Established in 1975, El Ezaby Pharmacy is recognized as one of Egypt’s leading providers of health and personal care products. With nearly 40 years of experience serving the Egyptian community, El Ezaby maintains a nationwide network of 90 branches (and counting), multiple warehouses and one baby center.
As one of Egypt’s leading pharmacy chains, El Ezaby Pharmacy needed a strong IT landscape to support its complex and wide-reaching operations. Its legacy IT infrastructure was proving inadequate to the task, so the company made the decision to switch to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications. The SUSE solution cut the IT administrative burden, helping El Ezaby Pharmacy focus on delivering fast, reliable services for its customers.
With almost a hundred branches across Egypt and the Middle East, and a complex network of assets to maintain, El Ezaby Pharmacy needed a robust IT infrastructure capable of supporting its complex day-to-day operations. However, the company’s existing solutions were proving inadequate to the task.
Haitham El-Ghamry, IT director at El Ezaby Pharmacy, says: “Our previous systems were being outpaced as the company continued to grow. Our database was proving too small for the size and complexity of our inventory. The slow speed at which the system could be updated also hindered the reliability of our business processes.
“That was what initially led us to choose SAP applications as a means of managing our business more effectively. After that it just made sense to adopt SLES. It came highly recommended from the vendors we spoke to, and it had the level of compatibility we needed to integrate our entire IT landscape.”
El Ezaby Pharmacy also saw opportunities for further efficiency in server virtualization, knowing the SUSE solution was compatible with VMware technology.
“We believe in SUSE because our technology must be the latest and most effective, if our business is to match the El Ezaby Pharmacy slogan, ‘Your Health Partner.’”
After consulting with SAP, as well as evaluating a number of hardware options, El Ezaby Pharmacy decided to adopt the latest version of SLES for SAP Applications, running on HPE hardware.
“SLES felt like the natural choice for us,” says El-Ghamry. “With SAP’s recommendation, we really had our homework done for us, and HPE provided robust hardware that integrated well with our existing infrastructure. We chose the most recent version of the SUSE operating system because we wanted to start using SAP S/4 HANA, which had the scalability needed to keep up with our business growth.”
The company also decided to take advantage of server virtualization, with support from the SUSE team. “We saw VMware as a means of reducing administrative burden and speeding up the system overall,” says El-Ghamry. “We were impressed by how quickly the SUSE team was able to get our existing servers virtualized and how quickly they were up and running.”
El Ezaby Pharmacy was able to move from two physical servers to four virtual ones for its SAP applications, all within just 30 minutes.
“The support from the SUSE team has been excellent,” says El-Ghamry. “We view that as one of the key benefits of adopting SLES, as well as the reassurance of knowing the solution was compatible with our entire IT landscape out of the box.”
Since implementing SLES for SAP Applications, El Ezaby has seen a significant decrease in IT administrative workload, leading to faster, more reliable services for its customers.
“The system moves much faster now,” says El-Ghamry. “The virtualization of our IT infrastructure means we can perform the same tasks much more rapidly, and the SUSE solution scales up more easily than our previous system.
“The SUSE operating system provides a stable platform for our core SAP applications; and since we made the upgrade we’ve been able to install updates much faster. That has massively reduced our risk of downtime, as well as reducing our IT workload more generally.”