About Kim Teck Cheong
Kim Teck Cheong (KTC) is one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses in East Malaysia, employing 471 people at its headquarters in Sabah and secondary office in Sarawak. The company is a wholesale distributor for Proctor & Gamble, GSK, Danone, Coca-Cola and other companies. KTC also manufactures its own home-brand products for large retailers, including the Malaysian supermarket chain, Giant. A family-owned enterprise, KTC estimates a 50 percent business-to-business (B2B) market share in the Malaysian FMCG industry.
KTC had planned to expand outside of Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam and other countries in the Southeast Asian region. At the time, the KTC’s infrastructure ran on a local data center in West Malaysia. However, the company was experiencing unacceptable service delays. “If we managed our servers ourselves, we would need to hire employees with specific knowledge and expertise,” says Dexter Lau, Chief Executive Officer. “Not only would this increase our staff costs, but it would also lead to maintenance delays in the event of a staff change.”
KTC decided to move to a cloud solution that would provide the flexibility the company needed to support its ongoing growth, and offer a reliable and secure infrastructure to host mission critical business applications. Additionally, the company wanted a cloud service provider that could support routine back-ups and disaster recovery for its online data and hosted B2B store. “We were asking for a lot,” Lau says, “A quick transition to a scalable and secure network that eliminated downtime, helped us save money on staff and infrastructure, and, perhaps most importantly, offered disaster recovery services to protect our data.”
Why Amazon Web Services
Initially, KTC enlisted the services of a Malaysian cloud provider, but the service was costly and lacked the agility required for it to keep pace with KTC’s ongoing expansion. KTC approached several local cloud providers before deciding to engage with G–Asiapacific, a Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN) and migrate to AWS. “From a purely technical perspective AWS had the security, scalability, and service reliability we needed,” says Mark Goh, CEO of G-Asiapacific. “We were confident that KTC would be able to secure and protect its business applications by using the AWS Cloud, including its SAP Business One application, Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) application, and Multidocs document management software.”
Prior to migrating to AWS, KTC used two servers to run its SAP Business One application, one to host the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system used by its 150 sales members and another to run a Kodak Image Server to store its visual media. On AWS, KTC uses a combination of r3.2xlarge, m2.2xlarge, r3.xlarge, and t2.micro Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance types to operate its accounting, SAP Business One, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications. The company runs its environment in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to provide access to critical data across multiple regions and minimize service delays.
G-Asiapacific helped KTC move more than 10 TB of data for its business applications to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). The company uses a Cloudberry Lab solution listed on the AWS Marketplace to access and manage files stored in Amazon S3. It also uses the service to back up copies of its online storage as part of its disaster recovery solution.
KTC also uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) to store content and Amazon CloudFront to deliver content for its business-to-business (B2B) store. By using Amazon RDS, the company can scale to expand its online catalogue from 180 million items to 450 million items without investing in additional hardware.
Working with of G-Asiapacific, KTC spent three months planning the move to AWS. “Because of the AWS infrastructure and wide selection of compute and storage resources, the actual transition of KTC’s critical business applications from a local datacenter to the AWS Cloud only took three weeks,” says Goh.
KTC acquired three new subsidiary companies in 2013 and 2014, and was able to maintain the same number of IT support staff without compromising performance. “It’s remarkable that we’re able to maintain a lean IT staff base of only three employees,” says Lau “We now have more than 10 TB of data stored in the cloud for our business systems, with 1.5 TB running through data pipeline. At no time has it seemed necessary to hire new support personnel.” G-Asiapacific manages KTC’s environment on AWS, allowing the company to focus on software developments to help it differentiate from other competitors in the FMCG industry.
KTC takes advantage of the training and support offered by G-Asiapacific. “Knowledge-sharing was another key reason that we adopted the AWS solution,” says Lau. “We benefit from the knowledge and expertise provided by our business partners in their respective fields.” As a result, KTC doesn’t have to worry about recruiting this expertise. “With AWS, we can grow our business and expand our company structure without worrying about server costs, hardware maintenance, or unexpected delays,” says Lau. “We’re happy moving towards a long-term business relationship. AWS understands exactly what we need and provides us with effective solutions.”