From left: Microsoft Account Manager Radhive Fernando, Millennium IT Account Manager Chaarya Somasiri, Millennium IT Business Development Manager Sanjaya Dayananda, Microsoft Director EPG Director Hasitha Abeywardena, Phoenix Industries CIO Dilshan Ranasinghe, Manager IT Sukanthan Nanthgopal, Head of Finance Saroj Ranathunga
Phoenix Industries, a pioneer in the manufacture of high-quality plastics, has become the first company in Sri Lanka to go fully on-board with Microsoft cloud services. The company, which uses onsite office 2013, decided to opt for a complete cloud solution with Microsoft Azure to help it reutilize its resources in a much more productive way.
Phoenix Industries CIO Dilshan Ranasinghe said that the migration will simplify their processes, ensuring a higher level of efficiency.
“Phoenix adopted a Lean IT concept, which was introduced across the organisation, and what the Cloud will do is ‘process simplification’. From now on, we won’t have the hassle of managing servers or worrying about backups and other related workloads. All of this will be Microsoft’s responsibility, which frees us from a lot of day-to-day operations and helps us to reutilize our resources to become more productive and streamlined.”
The CIO says that the initial cost saving to the company from this initiative is a considerable benefit, one he expects to increase and add more value to in the future.
“In the first year there are implementation costs but Microsoft is providing excellent training to our staff and that too is a cost saving in the long term. Also, upgrades are free for a period of three years, so we don’t have to budget for that during the period.”
“One of the reasons for running applications in Windows Azure is the scalability it offers,” said Phoenix Industries Manager IT Sukanthan Nanthagopal.
“Resources can be added to or removed from your applications as and when required. Windows Azure applications typically comprise of multiple elements such as web and worker roles, storage, queues, virtual networks and caches. One of the advantages of dividing the application into multiple elements is that you can then scale each element individually. You double the number of worker-role instances without increasing the number of message queues, or the size of your cache, enabling them to improve operations with the flexibility of cloud hosting, network availability and enhanced IT support,” he adds.
Since the company was already using Microsoft products across their operation, moving their core systems such as ERP, CRM and HR systems to Microsoft Azure has improved scalability for end users (staff and other stakeholders) as well, enabling them to access information from anywhere in the world on any device.
“We are at an advantage because we use Microsoft products and as a result did not have any compatibility issues migrating to the cloud. Our company growth ratio is very high; therefore this transition process will benefit us considerably. From the end user or staff point of view, they have easy access from anywhere, which is another aspect of Azure’s scalability, explains Sukanthan.
The IT Manager further said that the decision to go with Azure was not taken lightly as they looked at several options before they decided to go with Microsoft.
“We also evaluated both Google and Amazon.com before deciding that Azure was the best platform for our purpose. We looked at other commercial aspects such as after-sale values prior to concluding that Microsoft Azure was the right solution for us.”
The Phoenix team says that the support they have received from Microsoft Sri Lanka as well as their deploying partner, MillenniumIT has been invaluable throughout the entire migration.
“Microsoft was always available for advice and support and the training they have provided our staff with has been nothing short of exemplary,” said the Phoenix Industries CIO. The same goes for our deploying partner MillenniumIT, who has conducted the highest number of MS Cloud implementations in Sri Lanka. We evaluated four partners and chose to go with MillenniumIT, a decision we do not regret; they had the expertise, experience, certified resources and their technical knowledge was confidence inspiring,” said Dilshan Ranasinghe.
Microsoft Sri Lanka Corporate Account Manager Radhive Fernando said that Phoenix Industries’ journey with Microsoft is not of short duration and this migration was further proof of the confidence the company has placed in Microsoft. Speaking of the security aspects of MS Cloud, he said that Security is built into Azure from the ground up, starting with the Secure Development Lifecycle, a mandatory development process that embeds security requirements into every phase of the development process.
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