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Bausch & Lomb defies conventions and moves securely to public cloud

Varsha Chidambaram | Jan. 16, 2014
The riveting story of how the king of eye-care, Bausch & Lomb, moved its entire IT to the public cloud and why it was possibly the best IT decision it ever made.

In early 2009, Bausch & Lomb took its first baby steps towards the cloud by moving its CRM to the public cloud. But it already had a CRM in-house, which made moving to Salesforce a questionable decision. "To go out and change something that wasn't broken wasn't easy. But the case was built around the fact that Bausch was growing at an exceptional pace and the existing apps weren't able to keep up with the pace of change we anticipated."

The entire sales and marketing teams at Bausch & Lomb took to the cloud with surprising ease. The entire sales and marketing cycle—be it measuring productive hours, call effectiveness, tracking campaigns or revenue generated, checking captured leads, and post sales activities—is now handled on the cloud. While there is no historic information to compare with, the productivity and transparency boost was too apparent to ignore. It was Nagar's first win in many to come.

While CRM on the cloud was an instant hit, Nagar's plans to venture deeper into the cloud was still met with cautious skepticism and of course the dreaded 'S' word: Security.

There has not been a single discussion about cloud computing which hasn't raised the question of security. But Nagar was well prepared, and he wasn't going to plunge into the deep sea without a life jacket. Before moving its CRM to the cloud, the company did a detailed study and it was convinced that it had the necessary safeguards in place and good level of authorization around it. "It also helped that the vendor was audited by the same company that we use for our general audit," adds Nagar.

He took further caution. Initially, the company ventured without using any critical sales numbers. Dashboards came much later, once trust and comfort was well established. In phase one which lasted a year, Bausch grew from 61 to 1,200 cloud licenses.

Nagar began dreaming of moving to a complete public cloud model where it could be purchased and used on the go without any investment and support worries. Little did he know that he'd realize the same in less than three years.

Welcome to the Cloud
The APAC wing of Bausch and Lomb had many datacenters distributed across the region in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and India. Previous successes directed Nagar's efforts to consolidate the datacenters into one location. "We had around 4,000 sq ft of area in HK. The entire 2010 was spent in consolidating our datacenter. This offered us better economies of scale, " says Nagar.

The consolidation began as a hardware consolidation project but soon, as Nagar gained more confidence, he decided to extend it to the company's non-ERP, peripheral applications. "When we first began consolidation, we didn't look at consolidating our ERP because we didn't have the necessary storage capacity. We needed to grow our storage first before we took up the ambitious ERP consolidation project." But he did it, eventually.


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