Enterprises are taking the digital turn to enhance productivity and improve customer experience at multiple levels, given the constant need for improving margins and fighting competition. Of late, companies in the auto component business have witnessed drastic changes in customer preferences, government policies and technology enhancement and adoption. Apollo Tyres, a top brand in the automobile ecosystem, is one such enterprise.
The Gurgaon-based enterprise which set up its first plant in Thrissur, Kerala in 1977, has recently migrated its IT operations to the cloud from legacy infrastructure. The company now has four manufacturing units in India, one in Netherlands and one in Hungary. It has a network of nearly 5,000 dealerships in India, of which over 2,500 are exclusive outlets.
The company had no choice but to migrate to the cloud as it muscled its way to stay ahead of the race, says Anand Maithani, Head of SCM and IT at Apollo Tyres. In an exclusive chat with CXOToday, he explains the rationale behind the decision while highlighting the changing trends in the auto component industry.
“We were on the older on-premise version of OTM (6.3.1) which was going out of support in 2018.” The automotive industry is one of the most data-intensive industries,” Maithani says, adding that, “Migrating to the cloud ensured that we upgraded our systems for the last time. We would always be on the latest version of OTM and extract benefits from the new features in every release.”
Another challenge was that Apollo has some processes which were not compatible with standard OTM. There was a dire need to move the company’s critical infrastructure to cloud.
Maithani believes, leveraging contemporary cloud and analytical platforms can change how issues are resolved and productivity improved. “We partnered with Oracle and designed a cloud layer over OTM cloud to overcome this challenge and make the application more user-friendly and efficient,” he reveals.
Asked what made Apollo Tyres choose Oracle cloud over other similar solutions available in the market? Quite simply, Oracle is one of the key players in the cloud space and the solutions are embedded with AI and ML capabilities, he says. The fact is Gartner has positioned Oracle’s ERP cloud at the highest in 2018 Magic Quadrant for its execution ability and in critical capabilities report.
“We were also impressed by the involvement of the Oracle team in the project and how they first understood our industry and issues to arrive at the final solutions,” he continues.
“The cloud is a great equalizer. It enables organizations to migrate and modernize applications, lower costs, improve security and speed to market. I foresee these innovations and technologies completely overhauling the way in which manufacturing companies would do business now and in the near future,” says Maithani while expressing that Indian manufacturing sector would continue to adapt advanced technologies as a panacea for progress.
“Though globally, the smart factories have become a norm, India is not very far behind. In some Indian factories, advanced algorithms and AI are managing workflows while working with humans on assembly lines. This change will come at a price; however, these changes will lead to improvements in production and performance that are unprecedented,” he says.
“We, at Apollo Tyres, realize that the importance of emerging technologies in today’s market. We understand that we need to be agile in order to thrive and survive. In addition, to adopting Oracle cloud, we are also running a host of initiatives across the value chain like Smart Factory, Machine Learning for sales forecasting and complaint resolution, among others.”
Changing global standards, new vehicle technologies, stricter government regulations and consumer demand for greater performance at a lower price is driving the need for change in the industry. “At Apollo Tyres, we are constantly coping with these changes by leveraging technologies such as cloud, AI and automation,” he concludes.