The fizz factory

Coca-Cola in Egypt relies on Symantec, not just for its security, but also for its back-up and archiving needs, and finds the company to be the best fit for all.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  October 9, 2008

Coca-Cola in Egypt relies on Symantec, not just for its security, but also for its back-up and archiving needs, and finds the company to be the best fit for all.

Coca-Cola in Egypt is fizzing with activity, and the Coca-Cola Bottling Company (TCCBCE) is doubtless the epicentre of it.

One of the major producers of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Dasani (bottled water) in Egypt, the company owns and operates eight production plants and 26 distribution centres. The company produces around 110 million units every year, has 7400 employees and is one of the major employers in the country. TCCBCE also supports four geographical sales regions in Egypt, supplies to around 336,000 outlets, approximately two-thirds of which are served direct.

For the business, the priority is simple - fill bottles in the various bottling plants and ensure that consumer goods are efficiently distributed. It also has to work towards increasing market share, growing its leadership and enhancing franchise management. IT has to prove to be a truly integrated function for the firm to achieve all of its goals.

"The IT team at TCCBCE works to support the business goals by securing and protecting information assets, simplifying and consolidating the infrastructure and ensuring continuous data availability," states Mostafa Nagy, IT manager at TCCBCE.

These are the major drivers that guide the IT team and the fact that it is not about money lost, but the money that can be saved through better data availability. TCCBCE's various IT investments over time reflect this mentality.

The firm has a central datacentre in Cairo, as well as a recently established disaster recovery site which is situated around 70kms from the primary site. The main datacentre supports around 1,200 users on HP Unix, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft production servers, together with an Oracle ERP environment, spanning financials, supply chain, human resources and purchasing.

"All our centres across the country, including those connecting via WiMAX, link to the primary datacentre using dual connectivity links. We mainly use Cisco routers and we also have a backbone connected to the various applications. We even have business intelligence over web-based applications," says Nagy.

Data on top

With a reliable backbone, network and datacentres in place, TCCBCE felt the need for adequate protection of the data that flowed through its network everyday.

"There are several information risks to our business. We are looking to eliminate the unauthorised access, change, distribution or theft of classified business information while simultaneously mitigating against non-compliance with global information management regulation. We are very conscious that the mishandling of classified business information could lead to damaged consumer, customer as well as diminished investor confidence. The bottom line is that information security equals business risk management," says Nagy.

After evaluating several vendors in the market for security solutions, the company chose Symantec to provide them with antivirus. This initial relationship with the provider was extended over time to include many other solutions, including the Enterprise Vault,  Veritas NetBackup and Endpoint Protection products.

"With NetBackup, we originally installed it four years back. We then later moved to version 5 and currently we are on version 6.5. Implementation of Enterprise Vault was started in late 2007, after testing the solution. We have a few users moving to the archive system and we are going to continue file sharing as well," says Nagy.

A quick look

Datacentres: Dual datacentre strategy: one in Cairo, with a disaster recovery site 70 kilometers away

Operating systems: HP-UX, Windows and Red Hat Linux

Applications: Oracle ERP environment, spanning Oracle Financials, Supply Chain, Human Resources and Purchasing

Users: 1,200

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