Published on 22-Sep-2008
"... the real benefit of partnering with IBM is that I can draw on all its expertise and experience to help me identify ways of improving and growing OKI’s business." - Shane Tawera, CIO for OKI Printing Solutions
OKI Printing Solutions
Fabrication & Assembly
IBM Business Partner:
OKI Printing Solutions is a market leader in the global colour printer market, with representation in 120 countries worldwide. OKI researches, develops, designs, manufactures and markets multifunction printer and fax solutions for businesses to maximize the effectiveness of their printed communications.
To support a growing, pan-European business with an efficient and robust infrastructure for SAP applications while aligning technology with future business needs.
IBM Global Technology Services provides a long-term strategic outsourcing solution to host, monitor and support OKI Printing Solutions’ EMEA SAP infrastructure. IBM works in partnership with OKI Printing Solutions to provide informed insight and help drive business value.
Access to a breadth and depth of expertise that helps support continual business improvement and growth. • Proven service stability • Resilient disaster recovery capabilities • Reduced cost through consolidation and global resourcing.
OKI Europe Ltd is the headquarters for OKI Printing Solutions’ operating companies throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is part of OKI Data Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of OKI Electric Industry Company Ltd.
In the competitive and fast-moving European marketplace, OKI relies on its SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for the smooth running of its key business functions. For over ten years, OKI Printing Solutions has had a strategic outsourcing agreement with IBM to provide IT infrastructure support services for its SAP solution.
Shane Tawera, CIO for OKI Printing Solutions’ EMEA operations explains: "SAP is a critical solution for our business. Naturally I look to IBM to provide continuity and reliability of service, but I expect more from a principal partner. Part of my role is to contribute ideas and strategy that will help the EMEA and global OKI organisation use technology to meet its core growth objectives. I look to IBM to help me gain insight into future opportunities for our business."
Time to re-evaluate
Around a year ago, OKI decided it was time to take a fresh look at the outsourcing market and measure the value it was getting from its relationship with IBM. Tawera says: "My relationship with IBM has always been good and the service levels it was providing were top class. I just felt it was time to test the water and see what other companies had to offer."
OKI issued a Request for Proposal focussed on solution design, approach to the transition from existing architecture to proposed architecture, service management and pricing. On analysis of all the tenders received, one company came out ahead of IBM. However, during a three-month period of due diligence when this company was asked to initiate a number of programmes, it became clear that it was unable to fulfil all of its promises within the required timeframe.
At this point, the IBM proposal was re-visited and OKI agreed to go ahead with the IBM proposal, including enhanced disaster recovery services and offshore resources from IBM Bangalore, India, which helped to reduce the service cost.
"Looking back, I think both companies would have regretted parting company. I see great opportunities for our partnership going forward," confirms Tawera.
Aligned for results
Based on IBM System p series and IBM System x series servers, OKI Systems’ SAP infrastructure is very stable and has now been running without incident for over 18 months. Regular monitoring and a system of monthly meetings between the SAP team at OKI Systems and IBM ensure the smooth support, management and development of the service.
Tawera says: "As far as day-to-day service is concerned, IBM is a very reliable partner. I’m happy with the level of support and service we’re getting and with the tried and tested approach that IBM has helped me implement across all 22 countries where our, approximately, 650 SAP users are based. However, the real benefit of partnering with IBM is that I can draw on all its expertise and experience to help me identify ways of improving and growing OKI’s business."
Tawera has regular executive reviews with IBM to share thinking and insights on developments and trends in business and technology. He says: "I took on some additional responsibility for OKI’s Internet capability recently and the IBM team quickly set the wheels in motion to ensure that I understood exactly how it could support me. To me, that’s what partnership is all about, members of the IBM team responding to OKI’s business needs as if they are part of our organisation."
To help OKI Printing Solutions explore possible ways of keeping its business fit for the future, IBM has also carried out a value creation workshop at the company. This generated a number of innovative ideas and initiatives, some of which have been implemented already - such as the storage consolidation study - and others, such as server consolidation and green IT initiatives, will be considered by OKI in the future.
Tawera concludes: "Lots of companies will tell you that they have the capabilities you need in a partner. What differentiates IBM is that it is actually fulfilling my expectations. I can see plenty of opportunity for OKI to draw on its capabilities as we move forward."
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Products and services used
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