At Maxim’s Cakes outlets in Hong Kong, customers are now using tablet devices to order and pay for their cakes online or in-store, with their orders reaching Maxim’s food factory within seconds.
That was not the case previously, where customers had to fill in order forms which were then faxed to the factory for their cakes to be made and delivered on schedule.
While those digital transformation initiatives had enabled Maxim’s Group – one of Asia’s largest food, beverage and restaurant chains – to improve customer service, any downtime in its IT systems could result in the loss of business.
That makes the company’s business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities more critical than ever. Earlier this year, it signed up for Oracle Cloud VMware Solution (OCVS) as part of efforts to gain ‘hot back up’ capabilities for its on-premise VMware environment.
Louis Mah, IT director at Maxim’s, said the company is now working on the business case to determine which VMware workloads to deploy on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), starting with customer-facing applications: “The objective is to achieve 100% availability, whether it’s for internal or external applications.”
With OCVS, Maxim’s will also be able to free up the capacity of its on-premise systems, especially when dealing with activities including month-end reporting, as workloads can be moved to the cloud in minutes – and back – as required.
Besides VMware workloads, Maxim’s is also using Oracle’s Autonomous Datawarehouse (ADW) on OCI to aggregate and process structured data from the company’s restaurants, bakery shops and coffee shops.
In Hong Kong alone, the company handles more than 600,000 sales transactions and creates millions of data records each day. With improved performance of real-time queries, Oracle’s ADW has enabled it to scale up or down in a few minutes as needs change, dramatically reducing database costs.
But the move to cloud is more than just about achieving cost savings. Mah said the company has also developed digital workflows that run on OCI and embraced automation to streamline business processes and improve productivity.
These include single sign-on capabilities as well as petty cash reimbursements, which used to take up to a month. “More than just savings, we’re looking at embracing technology for the future, reducing manual work and providing a better workplace for our staff,” he said.
With a diverse workforce, driving digital transformation efforts is not without its bugbears. Mah noted that the company has had to train and engage with employees, especially older workers on the frontlines who may not be well-versed with technology.
Moving forward, Mah said Maxim’s is looking to extend the use of OCI to local markets across the region, so that local teams can access its cloud-based datawarehouse and embark on their digital transformation efforts.
The company is also in talks with Oracle on implementing data analytics across the region which is being held back by the uncertainty over the Covid-19 situation.
“The dataset is not very meaningful because there are a lot of exceptions,” Mah said, referring to data that has been skewed by lock-downs and partial shutdowns of its outlets due to pandemic containment measures in the region.
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