Pact Group, a dynamic and robust manufacturer of packaging and other products with 68 manufacturing sites across 7 countries, is continuing its strategic investment in Microsoft cloud technologies as it prepares for continued growth and a drive towards integrated automated manufacturing.
Pact Group has made 55 acquisitions since 2002 and its traditional on-premise model presented challenges for the standardisation of infrastructure platforms and applications when integrating these businesses into the parent company.
These demands have seen Pact make a deliberate and strategic shift to Microsoft cloud technology over the past several years. Most recently Pact migrated SAP from on premises servers which were approaching end-of-life and into Microsoft Azure. Working with SAP specialist and Microsoft Gold partner BNW Consulting, Pact achieved this migration within eight weeks with no disruption to business operations.
“SAP forms the core enterprise platform for the business across sales, manufacturing, and finance, and is used around the clock by more than 1,000 concurrent users. Azure enables us to offset cost by scheduling shut-down of workloads that are not required on a 24×7 basis. If we need infrastructure for tactical deployments, we can respond quickly with near unlimited capacity while we are managing an acquisition; then, when completed, we can switch it off. We pay just for what we use.” said Michael.
The move to SQL Server 2014 means that Pact now needs only 25 per cent of the storage capacity required to run SAP, which significantly reduces the cost of storage for the new Azure-based SAP environments. Savings in storage also cascades down to create savings in the cost of backups.
The next step in Pact’s cloud journey is to gather more data via machine learning and the Internet of Things sensors. Soon, the company plans to be capturing data from sensors which will need to be analysed to deliver insights and drive intelligence to improve production.
“Increasingly we’re focused on integrated automated manufacturing. This sees us integrating multiple data sources across our core platforms as well an ever-increasing number of sensors and robots across our manufacturing lines. So we need to create an open network in order to consolidate these and when this occurs, analytics tools available in the cloud like Power BI and Azure IoT Suite will be extremely important”. In addition to this Pact exploring Microsoft’s Bot Framework to augment and ultimately replace the IT service desk.
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