Major new factory for KAEC
A new state of the art manufacturing facility and training centre at King Abdullah Economic City Industrial Valley (KAEC) will create more than 2000 jobs when fully operational in 2017. The facility, a joint venture between the Al Salem group of companies and Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will manufacture products to improve energy and operational savings in buildings.
Al Salem Johnson Controls (ASJC) will be the first industrial company that provides integrated HVAC solutions to establish its industrial facility and training centre in KAEC to further expand in developing energy efficient products, services and solutions in the Kingdom.
"We are delighted to welcome Al Salem Johnson Controls to the ranks of the other leading international companies that have chosen KAEC’s Industrial Valley as their base for regional expansion,” said Fahd Al-Rasheed, Group CEO and managing director of KAEC. “The presence of ASJC further diversifies the types of manufacturing operations in the Industrial Valley and adds significant value to both the city's and the Kingdom’s economic progress and development.”
The new facility will be constructed on 200,000 square meters of land and will be the second manufacturing plant constructed in the Kingdom by ASJC.
From industrial chillers to commercial and residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, the facility will use Johnson Controls’ manufacturing and quality control systems, and has been designed to produce integrated solutions that increase energy efficiency and operational savings. The facility will be equipped, staffed and managed according to the highest international standards.
“As we continue to grow in the Kingdom, this plant will align with the initiatives to diversify the economy and provide jobs with growth potential to young Saudi graduates providing them the training and mentoring to become leaders of tomorrow,” said Mohamad Alshaikh, CEO of Al Salem Johnson Controls.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”