Public Cloud Helps Global Firm Grow Its Business
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A move to the cloud implemented with the right partner enabled Glory Global Solutions to extricate itself from a "Tower of Babel" of different legacy systems.
Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Glory Global Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of GLORY Ltd., has been in business since 1998. As a global leader in secure cash management solutions, it operates in 160 countries with a direct presence in 24.
As the company grew rapidly with acquisitions and expansions, it confronted a mess of legacy systems that were developed in countries at different stages of maturity, each for a specific line of business.
The disparity of systems was proving an obstacle to efficiency. In 2015, it became clear that Glory Global could pursue its strategic goals only if it could see into all its businesses, and streamline and standardize processes. Consequently, it was determined that the company had to align systems for a modern platform.
The choice of a cloud-based solution was "a given," according to Alex Rammal, Global CIO. The company "had already started the cloud journey" and had deployed Office 365 and other cloud solutions a few years before. They were also presented with a pretty strong business case of a return on the investment within four years. The next challenge was determining which vendor would be the best choice.
After considering five different vendors and then narrowing that down to two, Rammal and his team decided that Oracle best met their needs. Glory was already using some of the vendor's other offerings and considered it advantageous to build on that relationship with a single vendor for licensing, which gives them leverage in case of an issue. In addition, the cost-point was attractive.
Next on the list for the company was finding the right systems integrator. After looking over 10 vendors, Glory Global selected TCS. One reason was that it offered "out-of-the box processes that we were able to use," Rammal says. A second consideration was its "competitive price point."
But the primary attraction for TCS, he recalls, "was the feeling of partnership we got from them." Knowing that on Glory's side, there were bound to be "gaps in our knowledge and skills," the company wanted a vendor that could bridge those gaps and work through whatever needed to be done to get the cloud established within the projected timeframe.
Moving to the Cloud in Stages
Glory Global Solutions started the move to public cloud in the U.K. location. That is now complete, and the company is planning to roll it out to the remaining countries over the next 18 months. It hopes to have it all complete by the company's centennial anniversary in 2018. The firm also anticipates shuttering its own data centers once everything has transitioned to the public cloud.
"From an internal change management point of view, it's very big," Rammal says. It involves introducing a new system to 24 different countries, each of which has its own language challenges, as well as regulations unique to each jurisdiction. All of that has to be taken into account during deployment, in addition to the training required. He estimates that when the new system is put in place, it will impact about 2,500 of their 3,000 employees.
That's why the simpler, prebuilt system TCS set them up with is better for their purposes. Rammal reports that they've "very much kept to the build of the solution," putting in less than 200 customizations. That makes deployment faster and simpler, and it paves the way for easier upgrades in the future.
As a result of the move to the Oracle public cloud, Glory Global has achieved a 50 percent reduction in annual costs on legacy systems. However, that's not the primary benefit of the new platform. It's really about being empowered "to operate better and grow," Rammal says.
"Speed to innovation is a key thing for us and being a more efficient, more globally oriented business," he adds. In contrast to the technology in place before, Glory Global now has "a world-class set of tools and technology to enable us to go out and do what we do so well—and do it better," Rammal says.
Ariella Brown, a Baseline contributor, writes about analytics, marketing, branding, social media, big data, and the impact of the internet on education and society, among other topics.