Florida Crystals Succeeds in the Cloud

Florida Crystals, owner of sugar giants Domino Sugar and C&H Sugar, has recently made the move to the “enterprise cloud”, and has since seen a significant reduction in IT and maintenance costs. The company has been operating SAP applications to fill their business needs, and has selected service supplier Virtustream to operate the applications off-premise.

Don Whittington, CIO of Florida Crystals, has revealed that moving their SAP applications to the cloud has reduced the company’s annual IT budget by 30%. Where the company’s peers need an IT staff of about 90 to maintain their business software systems, Florida Crystals can effectively operate their applications with an IT staff of only 3.

The service provider Virtustream is a fairly new and small venture-backed company that offers certain benefits to its clients which competing enterprise cloud environment providers, such as Amazon, tend to lack. The Virtustream cloud environment includes a staff of experts that are incredibly knowledgeable of how to manage and deploy enterprise Oracle and SAP software, making the off-premise application operations more reliable and efficient. Virtustream also guarantees reliable performance to their clients by implementing consequences for system outages. By including in the contract consequences for system outages, Virtustream has more incentive to efficiently manage and operate their clients’ applications. Other service suppliers, such as Amazon, only offer their clients free replacement time for outages instead of penalties.

Florida Crystals’ decision to move to the cloud was a long process that eventually brought them significant success and a drastic decrease in IT costs. While most of Florida Crystals’ systems have been moved to off-premise operations, the company’s manufacturing applications are still on premise because of hesitation and resistance from internal manufacturing personnel. Some employees are resistant to the move to the cloud, believing that maintain applications on site provide a more secure and reliable platform for the company.

Although some are reluctant to join the praise about off-premise application operations, “cloud” operations are in fact relatively secure and reliable. Florida Crystals’ 30% decrease in IT costs is due to the affordable and beneficial contract with Virtustream. The cloud is quickly rising in popularity as more and more companies begin to see both the financial benefits as well as enhanced reliability.


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