Mosaic uses Microsoft Azure to help the world grow the food it needs
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If producing and supplying phosphate and potash fertilizer are central to what The Mosaic Company does, then why would it have recently spent so much time and effort on improving its entire systems applications and products (SAP) system? After all, SAP is enterprise application software, focused on helping companies operate their business processes, and seemingly unrelated to mining and manufacturing.
The answer is simple, says Doug Mills, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Mosaic. “I believe we could not operate our business without SAP, even though SAP is not involved in any of the mining and production processes. As finished product is produced at our mines and plants, SAP is necessary to ship the product and execute business with our customers. So it really is the lifeblood in terms of the transaction processing for Mosaic.”
All of Mosaic’s global financial, commercial, and supply-chain systems are on SAP. “Everything from our customer contracts, orders, shipments, invoices, and accounts receivable, as well as our purchase orders, receipts of inventory, and payables to our vendors, are processed on SAP,” says Mills. “We have significant treasury operations within SAP, and we are in the midst of implementing business planning in SAP, which is the largest platform for Mosaic. We have over 2,000 users of SAP in a single global instance serving our businesses in six countries.”
The cloud was key, Azure was the choice
With so much of the business riding on SAP, it became very important for Mosaic to be able to get the most it could out of the application. There were four key improvements Mosaic wanted: lower costs, increased agility, ability to scale, and higher availability. Moving to the cloud addressed all four of those.
Mosaic considered several cloud providers and eventually it became clear that moving to Microsoft Azure was the best bet. “We had an existing relationship with Microsoft and adding Azure to our services portfolio allowed us to strengthen our relationship and realize synergies across the entire Microsoft portfolio.”
Mills puts it this way: “Our plan to move SAP to Azure has allowed us to be more cost competitive while at the same time has improved our ability to be more responsive to new business requirements.”