Huawei Cloud helps Aberdare cables to drive innovation forward

It should be clear that the cloud today is the foundation on which the global drive towards digital transformation is built.

01 April 2024

Raven Mahabeer, GM, Information Management, Aberdare Cables

It should be clear that the cloud today is the foundation on which the global drive towards digital transformation is built. Thus we are increasingly witnessing businesses focused on leveraging it, in order to access new and innovative technologies, as well as to drive efficiencies in their own operations and processes.

This was certainly the case with Aberdare Cables, a leading Sub- Saharan African manufacturer of power cables of various voltages. The company’s GM for Information Management, Raven Mahabeer, says the company had long operated its IT systems and infrastructure on-premise, but has a reputation for continuously innovating across all parts of its business.

“This encompasses everything from developing and improving our power cables, through to driving innovation within our IT department. Thus, moving to the cloud, with the additional innovation it promises, was a driving force for us,” he says.

“The opportunity to engage with a service provider like Huawei, which could support us in this journey, could not be missed. Among the key areas in which they assisted us was improving the integrity of our servers, along with offering seamless maintenance, backup management, operating system maintenance and server upgrades. It also boosted the end-user experience, thanks to the mobility factor, which allowed users to transact anywhere, and at any time.” Mahabeer indicates further that Huawei dealt comfortably with the various challenges that were faced during the migration. This included the need to migrate the organisation’s very large TB SAP Hana database into the cloud.

“In an operational environment, this meant downtime, but with Huawei assisting us, we achieved this migration in just 12 hours, making it both a huge challenge and a massive achievement for organisationsus both.

“Among the benefits we obtained were a much more stable environment that was also easier to maintain. Then, from the perspective of our internal users, the accessibility of the cloud was key, delivering the full benefits of mobility. Meanwhile, the cost-based consumption model allowed us to save money, and the performance benefits it delivers has driven significant efficiency improvements.”

Better service in real-time

He says having a faster and more efficient SAP system means more effective integration into the client environment, adding that the company’s salespeople are now able to leverage the SAP CRM solution to boost customer engagement and deliver better service in real-time.

“The real opportunity Aberdare identified was in having access to a flexible infrastructure, giving us the ability to incrementally resize servers, spin up a box on the fly, in order to test a new application and just generally manage our workloads more effectively,” he says.

Steven Chen, MD, Huawei Cloud South Africa

“Thanks to the shift to the cloud, we have positioned ourselves for the next decade in respect of infrastructure, and we can add more servers as we grow. The closeness of our relationship with Huawei means they continue to find ways to help us reduce costs, through efforts such as downsizing servers, or removing inactive ones. Having a partner like this is ideal for an organisation whose primary goal is shifting cables, as our cloud challenges are dealt with, while we are free to focus on our core business.”

Steven Chen, MD for Huawei Cloud South Africa, says Aberdare Cables is a company filled with the spirit of innovation, which aligns perfectly with Huawei Cloud’s own approach.

“We are pleased to be able to offer them both high-quality technologies and service, giving them the confidence that we are a reliable cloud partner,” Chen says. “Moreover, the fact that we offer in-country datacentres - significantly reducing latency - and are manufacturers of our own hardware and software, means that every aspect of the cloud infrastructure they utilise is made by Huawei itself.

“As Aberdare is a leading manufacturer in its own sector, it has been our pleasure to help take their business to the next level. Our goal is to be their long-term partner and to serve them in a capable and transformative manner, which will include providing them with cloud-native apps - such as our AI service, which will further support their transformation strategy - as we move forward,” he states.


Mahabeer notes that innovation is core to the company, and the move to the cloud is key to demonstrating how innovative the company continues to be, adding that the business recently won the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa’s (SEIFSA’s) most digitally innovative company award – the winning formula for which, he enthuses, Huawei Cloud has been a key part of.

“We are especially pleased with the teamwork and collaboration between our two organisations, which resulted in a truly successful project. SAP Hana migrations are notoriously tough to pull off, and as far as we are aware, this was the first successful such cloud move undertaken in the manufacturing sector. Fortunately, with Huawei Cloud as our partners, it was much easier than expected.

“A good example of how this migration has boosted our business is how, post-migration, we implemented S4 Hana in the cloud. Since this migration took place, our sales people have been breaking sales records month on month, thanks to the IT massive performance efficiency improvements we have gained through our access to the Huawei Cloud,” he concludes.

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