and more information, allowing them to optimise production.

• Maintenance gains

Djebel-96 has found IT maintenance much easier since the adoption of Microsoft's IT management software System Center, leading to a halving of the IT team, which now has time to work on other innovation projects. “We are very happy,” says Kyashif. “We have improved a lot of IT maintenance operations.”

• Cloud control

Kyashif expects most companies to eventually use the cloud, including the next version of Microsoft’s ERP program. “It will be, sooner or later, the way to live. In the living room, in work, everything that you do; you will reach for some kind of web service,” he says.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Kundens storlek: Medium Organization
Bransch: Automotive, Industrial Equipment & Aerospace
Land eller region: Bulgaria
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Exchange Online
  • Lync Online
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Microsoft System Center

Sofia-based Djebel-96 — which the state privatised in 1996 — makes customised hydraulic cylinders, typically for handling and loading equipment such as cranes. It has 250 employees.

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