Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 47 | Page 56

CASE STUDY W ith its history dating back to 1968, Muscat Pharmacy & Stores LLC (Muscat Pharmacy) was the first pharmacy to be established in the Sultanate of Oman. Via its 65 outlets spread across the Sultanate, the company is engaged in import, distribution, wholesale and retail of drugs and pharmaceutical products as well as medical and laboratory equipment, veterinary medicine, surgical goods and various consumer products. Legacy networks unable to support business requirements Seamless communication and real-time access to data are generally the lifeblood for any distribution business. Given its extensive network of over 200 plus global 56 INTELLIGENTCIO suppliers and 69 outlets country-wide, this is particularly true for Muscat Pharmacy. Each day, employees from sales, supply chain management, warehousing, shipping and finance rely on business-critical applications to take decisions that have a direct impact on the company’s bottom line and overall performance objectives. The ability for employees to have real-time access to data and associated services, hinges on the availability of a reliable and always-on network. While this might not seem like a daunting challenge for most businesses, the issue facing the Muscat Pharmacy IT team was that all employees were spread across four remote facilities (headquarters and three satellite offices). Speaking about the previous infrastructure, Ajith Kumar, Network and Security Administrator at Muscat Pharmacy & Stores LLC, said: “Given the distance between our four locations, a cabled solution was definitely not an option for us to consider. We initially relied on a local service provider, with the added benefits of our own Virtual Private Network (VPN), to provide connectivity to all our employees, wherever they were located. “However, our requirements for bandwidth- hungry applications – which grew significantly over a short period of time – coupled with an increase in our employees headcount, made the cost of upgrading our legacy platform simply prohibitive. It also wasn’t uncommon for us to have