Shun Shing Group cuts IT costs and improves uptime with Oracle Cloud
Headquartered in Hong Kong, Shun Shing Group (SSG) is a vertically integrated cement company that produces 9 million metric tons of cement annually. It operates under Seven Circle Bangladesh in Bangladesh, where it manufactures 8 million tons of cement for the rapidly growing local market and sells its cement under the popular brand Seven Rings Cement. Shun Shing Group also operates under Green Cement Factory in Dubai, where it produces 1 million tons of GGBFS, a green alternative to clinker.
The company has three main business pillars: shipping, manufacturing, and trading. All of them were backed by IT systems spread across different vendors, which made it tough and expensive to manage, especially while scaling up. Mitigating these issues often resulted in downtime, which was a huge problem for a 24/7 business. The different systems were also putting pressure on CPU usage and the company was running out of server space quickly.
In addition to being vulnerable to IT outages, Shun Shing Group’s manufacturing capacity doubled and its outdated on-premises systems were unable to scale with the demand in growth without a large CapEx investment. The aging IT hardware needed a scalable refresh desperately and SSG decided to move to the cloud.
“Bangladesh is gridlocked almost all day, so night time is the only time when most of our truck deliveries are made. With 85% uptime, I used to get furious phone calls in the middle of the night when gates didn’t open on time. With E-Business Suite on OCI, we are no longer worried about the platform and how it will limit or slow down our growth.”
Anika Ali Chowdhury, Director of HR and Digitalization,
Shun Shing Group
Why Shun Shing Group chose Oracle
Shun Shing Group adopted Oracle E-Business Suite in 2016. This long association had established confidence in Oracle’s ability to support growth efforts and understand the company’s business needs.
Company decision-makers were impressed with the various incentives offered by Oracle. They included affordable pricing, various tools to make the transition extremely seamless, and all the support to make the migration successful.
Ultimately, Shun Shing Group decided to move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to migrate its on-premises Oracle E-Business Suite deployment to OCI and gain scalability, flexibility, and efficiencies.
The company did consider other options in the market. For example, it moved an external shipping module from on-premises to Azure public cloud to test out Azure as a cloud option. In the end, Oracle Cloud emerged as the strongest contender because of stability, security, and scalability.
By moving to OCI with Oracle Enterprise Database Service, the company’s core financial workload is more integrated into the manufacturing process. For example, the factory gates no longer open for an outgoing cement truck if the weigh bridge reading does not match system records for sales orders’ total cement weight—saving the company time and money.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides better stability, operational visibility, and control, thus further reducing loss of revenue from logistical issues that took time to get resolved. Sometimes trucks were grounded for hours, resulting in supply chain disruption. This is not the case anymore.
The company also used a third-party shipping solution, which was moved to Azure from the on-premises data center a couple of years before the company’s move to OCI. Because Shun Shing Group handles about 15 million tons of seaborne cargo every year, the performance of this module is extremely critical.
Impressed with the stability of OCI, the company custom built a shipping module in E-Business Suite on OCI’s native application extension capability to develop and run the core functions of this critical shipping module on OCI instead of using the third party tool. Today, all its tools are on one platform, bringing many efficiencies to the business.
After adopting OCI, the company enjoyed more uptime, cost reduction, and ease of infrastructure management. By using OCI for disaster recovery, the company avoids unplanned downtime impacting operations, especially in Bangladesh, where connectivity and latency are big hurdles. Before the move to OCI, the uptime would go as low as 80% to 85% and would reach 90% in a good month. After switching to OCI, the uptime has increased to 95% and beyond. The group is also using Oracle Data Guard for replication from the primary site to the disaster recovery site, thus ensuring high availability and data protection.
The company was also raking up hefty bills by outsourcing the management of different vendors’ systems, so moving to OCI helped reduce IT costs by 30%. The infrastructure is now easier to manage, and a lean IT team effortlessly uses OCI for additional business benefits.
Shun Shing Group worked with Lexicon from Sri Lanka, a partner that not only ensured a smooth migration to OCI, but also shared the requisite knowledge and best practices to help implement OCI securely, efficiently, and optimally.
Published: April 14, 2022