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  • Handan Karakuş

Digital Transformation Journey of Petrol Ofisi...

“The project went live on the target date we set with the support of our business partner Partnera’s consultants and in only 6 months by realizing the data transfer with only 8 hours of interruption.”

Handan Karakuş / Petrol Ofisi - CIO

After Vitol acquired our company and formed the new management team, our first objective was to improve our digital maturity which was at a certain level.

Since the very first day I began working for Petrol Ofisi in May 2018, our team and I began to design what we can do in terms of digital transformation. The first stage of this operation was moving our system room from the company headquarters to a data center designed in cutting-edge technology. This move happened as we continued our daily operations in full throttle and enabled to strengthen the BT infrastructure of Petrol Ofisi.

As we look at our digital transformation journey today, we see that we covered a great distance and we are still on our way.

Oracle EBS was being used in Petrol Ofisi for 16 years and had never undergone any version update, which hindered us to move in the speed and agility we desired. Finally, we scrutinized the Oracle ERP System in detail and decided on the upgrade project. Having looked into various upgrade projects worldwide and met with Oracle, we understood that we had to interrupt our ERP system for almost a week in order to realize this project. A long-term interruption was definitely unacceptable, as Petrol Ofisi utilities and stations would run 7 days 24 hours. Therefore, we focused on how to implement this upgrade without shutting the system down.

From left to right; Ender Erenoğlu - IT and Network Manager, Doğukan Batırsoy – Corporate System Solutions Manager, Çağdaş Bakın - Project Manager and Corporate Architect.

Through extensive brainstorming with our business partner Partnera of long years, we decided on a method: Receiving data via data transfer to the new system during the upgrade process. We implemented this method and completed our upgrade project with only a very short interruption in our Oracle ERP System.

Besides accounting and finance and other applications, we also run many of our operational processes on the Oracle ERP System we use. For this reason, the very first thing we consider as we moved on with the digital transformation was what Oracle could do with regards and which products could meet our needs. We believe that supplying software and hardware from the same vendor would enable us to get much stronger. We give prior consideration to technologies including corporate identity application and service-oriented architecture as well as Oracle solutions for regulations such as Personal Data Protection Law (KVKK).

Considering Partnera’s experience with Petrol Ofisi, it was one of our strongest business partners. We decided to work with Partnera on our ERP Upgrade process due to their performances in various projects we carried out together previously, their support to us during our data center moving project, and their commitment and devotion to Petrol Ofisi.

Our first objective is to implement the current technologies and approaches to all the systems in the infrastructure and the software we run. Moreover, we work on projects to maximize the customer experience and benefit in each point we affect the customer.

There is such a successful team you established behind the success of our digital transformation project. We would like to direct a few question to the respective team regarding the project details.

As a result of the infrastructure feasibility we handled before commencing the digital transformation project, we decided to take the transition to the new Exadata system in order to improve the performance as well as to consolidate our current systems. Having completed the installation of the new system, we made the transition from the current system to the new system utilizing a different method. After we made the new system operate on its own via a closed network and shut the old system down, we transferred the new system to the running network. Therefore, we completed the transition with only a brief interruption.

During the transformation process Petrol Ofisi went under, we, IT, set off our digital transformation journey, as well. As the first step of the digital transformation, we moved all the infrastructure systems from our office to a TIER-3 data center. We renewed all the infrastructure systems, virtualized over 90% of the servers and installed new systems. We engaged a Disaster Recovery Center in Izmir in the context of Business Continuity. After transfering our systems, we moved our office to the new location in the Emaar Office building. We located all our infrastructure systems in our new office through the vision of digital transformation.

In our ERP project and new Exadata transition projects, Partnera gave us consultancy service, technical services, and support as human resources. Thanks to the technical competence and abilities of the Partnera team, we completed all our projects with almost zero issues and without any delay.

The project went live on the target date we set with the support of our business partner Partnera’s consultants and in only 6 months by realizing the data transfer with only 8 hours of interruption. As we formed our team, the most determinative factor for us was the guidance given by Partnera’s expert consultancy team and their compatibility with the teams of Petrol Ofisi. Our business partner put a great deal of effort in this with us. That is how we accomplished the project.

The experienced Petrol Ofisi team, who knew the company’s internal processes and system improvement details very well, and our business partner Partnera set off by analyzing the modules on the current system. They, together, discovered additional improvements to be done on the system and improved using the standard processes as much as possible. They transformed the additional improvements one by one, many of which were previously handled specifically to Petrol Ofisi, and they made the system ready for user tests.

One of the most significant factors that distinguished this project from its precedents was planning out the upgrade transition of the Oracle ERP system, which was at the heart of Petrol Ofisi, with all the integrations and that the field operations continued with only an 8-hour interruption for data transfer. This method we used was a first in all the previous similar examples of the project. Here, the data received from all the integrations was analyzed by the project teams one by one and tested on 3 distinct test systems using sample test scenarios and operations continued.

During the planning process and architecture of the above-mentioned step, which we named delta data, we worked very hard with Partnera’s experienced team of consultants. Our project team and Partnera collectively prepared the method to use for data transfer and the codes required to be developed for the task. After the challenging and long tests conducted, we found out that we could transfer the data successfully. Achieving this conclusion was the most important step in the project for our business partner and project teams.

The most important factors that played a role in our success were first of all the experience of the Partnera team who took part in the data transfer and the project, their constant focus on the success of the project, and the performance they gave day and night.

We successfully finalized a challenging project for Petrol Ofisi with the support of the Partnera team. We set up our project team with the experienced Petrol Ofisi team of analysts and technical experts who know the company’s internal processes and development details regarding the system and Partnera’s team of functional and technical consultants who are proficient in ERP. The Partnera team’s project management expertise and technical experiences with ERP guided and helped us with the project.

Looking into other companies’ ERP upgrade project samples from Turkey and around the world, we observed that all the companies completed their projects with a minimum 72-hour interruption. A 72-hour interruption was not acceptable for Petrol Ofisi, as it would cause loss of income.

The most important factor that distinguished our project from the other examples is that it was completed with only about 8-hour interruption in the ERP system, which is at the heart of the daily operation of Petrol Ofisi. As during the project’s going live period, 12.2.8 version upgrade carried on, in parallel the 11.5.10 version continued to be used for 4 days. The data generated during this time were transferred in the 8-hour interruption period to the new system upgraded to 12.2.8.

Being aware of the fact that data transfer is one of the most critical steps of the project, we set up a separate data transfer team. The technical expertise and speed of the Partnera team that undertook data transfer were the top reasons for this project’s success. We would like to thank the entire project team for their dedicated hard work.


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