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14 Steven Drive

Msasa, Harare
+263 8688002260/+263 (242) 486781-5

146A Herbert Chitepo & 13th Avenue

Bulawayo +263 292 71199 / 08677004341

Executive Summary

“Simbisa means to strengthen and empower. It is a Shona word that embodies a rally for strength and power to an object. The name represents what the business and its people stand for; they endeavour to create and sustain a strong and empowered brand that is recognized across all regions. Expansion into the region is critical to spread the risks over different markets and to achieve our goal of spreading our footprint into Africa as a diversified Pan-African operation.” Source- Simbisa Brands Limited.

Customer Challenges

Simbisa Zimbabwe has a small agile team without an onsite IT Department and as a result, settled on outsourcing IT expertise. As a result of outsourcing technology services, costs to sustain this arrangement became incrementally higher over time. Since their core business is not technology, they wanted to eliminate the pressure and complications that are associated with running and managing a local data centre. They, therefore, needed a platform which would enable them to deploy and host their ERP Open Bravo and retail system.


The Solution

Amazon Web Services {AWS}

Amazon Web Services is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centers globally.

STC designed and suggested a two-tier architecture solution that separated the front-end web application from the back-end database. Removing these resource dependencies made the solution highly resilient as this eliminated a single point of failure. The web application was deployed behind an auto scaling group thereby allowing the workload to automatically increase and/or decrease resource in response to user activity as well as underlying hardware components failures. Setting up of the database was made easy using the AWS Relational Database service which allows resource scalability without breaking the production service or taking it offline. For ease of node management using the systems sessions manager all the production services were tagged under a common resource group. Amazon Web Services backup service which a fully managed service was implemented using resource groups to target all production services. This therefore makes it possible to meet the recovery time and point objectives for Simbisa Zimbabwe as STC’s client.

The Result


Standard Telephones and Cables and Simbisa Zimbabwe successfully deployed Simbisa Zimbabwe’s ERP System Open Bravo and their retail system. This solution immediately mitigated all the problems that they were facing prior to the implementation. As a result Simbisa is guaranteed a 99.9% uptime on their system as there will be high availability. The migration from capital expenditure to operational expenditure saved Simbisa a lot of money and also the worries of hardware depreciating and having to replace them is now a thing of the past. The Simbisa Zimbabwe team also managed to focus more on their core business and worry less about the IT side of things because their infrastructure is now being hosted and managed in the cloud thus saving them time and money.  Backup to their systems is now being kept in the cloud and the system automatically runs backups on scheduled times and this means if anything should happen to the system a backup will be there to restore the system to the current state. This mitigates the issues of long downtime in the event of system failure which however is highly unlikely as long as you are running your workloads in the Amazon Web Services Cloud.

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