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
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
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