AdVini, France's leading producer of terroir wines, opts for the IBM cloud to focus on growth
vinyard landscape

French leader in terroir wines, AdVini was founded 150 years ago in Saint-Félix-de-Lodez in the Hérault
region. The company has expanded in recent years, thanks to sustained external growth through the
acquisition of prestigious vineyards in Burgundy, the Rhone Valley, Provence, Languedoc , Roussillon,
the Bordeaux region and South Africa. This rapid development has put a strain on the company's "on-
premise" information system, prompting the IT department to look for a cloud migration solution.

See the client story page in French

IBM Cloud for SAP

Business challenge

AdVini has always worked with advanced technologies to develop its business. For years, the company has used SAP tools to manage the entire production chain, from cultivation and harvesting to winemaking and delivering the final products. Although firmly anchored in the company's organizational structure, the "on premise" model has gradually declined, inciting it to consider a move to the cloud. In fact, there are four main challenges that have led the IT department to look into this solution.


Company growth: AdVini's development through external growth operations requires the regular incorporation of new companies, new resources, new users... This requires technological investments, human resources and time.


“Physical" risks: the core IT system is located at the company's headquarters in Saint-Félix-de-Lodez. A wine-growing paradise, this site is nonetheless isolated, and the telecom and electrical infrastructures are not as robust as those in large cities.


The "cyber" risk: with new users and new companies being added, there is an increased risk of hacking. At the same time, hacking attempts affect a growing number of economic sectors, including the agricultural industry.


Finally, technological evolution: AdVini built its IS based on the SAP offering (ECC, HANA Database, Business Objects...). Installed on extremely powerful servers in 2013, these began to reach their limits due to the resources required by the volumes of data from 25 sites and 6 different production plants

Transformation

AdVini has chosen IBM to migrate its applications to the cloud. In fact, the companies have known each other for a long time, as Advini adopted the AS400 (IBM Power i) when it created its IS. In 2013, it was also IBM engineers who installed the first version of SAP HANA. Today, the company continues to use IBM for various technologies, including artificial intelligence. For example, AdVini uses the IBM Watson platform to predict the water requirements for its vines and provide highly precise irrigation management for its Mediterranean vineyards.

Under the leadership of AdVini's IT department, three partners were involved in this migration: IBM Cloud for server installation; Kyndryl, an infrastructure services company and IBM spin-off, for environment configuration, security and the installation of a backup system; and, finally, Applium was chosen to move the SAP platform to the cloud.

The deployment took seven months, not including a break in the project due to the construction of the BVPN link between the Orange operator and the IBM Cloud in Frankfurt. Everything was completely rebuilt, from the databases to the application services, including an update to the latest versions of SAP HANA and SAP Business Objects.

"IBM's commitment was steadfast throughout the mission," emphasizes Jérôme Combarnous, IT Manager at AdVini. "From the very beginning, IBM France swung into action, including the General Management team, to guarantee resources, high performance and security. This played a very important role in our choice of partner. During the construction period of the BVPN link, IBM worked with Orange to find a solution as quickly as possible. "Despite these complications, IBM, which had committed to a financial package, maintained the budgets, which is quite rare for such major projects," adds Jérôme Combarnous.

IBM's commitment was steadfast throughout the mission. Jérôme Combarnous IT Manager Advini
Benefits
 

The system has proven to be powerful. IBM Cloud offered bare-metal servers with predictable and stable performance. With the old system, backups immobilized the infrastructure to the point of hindering the order preparation teams on a daily basis, as they were unable to enter logistical information. This constraint has now been fully eliminated, resulting in significant productivity gains.

The IT team is no longer under pressure to monitor the servers. "We often speak about business benefits or organizational gains for IT - but there is also the psychological dimension: for many employees, and I am one of them, no longer bearing the burden of this responsibility is extremely liberating, allowing us to work more effectively," says Jérôme Combarnous. On-call duty and updates are handled 24/7 by the outsourcing teams. The in-house team is now able to focus on new business needs and positioning new projects.

"By switching to IBM Cloud, the core IS is now in an ultra-resilient infrastructure," adds Jérôme Combarnous. "And IBM Cloud has the experience that few companies have in cybersecurity. Although we know that nothing is foolproof, their experience in the field gives us real peace of mind.

Finally, let's look at the financial aspect: despite the increase in its revenues, AdVini was affected by the Covid crisis. Choosing the cloud made it possible to replace a heavy investment with a monthly fee.

"It's a successful project," concludes Jérôme Combarnous. "And we are now ready for the next step: the switch to SAP S/4 HANA.

About Advini

AdVini is the leading player in French terroir wine, with 2,074 hectares of vineyards in the most renowned wine regions: Ogier and its Clos de L'Oratoire des Papes in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Antoine Moueix Propriétés with Château Capet-Guillier in Saint-Emilion and Château Patache d'Aux in Médoc Cru Bourgeois, Domaine Laroche in Chablis, Maison Champy in Côte-de-Beaune, Vignobles Jeanjean and Mas La Chevalière in Languedoc, Cazes and its Clos de Paulilles in Roussillon, Gassier with Château Gassier and Château de Roquefeuille in Provence Sainte Victoire.

AdVini is also found in South Africa with nearly 250 hectares of vineyards in Stellenbosch, including L'Avenir, a wine tourism estate, Ken Forrester Vineyards, Le Bonheur Wine Estate, Stellenbosch Vineyards and Kleine Zalze Wines.

The Advini Wine Estates and Vineyards have the advantage of a steadily growing reputation and world-wide recognition, allowing them to export their goods to 110 countries.