FLSmidth supplies the mining and cement industries globally with everything from engineering, machines, and complete processing plants to maintenance, support services, and operation of processing facilities. The company has revenues of about €2.5 billion annually, with 11,000 employees working in seven regions.
The company’s zero-emissions strategy helps its clients achieve sustainable growth. FLSmidth advises cement manufacturers on ways to switch to non-recyclable waste alternative fuel for cleaner cement production and lower energy costs. Solutions include a co-processing technology that reduces the use of coal, petroleum, and gas.
FLSmidth also offers digital products that help mineral processing sites and cement plants with data-driven productivity improvements and cost savings in maintenance, supply chain, and end-to-end operations.
As part of expanding its business across the 60 countries where it operates, FLSmidth needed to modernize its own technology infrastructure, comprising a localized, heterogeneous assortment of on-premises databases, applications, systems, and data centers. The goal was to create a cloud-based enterprise infrastructure to support an organization facing fierce global competition.
Why FLSmidth Chose Oracle
After assessing various cloud platforms and service providers, the company selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Microsoft Azure. FLSmidth opted to move all its workloads to OCI because, as a longtime user of Oracle for critical systems, the company wanted all the benefits of a cloud computing network that offers global reach, scalability, and cost savings.
Above all, FLSmidth was convinced that Oracle’s familiarity with the company’s procedures and infrastructure would make it a great partner to guide the manufacturer’s massive shift to OCI without any business disruption. The company also selected Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for the advantages of a cloud subscription model, rather than on-premises licensing. FLSmidth would save costs by shutting down many of its own data centers around the world.
An additional driving factor in choosing Oracle was support for FLSmidth’s zero-emissions sustainability program. The company could reduce its IT-related carbon footprint by using Oracle’s Elastic Cloud consumption-based pricing model, enabling the company to control resources with cost-cutting discipline.
FLSmidth’s Cloud Center of Excellence teams in Chennai, India, and Denmark oversaw the migration to OCI in one year. The operation entailed moving 430 TB of data from multiple ERP, financial management, project scheduling, supply chain, and engineering systems into a large-scale enterprise environment on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. The operation involved shifting about 430 servers from the Copenhagen data center to Oracle cloud data hubs in Frankfurt, decommissioning 470 other servers, and discontinuing dozens of databases and applications with low usage.
“Our migration was a great success and has had a huge impact in streamlining our IT infrastructure, moving multi-terabyte databases, shutting down servers, and standardizing some of our applications and systems on OCI,” says Janaina Hyldvang, Cloud Center of Excellence lead.
In the first year, FLSmidth tripled performance across its IT infrastructure and saw a fivefold reduction in time elapsed for job loading into its data warehouses. The move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure also fulfilled FLSmidth’s requirements for improved security, reduced downtime, and reduced risks of data loss, thanks to the high availability and scalability of Oracle applications across mining and cement user communities worldwide.
Additionally, the company has experienced a boost in user satisfaction as engineers worldwide discover the rewards of working together in real time on shared engineering tools and enterprise resource planning solutions.
In a multicloud platform, FLSmidth has adopted a cloud-first strategy, supporting its goal of being one of the most cost-efficient companies in Scandinavia. Its Cloud Center of Excellence steers the cloud-first strategy by overseeing such areas as hybrid cloud infrastructure, cloud governance, data center and migration services, global network connectivity services, hybrid cloud automation, and security.
“Cloud-first means benefits in costs, consolidation, and transformation,” explains Hyldvang. “One of the lessons we've learned is that moving to the cloud is a game changer because it unveils the hidden costs we were unaware of in terms of redundant databases and applications. Now we have a cost-control dashboard and have shut down whatever is not being used.”
By adopting OCI, the engineering giant also consolidated license management costs by grouping all databases, applications, and systems under one contract, offering predictable costs based on usage, while eliminating the need for hardware refresh and capacity planning expenses.
Additionally, the migration to OCI supports the company’s goal of a greener future through a substantial reduction in its carbon footprint, in line with the corporate goal of achieving zero emissions in mining and cement by 2030.
Currently FLSmidth is running a proof of concept to assess how to move high-performance computing (HPC) systems from software containers and Oracle Kubernetes onto Oracle Cloud.
Until now, HPC solutions have been outsourced but, Hyldvang notes, “It makes a lot of sense, for example, to use an Oracle Cloud data center in Latin America for our Chilean operation, which is a heavy user of our advanced particle simulation software. Access to Oracle’s cloud data centers is a key factor in our continuing transformation.”
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