SAP Turns Saviour

DQI Bureau
New Update

One company, four niche businesses and numerous diversified processes. Add to

that the fact the average age of employees in the company is forty-five years,

and you know that going the IT way is going to be a big challenge.


Gulf Oil mainly operates in four business lines: lubricants, mining and

infrastructure, detonators and explosives. When it comes to such niche avenues,

finding solutions that fit for particular product lines is a task in itself for

any CIO.

And that is precisely why, JRC Murthy, AGM, corporate systems, Gulf Oil

Corporation initially opted for a home grown, customized ERP. However, as time

passed and business grew, things became complicated and a homegrown system was

no longer adequate to meet the business needs. That is when Murthy decided to

shift to SAP.

He thinks that has been one of the biggest challenges that he has faced so

far. Murthy doesnt agree that there is a paucity of custom made solutions for

niche businesses in the current era. He says, "Certainly, earlier there were

lots of problems for niche businesses to find a solution that fit them more or

less, now that thing is no longer true." However, he still holds the opinion

that all solutions need a bit of reworking to fit any business.


JRC Murthy, AGM, corporate systems, Gulf Oil


Efficiency has shot up in every department after the

computerization drive

The Transition

For Murthy, the implementation involved more of change management than

technical expertise. "Acceptance was the real challenge that we faced. However

despite that, we did the implementation in a record time of four months," he

says proudly.

The next big challenge that he faced was connectivity across various

locations. This was of paramount importance for him since they operate out of

some very remote locations where Internet connectivity is out of question.


Murthy says that for these locations, they found the perfect solution in VSAT.

According to him, "The criticality was making available the right data at the

right time to enable decision making. We achieved that through VPN and MPLS


And though these things did take a toll on the budgets, Murthy says that once

his team was able to show that they will be better able to meet the process

requirements, things were smoother.

And the results are now out in the open for everyone to see. Efficiency has

shot up in every department after the computerization drive. Also, integration

of data has helped enhance employees productivity and time utilization.


Murthy says that one of the critical things in his business is that as a head

of IT you cant go for any system or solution just for the heck of it. For

instance, he observes, "I cant be on CRM because explosive marketing is

something that wont generate invoices daily." So his advice to any CIO in a

niche business is to do some need analysis and then choose carefully.

The one move however that Murthy thinks has done immense benefit to the

company is the switch to SAP. He gives the example of how recently his

engineering department wanted to run some technical programs, SAP was something

that came to their rescue.

Moving ahead after SAP, Murthy plans to do a phase wise implementation of

business intelligence and disaster recovery. These are the things most visible

on his calendar for the year 2010.

Mehak Chawla