The Logistics of Refreshment
You probably didn’t know that in China, when you drink Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, or any drink produced by COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd., a joint venture of China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO) and Coca-Cola, Huawei’s ICT is standing behind their production, sales, and distribution.
In 2000, COFCO and Coca-Cola, both Fortune Global 500 companies, set up COFCO Coca-Cola Beverage Co., Ltd. (COFCO Coca-Cola), in which COFCO holds 65 percent of shares while Coca-Cola owns the remaining 35 percent. COFCO Coca-Cola is the only Coca-Cola bottling group controlled by a Chinese-funded enterprise in China. One of the fastest-growing Coca-Cola bottling companies, COFCO Coca-Cola is among the Top 10 Coca-Cola bottling companies worldwide. Currently, drinks produced by COFCO Coca-Cola are available in 81 percent of China’s territories and to 51 percent of China’s population.
COFCO Coca-Cola’s business systems consist of the following three parts:
Front-end application systems, including sales data, logistics, Office Automation (OA), and external communication management systems. These systems support daily beverage sales, retail store visits, logistics, dispatch, and other businesses. After customers place orders, freight drivers use a warehouse application system to easily prioritize orders and work out the most appropriate freight routes. With the system’s built-in mapping and navigation functions, beverages can be quickly and accurately delivered to distributors and retail stores.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). COFCO Coca-Cola uses the SAP ERP Central Component (ECC). The core components of SAP ECC include financial management, sales management, production planning, material management, plant maintenance, human resources management, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). With its front-end application systems, CRM enables a series of activities such as order placing and pricing, partner management, and service management.
Portals, reporting systems, and data warehouses.
Although COFCO Coca-Cola’s business systems are state-of-the-art, its legacy network infrastructure was siloed, with a number of core business systems deployed separately. As business types and their scope continued to grow, it became clear these traditional architectures were not enough. COFCO Coca-Cola faced complex Operations and Maintenance (O&M) and difficult upgrades and scalability, which hindered new service rollouts in response to fast-changing service needs. COFCO Coca-Cola urgently needed to consolidate its network infrastructure.
“Our original network infrastructure was unable to support our ICT transformation strategy,” said Li Zhihong of COFCO Coca-Cola’s Information Management Department. “After about one year of research, we decided to build an enterprise private cloud platform and use cloud infrastructure to support our core business systems such as ERP and CRM.”
In the past, COFCO Coca-Cola used midrange computers. Currently, x86-based appliances have improved their CPU performance, and the latest appliances, such as those from Huawei, are highly integrated: They incorporate a computing unit, a storage unit, a network unit, and virtualization software.
After considering multiple factors such as CPU performance, integration level, cost-effectiveness, and appliances’ Return On Investment (ROI), COFCO Coca-Cola ultimately chose Huawei’s FusionCube converged appliance solution. In addition, COFCO Coca-Cola selected Huawei’s FusionServer server, OceanStor 5500 V3 storage system, and FusionSphere cloud operating system.
“Many market researchers show that Huawei is increasing its share in the appliance, storage, and server markets,” Li said. “I strongly agree that Huawei has strong capabilities in these areas.”
Huawei’s FusionCube is a hyper-converged infrastructure that provides elastic private cloud platform capabilities. With Huawei’s FusionCube, COFCO Coca-Cola can set up a unified resources pooling platform to efficiently satisfy the needs of business systems including CRM, OA, enterprise mail, and other core business systems. Additionally, IT resources are efficiently and elastically deployed.
FusionCube uses an innovative architecture that converges computing, storage, and networking resources. It pre-integrates a high-performance computing platform, a high-speed switching network, a distributed parallel storage system, and virtualization cloud software. As a result, it implements elastic IT service deployment, expansion, and migration. FusionCube is the key to achieving high cost-effectiveness of data centers.
Huawei’s OceanStor 5500 V3 storage system enables the integration of multiple controllers and active-active storage area network and network-attached storage nodes. These converged functions make COFCO Coca-Cola’s pursuit of a storage system that features higher performance, lower latency, and better elasticity a reality.
Huawei’s FusionSphere is an OpenStack-based cloud operating system designed for customers from a wide range of industries. It offers powerful virtualization and resource pool management, rich cloud infrastructure components and tools, and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). FusionSphere helps COFCO Coca-Cola horizontally consolidate physical and virtual resources in the data center and vertically optimize business platforms.
Players in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry need to be responsive to fast business expansion. As a leading FMCG player, COFCO Coca-Cola requires that its business systems and office systems go live quickly, run efficiently, and have a high price-performance ratio. Additionally, these systems must be stable, meeting the strict system stability requirements of the manufacturing industry.
Huawei’s FusionCube is characterized by a hyper-converged infrastructure and high level of integration that bring great benefits to COFCO Coca-Cola. For example, FusionCube:
Shortens service deployment by over 60 percent, ensuring rapid new service rollout
Saves equipment room space by over 70 percent
Reduces data center management expenses by 30 percent
Enables a nearly 10-fold performance improvement of key services by optimizing database read/write operations (read/write time slashed from 4.5 ms to 0.42 ms)
Huawei’s FusionServer helped COFCO Coca-Cola reduce server response time from 900 ms to 600 ms and decreased ERP report response time from 4,100 ms to 1,700 ms. Huawei’s FusionSphere not only met COFCO Coca-Cola’s virtualization deployment needs, but made cloud computing installations and usage more convenient.
Since the deployment and go-live of Huawei’s ICT products, COFCO Coca-Cola has reported more than 99.9 percent reliability of its core business systems, with a yearly downtime of less than 8 hours. This impressive result meets the core business systems stability requirements of COFCO Coca-Cola and enables efficient business operations.
Building a private cloud platform was just the first step in COFCO Coca-Cola’s digital transformation journey. The company has additional plans for its digital transformation. For example, the company plans to integrate production line equipment with core business systems through sensor and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. It will also capitalize on Big Data to achieve predictive maintenance and improve production and sales forecasts.
“Our original network infrastructure was unable to support our ICT transformation strategy. After about one year of research, we decided to build an enterprise private cloud platform and use cloud infrastructure to support our core business systems such as ERP and CRM. Huawei has provided us with a series of ICT infrastructure solutions, such as FusionCube, that fully meet our business development needs and conform to our ICT transformation strategy. We are looking forward to further cooperation with Huawei.”
— Li Zhihong, Information Management Department, COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd.