Dell Technologies and Gowra Bits & Bytes, Dell Technologies’ channel partner, help NATCO Pharma to modernize its IT infrastructure
One of the rapidly increasing and transforming sectors has been the pharmaceutical industry. Among the numerous ways in which the market has adapted to modern strategies, technological trends have really helped push healthcare to the fore. Regardless of the industry, modernization is the top goal for every organisation today. The journey of NATCO Pharma serves as an example of the modernization that modern businesses are aiming for. The difficulty for many businesses today is not just with technological adoption but also with developing a comprehensive modernization vision that includes technological adoption.
Nowadays, a comprehensive technological strategy is necessary, especially for pharmaceutical companies given the widespread adoption of patient-centric healthcare models. We speak with Manish Gupta, Senior Director and General Manager, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell Technologies India, M Prabhakar Rao, Associate Vice President at NATCO Pharma, a seasoned IT leader in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, and Subbaram Gowra, Managing Director of Gowra Bits & Bytes, a trusted channel partner of Dell Technologies and a provider of end-to-end IT infrastructure solutions and services.
These leading executives from NATCO Pharma, Dell Technologies, and Gowra Bits & Bytes were instrumental in facilitating NATCO Pharma’s digital transformation.
What were some challenges with modernization that NATCO Pharma was facing?
MPR: In early 2019, during an evaluation of our IT infrastructure and to modernize on of our site among other sites of NATCO, it was discovered that the older generation 3-tier IT infrastructure had limitations in terms of scaling up thereby impacting its resilience. The performance issues at the facility triggered a need to look at various options to solve the operational inefficiencies. I was aware that hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) was quickly becoming commonplace in the pharmaceutical industry. NATCO Pharma needed a comprehensive and scalable solution to resolve critical operational bottlenecks.
How did you set NATCO Pharma modernization plans into motion?
MPR: The idea for modernization of the facility was discussed between Dell Technologies and VMware where several challenges and potential outcomes were explored. Consequently, a joint plan was presented by Dell Technologies, VMware, and the scientific application vendor team to all the stakeholders. A consensus was reached, following which our plant leadership and Dell Technologies, discussed and worked on the architecture, data life cycle from creation to backup and archive, verified the architecture from all internal and external stakeholders, and sized it for present and future scenario in tandem with compliance requirements.
What role did Dell Technologies and Gowra Bits & Bytes (GBB) play in the modernization process?
MPR: Dell Technologies and Gowra Bits & Bytes strategized and executed our modernization plans. These were the partners that I had worked with earlier during the successful VDI deployment at NATCO Pharma’s Vishakhapatnam facility using similar HCI technology. NATCO Pharma had experienced the strong quantifiable benefits of this exercise, and it gave us the confidence to involve the same team again.
Could you shed some light on how Dell Technologies and Gowra Bits & Bytes approached the modernization process?
MG: NATCO Pharma wanted to evaluate various solutions on a comprehensive 5-parameter matrix as part of their IT modernization plan, which included scalability, agility, data security, availability, and, more importantly, a future road map for the solution to avoid bottlenecks and improve return on investments.
Discussions on the specifications and implementation began in July 2019 and centred on core requirements, RAM, storage backup size, and backup media type. All stakeholders – scientific application providers, end-users, business leaders, the quality assurance team, and the IT team led by Mr. Rao, contributed towards making this possible.
To gain a better understanding of how the solution ought to be implemented, the project teams at Dell Technologies, VMware, GBB, and the scientific application vendor team engaged in a site visit and elucidated upon the benefits of VxRail to all the stakeholders. Additionally, the team from the existing scientific application vendor shared their experience with other similar projects, implications of HCI solutions, and compliance-related guidelines. Dell Technologies and VMware presented the solution that complied with the 5 parameters of evaluation. Further, GBB shared their deployment plan that also covered the solution implementation plan. With all these factors in mind, the Dell EMC VxRail powered by VMware vSAN technology was deemed as the best possible solution for Natco Pharma. The proposed HCI solution, was highly scalable, agile, and furthermore, would also cover the compliance norms of US FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and other pharmaceutical-related compliances. Above all, the scientific application that was part of NATCO’s IT infrastructure could also seamlessly function on the proposed VxRail solution.
SG: It was of immense importance for NATCO Pharma to adhere to all compliances, especially those concerning the documentation process. We prepared a deployment plan basis strategies and solutions presented by Dell Technologies and VMware. The note of confidence from the NATCO Pharma leadership team and the trust we built throughout the entire implementation process was the key to the successful deployment of this solution.”
Could you tell us something about how the implementation went?
MPR: The implementation was a huge success. All the parties involved are satisfied with the new IT infrastructure in place and the site is now able to handle workloads efficiently while delivering the best results and achieving an effective ROI with this exercise. NATCO Pharma is pleased with the outcome and is now looking to replicate this model for a centralized, efficient, and highly available IT infrastructure for other critical workloads. The implementation has thus become a huge success for all the stakeholders involved.
MG: Our main goal has been to add value to our customer’s business activities. This can be achieved by providing a solution that is scalable, agile, secure, and have high availability. Furthermore, teaming up with our partners at GBB added great value as they were able to seamlessly navigate through the documentation process while adhering to the norms of all compliance regulations.