Founded in 1998 after the Oil Deregulation Law was passed in the country, SEAOIL Philippines, Inc. is the Philippines' leading independent fuel company with more than 380 stations in different parts of the Philippines archipelago. The company employs 560 and is listed as part of the Top 100 Corporations in the Philippines, with 13 depot locations nationwide having 246 million liters in tank capacity. The company supplies fuel products ranging from automobile gasoline to industry-specific lubricants, and provides services such as storage and shipping. SEAOIL serves both commercial and retail customers.
SEAOIL relies on an Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage accounting, supply chain, procurement, and other processes supporting the haulage of fuel from ships and supply from depots to a network of distributors, retailers, and commercial customers. The business had run the Oracle E-Business Suite–based system on a single server for six years, and the ageing hardware was failing to meet business requirements for performance and availability during peak periods. “Often on Fridays, I would be notified that the system was down,” says Glenn Mendoza, vice president of IT for SEAOIL. Mendoza saw that the existing infrastructure could not support forecasted growth and started to consider alternatives. A planned migration from Oracle Applications 11ithe predecessor to Oracle E-Business Suite R12 proved to be the catalyst for the migration.
Why Amazon Web Services
SEAOIL received proposals from a range of infrastructure providers with solutions for running its Oracle E-Business Suite system. These providers included vendors selling business hardware to be installed on premises or in collocated data centers, telecommunications cloud companies offering a collocated environment, and public cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). SEAOIL soon determined that the cloud was the best solution, as the other options would still require the business to devote considerable time to managing infrastructure. A public cloud soon emerged as the best solution and AWS-with its reputation for agility, performance, and reliability-appeared to be the ideal provider. “We chose AWS because its cloud services could deliver our business-critical enterprise applications reliably and cost-effectively, while giving us opportunities to cut delivery times for new products and services and replicate infrastructure environments quickly and easily,” says Mendoza.
With SEAOIL’s internal technology team having no experience in the cloud, Mendoza looked for external assistance. The business engaged AWS Partner Seer Technologies to help set up an AWS architecture and manage operations and knowledge transfer over the following year. “Seer Technologies enabled us to set up an optimum AWS architecture for Oracle E-Business Suite and other applications, including dedicated infrastructure tiers for applications and databases,” says Mendoza. This architecture operates within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to isolate sensitive AWS resources from external parties and comprises Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS). Amazon EBS provides persistent block store and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) manages role-based access to critical applications and resources.
While Seer Technologies initially managed the relationship with AWS, AWS assigned a manager to the account. “AWS provided someone who could help us understand how to improve the infrastructure and how it could work across multiple Availability Zones for additional redundancy. Their support is extremely responsive and we are very happy with it,” says Mendoza.
The figure below illustrates SEAOIL’s environment in AWS:
SEAOIL is now achieving a range of benefits from running its business critical applications such as the Oracle E-Business Suite in an AWS infrastructure. The company is now achieving greater flexibility by meeting multiple business requirements simultaneously such as process improvement on new projects, bug fixes, ticketing issues, and reporting requirements. In terms of agility, the provisioning of new environments has been reduced from six weeks to a week and reliability has improved due to the new architecture and new capabilities such as on-demand scaling. In addition, availability levels are running well above 99.5 percent. “I don’t have to deal with outages anymore and that’s the biggest business benefit for me,” Mendoza says.
SEAOIL is recording a 20 percent reduction in total cost of ownership for its application layer compared to running the application in an on-premises infrastructure. This does not include on-premises costs such as data center power, cooling, and real estate. In addition, the ability to spin up new resources in minutes has enables the organization to improve its agility and reduce its administrative load. “We can now deliver new environments at least six times faster than in our on-premises data center,” Mendoza says.
The improvements are prompting SEAOIL to extend its AWS architecture beyond its ERP system. “There is a requirement for us to integrate payment information with customer information, and present a portal to the customer showing their transaction history. That portal is being developed in AWS,” says Mendoza.
“We chose AWS because its cloud services could deliver our business-critical enterprise applications reliably and cost-effectively, while giving us opportunities to cut delivery times for new products and services and replicate infrastructure environments quickly and easily.”
Glenn Mendoza, Vice President, IT