IDS Borjomi Ukraine is a major producer of natural mineral water in Ukraine. Together with IDS Borjomi International, the company has a strong presence in the CIS and the Baltic States. With a drive to innovate, it improved business efficiency with cloud technology. By moving its daily analytic reports to Azure Synapse Analytics, the company cut processing time sixfold. Now, the analytics and sales team work more efficiently. It has also boosted data access security and helped to save 30 percent of the infrastructure budget.
IDS Borjomi Ukraine is a leader in the natural mineral water market in Ukraine. It also represents the flagship brand of the group, Borjomi Mineral Water, with a unique mineral composition from Georgian mountains. To increase business efficiency, the company decided to address its server performance and solve a major pain point in the analytics department—generating daily reports.
Turning to the cloud
As the company is constantly expanding its services, it needed to scale up its server performance. However, continuing with on-premises server resources would have required big capital investments.
An important performance indicator to be improved was the generation of daily analytic country sales reports. The data used to be stored in on-premises SQL server and processed in OLAP-cube via SQL Server Analysis Services. It took 6.5 hours daily and defeated the purpose of daily reports. “We could not update the report for fresh numbers because it would take the whole working day. The process ran overnight and we received updates in the morning. Unfortunately, any changes that happened during that time weren’t visible,” explains Yurii Mikhayluk, Head of Business Analytics Systems Development Service at IDS Borjomi Ukraine. The team wanted modern digital tools that would enable faster data processing and scaling on demand. Hence, it considered a shift to Azure Synapse Analytics.
“We’ve been working with Microsoft cloud solutions for a while. Applications such as Microsoft Teams powers remote work for about 600 employees in the head office, in sales and factories. It was the best choice for scaling up,” says Mikhayluk. To begin, the company was supported by Microsoft and Cloud Services, a technical partner, with infrastructure assessment. The partner helped to rationalize the digital estate based on the best practices of Cloud Adoption Framework, which is a guide by Microsoft on the strategies and tools needed for businesses shifting to Azure cloud. “We received a proposal to modernize our existing data warehouse and pilot the new solution on Azure Synapse Analytics. Then we transferred all our data to the cloud and found this service faster, safer, and easily scalable. We also linked our data models to Power BI and that enabled fast access and easy administration. At that time, the solution was new and felt risky but we still wanted to try it,” says Mikhayluk. Azure Synapse Analytics received data from on-prem storage, and Power BI substituted OLAP-cube. It integrated data about sales teams’ activities, stock-keeping units, product orders and much more. All of these used to be collected by different systems which didn’t communicate with each other. Now, the employees could operate big data from one system and make better informed decisions. “The pilot program met all our target KPIs, so we decided to follow up with a full-scale production.”
More time and cost savings
The company adopted the cloud solution successfully after the pilot. Now, instead of 6.5 hours, data models are refreshed in 45 minutes, and reports are generated in near real-time, appearing on devices at the start of everyone’s working day. “Our reports used to be prepared manually by 2-3 analysts who would come to the office at 8 am or even earlier and finish the reports by midday. And only then the sales and other teams would have their daily planning meetings. Now they meet right at the start of the day. Around 350 employees increased their productive working time by at least 2 hours and operate with fresher more accurate data. These incremental changes eventually have huge impact on the company level”. To keep the numbers updated, additional reports are also generated at lunchtime and in the evening.
Apart from speed, the company also points out security as an advantage. “As we now use Active Directory, we have more flexibility in appointing who has access to which data. It creates a more secure environment”, he adds.
The cloud solution not only saved time, but cost as well. The company has saved more than 30 percent of the budget compared to expanding its on-premises resources, and can scale it up whenever needed.
Moving forward, IDS Borjomi Ukraine is actively working on automation of services. Some analytic reports are already automated, such as cars and drivers load, reaching KPIs by employees etc. The next step is to leverage AI and automatically plan stocks in warehouses, shipments to sales points, etc. “The company is now going through the process of transformation, and Microsoft services are at its core”, says Yuri Mikhayluk.
Following the success of its Ukrainian office, other business units of the IDS Borjomi International are going to transfer services to the cloud as well. The company is finalizing the technical agreement and expects to finish the transition by the end of 2021.
“Using such platforms allows us to work more efficiently using a single source of information. Azure Synapse Analytics is a technological advancement that can truly benefit every company,” concludes Mikhayluk.
We transferred all our data to the cloud and found this service faster, safer, and easily scalable.
Yurii Mikhayluk: Head of Business Analytics Systems Development Service, IDS Borjomi Ukraine