Monin guides MBC through database migration and Oracle license optimization

“Monin analysed our needs, mapped them to the right Oracle licenses and helped us export, clean, import and validate our data into a new database.”

Thomas Cauwenberg, Senior IT Manager at Manufacture Belge de Chocolats



Making a fine Belgian chocolate is based on a wide range of secret recipes, meticulously fine-tuned over the years by true master chocolatiers. At Manufacture Belge de Chocolats (MBC), all data needed for these recipes resides in an Oracle Database. But as MBC was cut loose from its former mother company, it needed to act quickly, taking the right data and bringing it together on a new database. That’s when Monin stepped in.



MBC optimizes licensing with Oracle Standard Edition instead of Oracle Enterprise Edition



MBC used to save all master data that is needed for production within a shared Oracle Database



Due to the cut loose from Godiva, MBC now needs to save the important master data on an internal Oracle database




Manufacture Belge de Chocolats (MBC) runs a production facility for Belgian chocolate in Brussels with a team of some 270 employees. The company also operates a network of 300 chocolate stores in Japan, South-Korea and Australia, under the Godiva brand name. MBC started out in 2019, when Godiva Chocolatier, the Belgian manufacturer of gourmet chocolates owned by Turkey’s Yildiz Holding, decided to sell parts of its Asia-Pacific business – including the Belgium-based production facility supplying the region – to private equity firm MBK Partners. Although the carve-out of the activities was initially estimated at twelve months, the actual deadline was set at five months.



“That left us a with quite a challenge”, said Thomas Cauwenberg, Senior IT Manager at MBC. “In a very short time frame, we needed to set up a scenario for the carve-out of our IT activities, we had to select a new ERP solution and define our future digital roadmap.” It was Cauwenberg’s main responsibility to assure the continuity of all IT services, allowing MBC to stand on its own feet, relying on its own IT systems and applications. During the transition, a complex Oracle database migration required special attention. For that specific challenge, MBC called in the Oracle experts of Monin.


The right data

At MBC, the use of Siemens PLM for Recipes & Formulas caused a complex challenge. “That system is at the heart of our company. It contains all master data that is needed for production. It was always managed and maintained as a shared environment, used by all Godiva subsidiaries worldwide.” But since MBC was cut loose from Godiva, the company needed to find a way to take the right data with it. “Getting ‘our’ part of the data out of the systems was very difficult. Obviously, we were allowed to extract the product specifications that are connected to our activities only.” Monin took on the challenge and performed a full export of the Oracle database, to select, clean and import the right data set into a new database.


“We specifically called in the support from Monin because we needed deep knowledge and expertise about Oracle, and not only about the recipe software”, Cauwenberg continued. “We run IT with a team of three employees, myself included. So we know we don’t have all the expertise we need in-house.” That’s why MBC hooked up with Monin in the first place. “We were on a tight schedule. We had to complete the carve-out before the end of May, or we would be facing some serious penalties.” To reduce costs, MBC decided to migrate from Oracle Enterprise Edition to Standard Edition. In fact, Monin analysed the company’s needs and mapped them to the right Oracle licenses. That’s how MBC found out that all functionality it needs is covered by SE. “Monin gave the right advice about the Oracle licenses, as well as the technical support that was required to have a successful data import – including all necessary validation – into our new database.”






The saving by using Oracle Standard Edition 2 compared to Enterprise Edition was a factor 3,39





A saving by factor 10 was achieved thanks to the right license type and license metric suggested by Monin





As Monin understood the importance of the database for MCB, an Oracle Database expert with more than 25 years of experience performed the migration and fine tuning

The right format

The result is a brand new, healthy Oracle Database environment, offering MBC the performance and security (including backup with Veeam) that was requested. “There were some minor issues throughout the project”, Cauwenberg explained, “but Monin was always there to solve any problem.” And the way it looks now, Monin will be back quite soon at MBC for the next step in the evolution of the company. “The extended support for Siemens PLM ends on December 31. In the near future, we have to decide whether we continue with a new Siemens product or with an application from a different vendor.” In any case, MBC expects it will need Monin’s expertise again to get the production data from the Oracle Database to the formula application in the right format.


As for MBC’s digital roadmap, the company decided to take one step at a time. “We still have a lot of ground to cover”, said Cauwenberg. “We migrate from an IBM AS/400-based and heavily tailored ERP solution to Microsoft Dynamics, we want to automate our warehouse, streamline manufacturing operations, quality control, and more.” But the company’s ultimate goal remains what it has always been: produce the best Belgian chocolate. “Digitization helps us achieve that goal”, Cauwenberg concluded. “Thanks to Monin’s expertise and support, we have all the right data available in our Oracle Database. In the end, that data is at the very heart of what we do. Getting that right, was the single most important IT challenge we had to win to get this new company started.”


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