Success Story: Sanofi

Sanofi consolidates and cuts costs with Axway Managed File Transfer

  • Headquarters

    Paris, France
  • Industry

  • Challenge

    Provide standard, easy-to-implement, industrial-scale MFT solution to subsidiaries, lines-of-business, and new acquisitions over diverse operating systems while  consolidating 23 legacy data centers to three Global Infrastructure Services data centers

  • Solution

  • Results

    • Fully supported and standardized Managed File Transfer across multiple operating systems brings substantial cost savings
    • Axway Workstation allows users to send and receive files autonomously
    • Costly VPN solution replaced with Axway Gateway
    • ƒ Reliable, stable and secure MFT solutions for both internal and external data exchanges
    • Scalability is ensured as number of users and partners increases
    • Intuitive graphical interface increases workplace efficiency
    • Real-time service support keeps onboarding operations running smoothly

“We determined that Axway Gateway was the ideal solution for secure data exchange with external partners for Sanofi and all of its subsidiaries. When we adopted Axway Gateway, our subsidiaries no longer needed to build a VPN for each customer, so hardware, communication and maintenance costs went down immediately.”

A Global Pharmaceutical Leader

Sanofi, a globally positioned and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in healthcare, with six growth platforms — emerging markets, vaccines, consumer healthcare, diabetes treatments, innovative medical products, and animal health. Through the acquisition of Genzyme, Sanofi has strongly reinforced its footprint in coping with rare diseases.

Currently active in more than 100 countries, and with a staff of over 110,000 employees, the Sanofi Group is extremely well-positioned to fulfill its mission of addressing new challenges in the improvement of the health of humanity worldwide. Net sales for the Group in 2011 were €33.4 billion, representing growth of 3.2%.

“Once the upgrade to 2.7.1 is completed, we will look at upgrading to Axway Transfer CFT v3 to take advantage of improved bandwidth optimization, enhanced security features, parallel transfer to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, and file transfer acceleration.”

Large-Scale Consolidation

Important cost savings

Sanofi has been operating 26 data centers located throughout the world. Sanofi management decided to centralize operations with one data center per geographical region. There are now three Global Infrastructure Services (GIS) data centers, located in EMEA, Asia-Pac and AMER (No. and So. America). Sanofi is gradually consolidating its legacy data centers into its new GIS data centers.

Mario Del Pin, EAI ETL Expert within Regional Service Delivery EMEA and Application Hosting Services, Global Infrastructure Services at Sanofi explained some of the benefits of this large consolidation project: “Going from 26 data centers to three means that management costs will be reduced as well as expenditures related to personnel, telecommunications, storage, electricity and real estate. With regard to the file transfer tools, all Axway Transfer CFT servers will be managed by a single entity per region, and in particular, we will use Axway Transfer CFT on all platforms and operating systems with exactly the same processes. This translates to administration savings because we are implementing identical installation and processing procedures for Axway Transfer CFT that any subsidiary can roll out on its own.”

Sanofi runs multiple operating systems on both UNIX and Windows servers. Thanks to the multi-platform environment and flexibility offered by Axway Transfer CFT, Sanofi has developed and implemented two scripts for “send” and “receive” that are adapted to its business formats, and that work identically on any operating system. Utilization of Axway Transfer CFT will be fully industrialized at the three regional Sanofi GIS data centers.

Integration of New Acquisitions and Lines of Business

Standardization across three data centers

In addition to the consolidation of 26 data centers to the three GIS facilities, Sanofi will also integrate new acquisitions as well as other lines-of-business such as Industrial Affairs thanks to its industrialized implementation of Axway Transfer CFT. Industrial Affairs is a global organization within Sanofi that manages the supply chain and distribution worldwide. Industrial Affairs has its own Axway Transfer CFT servers and will soon integrate to the GIS data centers.

As Sanofi migrates different entities to GIS, it is also upgrading to the latest version of Axway Transfer CFT. “We like to keep up with the latest version to ensure we are getting the best features,” Del Pin said. “Once the upgrade to 2.7.1 is completed, we will look at upgrading to Axway Transfer CFT v3 to take advantage of improved bandwidth optimization, enhanced security features, parallel transfer to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, and file transfer acceleration.”

Twenty Years of Global Community Management

Based on reliability, security and performance

Sanofi has been using Axway Transfer CFT for internal file transfers since 1993. About 10 years ago, Sanofi also adopted Axway Gateway for the secure exchange of data with its external trading partners, with the intent of replacing a secure VPN solution. “The VPN solution we were using was costly and difficult to manage. Since we were already very satisfied with Axway Transfer CFT, we asked Axway to implement a proof-of-concept with Gateway. We determined that Gateway was the ideal solution for secure data exchange with external partners for Sanofi and all of its subsidiaries. When we adopted Axway Gateway, our subsidiaries no longer needed to  build a VPN for each customer, so hardware, communication and maintenance costs went down immediately.”

With both Axway Gateway and Axway Transfer CFT in place, as many as 8,000 transfers are processed per day. As other lines-of-business and new acquisitions join the GIS data centers, this number will increase considerably. Sanofi also uses Axway Workstation, one of Axway’s EndPoint solutions. Axway Workstation enables users to generate a file directly on their desktops. Users download a zerofootprint Java Applet via IE with great flexibility to send and receive files. Sanofi will also soon begin using Axway Sentinel for increased file transfer supervision and reporting. Within the current GIS environment, there are about 200 Axway Transfer CFT partners, 60 Axway Gateway partners, and, 70 Axway Workstation users. Many different types of files are exchanged including orders, invoices, stock reports, and more.

Del Pin concluded: “Over the years we continue to value the robustness and reliability of Axway solutions. We also appreciate the user-friendly graphical interfaces provided with all of the solutions, as well as the retry features that automatically pick up a transfer where it was interrupted in case a telecommunications connection  goes down temporarily. Finally, Axway support can intervene directly on our servers in real time to complete fine tuning or make adaptations. This added service brings quick real-time value to our on-boarding operations when troubleshooting is required.”

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