Andrea Benito
Middle East Editor

Bin Dasmal’s CIO on sharpening an agile mindset to strengthen business outcomes

Oct 13, 2022
CIO Digital Transformation

Umesh Moolchandani, CIO at Dubai-based Bin Dasmal Group, explains how the engineering solutions provider upgraded its ERP to improve operational efficiency.

Business agility
Credit: Istock Can you detail the Bin Dasmal Group’s digital transformation process and how changes have helped improve business performance?

Umesh Moolchandani: Among various IT initiatives undertaken during the last few years, upgrading ERP has revolutionized the organization. The upgrade has allowed the business to optimize the total cost of ownership by approximately 25% to 30%, while deploying serves with the highest standards of security in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, shifting the cost model from CAPEX to OPEX. Furthermore, the integrated view of company data in web-enabled architecture has improved information sharing, collaboration across functional and corporate boundaries, and decision making for the management using advanced analytics based on a single view of data. This has to be achieved by investing in the latest available technologies with lower total cost of ownership and maximizing ROI. For setting up the infrastructure, the objective was to host the servers in Oracle Cloud instead of investing in on-premise hardware. The key objective was to host the application securely in the cloud, with no or limited public exposure, while keeping optimal performance, infrastructure resiliency, and data redundancy. Implementing CRM software has also improved response time to customers as well as decision-making based on customer-related data.

Umesh Moolchandani

Umesh Moolchandani

Where have you been investing during the past two years in terms of tech initiatives?

Bin Dasmal Group decided to upgrade the legacy ERP application to a more agile, modern and cutting-edge web-based application in a cost-efficient and secure manner in order to help track its supply chain activities from inventory purchase, production, processing and final shipment to customers. This integrated view of company data in a web-enabled architecture would improve information sharing, collaboration across functional and corporate boundaries, and improve decision-making for the management. We also deployed CRM software that covers a broad set of applications and software designed to help businesses manage customer data and customer interaction, access business information, automate sales, provide marketing and customer support, and manage employee, vendor and partner relationships.

In addition, we decided to work with [modern data protection software developer] Veeam as our backup solution provider based on its capabilities for providing tools for both on-premise servers as well as cloud environments, and the ability to handle disaster recovery requirements. The new architecture was created with high availability at various levels, like server and storage levels. The servers along with VMware Essential Plus and Veeam software deployed in the Dubai Investments Park, and a few changes were done in the datacenter architecture for deploying disaster recovery. So the solution enabled cross-site disaster recovery of the servers and data based on the required RPO and RTO, which were decided based on the criticality of the system and data. Plus, the Veeam software was configured to back up cloud-based servers too.

Can you give us a little more detail of how further investing in ERP is helping the business?

The upgrade of ERP application included a newly procured manufacturing module that allowed Bin Dasmal to improve operational efficiency using best practices in the manufacturing industry. The new application also provides greater visibility into operational processes and profitability by providing various dashboards, reports and alerts with different dimensions. It’s easy to use, can be accessed anywhere based on rights and security and provides improved reporting of business data. This has improved decision-making because managers at all levels have real-time access to the same data, such as production status summaries and financial reports. The new processes, and upgrades in existing processes, have increased the cost efficiency and better visibility in operations, resulting in improved quality and customer service for the whole Bin Dasmal Group.

The company also moved to the cloud. Why did you choose to work with Oracle above other providers?

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers several unique features and tools that support migrating and running its databases and business applications portfolio efficiently. Minimal changes are required to move Oracle applications, reducing the cost and length of migration to the cloud. Its infrastructure also offers tools and architecture that help enterprises seamlessly move from on-premise to the cloud, leveraging improved automation and built-in security to mitigate threats, ultimately supporting superior migration and economics. Their IaaS offering delivers a diverse range of capabilities unmatched in the industry—from its second-generation platform and suite of bare metal services to remote direct memory access (RDMA) for technical computing clusters. This differentiation enables Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s guarantee on both predictable performance and customer isolation.

Where is Bin Dasmal Group going to further invest? We’re going to shape business priorities in consultation with business leadership for the long term, and create IT roadmap for optimization of back-end processes, IT infrastructure capability building, large-scale automation, transformation strategies, and so on. It’s also critical to keep an eye on the beyond Covid-19 era since the competitive landscape will be reshaped and markets, competitors and value propositions will differ from those before the pandemic. At this stage, it would be crucial to understand the changes ahead in order to take the correct steps that will align the company with the world beyond the crisis.