We are frequently citing the cases, when businesses successfully implemented their projects with the use of cloud solutions. Topic of migration from on-premises into the cloud direction already gained popularity.

The thing is: today businesses move their multi-functional ERP systems to external providers’ clouds more often, as this significantly simplifies the resource management. Companies get solid advantages due to reliability and flexibility of cloud solutions. The example of VBH, the distributor of products and services for windows and doors manufacturing, will describe the ERP service, available from IaaS cloud, helping to deal with the company’s tasks.

Simply everything, all simple

VBH (pronounced FAU-BEh-KHAh) group of companies is world-known. As the largest distributor of products and services for windows and doors manufacturing, VBH has an array of branches, including Saint-Petersburg office in European Russia and VBH-Sib in Siberia. Modern service technologies, wide range of products for shipping and fast request management are the main features of the company. VBH activity is based on “simply everything, all simple” concept, which essentially means a shifting move: from a distributor to a services’ provider, and reveals itself in three strategic directions: internationality, product range policy, and services.

How the cloud usage idea was born

As a dynamically developing company, VBH is attentive towards high-tech. When Russian businesses were just getting acquainted with clouds, VBH was already its active user.

Sergei Ivanov, VBH Head of IT:

«As the new ERP solution – Microsoft Dynamics Axapta 2009 – was introduced, the company took a decision to place its infrastructure in a German cloud Data Center. The previous ERP system, MS Dynamics Axapta 3.0, was located on-premises. When it became necessary to update ERP to the next release, our German colleagues suggested connecting our infrastructure to the unified cloud space – that other holding branches were using at that moment as well. Thus it became possible to create the unified standardized cloud infrastructure, and to place various ERP solutions from other holding branches – like Microsoft Dynamics Navision, Axapta, 1С and SAP – at one spot. We made possible provision of centralized support for all ERP directions – which was convenient enough. The cloud had the single entry point and a united service pool – where a specific person, speaking the required language, was assigned to each specific region».

Creation of a united service pool was the first idea of immediate success. VBH entered a foreign cloud, migrating there Microsoft Dynamic Axapta working solution and testing environment. For several years the company was using the cloud service – receiving the centralized support, where issues of data storage backup, malfunctions and many others were solved. It was up to September 2015, when new legislation made obligatory storage of personal data within the Russian Federation territory. This was the cause to consider migration to a Russian cloud.

Sergei Ivanov, VBH Head of IT:

«The foreign cloud service we were using earlier was acceptable and convenient. So we’ve decided to create something similar in Russia. IT-GRAD, the provider, was selected because of the offered price and fine Data Center – which is located in our proximity, by the way. Location of a Data Center close to our office was indeed among the priority conditions, as in case of necessity the fast access to the premises was required. We did like the Data Center, everything there was organized well enough, according to European standards. Our German colleagues valued our choice as well. So, all in all, we have migrated here and keep using the solution of choice till today. This option suits us by rank of reliability and infrastructure. We also use connection with the on-premises Data Center of the company: running a rail between the cloud and the local Data Center, we combined the existing infrastructure into the united computing network».

VBH on-premises Data Center is located in the company’s office. It hosts infrastructure for Saint-Petersburg operations, mail services and internal workflow solutions. All operational environments of ERP systems were moved to IT-GRAD cloud. As the local Data Center equipment is not suitable to host a full working base and working environment; this cloud solution is used for infrastructure and hardware maintenance, and for environment back-ups.

Searching for the services’ provider

Evaluation of market-available offers and a conducted tender led to the preliminary selection of 2-3 widely known companies, which were asked to provide commercial offers. The final decision was made based on prices’ comparison.

Sergei Ivanov, VBH Head of IT:

«IT-GRAD won the competition. We met the provider, discussed the details, visited the Data Center and signed the contract. Today the core of our company’s IT infrastructure is in the cloud, located in Saint-Petersburg Data Center. Cloud service is used by the branch employees across Russia, from Murmansk to Krasnodar. Our colleagues access Axapta remotely and perform the necessary tasks».

The company underlines: cloud migration caused no difficulties. Except for just one thing: the implementation period demonstrated the lack of resources. This issue was solved with the use of additional computing capacities and selection of another carrier type. From the moment of migration till now the service works properly, coping with the existing loads.

IaaS for Axapta: the conclusion

ERP system, available from IT-GRAD IaaS cloud, provides an integrated business management of the geographically distributed VBH holding. Cloud technologies provide the solution’s availability and reliability, increase control flexibility and decrease infrastructure maintenance expenses.

We use cookies to optimise website functionality and improve our services. To find out more, please read our Privacy Policy.
Cookies settings
Strictly necessary cookies
Analytics cookies