ERP Proved A Solid Foundation For NT

Friday, December 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

For a long time, Unix looked to be the most fertile ground for seeding Hydro-Agri North America’s extensive ERP applications. Installed at the agricultural chemical and fertilizer distributor were two high-powered Hewlett-Packard Co. Unix servers running SAP AG’s R/3, with a third off-site for disaster recovery purposes. Systems analyst Jim Wiedrich, who ran the operation, was a self-described Unix fan, dubbing the “backslash” mark in Windows/DOS “backwards.” His preference? Leave Windows to the desktops and other non-mission-critical applications.

Wiedrich began to consider plowing new fields, however. With information systems dollars scarce and a low crop yield of Unix programmers, Hydro-Agri last year decided to root its future enterprise resource planning applications in Windows NT. The Tampa Bay, Fla., company pulled out its Unix servers, save for the database server, and replanted six Compaq Computer Corp. ProLiant servers with SAP R/3 applications on NT.

Norsk Hydro was a heavy embracer of NT.

Why the shift? As Wiedrich admits, conventional wisdom would dictate choosing the

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