Scepticism can give way to enthusiasm with the right information

About Multotec (Pty) Ltd.

Established in 1973, Multotec (Pty) Ltd. is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with offices throughout Africa, China, Australia, South America, Canada and Europe.

For 50 years, the mineral processing industry specialist has provided solutions for the mining, mineral processing, petrochemical and power generation industries, with recent expansion into the process water industry.

Multotec’s equipment is used by mining giants throughout the world, and the company’s technical expertise and extensive application knowledge of process flow sheets has enabled it to create application-specific equipment and solutions for its clients.

Brief Overview

Multotec transitions from ageing Oracle hardware to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

The Story

The Multotec infrastructure had been running on SPARC T4 servers, successfully maintaining their JD Edwards environment for over a decade. As these servers approached the end of their lifespan, the cost of upkeep escalated, while options for storage and disaster recovery became increasingly limited. Renier van Rooyen, Group Business Systems Executive at Multotec (Pty) Ltd, shared his perspective on the upgrade process. Initially leaning towards renewing the on-premise system, Renier highlighted, “The significant cost savings offered by an upgrade to OCI were impossible to overlook.”

With Steltix as their trusted JD Edwards partner, Multotec carefully explored various upgrade options. Despite considering the latest SPARC server and Linux-based systems, it was the compelling advantages in cost, flexibility, and disaster recovery inherent in JDE on OCI that captured their attention. Renier explained, “Maintaining duplicate infrastructure for hosting both production and failover environments significantly inflated costs.”

Addressing concerns and business risks, Renier admitted his initial scepticism regarding cloud migration for a large manufacturing organization like theirs. JDE was deeply integrated with multiple on-premises systems, including shop floor systems, barcoding solutions, and business intelligence layers. Renier voiced his concern about potential disruptions and performance risk to these intricate integrations when shifting the JDE environment to the cloud.

Oracle and Steltix allayed these concerns by conducting an exhaustive Proof of Concept (POC) for Multotec, demonstrating that OCI promised superior performance and reliability compared to their existing setup. Renier acknowledged, “The POC revealed that integration challenges were less daunting than anticipated. Consequently, the migration to OCI was highly successful, owing to the dedicated efforts of all stakeholders.”

Initially, Multotec’s plan was solely a technical upgrade. “We initially considered a simple lift and shift, but transitioning from SPARC to OCI made this unfeasible. Consequently, we had to undertake a 64-bit migration, along with a full applications release upgrade due to several essential baseline ESUs,” explained Renier. While this setback incurred additional costs and time for the project, Renier emphasized its ultimate value.

Regarding the solution’s performance, Renier noted, “The go-live transition was flawless, and we’re experiencing outstanding outcomes. The environment’s speed is remarkable—it’s significantly faster! Tasks like MRP batch jobs, which previously took 30 minutes, now complete in just 6 minutes. While latency was a concern initially, we’ve observed improved performance for both local and international users. Overall, in terms of performance, it’s been a substantial victory.”

“The environment’s speed is remarkable—it’s significantly faster!”

– Renier van Rooyen
Group Business Systems Executive, Multotec (Pty) Ltd.

Renier van Rooyen

Renier highlighted various challenges encountered during the transition. “Network connectivity in South Africa emerged as a concern, underscoring the importance of robust connectivity when deploying JDE in the cloud,” cautioned the Multotec business systems executive. Another significant lesson revolved around failover and backup strategies. “We experimented with multiple configurations, weighing cost, restoration time, and data loss. Considering OCI’s uptime SLA, we opted for disk-level data replication using OCI’s cross-region block storage volume replication in the London data centre. Our failover drills have been successful with manageable data loss,” Renier elaborated.

Navigating the consumption of credits posed a learning curve initially for the project team. Initially, they surpassed their anticipated and budgeted credit consumption. However, with Steltix’s assistance in optimizing Multotec’s environment, including container setups and resource allocation, they now align closer to the expected burn rate for a business of their scale.

Reflecting on the overall success of the OCI project, Renier emphasized the advantageous cost savings, substantial performance enhancements, and increased user satisfaction. “It’s been an exciting project demanding immense effort from both the Steltix and internal teams. Despite rigorous testing, looking back, the project has undoubtedly proven its worth for us.” Renier concluded.