Welch’s Foods Gains 24/7 IT Support, Ensures High Availability, and Cuts Costs Using Managed Cloud Services
 
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Welch’s Foods Gains 24/7 IT Support, Ensures High Availability, and Cuts Costs Using Managed Cloud Services

  • Oracle Customer:  Welch’s Foods Inc.
    Location:  Concord, Massachusetts
    Industry:  Consumer Goods
    Employees:  1,000
    Annual Revenue:  $500 Million to $1 Billion

Welch’s Foods Inc. is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Welch’s is owned by 1,150 family-farmers across America and in Ontario, Canada, who comprise this cooperative and grow the healthy Concord grapes used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products. Welch’s is committed to research and development that will meet the growing demand for products that address consumers’ health and nutrition needs. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 50 countries around the globe.

Welch’s runs its increasingly 24/7 business on Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s Demantra applications. Focused on ensuring high levels of availability for an expanding footprint while optimizing in-house IT team resources, the company looked to Oracle Managed Cloud Services to manage its business-critical Oracle applications.

Working with Oracle Managed Cloud Services, Welch’s has adopted a process-driven approach to IT management that ensures seamless rollouts and continuous improvement. The organization also ensures high levels of availability and is supporting its environment with just 1.5 full-time employees (FTEs) versus 5 to 6 FTEs if it were to manage the applications in-house―resulting in a savings of more than 50% for IT staffing costs.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Welch’s Foods Inc.

  • “Oracle Managed Cloud Services provided us with a cost-effective and flexible option to manage our Oracle E-Business Suite and Demantra environments, ultimately enabling us to ensure 24/7 availability and high performance for our manufacturing operations.” – Mukesh Sharma, Senior Manager, IT, Database and Enterprise Resource Planning Infrastructure, Welch’s Foods Inc.

  • Enable the agricultural cooperative to manage an expanding enterprise and business application footprint without expanding the IT budget
  • Ensure that the company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and demand management environments—on which it relies to manage its core business processes, including human resources (HR), financial management, manufacturing of its juices and products, as well as a complex agricultural supply chain and product demand—is expertly managed to ensure high availability and performance
  • Make better decisions regarding product mix, production, and marketing—matching the company’s product offerings to emerging dietary trends and consumer demand

Solutions

  • Selected Oracle’s managed cloud services to manage Welch’s Oracle E-Business Suite environment as well as its Oracle’s Demantra solutions to ensure high-levels of availability and performance for the company’s 24/7 food product manufacturing operations
  • Enabled Welch’s to manage an extensive business application environment without significantly increasing the internal support staff
  • Implemented a process-driven approach to IT management in which the team is continually working to improve processes and reapply lessons learned to streamline future rollouts and reduce costs
  • Ensured consistently smooth, glitch-free roll-outs of new modules—delivering new environments without negative impact 99% of the time
  • Gained 24/7 access to Oracle product, support, and software management experts who can help solve problems and introduce new product capabilities, enabling Welch’s internal IT team to focus on other high-value activities, such as the company’s data center relocation
  • Ensured the right mix of IT management professionals, all expertly skilled in Oracle, freeing the organization from recruiting and managing the staff, as well as keeping them updated on Oracle products
  • Gained greater insight and agility by using Oracle’s Demantra applications and Oracle Business Intelligence Applications that enable adapting product development, mix, production, and marketing techniques to match changing consumer tastes

Why Oracle

“Oracle’s managed cloud services enables us to keep the lights on. Without it, we would have a very difficult time delivering the continuous improvements that our team needs. We are now able to focus internally on new projects and deliveries, including moving our data center and office to a new location. Overall, we can do more with the same or less budget and resources, which is a huge value for us,” said Mukesh Sharma, senior manager, IT, database and enterprise resource planning infrastructure, Welch’s Foods Inc.

Implementation Process

Welch’s began its ERP implementation journey in 2004. Shortly into the implementation cycle, the company decided to seek assistance with the project load, and soon, thereafter, began its relationship with Oracle’s managed cloud services to provide critical IT management support.

In 2006, Welch’s completed the second phase of its ERP implementation, at which point its business needs changed from requiring 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. support to 24/7 support. Changes in its business service level agreement requirements made Welch’s look toward strategic sourcing, which yielded a closer relationship with Oracle Managed Cloud Services.

“Together, as a team, we have gone through multiple transformations over the years. We continuously look for ways to improve how we do things, as our business continuously asks us to do more with the same or fewer resources. With Oracle, we have always found ways to innovate and continue working toward adding value to Oracle’s offerings as well as our business,” Sharma said.

“Today, the Oracle Managed Cloud Services team provides 24/7 support, managing all of our critical Oracle environments, 365 days a year. They are always there when any part of our business needs their help. This model has enabled us to scale our team based on business requirements, which provides us with a great deal of balance in planning for projects and resource requirements,” Sharma said.