IT VisionThe IT Strategy at FFC shall complement our Corporate Vision by business transformation through technology innovation, introducing best practices and connecting our processes for timely information and optimized performance to succeed in our endeavors.
IT Department has been re-organized as a core entity managing all IT related matters companywide. This department is now headed by GM / CIO. All IT concerns report directly to IT Head Office. This has enhanced coordination for successful implementation of enterprise level systems.
The SAP project has finally gone live and process of reconciliation of legacy system with SAP system has been successfully completed at all locations. By the Grace of Allah, SAP has now become the leading system in FFC. Soon the legacy systems will be shut down and we will be on our way to using best enterprise system of the world. Despite the fact that scope of phase 1 was colossal, we have been able to implement 90% of it in record time. Insha Allah phase 2 and remaining work of phase 1 will be completed in about 4 month period.
ICT and Passive Infrastructure
DIPS contract has been finalized and awarded to M/S Getronics on 14 Jan 2011. DIPS is an acronym for Data centre, Information and Communications Technology ICT, Passive infrastructure, and Security. Using integrated systems, equipment (related to HVAC, CCTV, Access, Voice and Data) in the whole building will converge on standard IP infrastructure. Part of the project is state of the art Tier 3 data centre for the new building. Low level design, and shop drawings of passive infrastructure, security and data center have been completed. Bill of quantities has been signed off and equipment ordering is in process. Project is likely to be completed by mid September, 2011.
A Building Management System (BMS) is a computer-based control system that manages mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, fire, security and power systems. Having all systems linked on one platform and providing coordinated response to different facilities, the integrated end to end system also optimizes energy consumption in the whole building. Purchase order for equipment hasbeen issued to M/s Johnson Control Inc.
FFC has successfully launched an online careers portal. The system has been developed by IT Division in close co-ordination with HR and is fully customized to our hiring process. It allows job seekers to view all the available job openings in FFC and then apply for these jobs online. One of its main features is to speed up the recruitment process while maintaining high accuracy and transparency. HR has already posted jobs on the e-recruitment portal.
Solar Energy Solution – Field Warehouses
To provide uninterrupted electricity at FFC warehouses at remote locations (where there is extensive load shedding), solar powered hybrid system is being installed. This will ensure 24 x 7 network connectivity at these remote sites. Initially the project is being implemented in Rawat Warehouse as Proof of Concept solution. After trials, if the system is found suitable, it will be deployed at other warehouses that are facing extensive load shedding.
Migration of SAP Servers to Windows 2008 R2
SAP Basis team in collaboration with IT and Information Security have successfully migrated existing SAP servers from Windows server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 R2. This extensive activity involved installation and configuration of operating system, configuration of Active Directory domain services, creation of server clusters, SAP installation, data upload, backup configuration and hardening of servers. This activity was meticulously completed within one month time. SAP servers hosted at DR Site (IT Goth Machhi) have also been successfully migrated to Windows Server 2008 R2. The migration shall enhance and optimize the performance of SAP systems and will also further strengthen servers against potential vulnerabilities and security threats.
SAP Implementation Support
IT at all locations provided excellent support to SAP users in learning, using and adapting SAP. The activities included trainings, onsite / offsite support and troubleshooting. Technical support was also provided to help resolve outstanding issues in coordination with functional teams at SAP Project Office. Prompt and efficient support was also provided to FFC Management.
Data Migration for SAP Re - instatement and Re-conciliation
To ensure smooth, accurate and timely re-instatement of SAP, balances data related to Plant Spares, Finance, Sales / Marketing was provided by data migration team to SAP team for uploading in SAP during May / Jun 2011. Consistency checks among SAP and legacy system were performed prior to re-instatement activity to avoid any discrepancies. Once data was loaded, post re-instatement activity was carried out for clearance of backlog in coordination with user departments. Data re-conciliation between legacy and SAP systems after SAP re-instatement was a major and critical activity. Reports were also developed that helped user departments to quickly track problems and rectify them at the earliest.
New IT Infrastructure NRFU testing
IT-HO team conducted NRFU (Network Ready for Use) and network redundancy tests on all branch sites. This activity was performed in close coordination with respective network teams of all branch sites. This activity was conducted from 17th May 2011 to 02nd June 2011. After successful completion of the activity, NRFU document was signed off by respective network administrators.
In order to enhance availability of SAP infrastructure at Mirpur Mathelo, the LAN was extended up to Bagging section and other offsite offices /workshops. IT Unit Mirpur Mathelo successfully executed and commissioned the extension of LAN.
DSL connectivity and proper earthing was completed at field locations. Other activities included ensuring availability of IT Infrastructure in AMCON 2011 at Sheraton, Karachi. Revamping of network was carried out at FFBL Distribution Office, Karachi.
In order to enhance the productivity of employees and to protect company’s network from harmful/malicious threats, Web Monitor software has been installed and configured based on guidelines provided by Plant site-GM Management and IT Management.
Guest House Management Software
Guest House Reservation Management system was successfully deployed with an aim to provide a robust and customized solution for guest house reservation. With integration of this system in SAP Enterprise Portal, it has now become easier for users to make online requests for FFC guest houses. In this regard, nominated users’ training was conducted at all sites.
IT Department started archival project in January 2010. The salient achievements are as under:
Head Office: The total number of archived documents at Head Office topped 5 million. In view of shifting to new Head Office building, revised estimate of documents to be archived has been gathered. The archiving activity shall conclude once all necessary documentation has been archived.
Marketing Division Lahore: Archiving started in August 2010. It has concluded with the archival of nearly a quarter million documents for archiving of Marketing Group documents at IT Lahore.
FFC-GM: The documents archiving project commenced on 12th April 2011 at FFC-Goth Machhi. Archival of six Units has been completed totaling approx 300k pages.
Penetration Testing at Branch Sites
Department of Information Security played its role in the optimization and enhancement of overall security posture of FFC network and SAP infrastructure. In this regard a proactive approach was adopted to assess vulnerabilities and threats that might pose a security risk towards network or SAP systems. First ever penetration testing activity was performed at all branch sites (Marketing Office Lahore, Goth Macchi, Mirpur Mathelo and RM Office Karachi) to address vulnerabilities so as to ensure business continuity and availability.
Security Awareness Sessions at Branch Sites and HO
Information Security awareness sessions were organized at all branch sites including Head Office to apprise the audience regarding key elements of information security such as security risks, threat vectors, hacking trends etc. This helped in developing a secure corporate working environment. More than 200 employees of FFC attended the session at various sites and gained valuable information. Also, software white-list is kept updated to ensure standardization of software organization wide.