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Issue of September 2003 
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Case Study: Diverse verticals benefit from WLAN

TVS Motor goes the last mile wireless

Two-wheeler manufacturer, TVS Motor Company Ltd., needed a last mile solution to go live with its mySAP R/3 ERP implementation at its primary and secondary manufacturing units. Wireless links have helped the company connect 450 dealers and 200 suppliers to its mySAP set-up. by Akhtar Pasha

TVS Motor Company Ltd. (formerly TVS Suzuki Limited) manufactures a range of motor bikes in the 110 cc and sub-100cc category. The company has a primary manufacturing unit in Hosur, Tamil Nadu where it makes motorcycles and mopeds. The unit currently manufactures 75,000 vehicles per month.

A secondary-manufacturing unit located in Nanjangudu, Mysore manufactures 'Scootys.' At present, the two manufacturing units have a combined capacity to manufacture 1.2 million motorbikes, 2,50,000 scooters and 4,00,000 mopeds
every year.

The company wanted a dedicated link between these two manufacturing units, to roll out a mySAP ERP system.

A look at how two companies in diverse verticals have benefited from the use of WLAN technology. TVS Motor needed a last mile solution to link its manufacturing plants to its offices; wireless links connect the manufacturer's mySAP set-up. And Radisson Hotel, Delhi has used WLAN technology to bring in more guests and enhance its range of services.

CHALLENGES


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In a nutshell
  • The company
    TVS Motor Company Ltd. is a Chennai-based two-wheeler manufacturing. The company manufactures motorcycles out of two manufacturing units, in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, and in Nanjangudu, Mysore.
  • The need
    The company wanted a dedicated connection to rollout mySAP at its two manufacturing units.
  • The solution
    The company chose a last mile wireless solution to connect its primary manufacturing unit in Hosur with Spice Telecom's POP in Attibele. Similarly, its secondary manufacturing unit is connected using a wireless link to Spice Telecom's POP in Nanjangudu.
  • The benefits
    TVS Motor's 450 dealers and 200 suppliers can directly connect to its mySAP server. The wireless solution is reliable and has provided 100 percent uptime since it went live in August 2001. The company is getting 5 Mbps throughput as against the required 2 Mbps bandwidth.

May 2001 found TVS Motor Company facing the daunting task of rolling out mySAP ERP across its offices and two manufacturing units without a dedicated connection/ leased line to its plants. Though the company used the services of Satyam Infoway, for setting up a VPN, a dedicated connection was required from Satyam's POP in Bangalore to Hosur, where TVS Motor's primary manufacturing unit was located.

Satyam was counting on a bandwidth service provider (Spice Telecom) to provide the necessary physical link. Unfortunately Spice has its POP only in Attibele, Karnataka, which is seven kilometres from Hosur. Similarly, a physical link was not present from Spice Telecom's POP to TVS Motor's secondary manufacturing unit at Nanjangudu, with Spice's POP being six kilometres away from the Nanjangudu unit.

A NEW SERVICE PROVIDER SOLUTION

The company then looked to Convergent Communications (India) Pvt. Ltd. (CCIPL) to solve the last mile connectivity problem. A three-member team was formed by CCIPL, which undertook the requirement study, initial site survey, design, installation, and commissioning.

The team took three months to execute the project, which included erecting two towers for wireless connectivity and linking the Ethernet ports of the wireless bridges to the G.703 interface at Spice Telecom's POPs.

TVS Motor went live with mySAP at its two manufacturing units in August 2001, an implementation that was possible only due to the last mile wireless links. The wireless project was completed at the cost of Rs 10 Lakh. Two wireless towers were earlier set up by Spice Telecom, the towers set up by Convergent are connected to these.

The products used to set up the last mile wireless links are ORiNOCO Wireless bridges, antennas, G.703 to Ethernet converters, and LMR RF cables. Additionally CCIPL deployed its own products such as RF amplifiers and lightning arrestors. CCPIL is providing onsite support and maintenance for the wireless link at TVS Motor's manufacturing units.

ROLLOUT BENEFITS

TVS Motor says the rollout of mySAP at its two manufacturing units gives it direct access to 450 dealers and 200 suppliers, who can remotely connect to the mySAP system. TVS Motor has a dedicated shared bandwidth of 11 Mbps at both the locations with a throughput as high as 5 Mbps after the implementation, as against the requirement of 2 Mbps. The latency is 25 milliseconds over the wireless link as compared to 600 millisecond for the VSAT link that is used as a standby.

Venkat Iyer, CIO, TVS Motor Company Ltd said, "The performance and reliability of the wireless links are very high. It has offered 100 percent uptime since we installed the links in August 2001. We believe that the investment has been justified."

The benefits of the last mile wireless solution can be viewed from three angles. First, it has helped Satyam extend its VPN services to the premises of TVS Motor's manufacturing units. Second, Spice Telecom, the bandwidth solution provider, which had surplus bandwidth on its hands, has a customer for the same. Third, the implementation helped TVS Motor complete its network and rollout mySAP on time.

On a broader level, manufacturing or industrial suburbs in India are often located outside the city where good telecom infrastructure may not be available or even if available, may not be reliable. In such situations, wireless solutions can fill the gap and help provide dedicated connectivity to industries.

 
     
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