Gemeente Eersel builds a mixed workload environment for SAP and legacy applications on IBM System i

Published on 21-Feb-2008

Validated on 01 Aug 2013

"Running SAP applications on IBM System i gives Gemeente Eersel a platform for the future – a solution based on industry standard software technologies and highly scalable hardware that will be easy to expand as we continue to build our ERP environment." - Ron Oostrum, Team Coordinator for ICT at Gemeente Eersel

Customer:
Gemeente Eersel

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
Business Resiliency, Enterprise Resource Planning

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

Gemeente Eersel is one of 443 municipalities in the Netherlands, and employs around 150 people to provide a range of local and administrative services for the area’s 18,000 inhabitants.

Business need:
As a municipal administration, Gemeente Eersel is responsible for calculating taxation for its citizens. Relying on a legacy application to perform these calculations was not a viable long-term strategy, and the municipality wanted to move to a more modern ERP solution that could support this specialized functionality.

Solution:
Gemeente Eersel worked with IBM and Getronics PinkRoccade, an IBM Business Partner, to deploy CiVision Belastingen & Kadaster Suite, a qualified SAP Business All-in-One partner solution for the specialized tax calculations. The solution runs on an IBM System i520 server in a mixed workload i5/OS partition, enabling the SAP software and several legacy applications to share the same IBM DB2 database instance.

Benefits:
The SAP Business All-in-One solution provides most functionality out of the box, reducing cost, complexity and risk for the implementation. System i mixed workload mode simplifies IT management, reduces licensing costs and extends the life of legacy applications. Performance, reliability and resilience of System i environment provide a sturdy platform for future extension of the SAP software landscape.

Case Study

Gemeente Eersel is one of 443 municipalities in the Netherlands, and employs around 150 people to provide a range of local and administrative services for the area’s 18,000 inhabitants.

One of Gemeente Eersel’s most important functions is to administrate the taxation of its citizens and local businesses. For many years, the municipality relied on a legacy application designed to perform the specialized tax calculations required by Dutch law, but the existing vendor was no longer willing to support the application and a new solution was required.

“We needed to find a new application for tax calculation, and we realized that it would be a good opportunity to rethink our whole IT environment,” says Ron Oostrum, Team Coordinator for ICT at Gemeente Eersel. “We were interested in moving to a modern, standardized ERP solution, but we still needed the specialized functionality of our existing application. As a second objective, we wanted to replace our existing hardware platform to increase performance and scalability for the future.”

Finding a solution

Gemeente Eersel approached Getronics PinkRoccade, an IBM Business Partner, to find a solution. Getronics PinkRoccade helped the municipality deploy CiVision Belastingen & Kadaster Suite, a qualified SAP Business All-in-One partner solution based on the SAP Business All-in-One for Public Sector solution portfolio.

“The new Getronics PinkRoccade solution gives us all the financial management applications of SAP Business All-in-One, and is adapted to conform with Dutch taxation laws,” explains Ron Oostrum. “Best of all, SAP Business All-in-One offered almost all of the functionality we needed out of the box, reducing the amount of effort that IBM and Getronics had to spend on customization. This helped us deploy the solution rapidly and at low cost, and minimized the risk of disruption to our operations.”

As well as the new SAP software solution, Gemeente Eersel wanted to continue to use a number of other applications from Getronics PinkRoccade – systems that handle administrative functions such as citizen registration and other public services.

“We wanted to integrate these systems with the new SAP solution, and to use the same database instance for both SAP and non-SAP applications,” explains Ron Oostrum. “This would mean running all of our systems in one partition – and we knew that this kind of mixed workload environment would be a first in the Dutch public sector.”

Leveraging System i

Gemeente Eersel worked closely with IBM and Getronics PinkRoccade to design a new hardware landscape that would be capable of handling this mixed workload environment effectively – delivering the stability and performance required to support the municipality’s operations. As long-time users of the IBM System i family and its predecessors, the Gemeente Eersel IT team was keen to deploy a new IBM System i server that would enable them to leverage their existing expertise.

“We have been using System i and AS/400 machines for around 25 years now, and we are big fans of the platform,” explains Ron Oostrum. “In our experience, you turn a System i server on and that’s it – it never goes down. i5/OS is also extremely resilient against viruses and malicious attacks, so we do not have to worry about all the security updates and patches that some other operating systems require.”

Mixed workload capability

Thanks to the mixed workload capability of the System i architecture, Gemeente Eersel’s new i520 server can run the new SAP software environment, the legacy applications and the underlying IBM DB2 database in one partition on a single IBM POWER5+ processor.

“Mixed workload mode means that we only need to pay license fees for one copy of i5/OS, and can use a single instance of our 420GB DB2 database for both sets of applications,” says Ron Oostrum. “Moreover, since DB2 is built into the operating system itself, we save licensing costs on the database too. The new solution should help us reduce the total cost of ownership and keep the environment easy to manage, without compromising on functionality.”

An effective partnership

Thanks to the close partnership between IBM Global Technology Services, Getronics PinkRoccade and the experienced Gemeente Eersel team, the new solution was up and running within three months of purchasing the server, and was ready to go live for the municipality’s 20 SAP software users within just five months.

“IBM Global Technology Services did a great job, helping us design the SAP software landscape and deploy and configure the hardware,” says Ron Oostrum. “The team put in a lot of effort with Getronics PinkRoccade to ensure that our mixed workload environment would offer the performance and reliability we needed.”

Reaping the benefits

“Gemeente Eersel is a relatively small organization, but that doesn’t mean that accurate financial management is any less of a priority than it would be for a big company or government department,” says Ron Oostrum. “The combination of SAP Business All-in-One for Public Sector and the Getronics PinkRoccade solution gives us enterprise-level control over our finances, helping us to provide a highly efficient service to our public.”

Running the solution in mixed workload mode on the new i520 means that Gemeente Eersel avoids the need to invest in a second physical server to run the new SAP environment. This, combined with the stability and resilience of the System i architecture, should mean that it will cost less to keep core systems online and available.

“The reliability of the infrastructure is a huge benefit of the System i platform,” says Ron Oostrum. “But just in case anything does go wrong, we decided to put IBM to the test – we asked them to run a full restore of our environment onto a different physical machine. It worked perfectly and there were no issues with the mixed workload environment, so we are now completely confident in our new hardware environment as a basis for our mission-critical systems.”

In the long term, Gemeente Eersel plans to continue to work with Getronics PinkRoccade to migrate its remaining legacy applications onto the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, delivering further benefits in terms of standardization and integration. This will enable the introduction of the SAP NetWeaver BI solution, offering advanced insight into municipal finances.

“Running SAP applications on IBM System i gives Gemeente Eersel a platform for the future – a solution based on industry standard software technologies and highly scalable hardware that will be easy to expand as we continue to build our ERP environment,” concludes Ron Oostrum.

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
System i: System i5 520

Software:
DB2 for i5/OS

Operating system:
IBM i

Service:
GTS ITS Server: Server Product Services for Power Systems, IBM-SAP Alliance, GTS Data Center Services

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