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Big ideas about cloud from a small nation




Malta is an island nation home to over 400,000 people and loads of small businesses. None is more visible than the Forestals Group, a diversified retailer and IT services provider. When Forestals IT infrastructure showed signs of aging, the IT department reached for the cloud.


Etienne Cardona, Forestals CEO and finance director, made certain that an investment in cloud would give immediate payback to the business. He was convinced after seeing how cloud could benefit both Forestals internal IT systems as well as broaden its IT service business opportunities.


Etienne Cardona.jpg

Borg Cardona notes, “Malta is a very small European state driven mainly by SMBs, so investment money is limited. But, the cloud gives Forestals IT service customers the fuel to scale and grow their businesses without major investment. By providing high-value, B2B services via the cloud, Forestals is positioned perfectly in our tight market.”


Using the cloud for business expansion


Forestals is excited about the new HP cloud infrastructure. Borg Cardona says, “The HP Helion Cloud solution takes us through the next 10-15 years with a solid, robust, reliable, and secure IT infrastructure we need to run our company.” Borg Cardona sees additional benefits with the cloud as IT will be able to take better advantage of Big Data, business analytics, and business intelligence to further grow the business.


Borg Cardona believes Forestals will be able to better meet diverse customer requirements. He states, “Our new system will help smaller companies benefit from server provisioning off of our cloud services. Larger companies will use our expertise and cloud consulting services and see HP Helion as their cloud solution.”


Borg Cardona believes many companies in Malta are used to holding data on their own servers, and managed in their own IT warehouses and offices. Forestals business strategy will ease customers into non-critical services so they can get familiar with the cloud’s business and technical efficiencies.


To handle their customer’s diverse and often complex requirements, Forestals implemented a cloud platform using HP BladeSystem technology consisting of HP ProLiant servers, HP BladeSystem c7000 Enclosure, HP Virtual Connect, and HP 3PAR StoreServ storage.


“Our cloud solution had to alleviate all concerns,” says Borg Cardona. “This includes the complexities of managing a private and virtual private cloud with traditional in-house IT environments, as well as obtaining application robustness, security, and agility.”


The Forestals cloud platform is powered by HP CloudSystem 8.1 Enterprise. Together, with the HP Cloud team, the appropriate modules and provisioning were incorporated into the solution.


“Today, our cloud system is ready to provide tenant access for our prospective demo cloud users,” says Borg Cardona. “It offers the true experience of using an IaaS servicing model, as well as being used as a private cloud platform for all Forestals subsidiaries.”


HP Helion quickly improves company operations


Before finalizing the move to a cloud infrastructure, Borg Cardona questioned how it would benefit the company. Will Forestals become more productive? More secure? Will it provide faster response? In answer to these questions, Borg Cardona reveals, “These benefits are not easy to measure financially, but we’re already seeing benefits such as the improved flow in our company operation.”


He continues, “I remember rolling out a business intelligence solution, new dashboards or views, and it was always a painful process on our old system. Now with the HP Helion cloud, we can scale up almost instantly, overnight. Now, rolling out critical BI views is painless. This will be a huge benefit for a number of years to come.”


With an HP Helion infrastructure in place, Borg Cardona sees devices and the IT server room as less important as Forestals places more data in the cloud. He concludes, “Within our own organization, we’ve taken the plunge, and there’s no turning back. Our customers will see what we’ve accomplished, and I’m hopeful they will see the benefits. We’re a small nation, but that doesn’t stop us from having big ideas and plans.”

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HPE Helion Cloud Stories - Bringing you the stories of HPE Helion from our customers and partners!

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