Reducing costs and business continuity were two key objectives when global pharma company Amoun Pharmaceutical decided to move mission-critical business applications on Azure VMware Solution. Discover how it has realized these goals and more.
For pharmaceutical companies, the pressure to deliver new treatments and expand into new markets, while complying with government regulations, requires a nonstop effort. Integral to success is adopting the right technologies to streamline product research, manufacturing and the overall administration of everyday activities.
Amoun Pharmaceutical, headquartered in Egypt, is no exception. When Mohamed Soliman, business technology infrastructure lead, joined Amoun, he saw an opportunity to improve the performance and security of the company’s business and manufacturing systems.
“I’d successfully deployed VMware at other companies and wanted to bring similar advantages to Amoun’s information systems,” he says. Soliman and his team replaced the legacy virtualization platform with VMware vSphere across the organization. Today, the VMware environment runs all business applications, from the company’s SAP business suite to specialist manufacturing software used at local sites.
Disaster recovery de-risked
Having successfully completed the on-premises VMware deployment, Soliman looked for opportunities to further streamline administration and reduce costs. He soon identified the company’s disaster recovery operations as ideal to migrate to the cloud. This would help ensure business continuity while reducing costs associated with the maintenance of hardware and manual backups.
With all of these business-critical objectives, Soliman knew it was essential to choose the best technology partner for a cloud-based disaster recovery plan. He was already impressed by Microsoft Azure, and when Microsoft announced Azure support for VMware, he didn’t think twice.
Azure VMware Solution checks the box
“Microsoft already had solid experience working with global pharmaceuticals and understood the pressures we face,” explains Soliman. “The announcement of Azure VMware Solution also meant that we could retain a single-pane-of-glass view of our information systems, which is fundamental to our streamlined approach to IT.”
Amoun now runs several business-critical systems on Azure VMware Solution as part of its disaster recovery cloud platform, including Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, SAP business systems, customer management systems, and sales force automation tools.
This represents about 20 percent of the overall software estate, mostly used by its HR and finance teams, but the company plans further migration to the Microsoft and VMware Cloud environment as part of its longer-term IT roadmap.
This coincides with Soliman’s efforts to reinforce the networking infrastructure that connects Amoun’s five locations in Egypt, including the addition of new fiber cables and microwave last mile internet connections.
Moving half of apps to cloud
By 2021, the company hopes to have at least 50 percent of its applications running in the cloud, while some local services will remain on premises. This includes specialist pharmaceutical manufacturing software, such as the company’s high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems.
A smaller, but equally important, feature of Amoun’s VMware environment is VMware Horizon to support desktop and app virtualization used by about 50 employees, mostly in IT, HR and finance. The number of users is expected to grow, and eventually this system will also move to the cloud supported by VMware Horizon® Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure.
“We can significantly reduce costs by standardizing on Azure VMware Solution and progressively migrating our systems to the cloud. We can do this incrementally without disruption to administration and application development. We also expect to see considerable financial savings as we reduce our on-premises infrastructure and software,” Soliman says.
Security, flexibility and cost savings
Soliman focuses on two fundamental benefits of moving to the cloud. “Security is paramount, and the choice of Azure VMware Solution was shaped by our determination to protect Amoun’s systems and data from unauthorized access,” he explains. This matters more than ever in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as hackers step up their attempts to steal valuable intellectual property from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The choice of Azure VMware Solution also enables Amoun to build on a flexible architecture that serves the needs of its traditional and cloud native apps, while building in operational consistency across the entire environment.
“We can significantly reduce costs by standardizing on Azure VMware Solution and progressively migrating our systems to the cloud,” says Soliman. “We can do this incrementally without disruption to administration and application development. We also expect to see considerable financial savings as we reduce our on-premises infrastructure and software.”
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