Citrix Solution Helps Eicher Save Rs 50 Lakh

by Julia Fernandes    Jun 06, 2005

In a bid to achieve centralized control of applications, auto major, Eicher Group has deployed the Citrix MetaFrame XPa Presentation Server, which has not only facilitated information access but has also helped the company to register substantial cost savings.

According to Manoj Gautam, senior manager, Technology Solutions, Eicher Group, “We needed a solution, which would enable access to business applications for our employees anytime and anywhere, while reducing the costs of manpower, hardware and communication.”

Eicher’s manufacturing and marketing operations are dispersed geographically, which created obstacles to planning and execution. Prior to adopting a Citrix solution, the company’s remote offices could only share information via e-mail, which proved to be an extremely cumbersome process.

Similarly, although mobile users were able to access information from Eicher’s network via designated Web pages, the process was very slow and inefficient. Hence, the company needed an efficient way to collect and disseminate information across the organization, including its mobile sales staff selling tractors in remote, rural locations.

Eicher Goodearth partnered with system integrator Wipro Infotech to deploy a solution using Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server running on Dell 1750 Servers. Currently, more than 300 users in all locations across the country connect via WAN to this centralized information system to access business applications including SAP R/3, Messaging EPIC (an in-house collaborative workflow and messaging system), a supplier management system and a customer service management system.

According to the company, the solution has helped users to provide inputs and retrieve information about production, inventory, and sales processes in real time. Additionally, users can now expedite business processes, which span from entering information about leave and travel to conducting complex business transactions with suppliers and dealers.

According to Gautam, “Citrix has not only helped us in making important information available to all users irrespective of location and time, but its software has also aided in eliminating delays in updates and inter-office communication, thereby making it real-time information. For instance, the delay in internal messages reaching users due to periodic updating of remote servers has been reduced from two hours to zero, making it a true instant-messaging system across all locations.”

“The Citrix solution has taken a major pain away from us in managing unending requests for higher bandwidth and upgraded desktops. The solution has enabled us to maintain zero escalation in our bandwidth budget for the last two years — translating into a 35 to 40% savings on communication expenses,” explained Gautam.

“Moreover, during that same period, the company saved Rs 50 lakh (US $100,000) that would have otherwise been spent on upgrading client hardware configurations,” added Gautam.

The Citrix solution saved considerable manpower efforts and reduced the costs of deploying and updating applications. The company no longer needs to maintain IT staff at all locations, nor require its IT staff to travel to remote locations to provide support.

Considerable savings in time and efforts of the IT staff allowed Eicher to reassign these employees to more important and strategic application development. “We have a fixed annual IT budget. Savings from the Citrix solution allowed us to invest our time and money in areas that could enhance the business value of IT in the company,” stated Gautam.

The applications, which have been deployed are SAP R/3 ERP system, messaging system based on Microsoft Office and Exchange, in-house workflow application and collaborative portal, and finally a customer service management system.

The company has 1,000 desktops and 100 laptops from IBM, HP and Dell with Windows XP/98 as the operating systems. The infrastructure consists of a hybrid WAN network with leased lines, V-SATs and dial-up connectivity as back-ups

The Eicher Group manufactures and markets tractors, trucks, buses, motorcycles, engines and power generators apart from other auto components. With more than 4000 employees spread across seven manufacturing facilities and 33 marketing offices, Eicher works with 800 vendors that supply components and sub-assemblies. The company sells its product lines through a network of approximately 950 dealers and distributor.