The Organization: An enviable global presence and revenue of around Rs 6,954 crore set Samvardhana Motherson Reflectec (SMR) apart from other players in the rear view mirrors manufacturing industry. Part of the Samvardhana Motherson Group (SMG), SMR develops, produces, and distributes a whole range of automotive components. Its clientele includes the granddaddies of the auto industry: BMW, Toyota, Cadillac, and Tata.
The Business Case: Establishing SMR after acquiring Visiocorp in 2009, SMG showed a focussed effort to improve IT systems as IT was key to the efficiency of the company's supply chain. "Given its financial condition, SMR was not investing much in things such as IT maintenance and timely upgradation, factors that affected user productivity," says Gaurav Gulati, AVP and CIO, Global IT, SMR.
Also, SMR's main global datacenter at Stuttgart, Germany, housed around 80 physical servers that ran over 50 business-critical apps. One such app is SMR's EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), which receives real-time customer schedules, shipping schedules, and routing carrier instructions. If this app were to face downtime, business operations would be adversely affected, because delayed electronic notifications have a negative impact on its supply chain.
When managing SMR's datacenter resources was becoming cumbersome, and in turn, affected uptime, the company's CIO found a savior in virtualization.
The Solution: Gulati realized that the solution to SMR's problems lay in server consolidation, which can be achieved through virtualization. A POC was conducted across SMR's datacenters in France and Spain. SMR was able to witness remarkable improvement in manageability and user-experience just by virtualizing less critical apps. Gulati was now confident that virtualization was indeed the solution to his problems.
The plan was to virtualize 50 servers, 35 of which were over five years old and hence had to be replaced as per the company's refresh cycle. If not for virtualization, the company would have had to spend a substantial amount of money on new physical servers. The total number of servers was brought down to three, with most of the critical apps being virtualized.
Benefits:With virtualization, SMR has been able to get an ROI of 524 percent, which is calculated based on the investments it is making on the infrastructure and the much larger savings expected in coming years.
Gulati believes the project will reduce TCO by 70 percent over five years, by comparing current costs with what it would have spent in operating according to the earlier model.
However, uptime improvement has to be the most significant gain the company has made. Application uptime has improved by 0.23 percent, year on year from the last quarter.
Having accrued the benefits and saved significant costs in the process, Gulati can proudly look back at a project well implemented.
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