A business continuity solution for critical business systems

Habasit embraces cloud services to ensure business continuity and improve data security for critical business systems.

Business need

Habasit's daily operations in Australasia rely upon the availability of System 77 which has been extensively customised to suit the specific requirements of the business. Satellite offices in 3 Australian states, as well as New Zealand and Singapore, depend on the system for immediate visibility of stock levels and order information, and ERP functions are critical for head office and manufacturing operations in Sydney.

Like many businesses yet to make the shift to the cloud, Habasit was hosting System 77 in-house, on a server kept on the premises at the Sydney head office. Other offices had to maintain costly, dedicated connections for access to System 77, and the head office link was a single point of failure that could interrupt communications for staff everywhere at once. Kevin Nelson-Smith, Financial Controller at Habasit was acutely aware of the risks to business continuity that this represented.

Habasit had engaged Multibase in 2011 to take over maintenance of System 77, and after some early research into cloud services as a way to improve the situation, Habasit entrusted Multibase to plan and manage their transition to the cloud.

Key challenges

As well as a shift in perceptions about the safety and reliability of cloud hosted systems that Multibase helped Habasit to make, moving System 77 to the cloud presented some distinct challenges:

  • Software incompatibilities between old and new technologies had to be solved
  • Local printing issues for each office needed in-depth troubleshooting
  • Security of data transmissions was a key consideration

Solution

Multibase produced the original database technology that underpins System 77, and with decades of accumulated knowledge about ERP software and complex system migrations, planned the move to take place smoothly and safely.

Multibase's development and infrastructure teams migrated the Habasit ERP application and database to the secure cloud hosting environment at the Fujitsu data centre in North Ryde. The team helped to decommission the old, physical server and provided remote support and troubleshooting for Habasit through the transition.

Results

With System 77 now running in the cloud, Habasit has better physical security, complete network and server redundancy, and no single point of failure to prevent satellite offices accessing the system. "I can sleep again now," says Kevin, "and I don't have that worry that we could just lose everything if the server died."

The biggest tangible benefit has been the reduction in costs: there is now no hardware to service or replace, no need to dedicate resources to maintenance, and no need to maintain costly dedicated links between offices.

Habasit is confident that their critical systems are now secure and protected with fully redundant backup power, 24x7 monitoring and automated backups. "We're in a better position to concentrate on growing our business now with this taken care of," concludes Kevin.

The company plans to build on the success of this move, expanding their use of cloud services to include further enhancements to System 77 and a significant data warehousing project to support key decision making in the future.

Customer profile

Habasit Australasia is a specialist manufacturer of customised fabricated belts for commercial and industrial applications. Internationally, Habasit is recognised as the worldwide number one in belting products in over 70 countries, and is headquartered in Switzerland. The company has sustained decades of market leadership with significant expertise and a broad range of superior products that are used worldwide in factories, supermarkets, airports and everywhere that people and products move.