Oriola-KD Russian subsidiary outsources its entire IT infrastructure to Jet Infosystems
The Finnish pharmaceutical corporation Oriola-KD has two Russian subsidiaries. Oriola, an interregional wholesale distributor, has been on the market for over 16 years and ranks among the six largest distributors in the country; the Old Doctor and 03 Pharmacy chains have about 250 retail and hospital pharmacies, mostly in Moscow and the Moscow region.
Oriola-KD's Russian subsidiary needed to ensure trouble-free operation for staff workstations at its pharmacies, for its IT infrastructure, and for its application systems. As a matter of corporate policy, the task was to be outsourced.
The call for tenders from Russian and foreign companies was won by Jet Infosystems. The project covered administration services for data centers and retail staff workstations.
Emergency service for pharmacies
The project started with the development of a SLA to specify service parameters and standards. A pilot zone comprising 50 pharmacies was established to test the methodology of support to staff workstations. Jet Infosystems' engineers reviewed the client's business processes and identified the infrastructural components responsible for the facilitation of each process, such as sales or acceptance of goods.
"Suppose a pharmacy manager's printer breaks down. In business terms, this is much worse than a simple incident, since without printed forms one cannot, for instance, accept a delivery of goods. A critical business process would then come to a halt. This is why we opted for a holistic approach rather than mere support of individual infrastructural elements," says Artur Sarkisov, manager of IT operations at Jet Infosystems.
The SLA is aimed at supporting operational integrity and business development as a whole, rather than just the functionality of servers or cashiers' PCs. Depending on location and the importance of specific services, all retail pharmacies were divided into six categories with a specific SLA for each business process in each outlet.
"A team of 16 experts was established to provide the first and the second line of workstation support, as well as a team of field engineers. Note that over 90% of requests are handled by first-line specialists. We also provide IT support for opening and closing individual outlets. Now all Old Doctor and 03 Pharmacy shops receive guaranteed service during their business hours," comments Vladislav Anufriev, outsourcing development manager at Jet Infosystems.
Jet Infosystems has also performed some additional tasks to guarantee compliance with the SLA. First, the configuration of all workstations was standardized. Second, all of the 240+ pharmacies were connected to the corporate network. To speed up repairs, Jet Infosystems assumed full control of all spare parts, instruments, and accessories.
Data center as an IT service
A fault-tolerant virtualized data center based on IBM, Microsoft, and VMWare solutions was deployed under the "Computing Resources" service. Its servers are integrated in failover clusters to meet the client's availability requirements.
At the next stage, about twenty information systems with database volumes totaling several dozen TB were migrated. Microsoft Dynamics NAV, a system used to manage wholesale and retail sales, required particular care during this process., as did the client's proprietary information systems. The migration was effected in stages with the help of stand-by hardware supplied by Jet Infosystems, caused almost no downtime, and has improved IS performance.
"We were facing the challenge of migrating databases and information systems 'live', i.e. without interrupting any business processes. Trial runs were conducted to estimate the time frame and likely problems. Then the schedule of the actual migration and the downtime periods were coordinated with the client. The job was done stage-by-stage during maintenance windows, at night and on weekends," comments Pavel Zelensky, chief of the computer systems department at Jet Infosystems.
The integrator supports Oriola-KD's IT infrastructure up to the DBMS level on a 24x7 basis. Under the SLA any critical service must be restored after an incident in less than an hour. A dedicated remote monitoring team is on duty at Jet Infosystems twenty-four hours a day. The team is made up of Service Center engineers specializing in Microsoft/UNIX/Linux systems, data storage and backup, Oracle, MS SQL and Sybase data management systems. Experts in particular fields are promptly called to deal with the most serious problems.
Centralized 24x7 monitoring prevents incidents by identifying in a timely manner any problems such as lack of disk space, hardware failures, system errors, or lack of tablespace in databases.
Jet Infosystems acts as a single window service provider for the client. The integrator supports over 1000 pharmacy staff workstations and over 60 hardware units in a modern data center. Instead of dozens of failures each month, an occasional system failure or two in a quarter is now the norm. Total downtime has dropped from several hours or even days per month to a few minutes.
In cooperation with the client, Jet Infosystems' experts have developed a one-click procedure for pharmacy staff to file a service request. The Service Desk application in Oriola-KD's Russian subsidiaries is based on Microsoft SharePoint. By right-clicking the mouse on the desktop the user selects either a Jet Data Center or a Jet Pharmacies menu. Accordingly, engineers on monitoring duty at the Service Center instantly see the source of the problem and can respond promptly. As a result, failures are dealt with much faster.
"These projects have been monitored by Oriola-KD top management in Finland and their results are highly appreciated. More than a year after the start of our agreement, we can confidently say that the SLA suggested by the integrator and the level of compliance with the SLA perfectly meet our IT service needs. Ever since Jet Infosystems started supporting our retail chain workstations, customer satisfaction has shown substantial growth," says Dmitriy Saveliev, IT director at Oriola-KD's Russian subsidiary.
"While being essentially independent of each other, both projects provide comprehensive high-quality support to all of the principal IT systems operated by Oriola-KD in Russia, that is, to the data center that houses all of the client's databases and systems, as well as to all of the workstations at retail pharmacies. The SLA guarantees fast system recovery and makes it possible to forecast and quantify any financial costs or loss of time," says Vladislav Anufriev, outsourcing development manager at Jet Infosystems.