Published on 15-Apr-2009
Validated on 01 Mar 2013
"We’ve been able to offer our CFI users newer functionality more efficiently, which is the premier benefit of the hardware change to IBM Power Systems." - Philippe Loutan, manager of engineering systems, Etat de Genève
Etat de Genève
IBM Business Partner:
Etat de Genève is the governing body of the westernmost canton of Switzerland, and the city of Geneva is part of its jurisdiction.
To gain efficiencies and position for future growth, Etat de Genève upgraded its Oracle E-Business Suite applications. To support this, the center needed to find a stable hardware provider that could offer a long-term growth strategy and scalability.
SolutionIBM consultants teamed with IBM Business Partners Oracle and Gate Informatique to help Etat de Genève migrate to a newer version of Oracle E-Business Suite. IBM also consolidated the four legacy servers supporting the suite to one virtualized and scalable IBM Power 570 server, resulting in significant financial savings and increased processing speed.
Achieved savings of e160,000 annually on server maintenance Improved response time to information requests from government agencies Positioned Etat de Genève to easily add 20 percent more users without additional investment
Using technology to maintain leadership positions
Etat de Genève is the governing body of the westernmost canton of Switzerland, and the city of Geneva is part of its jurisdiction. A Swiss canton is roughly analogous to an American state. A great number of banks offering the famed Swiss private banking services are located in the city, and as a center of international finance, Geneva dominates the economy of the canton. The city is also the European headquarters of a number of international corporations and organizations, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the International Labor Organization. In order to maintain and grow its leadership position in world politics and global commerce, Etat de Genève continually seeks to leverage and improve upon existing technology investments and implement more efficient and streamlined systems.
In 1999, Etat de Genève began a multi-year effort to upgrade its financial applications and processes. The canton chose Oracle E-Business Suite as the financial platform and the project was designated Comptabilité Financière Intégrée (CFI). CFI is also the name of the front-end applica-tion that Etat de Genève personnel subsequently developed in-house a government-wide integrated financial accounting application that its workers use when accessing Oracle E-Business Suite.
Between 2003 and 2005, the financial systems of seven Etat de Genèvedepartments and the chancellery were migrated to the CFI platform. Etat de Genève also implemented business intelligence and analytical accounting capabilities in CFI, which means that the canton’s financial executives are now able to drive meaningful decision making by more efficiently accessing and processing their vast volumes of financial data.
All the departments are using this application, explains Philippe Loutan, manager of engineering systems, Etat de Genève. It gives the government a single view of finances. The users know the front-end application as CFI, but the entire application actually runs on Oracle E-Business Suite. Loutan explains that CFI is a mission-critical application for Etat de Genève, and that the government had decided to update its applications to a newer version to add even more functionality to CFI.
However, Etat de Genève found that its legacy servers could not support the newer Oracle applications the government had chosen to run CFI. The canton needed to find a stable hardware provider that could offer a long-term UNIX-based growth strategy and scalability, and help ease migration from Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.8 to Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.10.
More efficient servers power new applications
As the project was a publicly funded undertaking, Etat de Genève also had certain responsibilities to its citizens in the area of cost containment and power usage. Specifically, Etat de Genève was interested in a greener data center, and was intrigued by the advantages that IBM Power Systems offered in this area.
Already knowledgeable about IBM servers and applications through usage in other areas of its government, Etat de Genève turned to IBM personnel from the IBM Oracle Joint Solutions Center in Montpellier, France, for more information. A joint IBM-Oracle team from the Montpellier center ran two workshops to help key Etat de Genève IT personnel better understand the logistics of the entire migration process, and the advantages of server consolidation through virtualization. One workshop was conducted at Etat de Genève’s data center, and the other was held at the Montpellier installation.
The workshops featured a demonstration highlighting how the IBM Migration Factory methodologya series of best practices and capabilities designed to help customers move from non-IBM platforms to IBM Power SystemsTMcould help Etat de Genève perform end-to-end migration of its custom, UNIX-based CFI applications. Further, the team was able to show Etat de Genève how it could consolidate the multiple legacy servers in its data center down to one IBM server. Through server virtualization, which creates multiple virtual servers on a single physical server, Etat de Genève could streamline the management of its IT environment, while also reducing maintenance and support costs by consolidating infrastructure.
Positioning for continued growth
The IBM consultants had a deep understanding of the Oracle appli-cations, our CFI application, and they also understood our business needs, explains Nunzio Di Ruocco, manager of database administration, Etat de Genève. They showed us how we could consolidate our legacy servers and conserve electricity, while expanding the capacity of our CFI applications, through using IBM servers. As a result of the workshops, Etat de Genève chose to run its applications on an IBM server. The canton’s past success with IBM products and the fact that Oracle systems are optimized to run on IBM servers also influenced their purchase decision. Di Ruocco notes that the scalability of the IBM server was a key decision factor, as well, because: We currently have 1,000 users on the Oracle applications, with all departments sharing the same view of current financial matters across the government. Because the IBM server is so easily scalable, we will be able to add 15 to 20 percent more users over the coming year. Leveraging the principles of the IBM Migration Factory, a combined team of IBM consultants and IBM Business Partners from Oracle and Gate Informatique, helped Etat de Genève migrate to a newer version of Oracle E-Business Suite, running on one IBM Power 570 server. The ease of virtualization on the IBM Power Systems allows us to fully utilize the resources of the server. Through increasing the ratio of the processing speed, we achieved a direct economical benefit by lowering the total cost of ownership of the hardware, says Di Ruocco. Loutan explains that the migration was completed on time and on budget. Now that the new system is fully implemented, CFI users of the system and government officials alike are happy with the changes.
In fact, Loutan and Di Ruocco both state that technical support requests and problems reported by users have declined dramatically, when compared to the prior version of Oracle E-Business Suite and the legacy servers. Etat de Genève also gained IT efficiency, enabling better personnel usage through reassignment of the staffers formerly needed to maintain the legacy servers.
We’ve been able to offer CFI users newer functionality more efficiently, which is the premier benefit of the hardware change to IBM Power Systems, explains Loutan. Users have given the IT team uniformly positive feedback on the migration and the increased pro-cessing speed. Senior government officials congratulated the team on the successful migration as well, and its choice of IBM Power Systems, citing the increases in cost-savings and efficiency, in addition to the available capacity for continued growth of the CFI system.
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
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