Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited, the fifth largest gold producer in the world, has benefited from sustained database reliability and uptime for the last two years as a result of its partnership with RDB Consulting, an ICT outsource and consulting company.
Employing more than 40 000 people in South Africa and operating across four provinces, Harmony also has operations in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the NASDAQ.
The business case
Just over four years ago the decision was made to replace Harmony’s ERP system with Oracle’s eBusiness Suite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a move to improve functionality, efficiency and cost. The legacy system was too old and no longer adequately served Harmony, which had grown substantially over a 12 year period. All Harmony’s offices, both locally and globally, are underpinned by its central databases at its head office in Randfontein. As such, the company required a specialised database management service to complement its internal resources when the new database environment went live to help resolve complex problems, provide a second opinion, and assist with monitoring and support.
Going the outsourced route
Harmony decided to look for an outsourced provider of the required services in order to gain access to a specialist pool of resources, as well as to mitigate risk. The company had made the decision to opt only for ‘top-tier’ service providers when selecting outsourcing partners. The contract went out to tender and RDB Consulting was selected as the preferred partner.
Says Marlon Moodley, CIO at Harmony, “Not only does RDB Consulting have a good reputation in the industry, but they were also highly rated with regards to both quality of service and cost . At Harmony we prefer to work with well-known, established and trusted partners, and thus RDB Consulting was the obvious choice.”
As such, RDB Consulting has provided Harmony with database management services, including ongoing monitoring and support, since the beginning of 2008.
Commenting on RDB Consulting’s service over the last two years, Moodley says that the company is a valued and trusted partner. “We have benefited from having access to the high caliber of resources provided by RDB Consulting. In particular, we’ve been able to rely on their fast turnaround time and excellent problem solving ability – ultimately providing us with high availability.”
The Service Level Agreement between Harmony and RDB Consulting ensures that required functions are fulfilled according to the contract. Not only does RDB Consulting’s key account manager for Harmony keep regular contact with Harmony’s IT Department, but so does its CEO, Jaroslav Cerny. He explains, “As CEO, I feel it is important to have my finger on the pulse of client relationships in order to ensure customer satisfaction.” Says Cerny, “Our proactive approach to database monitoring ensures that potential issues are identified before they become problems. Our specialist, certified resources that are available 24×7 mean that Harmony can be assured that its database infrastructure is in good hands.”
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Jennifer Mbesa / Gerrit-Jan Albers