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Simbisa Brands Limited – Predictive ERP System

Executive Summary

Simbisa means to strengthen and empower, derived from a Shona word that embodies a rally for strength and power. The name represents what the business and its staff stand for: to create and sustain a strong and empowered brand that is recognized across all regions. Expansion into the region is critical to growth and achieve our goal of spreading our footprint into Africa as a diversified Pan-African business.
Source: Simbisa Brands Limited.

Customer Challenges :

Simbisa Brands Limited (‘Simbisa’ or ‘Simbisa Brands’) has a small, professional, agile IT team and engaged with Standard Telephones and Cables (‘STC’) to find a hosting solution for their single instance group-wide ERP system, Predictiv. To enable a strong focus on their core business, they wanted to eliminate the pressure and complications that are associated with running and managing a local data centre. They, therefore, needed a platform which would enable them to host and access their Predictiv ERP system.

The Solution

Amazon Web Services{AWS}

Amazon Web Services is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centres globally.
STC suggested and designed a two-tier architecture solution that separated the frontend web application from the backend database. Removing these resource dependencies made the solution highly resilient as this eliminated a single point of failure. The web application was deployed behind an auto scaling group thereby allowing the workload to automatically increase and/or decrease resource in response to user activity as well as underlying hardware components failures. Setting up of the database was made easy using the AWS Relational Database service which allows resource scalability without breaking the production service or taking it offline. For ease of node management using the systems sessions manager, all the production services were tagged under a common resource group. Amazon Web Services backup service, which is a fully managed service, was implemented using resource groups to target all production services. This therefore makes it possible to meet the recovery time and point objectives for Simbisa as STC’s client.

The Results

STC and Simbisa Brands successfully deployed the Simbisa group-wide single instance Predictiv ERP System. This solution addressed the concerns the IT team raised during scoping prior to the implementation. As a result, Simbisa Brands is guaranteed a 99.9% uptime on their system as there will be high availability. The migration from capital expenditure to operational expenditure saved Simbisa capital cost and also the worries of hardware depreciating and having to replace them. The Simbisa team also managed to focus more on their core business and worry less about the IT side of things because their infrastructure is now being hosted and managed in the cloud thus saving them time and money. Backup to their systems is now being kept in the cloud and the system automatically runs backups on scheduled times; this means if anything should happen to the system a backup will be there to restore the system to the current state. This mitigates the issues of long downtime in the event of system failure which however is highly unlikely as long as the system is running the workloads in the Amazon Web Services Cloud.

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