Gujarat Heavy Chemicals (GHCL) leads from the front when it comes to IT best
practices. The company has been focused on deploying cutting-edge technology,
and over the past few years it has created a robust IT infrastructure designed
to support its growing business needs.
A Cut Above the Rest
IT in GHCL is categorized into three basic divisionscore applications,
collaboration applications, and networking and technical infrastructure.
As part of the core application, the company has implemented SAP based on
private cloud model. For textiles it was deployed in 2007, while for the
chemical division GHCL just finished the deployment about a month ago.
As far as collaboration applications are concerned, the company has deployed
CRM application way back in 2005 from Siemens. In 2009, supply chain management
(SCM) system from Ariba was deployed. Both the applications are running on a
public cloud model.
Chandan Sinha, CIO, GHCL
We have implemented SAP based on a private cloud model
The company has its own dedicated data centers for textiles and chemical
divisions that are located at their plants in Gujarat. In 2007, GHCL deployed
its corporate email system based on outsourced hosted model from Sify and SaaS
model. The email system has both Windows as well as web interface to facilitate
anytime anywhere access. "These are the three major applications that enable all
kinds of internal and external communications and collaboration involving
employees, suppliers & distributors and customers. These are the main
applications that support GHCLs key business functionalities," says Chandan
Sinha, CIO, GHCL.
Additionally, the company has its own web applications consisting of GHCL
portal and internal data flow management application. These are primarily
developed and maintained in-house although a partial outsourcing model is there
Stronger Support System
As part of the supporting infrastructure, GHCL has a robust MPLS network
connectivity across all its major locations as well as direct Internet access (DIA)
connectivity. The entire infrastructure is outsourced, provided and managed by
Reliance. While the core application (SAP) is running on IBM servers based on
Unix platform, rest of the applications are on Windows based Intel platform.
GHCL has outsourced its entire facility management. However, for SAP, it is
following a two tier structure. "At the first level, it is managed by our
internal team and then we have assigned a third party vendor (Zensar). Anything
which is not resolved by the internal team is outsourced. This system ensures a
wholesome solution and helps us to provide uninterrupted services of our
systems," says Sinha.
Since GHCL has two separate data centers for its textile and chemical
businesses, a robust back-up system is essential. The two data centers are
managed by a DR site based out of Ahmedabad. "We have deployed IBMs technology
for our DR site which has a four-layer back-up system," informs Sinha.
The first level of DR consists of physical mapping or duplication which is
happening at the same machine. The second layer consists of a parallel back-up
machine, wherein live data is captured "As a third instance, we maintain back-up
of all our data in tapes, wherein the LTO is connected to the live data
servers," he explains. The final layer of back-up is copied in real-time and
stored at our location servers placed at the DR site.