Ind-Swift Laboratories Ltd. is a part of the Ind Swift Group and is based at Chandigarh, India. The group has established a strong reputation as an innovator in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Ind-Swift Laboratories, which went public in 1997, concentrates on manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), also known as bulk actives. Its strength in organic synthetic chemistry has enabled the company to emerge, in a short period of time, as a respectable and dependable supplier of bulk actives in more than 45 countries.
Until about three years ago, Ind-Swift Laboratories’ exposure to IT was limited. However, with its recent expansion mode and a long-term strategy to become a powerful force in regulated markets, top management recognized the importance of delivering a growing number of core functional applications seamlessly over the network to corporate locations. The decision was taken to connect all remote destinations and have a common network. The main application currently running on this network was the in-house-developed ERP solution, and the network was also utilized to share normal office documents between departments so as to work without any delays.
Said Sahil Munjal, head-IT, Ind-Swift Laboratories Ltd.,”We have about 10 remote sites in North India. Communication was inherently difficult and addressing support issues for these sites was becoming quite cumbersome. In light of the changed orientation towards IT and the need for large-scale IT investments driven primarily by fast-paced business growth, we felt the need to have an efficient kind of network and enhanced communication links with all remote sites. We decided to go in for a thin-client environment to facilitate better security over the network, ensure seamless communication and account for downtime redundancies, if any. Centralization was the core premise of this strategic shift. After scoping the market and based on internal evaluation, we decided to deploy Citrix technologies for application delivery to remote users.”
Further, Ind-Swift was planning to roll out SAP All-in-One, SAP’s business software for small and medium-size enterprises, in a few months’ time and wanted a robust, reliable and secure IT infrastructure to deliver this new solution. But, it was also important for Ind-Swift to ensure that employees could access core applications of the ERP package (based primarily around pharma processes and related business activities).
In 2007, Ind-Swift partnered with Momentum Infocare (a New Delhi-based Silver Citrix Solution Advisor) to implement Citrix XenApp ™, Advanced Edition and Citrix Access Gateway™ with Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003 running on eight HP blade servers.
Now the organization is delivering the core pharma applications to about 140 concurrent users across every hierarchical level and at all locations using thin- client devices, desktops and laptops. Last mile RF-based Internet connectivity is provided by Bharti.
Employees who don’t have laptops can connect securely to the Citrix XenApp environment over the Internet using Citrix Access Gateway.
Within a year of deploying Citrix technology, Ind-Swift has been able to realize a welter of benefits. For one, centralization has resulted in better manageability and control of resources. Munjal contended that centralization is the biggest benefit derived, and that issues and problems at remote locations can be handled from one central location.
Affirmed Munjal, “Citrix has addressed almost all the challenges that we were looking to address with our recent emphasis on IT. My IT team can cater to all the requirements of the business by managing and handling everything from the server itself. That obviates the need to send IT personnel or engineers to remote locations to address application accessibility problems or related issues. Critically, this has enhanced remote access to core applications and business continuity. Communication is seamless and the system is more robust.”
The pragmatic shift towards greater investment in robust and enabling IT technologies about two years ago and the IT roadmap envisioned by the IT team have resulted in many-layered benefits for this fast-growing and ambitious pharma company.
Added Munjal, “Top management is happy with the results and Citrix technologies have played a key role in anchoring the IT vision. Due to the quick and substantial benefits we have realized, the IT budget has been increased this year by 50 percent. This increase will enable the organization to fast-forward the rollout of SAP All-In-One. I will also be going in for more thin clients and more Citrix licenses as the number of users across the organization increases.”
In the pharma industry, research and development play a significant role in the development of new molecules, particularly in a highly competitive, patent-free environment. Ind-Swift’s focus on R & D is crucial to its long-term goal of achieving excellence in all spheres of activities, whether the development of new molecules, changes in the process resulting in cost reduction or improvement in the quality of products.
Stated Munjal, “For the R & D team, which comprises highly qualified technocrats, scientists and pharmacists, pooling and sharing of resources are essential to the development of new molecules or improvement in the quality of existing products, and in the development and commercialization of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. The knowledge management paradigm so prevalent in forward-looking companies depends upon a central information repository. This information repository has become possible in our organization now due to IT centralization featuring Citrix XenApp. This has benefited the R & D team immensely in sharing information electronically and in much shorter time frames than would have been possible with reports being printed, mailed and shared.”
With the help of a lean IT team, Munjal has also been able to optimize resources and eke out significant savings for the organization.
Elucidated Munjal, “Citrix technologies have streamlined IT administration to a great extent. There have been definite savings in IT administration costs. Further, there have been significant savings in travel costs that might have not been possible in a more decentralized environment and due to the dispersed nature of the remote sites in North India. I don’t have to hire experienced professionals and that translates into savings for HR.”
He concluded, “We will continue to work on the customized ERP package during the transition phase to the SAP environment and until the entire environment becomes more stable. I also intend going in for some more Citrix licenses to meet increases in demand expected in the near future, primarily to support our growth plans. Our fast-paced growth plans envisage investing in more technologies and Citrix will also be quite integral to those plans.”
About the Citrix Solution
Citrix XenApp™, a member of the Citrix Delivery Center™ product family, is the industry’s de facto standard for delivering Windows®-based applications with the best performance, security and cost savings. XenApp is the most complete application virtualization system available. Citrix Access Gateway™ is the only SSL VPN to securely deliver any application with policy-based SmartAccess control. Users have easy-to use secure access to the applications and data they need to be productive.
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