Zuellig Pharma, one of the leading pharmaceutical service providers in Asia, has recognized the challenge and wants to help shape the future of the healthcare system. The company wants to simplify access to healthcare services for patients, while at the same time optimizing existing business and leveraging innovative business potential.
Zuellig Pharma – future business through digitalization
The company generates revenues of around 13 billion euros with services for pharmaceutical companies such as distribution of medical products, cost management, and digital services. With its 13,000 employees, it serves 1,000 business customers – among them the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Zuellig Pharma recognized very early on that consistent digitalization is the lever for future business success. The preliminary final step on the digital evolution path: Zuellig Pharma upgraded its SAP ERP to HANA and migrated the SAP landscape to the public cloud. The result: With 1 million SAPS and 10,000 users, the company now has the largest SAP installation on a public cloud in Southeast Asia.
SAP from the public cloud
“We are enthusiastic about the wealth of possible development paths that are opening up for us,” says Maikel Kuijpers, CIO of Zuellig Pharma, assessing the status achieved. The pharmaceutical logistics provider holds a real treasure of data as a result of its business activities. But so far it has lacked the means to claim this treasure. There are two reasons for this: On the one hand, the efficiency of the existing infrastructure was too low. On the other hand, the classic SAP system was not fit for real-time analyses.
However, the new cloud-native functions of the modern SAP HANA promised to be able to claim the data treasure and thus to drastically increase the innovative ability of the company. In addition, the leap to HANA held out the prospect of using further innovative services.
Zuellig Pharma set itself a tight schedule for the transfer of SAP to the public cloud. After a nine-month conception phase – after all, business-critical systems were to be transformed – the SAP systems were migrated to Microsoft's Azure Cloud over two weekends in October 2018. The Business Warehouse, the data heart of IT at Zuellig Pharma, followed last. T-Systems managed the transformation and now operates the systems on the Azure infrastructure.
Improved innovation power through real-time analysis
The data analyses that are now possible open up optimization potential for the existing business, e.g., for the optimization of logistics by matching storage capacities with demand, but also offer pointers for the development of new business models. “We now have the opportunity to explore and evaluate all these possible development paths for ourselves,” says Kuijpers looking ahead. For Zuellig Pharma, innovative software functions coupled with powerful dynamic infrastructure resources are the way to innovative business models. The company is positioned for the future and can sit back and face the boom on the Asian health market with composure.
But for the company it is about more than just future business. It sees cloud migration as a contribution to the development of the entire industry for the benefit of patients: “We have made these investments not only for ourselves, but also to advance the healthcare industry. We want to make the most of every opportunity to improve healthcare for the people in Asia.”
“The move to the public cloud opens up a variety of options for us to develop solutions that will shape the future of the healthcare industry. We are enthusiastic about the wealth of possible development paths that are opening up for us.” Maikel Kuijpers CIO of Zuellig Pharma