Rusan Pharma Ltd. is a technology-driven pharmaceutical firm specializing in critical pain management, substitution treatment, and psychiatric drugs as well as medicines to combat tuberculosis, opioid addiction and infections. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, the company sells its products globally and employs nearly 300 people.
To enable global expansion, Rusan Pharma needed a robust solution that could support compliance with regulations governing the international pharmaceuticals trade. Replacing its homegrown systems with SAP ERP applications running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server enabled the firm to meet compliance requirements and boost the reliability of its business-critical systems. The operating system offers excellent value for money and requires little maintenance, helping to keep costs low as the company grows.
Pharmaceutical companies that want to market their products around the world must ensure that their operations and IT systems comply with the relevant rules established and enforced by governmental bodies in each of the countries in which they operate, and by global industry regulators.
Rusan Pharma wanted to embark on a bold expansion program to become a truly global business. However, it faced a challenge as the homegrown system it was using to manage its core business processes was unable to provide sufficient data integrity to comply with regulations in all of the countries into which the company wanted to expand.
Sunil Shahapurkar, IT manager and SAP project manager at Rusan Pharma, says, “We wanted to ensure that complex compliance requirements did not slam the brakes on corporate growth, so we set out to find a standard platform that we could use to support operations around the world.
“We decided to standardize on SAP ERP software, which is very widely used by major pharma companies, and looked for a robust, reliable platform to support the SAP applications. We needed a solution that could provide excellent uptime, because our manufacturing plants typically operate for ten hours at a time, and we cannot afford to let our production line grind to a halt during the working day. Equally, we needed a platform that could provide superb value for money to help us prevent operating costs from creeping up and dulling our competitive edge.”
“We found that the total cost of running SAP applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is around 40% lower compared to alternative operating systems.”
Rusan Pharma evaluated various offerings available on the market and decided to implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications. The company currently uses six major SAP applications: Production Planning, Materials Management, Quality Management, Sales & Distribution and Financials/Costing (FI/CO).
“Deploying SAP on SLES for SAP Applications was fast and painless,” says Shahapurkar. “We received excellent support from the local SUSE consultants during the initial deployment—and if we ever have problems, they respond to our support requests within 45 minutes.”
The company now manages business functions such as quality management, sales, distribution and finance on SAP modules supported by IBM DB2 databases. The software runs on two System x servers from Lenovo running both SLES for SAP Applications as well as SLES. For critical elements in the SAP production landscape, Rusan Pharma has created a high-availability cluster using SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension.
“Huge numbers of enterprises across many industries choose to run their SAP applications on SLES, because it provides a stable platform for business-critical systems,” says Shahapurkar. “We have been running SLES for two and a half years and have not experienced any unplanned downtime.”
Running its SAP landscape on SLES for SAP Applications enables Rusan Pharma to demonstrate to international partners, clients and regulators that it is using a well-recognized combination of enterprise-class software. This helps to break down barriers to international expansion and emphasizes the company’s ongoing investments in software that meets global standards. Equally, SLES is an extremely cost-effective platform.
“We found that the total cost of running SAP applications on SLES is around 40% lower compared to alternative platforms,” says Shahapurkar. “Keeping IT operational costs down helps us to compete more effectively in international pharmaceutical markets.”
The SUSE platform requires very little maintenance, enabling Rusan Pharma to minimize the time and cost involved in managing its IT environment as the company grows.
Building on its early success, Rusan Pharma is continuing its journey with SUSE and SAP.
“We are planning to set up disaster recovery systems running SLES to further protect our business-critical systems and shield our firm’s operations from the risk of disaster,” says Shahapurkar.
Further into the future, Rusan Pharma is planning to upgrade to the latest version of SAP ERP and implement additional modules of the solution to support human resources and project management. The firm is also considering migrating other applications to SLES to profit from the platform’s rock-solid reliability.