November 15, 2004
Texas Industries Inc, a building materials supplier, leveraged Oracle Application Server Portal (OracleAS Portal) on Red Hat Enterprise Linux to increase performance, improve customer service and decrease information technology (IT) costs. A key component of Oracle's Application platform suite, OracleAS Portal was instrumental in helping TXI develop separate customer and employee portals.
The company needed to better meet its customers' requirements by enabling end users to capture account data from a single secure online location. By developing TXIonline.com, an external customer portal, TXI successfully consolidated information from four order entry systems, four invoice systems and six shipment systems to one location. TXIonline.com allows customers to easily access up-to-the minute information, including invoices, shipment history, industry news, online payments and product data. Under the old system, customers had to place separate phone calls to a variety of departments, including customer service, quality control, dispatch, shipping and general sales to obtain this information.
"In a specialized field such as ours, there's very little standardization with software. We found that our infrastructure was comprised of best-of-breed solutions and customized software for each of our industries: cement, aggregate and concrete," said Terry Marshall, information systems director of application development at TXI. "Since launching TXIonline.com in August, we've received substantial positive feedback from our customers who appreciate how this self-help portal makes their day-to-day activities with Texas Industries much more simplified and streamlined."
Increased Performance And Reliability
Moving forward, in an effort to cut overall technology costs, TXI will standardize its new technology solutions on Linux. During the migration to Oracle Application Server 10g, the company moved from Solaris and Windows to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and low-cost standardized systems from Dell. As a result, performance increased and IT and support costs decreased by 50 percent. Additionally, the Company has seen a significant increase in the stability of its IT infrastructure.
This fall, Texas Industries will migrate its current Intranet to an employee portal. The first phase of the portal is scheduled to be completed this month and will include company information, employee benefits and business critical applications. Remote access to the portal is scheduled to be available in early 2005. "Since more than half of our 4,100 employees work in the field, we are developing a solution for everyone to have secure access to the internal portal from their home computer. This is not an easy feat and Oracle is helping us make this happen," said Marshall.
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