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CEAT's investment in in-memory ERP brings it on the fast lane

Sneha Jha | June 23, 2014
As a sluggish ERP began to swallow CEAT's revenue, its CIO took the wheel and steered the company toward in-memory ERP, changing the company's fortunes.

Pedal to the Metal
A company of CEAT's calibre hardly needs an introduction. A part of RPG Enterprises, CEAT owns three manufacturing facilities in India. Its Sri Lanka and Bangladesh operations have added 18 percent additional users.

Business was growing at a blistering pace. And IT had to enable business growth to handle the additional 60 percent data volume and 20 percent ERP users. At the same time, the business required a high availability and 100 percent uptime with faster processing power. And that solely depended on CEAT's ERP system.

The tales of the company's sluggish ERP didn't really come as a rude shock to Bhalivade. He knew that the system was dragging the company's business down. Which is why he had already planned and budgeted for a system upgrade project.

But Saha's mail set the alarm bell ringing. "We thought if it has to be done then let's do it now, the sooner the better," says Bhalivade.

But was upgrading server memory really the answer?

For one, it wouldn't be a self-sustaining move and it wouldn't shrink the response time. "If it took seven minutes for the invoice to be generated now, then it would take five minutes after the server upgrade. But the time taken for generating an invoice would not reduce drastically," says Bhalivade.

Worse, after six months, it would require another upgrade and that means the company would have to dole out more cash.

That wasn't Bhalivade's biggest problem. What he wanted to do was ambitious and bold: Cut down the time to execute reports from seven minutes to 10 seconds.

It was clear that a mere server memory upgrade wasn't enough to do the deed. This provoked Bhalivade to look beyond the tried-and-tested.

And that brought him to a fairly new but powerful technology: In-memory ERP. "We decided to take a big leap and run our ERP from the memory itself. This meant that it doesn't have to go back to the hard drive, search the data, process it, and then give it back to the user. And this also ensures that all calculations happen on the fly," he says.

That's exactly what CEAT wanted. An excited Bhalivade pulled up his sleeves. It was time to get down to business.

Picking Up Pace
Bhalivade wasn't dispirited by the enormity of the project. In fact, the level of difficulty egged him on to prove his team's mettle.

That's why he was undaunted by the fact that he had to migrate 1,000 users to in-memory ERP in just 100 days. Or that the project had to go beyond borders to include users in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

 

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