The Challenge: Transforming business processes using digital technologies has become a standard practice in today's IT world. However, the transformation itself begins with bridging skill gaps and loopholes in the system. Senior IT manager Keshav Dubal and his team at BEUMER India rise to the challenge of mitigating cyber threats and scaling infrastructure but in a cost-effective and timely manner.
IT leader takes flight: From a freelancer to an expert
With 22 years of IT experience, I started as a freelancer programmer and later joined BEUMER as a software developer for high-level controls. As a Certified Scrum Master, I worked on multiple airport projects, including design, testing, and deployment. I later transitioned to development and IT installation for Airport BHS projects, managing vendor procurement and commissioning.
Currently, I oversee internal and project IT infrastructure and digital initiatives, implementing BEUMER Group's IT strategy and processes for BIL.
The world of BEUMER IT
The BEUMER Group, a leading German company, specializes in material handling systems such as conveyors, sorting, and packaging systems. With a presence in India, BEUMER serves various sectors including airports, postal and parcel services, and e-commerce by providing comprehensive services from project management to system maintenance.
The IT team plays a critical role in enhancing efficiency and competitiveness by collaborating with other units to select, design, develop, deploy, and operate information technology solutions. My team and I maintain high-speed connections for reliable, secure, and timely access to global networks, information systems, and computing hardware and software, ensuring effective work from offices. We provide timely, accurate, and cost-effective support services to meet the needs of the BEUMER Group's members, maintaining effective communication.
Safeguarding digital transformation
At BEUMER, my team and I focus on keeping up-to-date with the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities, and we implement effective security measures to safeguard data and systems. Given the growing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks these days, we have identified that user awareness programs are necessary to mitigate cybersecurity skills gaps.
Sticking to legacy on-premise systems
Maintaining legacy on-premises systems can be a challenging task, as older systems may become outdated and may not be as efficient or secure as newer ones. However, there may be situations where legacy systems are critical for business operations and upgrading them may not be a viable option. Therefore, we are ensuring that our remote employees have the necessary technical support and resources to work effectively and securely from off-site locations.
Digital transformation using AI and IoT requires IT expertise to effectively manage implementation and maintenance. In light of this, my team and I are tasked with ensuring infrastructure scalability to accommodate data growth while maintaining optimal performance and reliability.
Retaining highly-skilled employees in competitive markets is a complex challenge that requires a comprehensive approach. Our focus has always been to create a work environment that attracts and retains top talent while providing meaningful work, career growth opportunities, competitive compensation and benefits packages, and a supportive and inclusive culture.
Partnering with AI for simplified IT solutions
After vigorous deliberation, the BEUMER Group has decided to utilize a tool for its robotic process automation needs. This involves running bots on a virtual machine that are triggered by time or events such as incoming emails. It has also been determined that any requests for RPA must be approved by IT and my team based on official IT demands.
Additionally, integrated process management is utilized for engineering, logistics, and customer support at the BEUMER Group. This includes global orders and project management and consistent management of product data throughout the entire product lifecycle. Whenever beneficial and feasible, processes are automated.
Amping up employee and customer satisfaction
BEUMER Group is undergoing an endpoint refresh by replacing the end-of-life UTM and user IT endpoints. In addition to this, they offer a solution called BEUMER Smart Glasses for modern, fast, and efficient customer support. This solution establishes an audiovisual connection for fast and precise problem-solving, and experts are available 24/7 with different flexible models for cost and service life.
The integration of FAM is seen as a long-term commitment and investment for the BEUMER Group, and the integration process is ongoing. Furthermore, the company has launched an employee awareness campaign to combat phishing and cyber security threats. Finally, they have developed a rough crisis and disaster recovery plan called the BCP Project and have identified critical business areas for thorough testing.
IT Upkeep in 2023 looks promising
In 2022, our IT team faced issues with the OSD task via the SCCM server, which was unstable and required significant time and effort to resolve the SCCM task sequence. Another pain point was replacing old endpoints with new laptops in order to enhance the efficiency and performance of the system.
This year, our IT department is enhancing the company's IT infrastructure through several projects. Upscaling the IT infrastructure by refreshing servers, storage, and access points is a top priority due to the end-of-service and support for critical infrastructure. The complete IT infrastructure will be shifted to a new office location for approximately 300 users, and a smaller office will be set up at the old location for 50 users.
Top-notch strategies for increased functionality
BEUMER India refreshed its CheckPoint infrastructure in 2022 by importing 3600 Base Appliance sets with SandBlast subscription from Germany. The Forcepoint Triton APX mail solution scans incoming and outgoing emails for unwanted content, while MS Intune provides MFA for all O365 applications. The old servers were replaced with new DELL PowerEdge R550 Servers, and security patches were deployed to standardize systems and operating systems.
We are encouraging cybersecurity protection through regular network penetration tests and 24X7 network monitoring. We use NetApp Snapcenter as a centralized application for snapshots and cloning operations. Additionally, we’ve implemented Sharepoint to streamline information flow and provide cloud storage accessible by mobile devices for better decision-making and contribution towards the shared business strategy.
The new year calls for new goals
Our team is dedicated to embracing AI and implementing it across all areas of the business. This includes the use of OpenAI, such as the chatbot called OpenGPT. Additionally, BEUMER India is committed to the ISO 27001 certification project and actively participates in risk assessment sessions. My team takes ownership of and implements cybersecurity risk seriously.
To further enhance cybersecurity, a cyber security awareness program has been created to educate employees and ensure that they are equipped to handle potential cyber threats. Overall, these efforts demonstrate the company's commitment to leveraging technology while also prioritizing security and risk management.