Triburg/// is a leading apparel sourcing solutions provider in India, and has helped global brands build and grow their businesses out of the Indian subcontinent. It provides 360 degree solutions in design, product development, cost negotiations, quality manufacturing, vendor training and logistics. Every year, it designs 70,000 samples and ships over 50 million pieces of garments/products. Its leading customers include Ann Taylor Inc., American Eagle Outfitters, Ralph Lauren, TJX, Michael Kors and Tchibo. Headquartered in Gurugram, it has seven regional offices in India and five overseas offices.
Triburg has deployed various open source software solutions and says this move has definitely paid off in terms of convenience and cost. In an exclusive discussion with Sreejani Bhattacharya and Niraj Sahay of Open Source For You, Nitin Mohan, who heads IT at Triburg; Biswajeet Banerjee, director and co-founder of Tetra Information Services; and Mukul Mahajan, director and co-founder of Tetra Information Services (Tetra provides OSS software solutions to Triburg) talk about why Triburg decided to switch to open source and how this has helped the company.
Triburg was using Microsoft servers and products before it opted for open source. Nitin Mohan, who heads IT at Triburg, says that, initially, the company was planning to change and enhance its emailing system as it was facing a challenge related to the performance of the mail server, as well as issues with scaling and licensing management. The company came to know about Tetra and invited the experts for an evaluation.
Mohan adds, “We were delighted by their knowledge and the solutions offered, and we decided to go ahead with these. Once these were successful, we forged a relationship with Tetra, and since then, we have been moving consistently towards open source solutions, as a first option.”
Biswajit Banerjee, director and co-founder of Tetra Information Services, says, “Triburg’s journey with open source started fifteen years ago. The partnership with Triburg started when we heard that they were facing a challenge with Microsoft Exchange and they contacted us. Since then, a lot has changed in the adoption of technology, with cloud migration getting very popular. Their mail environment is now in the cloud and is hosted on Linux. Lately, there has been hybrid deployment of solutions, with some of it in the cloud and some on local servers.”
Easy to manage and handle
Mohan says that the entire back office at Triburg now runs on Linux. He adds, “Previously, we used to use Windows Server. I had to employ a full time person to look at the servers. There was licensing to be managed. Once we shifted to Linux, we found the system very stable and easy to use.”
He adds, “We are not using open source for only one or two applications. The transition to open source has been a journey and not an overnight phenomenon. We started with employing open source for e-mailing and then used it for other processes as well. I found it very easy to manage and handle emailing with Linux.”
The change did come with its share of challenges as the team was initially not used to open source. After meeting Biswajit Banerjee and Mukul Mahajan, the two directors and co-founders of Tetra Information Services, Mohan, Mohan realised that Triburg was on the right track. Tetra guided the people at Triburg through the technical difficulties and gave the solutions needed.
Away from licensee hassles
A large part of the IT infrastructure at Triburg has been migrated to OSS now, including the mail server, website hosting and application hosting. Going forward, there is a plan to adopt open source for Internet telephony too. Mohan says, “OSS provides tech stability as well as cost optimisation. We are away from licensee hassles, and are working with almost 100 per cent uptime with respect to our solutions.” He adds, “We wanted to deploy a robust solution that helped in downtime issues and was easy to use, but cost was important too. I found that, in the long term, open source has turned out to be far more reasonable in cost also.”
Important to have a good vendor
The role of the technology vendor is crucial in implementing the migration to OSS. Mahajan says, “The vendor definitely plays a very important role in suggesting the right solution, as well as making sure that it works in a stable manner in the long run. Since OEM support is not available for many solutions, the vendor plays a very big role in ensuring the implementation is perfect.”
Mohan feels that whenever organisations are looking at adopting a new solution, they should first look at using open source. If an open source solution is available, they should go for it, after ensuring they have a good vendor who can help them maintain it.