The data miners

With offices scattered across the globe and a burning need to centrally manage their systems, the TRIMEX Group turned to service provider eHosting DataFort to devise an infrastaructure solution. NME reports.

Tags: E-mailIndonesiaInfrastructure as a service IaaSUnited Arab EmirateseHosting DataFort
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The data miners Madhu Koneru, executive director, TRIMEX.
By  Imthishan Giado Published  August 11, 2010

For many regional enterprises, collaboration is often simply a case of picking up the phone.

It’s the way things have been done out here for decades and ties into a deep-seated cultural desire to meet face to face and discuss issues – preferably over a cup of tea. But in a world dominated by instant messaging, video conferencing and 24/7 business needs, that approach to running your enterprise is rapidly falling out of fashion. It’s also more difficult when your business grows to encompass offices in several locations around the globe – multiple timezones play havoc with the efficient exchange of information.

This was certainly the challenge facing the TRIMEX group, a mineral conglomerate with offices across Asia, as well as the Middle and Far East. In 2005, the firm identified a need to modernise its existing infrastructure, and create a system which could maximise the sharing of information among employees, suppliers and customers. As a result, it turned to UAE service provider eHosting DataFort(eHDF), which created a new centralised infrastructure incorporating Microsoft Exchange. As a result, mobile users can now collaborate with each other and access common data stored in eHDF’s datacentre – data which is backed by its managed security and backup and restore services.

Madhu Koneru, executive director, TRIMEX International, executive vice chairman, MEC Holdings and MD of RAK Minerals and Metals Investments (RMMI) explains the composition of the TRIMEX group: “It was initially launched to fill the demand supply gap for quality industrial minerals to the oil drilling industry and has since grown into a leading minerals and metals conglomerate with interests in all areas of the minerals supply chain, from mining and logistics to processing and research & development. Starting from UAE and India, TRIMEX now has worldwide locations, which includes Kuwait, Singapore, Indonesia, USA, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Thailand.

“The group manages the minerals business through two strategic business units. TRIMEX International, based in Dubai, oversees the international business whereas TRIMEX Industries represents the Indian arm of the Group. TRIMEX International, based in Dubai has a trading arm and two processing plants in the Middle East, one in Kuwait and the other in Ras Al Khaimah. RAK Minerals and Metals Investments (RMMI), also under TRIMEX International, is the result of a strong partnership between RAK Investment Authority (RAKIA), a government of Ras Al Khaimah initiative and the TRIMEX Group,” he elaborates.

In essence, TRIMEX’s plans revolved around three projects. The first, as Koneru explains, was a large scale globalisation project.

“This was planned to be implemented in different phases starting with Singapore and Indonesia,” he states. “The deployment will connect all group offices across the globe through a virtual private network (VPN). The second is an existing service upgrade of hosted infrastructure – this project has already started and will be completed over a two month period by September 2010. This includes the upgrading of exchange servers hosted with eHDF to Microsoft Exchange 2010. This will ensure end-users can enjoy a more user-friendly experience of using e-mail, enhanced security benefits to prevent data loss risks, reduce spam e-mails and so on. After the upgrade, the CRM system will also be integrated with the new exchange system.”

“eHDF is also integrating TRIMEX’s Blackberry applications with the mail servers so that the end users can enjoy the benefits of the additional features on the go,” he continues.

For Koneru, the major driver behind this project stemmed from the decision taken back in 2005 to upgrade the IT infrastructure. As part of the decision, TRIMEX decided all of its end-users – whether they be customers, suppliers or internal employees – would be connected to a central datacentre which could provide shared services using a single application. This was perceived as a significant step up from their earlier system, which involved multiple applications that were selected independently by each outbound office.

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