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Cocatrel: Cost savings and high performance combining SAP and Google Cloud

About Cocatrel

Cocatrel is a coffee-grower cooperative established in 1961 in Três Pontas, a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, hailed as the coffee capital of the world. With 7,000+ families as members, this co-op receives, prepares, and markets coffee for customers in Brazil and worldwide. It has an exclusive sector for special coffees and exports, Cocatrel Direct Trade (CDT).

Industries: Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
Location: Brazil

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About Tigabytes

Tigabytes, a company specialized in connecting people and refining processes, is a Premier Partner of Google in Latin America. Based in Chile and with offices in Brazil, Tigabytes has helped over 2,000 companies of all sizes, industries, and project criticalities to deploy various services.

The co-op’s migration of its SAP infrastructure was supported by Tigabytes, resulting in easier resource integration, efficient customizations, and reduced costs.

Results

  • Guaranteed scalability, benefitting several businesses in the cooperative
  • Low latency and high performance, with zero user complaints
  • Good integration and increased access to the cloud for subsidiaries

50% reduction in infrastructure costs

The Cooperative of Coffee Growers of the Três Pontas Zone (Cocatrel) operates in 11 municipalities in southern Minas Gerais, Brazil, with the aim of delivering logistical, financial, and sustainable solutions to protect its members. With a total of 550 employees and 7,000 members, it generates income and boosts the economy of the cities where it operates.

Its exclusive branch for special coffees and exports, called Cocatrel Direct Trade (CDT), whose reprocessing plant can prepare up to 5,000 coffee bags per day, has enabled the organization to expand its customer base across several continents.

Business is booming thanks to export trends for coffee grain varieties. According to data from Brazil’s Coffee Exporters Council (Cecafé), a record 44.5 million 60-kg bags were shipped in 2020, including soluble, roast ground, and green coffee. This directly impacts several of the industry’s sectors, from production to marketing.

That is why supporting its members’ businesses and keeping them connected are essential market challenges for the co-op that involve overcoming technical hurdles to streamline and improve working processes.

Cocatrel used to have its own enterprise resource planning (ERP) system based on the Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)—a programming language for processing enterprise databases. As this system was maintained and customized solely by Cocatrel, managing its team’s working hours and finding employees with knowledge of that language posed difficulties.

“As COBOL is an older language, it’s hard to find professionals still using it today, so the alternative was migrating to SAP and leveraging all the updates and features that come with the system,” explains Renato Vigato Júnior, Cocatrel’s IT manager.

Development-focused resources

The first step after choosing SAP—deployed in the S/4 HANA version, which runs in the cloud—was looking for services solving technical infrastructure issues, with security, confidentiality, and storage capacity as priorities.

The co-op had a private cloud. However, as soon as it migrated to the production environment, it encountered problems with process modifications and updates. So the team started to look for a technically and financially feasible solution.

Supported by Tigabytes, they realized the benefits of migrating to Google Cloud. The good integration between SAP and Google Cloud’s solutions provided new perspectives on the use of the management system in Cocatrel.

“We chose to modify the internal system and migrate to Google Cloud so we could deliver innovation and technology, and ensure a close relationship with our members. We want them to feel that the co-op is always readily available.”

Renato Vigato Júnior, IT Manager, Cocatrel

Google Cloud currently hosts every server running the SAP infrastructure in virtual machines in Compute Engine. This solution ensures performance and speed, bringing user complaints to an end. Guaranteed scalability allows the company to modify the environment without any red tape to keep up with business demands.

“We operate in 11 municipalities in southern Minas Gerais, and our units can easily access the data. We have also cut our costs by 50% while maintaining production performance. We have nine stores, three coffee shops, a milking yard, a silo, and 14 warehouses; and now all our teams are connected in a process that works very well,” says the IT manager.

Benefits after adopting the tools

As Cocatrel needs to constantly adapt and customize to meet business requirements, it noticed progress not just in technology, but also in its market deliveries. Since the environment is easy to manage and expand, the organization has improved its time-to-market process, thus reducing disruptions and widening modification windows.

The low latency has also enabled quick communication between the co-op’s systems and those of Minas Gerais’ Finance Bureau (Sefaz) without losing performance for invoice integration. As Google Cloud’s solutions are certified by SAP, the cooperative can back up its data automatically in the cloud through SAP’s plugin.

“The partnership between SAP and Google Cloud leverages the procedures and is extremely helpful, especially because the structure is certified. This also benefits customers and provides better value for money.”

Alexandre Glikas, CRO & Country Manager, Tigabytes

After completing the migration journey and the stability verification stage, the company’s mission is to plan its future. That is why Cocatrel still counts on Tigabytes’s support to understand how to improve its use of solutions. “Together with Cocatrel, we will think about optimization and using new tools. We expect to generate more input and indicators to create business opportunities for the company,” says Glikas.

“We’re still focusing on business intelligence, mainly concerning coffee and finances, and we’re curious and interested in using BigQuery to move forward in those areas. We’ve gathered the information and we’ll make good use of it to attract new business.”

Renato Vigato Júnior, IT Manager, Cocatrel

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Cocatrel

Cocatrel is a coffee-grower cooperative established in 1961 in Três Pontas, a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, hailed as the coffee capital of the world. With 7,000+ families as members, this co-op receives, prepares, and markets coffee for customers in Brazil and worldwide. It has an exclusive sector for special coffees and exports, Cocatrel Direct Trade (CDT).

Industries: Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
Location: Brazil

About Tigabytes

Tigabytes, a company specialized in connecting people and refining processes, is a Premier Partner of Google in Latin America. Based in Chile and with offices in Brazil, Tigabytes has helped over 2,000 companies of all sizes, industries, and project criticalities to deploy various services.