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Saudi utility giant SWCC embarks on IT upgrade

As the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) faces challenges of global expansion and privatisation, the Saudi utility giant has undertaken an IT infrastructure overhaul following its Electronic Transformation program (e-TP Program). As part of its IT overhaul, Sun Microsystems will provide SWCC with the latest in datacenter technology to power it main datacenter that will run Oracle ERP, Supply Chain and Asset Management applications in 30 plants spread across 17 locations in the Kingdom.

“Our aim is to develop the organisation into the leading utility firm not just in Saudi Arabia, but across the wider region. By offering Saudi citizens, SWCC suppliers, and our business partners the ability to benefit from online services we’ll be pushing the boundaries of customer service and reliability,” claims Eng. Abdullah Al Khedher, SWCC’s e-TP director.

“We want our employees to use the latest technology and be well trained before privatisation to ensure the utmost confidence in our customers and investors. By taking these steps today and by addressing issues such as effective change management we are ensuring that SWCC will remain on a strong footing for decades to come and become a technology leader in both the government space as well as in the private sector” added Al Khedher.

Sun has equipped SWCC’s datacenter with its SPARC M5000 server designed with unique built-in mainframe-class virtualization capabilities, making it ideal for consolidating and computing large shared memory applications. The datacenter is housed at SWCC’s Riyadh headquarters and will power applications at all 30 plants.

The M5000’s consolidation platform of up to 4 dynamic domains will support thousands of Solaris containers that is also part of Sun’s deployment. The Solaris 10 software application will enables thousands of partitions to be run across a datacenter for complete isolation and control providing integrated, flexible and virtualization technology with zero-downtime. Sun has also deployed its award-winning Sun StorageTek SL500 Modular Library System to easily scale with SWCC’s storage requirements, while maintaining reliability and performance in high-availability environments.

“That SWCC has chosen Sun to upgrade its IT infrastructure and prepare for its future growth, is testimony to our systems being state-of-the-art and reliable and capable of handling operations of one of the world’s largest desalinations projects,” said Nabeel Al-Olake Al-Shammari, Sales Account Manager, Energy Sector, Sun Microsystems KSA. “It is important for SWCC to have the right technology to support the growth of their business, which coincides with the privatisation of the company. Our SWCC deployment builds on the years of expertise in the Energy sector and our solutions will result in improvements in the supply chain and lead time including minimal stock and inventory. This will lead to higher value of assets for SWCC.”

Moving forward, Sun work with SWCC on the area of Dynamic Reconfiguration and Identity Management Solutions, which will ultimately improve SWCC’s performance and resiliency.

Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has become the Kingdom’s leading utility firm as it looks to invest over US $50 billion on water projects up until the year 2020 to meet this growing demand. Also the largest desalination firm in the world, SWCC currently manages 30 water desalination plants across 17 locations in the kingdom and 4000 kilometers of pipelines, has over 10,000 employees, and owns just over US$21 billion dollars worth of assets. Several new plants are set to come online over the next few years, dramatically boosting SWCC’s water output and ensuring that its operations utilise the latest in desalination know-how. SWCC also generates a fifth of the Kingdom’s electricity.

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