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Revamp Results: Hindustan Copper benefits from modernising its telecom infrastructure

December 31, 2011
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Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), a public sector undertaking under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines, was incorporated in 1967. The company markets copper cathodes, copper wire bars, continuous cast copper rods and by-products such as anode slime (containing gold, silver, etc.), copper sulphate and sulphuric acid. More than 90 per cent of HCL’s sales revenue is from cathode and continuous cast copper rods.

HCL’s mines and plants are spread across four operating units, one each in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. These are the Khetri Copper Complex at Khetri Nagar, Rajasthan; the Indian Copper Complex  at Ghatsila, Jharkhand; the Malanjkhand Copper Project at Malanjkhand, Madhya Pradesh; and the Taloja Copper Project  at Taloja, Maharashtra.

With the twin aims of enhancing productivity as well as improving network connectivity, HCL recognised the need for an upgraded communications infrastructure. The organisation opted for a multi-tiered IT and telecom set-up that provided robust connectivity as well as reduced downtime.

tele.net tracks the development of HCL’s  IT and telecom set-up...

Legacy system

Earlier, the company’s telecommunications infrastructure was fairly basic, comprising IBM RISC servers with the DB2 enterprise server database. Its other features included FoxPro and PC Info software.

However, the company soon realised that its communications set-up was not conducive to achieving business goals. According to Sitendu Dash, senior manager, systems, HCL, “The system did not facilitate centralised data processing. The process of data collection and assimilation was done on an individual level at each of its offices, which are scattered all over the country and some are even located in remote places.”

The shift

The company decided to instal a multi-tiered communications infrastructure. It opted for 4 Mbps MPLS connectivity, sourced from Reliance Communications, as the basic backbone of its telecom set-up. This, Dash feels, brought the company multiple benefits such as increased quality of service, easy and cost-effective network expansion, flexible bandwidth allocation, network security and network redundancy.

Besides this, the company also used leased lines. According to Dash, leased internet lines helped the company maintain seamless connectivity with its branch offices. The always on connectivity provided by the medium came at a flat rate, which gave the company a clear picture of its communication-related costs.

Apart from this, the company also used Oracle’s E-Biz suite R12, which helped it stay in constant touch.

Security was an important consideration. HCL implemented a multi-tiered security infrastructure that comprised Nortel’s intrusion detection system, firewalls, Chekpoint Software, CA antivirus, TrendMicro antivirus and an antispam set-up for the company’s mail server and software applications.

Challenges and advantages

The company did face a few challenges in implementing the new telecom infrastructure. These included the integration of systems in one place, setting up bandwidth at various locations and customisation of software as per the company’s requirement.

However, according to Dash, HCL also received several benefits from the communications upgrade. These included a centralised location for data, minimising data duplicity, ensuring timely access to data and information, and approval of various projects and files online, which in turn, reduced time. The company could also keep an eye on its communication set-up, even in remote places as HCL’s technical personnel are located at the company’s centralised data centre in Kolkata.

In all, the company had set aside Rs 95 million for its communications set-up for three years. During this period, all its servers and other components are under warranty. Also, on an average, over 400 employees can access this network.

Conclusion

Hence, by adding on to its communications infrastructure at the right time, the company is now enjoying the advantages of a robust, flexible and cost-effective platform.

 
 
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