CAFAM invests in future generations with IBM and SAP

Published on 10-Jan-2006

Validated on 14 May 2008

"Our understanding of the way the IBM framework supports the varied SAP software package gives us the confidence that we can broaden our business reach while depending on a reliable and flexible system." - José Manuel Moscoso, CIO

Customer:
Caja de Compensación Familiar (CAFAM)

Industry:
Financial Markets

Deployment country:
Colombia

Solution:
Leveraging Information

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

Based in Bogotá, Colombia, Caja de Compensación Familiar (CAFAM) (Family Compensation Fund) is a private, non-profit, state-subsidised finance corporation. With more than 6,000 employees in Colombia, CAFAM provides millions of lower-to-medium-income families with the funds to access cheaper and better health, education, training and professional services.

Business need:
As a non-profit organization, CAFAM needs to keep costs to a minimum. While trying to consolidate its SAP solution infrastructure and improve processing times across a number of different applications, it was concerned that a complete system overhaul would mean more physical systems and greater costs.

Solution:
CAFAM engaged with SAP and IBM Global Services to design an IT infrastructure that would support an upgrade from version 4.0 b of SAP to mySAP ERP 2004. The new solution allows for greater scalability without adding new servers, keeping CAFAM’s costs down while the data-room performance soars.

Benefits:
CAFAM now has a stronger, faster and more flexible system that delivers greater scalability without corresponding growth in costs.

Case Study

en espanol

Based in Bogotá, Colombia, Caja de Compensación Familiar (CAFAM) (Family Compensation Fund) is a private, non-profit, state-subsidised finance corporation. With more than 6,000 employees in Colombia, CAFAM provides millions of lower-to-medium-income families with the funds to access cheaper and better health, education, training and professional services.

Six years ago, as CAFAM’s services grew, its IT infrastructure was not able to keep pace. Without a reliable, robust system for accounts and management, CAFAM was struggling to control costs, and piecemeal IT enhancements were adding to total complexity. At the time CAFAM implemented an SAP solution on RS6000- H70 servers.

In 2004 CAFAM decided to consolidate its legacy systems and implement the latest version of SAP software in an integrated, open operating environment based on IBM pSeries servers running SAP software, and IBM TotalStorage FAStT900 storage subsystem.

CAFAM’s SAP software runs under IBM AIX 5L V5.2 on IBM company logo image pSeries servers, connected to an IBM TotalStorage DS4500 (formerly FAStT900) storage server. IBM HACMP software is used for high availability, with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for backup and recovery.


The right choice
As part of a technology upgrade program, CAFAM worked with IBM Global Services to replace its existing five IBM RS/6000 H70 servers with four IBM pSeries 615 servers, running AIX 5.2.

CIO José Manuel Moscoso comments, “The pSeries servers combined with SAP software provide a significant opportunity to reduce overall operational costs. We can now scale up our SAP systems without necessarily adding more hardware each time, so we can respond faster and more cost-effectively to growth in demand for our services.”


Integrating business practices
A tighter-knit and more centralized SAP solution infrastructure allows CAFAM to integrate many key business practices, from managing customer accounts to processing money orders.

Says José Manuel Moscoso, “With around 230 users regularly running financial and administrative SAP applications, we need a system that is fully integrated so that user changes are reflected immediately across all applications.

“Also, it is crucial to have all customer details available to our employees within seconds. With SAP software on the pSeries servers, processes are streamlined so that any one user can access information from all departments and divisions.”


Time is money
The reduction in number of core SAP application servers with increased flexibility is a benefit both in terms of money and of time - two essential values for a non-profit such as CAFAM.

“When saving money is the core of your business, you need a system that is fast and reliable, otherwise you risk wasting time and, consequently, money”, explains José Manuel Moscoso. “We cannot afford to have slow response times when people’s money depends on the efficient processing of information.”

The pSeries technology ensures that errors are easy to detect and downtime is kept to a minimum. Adds José Manuel Moscoso, “The pSeries error detection and recovery features allow us to keep a very secure and reliable system running, which is ideal for complex and delicate financial operations.”


An investment for the future
By 2010, CAFAM aims to be the leading non-profit financing corporation in Colombia, offering competitive and affordable services to an expanding customer base. As the company branches out into other areas, such as supermarkets and schools, it will need a scalable IT infrastructure that can support a variety of different applications.

“The IBM infrastructure and SAP solutions have delivered significant benefits over the years, and we expect to see further enhancements in the future”, says José Manuel Moscoso.

“As our company expands and creates new divisions, it will need an IT system capable of handling all the different applications involved in running those departments. Our understanding of the way the IBM framework supports the varied SAP software package gives us the confidence that we can broaden our business reach while depending on a reliable and flexible system.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Storage: DS4000, System p

Software:
Tivoli Storage Manager

Operating system:
AIX 5L

Service:
IBM Global Services

Legal Information

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