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Case study

Exolgan evolves toward paperless shipping with Red Hat technology

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Exolgan runs Argentina’s largest foreign trade of containerized cargo. To support its shift to digital shipping operations, the company sought to improve integration between its SAP systems and other applications, microservices, data, and third-party solutions. Using Red Hat OpenShift as a container platform and Red Hat integration technology, Exolgan has created a new application development environment that supports electronic billing and other innovative digital services. As a result, the company can ensure availability and attract new developer talent to continue improving its customer experience.

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Benefits

  • Improved business continuity by integrating applications, microservices, and data with SAP systems
  • Accelerated development and deployment of new applications
  • Improved talent acquisition and retention

Avoiding downtime for software updates to ensure business continuity

Exolgan manages Argentina’s largest shipping container port terminal and is the country’s largest operation for foreign trade of containerized cargo, with more than 50% market share. It serves the world’s biggest shipping companies, with regular service to the east coast of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, Europe, and the Far East.

Continuous investment in technology and equipment has made Exolgan’s terminal one of the most advanced in Argentina and Latin America. Over the last decade, the company has worked to digitize its operations, from eliminating much of its paper-based information transfer to addressing its monolithic application architecture.

Exolgan’s previous operational approach relied on a variety of systems for managing its port warehouses and cargo transportation, including Navis N4, a specialist terminal system, SAP SE for centralized billing, and SAP HANA® for database capabilities. Updates to its Navis N4 deployment, however, could potentially affect business continuity.

“To avoid possible business and billing disruptions in the future, we looked for a way to better integrate Navis N4 and our other various programs with our SAP solutions,”  said Enrique Torlaschi, CIO of Exolgan. “We also wanted to improve development and management of our in-house and third-party applications to support ongoing service improvements for our customers.”

Enhancing integration and application development with Red Hat software

Working with a team of external consultants, Exolgan decided to use Red Hat enterprise open source technology to build its new application environment and SAP integration architecture.

“Both projects presented a major shift in how we work, from standalone programs and solutions to a central, integrated approach,” said Torlaschi. “We knew Red Hat, a partner of SAP for over 20 years, provided solutions that would help us change our application development methodologies and cut delivery times without compromising on quality.”

Exolgan deployed Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) as its new application server. JBoss EAP helps organizations deploy, manage, and secure critical applications and related data, supporting high transaction volumes at scale. To improve integration between its internal and external data sources, as well as its SAP solutions, the company implemented Red Hat Fuse, a distributed integration platform. Combined with Red Hat OpenShift, an enterprise Kubernetes container platform, Red Hat Fuse helps Exolgan design, implement, manage, and scale its integration services to connect everything across its cloud environments—from application programming interfaces (APIs) and data to applications and devices.

As the operating system foundation for these solutions, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions creates a consistent, highly available foundation for Exolgan’s SAP and non-SAP workloads.

This architecture supports a range of services that are critical to Exolgan’s digitalization strategy, including a portal for online payments, a real-time cargo tracking application, and a mobile app that simplifies the arrival process at the terminal.

“Switching to the new architecture and Red Hat technology was an intense process, but well worth it,” said Torlaschi. “We had to practically reinstall all of our applications and had to migrate all of our data, but we have now made significant progress toward our vision of a paperless port.”

Creating and delivering innovative digital services for shipping clients faster

Improved system integration to avoid service downtime using Red Hat Fuse

Exolgan uses Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat JBoss EAP to organize and develop its systems independently, avoiding any dependency or direct impact others while ensuring key applications and services—including those running on SAP HANA and SAP SE—stay connected. 

As a result, the company can make smaller, more iterative improvements to specific systems without risking complete outages for client-facing services.

Streamlined application development with containers and microservices running on Red Hat OpenShift

Containerizing its key business applications and microservices with Red Hat OpenShift has helped Exolgan simplify its development and deployment processes to deliver new and improved features faster. Additionally, Red Hat’s enterprise open source platform lets programmers and consultants work with their choice of development language to work more efficiently.

“We now have the flexibility and agility to add more services to our platform if needed, something that used to be a real challenge for us, in line with our goal to shift to 100% digital processes and services for our clients,” said Torlaschi.

Enhanced talent acquisition and retention with reputation for innovation and using open source technology

One of the key benefits Exolgan has achieved through its adoption of Red Hat’s enterprise open source platform and integration technology is attracting and retaining new developer talent.

“Our application development and integration projects have attracted a lot of interest and enthusiasm, both within and outside of the company,” said Torlaschi. “There is high competition for developer talent from telco and other industries, but we are now seen as an innovative company and an exciting place to work.”


Preparing for future SAP opportunities

Exolgan is now looking for new ways to take advantage of the possibilities of SAP technology, including potentially migrating its SAP HANA and SAP SE environments—running on premise in its datacenter—to the cloud while simultaneously updating to SAP S/4HANA.

“Our engagement with Red Hat came at a critical time for us. Migrating and updating our legacy systems used to be a source of stress. Now, with Red Hat technology supporting our SAP solutions, we have peace of mind we can support future migration and enhancement projects more easily and without any service interruption. We have a clear path for our modernization journey.”

About Exolgan

Exolgan is the largest container terminal in Argentina. Located in Dock Sud, Avellaneda, covering over 50 hectares with 1,200 linear meters of dock space, the company is the main operator in foreign trade containerized cargo into and out of the country. Exolgan’s service stands out for its cutting-edge technology, efficient processes, operational productivity and the quality and quantity of its equipment. It serves the world’s biggest shipping companies, with regular services to the US East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Europe, and the Far East. 


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