Redecard goes to market with IBM and SAP

Published on 07-May-2008

Validated on 01 Aug 2013

"IBM has delivered a true end-to-end solution, encompassing everything from initial design through to implementation and support – enabling Redecard to focus on business objectives, not technical issues. The successful delivery of this complex project within an ambitious time-frame is a testament to IBM’s dedication, professionalism and technical skill." - Manoel Correa, Financial Accounting Manager at Redecard

Customer:
Redecard

Industry:
Banking

Deployment country:
Brazil

Solution:
Enterprise Resource Planning, Supply Chain Management

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

Founded in 1996, Redecard is a fast-growing company that offers electronic transaction processing services for credit and debit card companies that operate in Brazil, such as MasterCard, RedeShop and Diners Club International. The company has 26 branches across the country, employs around 700 people, and generates sales of around 2 billion Brazilian reais (US$1 billion) per year.

Business need:
Redecard decided to float on the Brazilian Stock Exchange, but its existing financial systems were shared with other companies in the same group – a potential regulatory problem. In addition, the existing hardware infrastructure lacked the capacity and flexibility to deal with the company’s 20 per cent year-on-year growth.

Solution:
IBM Global Business Services helped Redecard design a new IT environment based on SAP ERP 5.0 running under Microsoft Windows 2003 on IBM System x and AIX on IBM System p servers. The SAP NetWeaver technology platform was used to develop a system that helps business users register purchases quickly and easily. Day-to-day management and support is outsourced to IBM Global Technology Services and IBM Application Management services.

Benefits:
New solution provides a single, centralized ERP solution, helping Redecard meet regulatory requirements in time for stock market flotation. IBM outsourcing provides IT as a service, letting business users focus on core business tasks. New purchasing system eliminates considerable manual workload, reducing operational costs.

Case Study

Founded in 1996, Redecard is a fast-growing company that offers electronic transaction processing services for credit and debit card companies that operate in Brazil, such as MasterCard, RedeShop and Diners Club International. The company has 26 branches across the country, employs around 700 people, and generates sales of around 2 billion Brazilian reais (US$1 billion) per year.

Redecard’s sales volumes have been growing at around 20 per cent annually, yet staffing levels have remained more or less constant – making Redecard a lean and profitable enterprise. However, sustaining this growth rate would require further capital investment, so the board decided to float the company on the Brazilian Stock Exchange.

“The challenge we faced was that our existing IT systems were part of a shared infrastructure with other companies in our group, and it was difficult to extend this system to handle the stricter financial regulations with which a listed company has to comply,” says Manoel Correa, Financial Accounting Manager at Redecard. “We realized that we needed to start from scratch and build a new IT environment that would meet these needs.”

Leveraging SAP software

Redecard needed to find a technology partner capable of designing, implementing and supporting a solution that would integrate business processes across the enterprise. Several leading IT consultancies made bids for the contract; IBM offered the most comprehensive solution at the most attractive price.

IBM Global Business Services proposed implementing a solution based around SAP ERP Financials and SAP ERP Operations, which would use the SAP NetWeaver technology platform to interface with the company’s XRT treasury software and Alliance fiscal reporting tools.

“We had an extremely tight schedule, because we needed to ensure that the new solution could go live before the start of the new financial year,” explains Manoel Correa. “Efficient project management was absolutely vital, as we could not afford any mistakes. IBM Global Business Services did an excellent job, helping us to design the solution, implement the SAP software and transform our business processes within just six months.”

IBM Global Business Services helped Redecard reengineer many of its core business processes to take advantage of the industry best practices embodied in the SAP ERP application – helping to improve operational efficiencies, integrate processes and increase controls. By leveraging the SAP software’s standard functionalities, the IBM team minimized the amount of bespoke configuration needed during the implementation phase, reducing the business risk.

“One example of the business process improvements that SAP and IBM Global Business Services have helped us to realize is in purchasing,” says Manoel Correa. “Previously, we needed a team of people to register all departments’ purchases with the central system, which was a waste of time for them and did not add value to the business.”

By leveraging IBM WebSphere Application Server and SAP NetWeaver, IBM Global Business Services has built a simple front-end that provides seamless Web-based access to back-end systems, including SAP ERP and the XRT treasury software. The highly interoperable IBM and SAP software platforms provide a framework that facilitates integration and data transfer between all the relevant systems – eliminating much manual workload.

Manoel Correa comments: “With its user-friendly Web interface, the new WebSphere and SAP NetWeaver solution makes it easy for each department to register its own purchases and automates most of the work. It is a massive improvement in terms of productivity and efficiency, since it reduces the lead time for accounting processes by 50 per cent, helping staff focus on high-value tasks.”

Building a new infrastructure

In addition to the design and implementation of the SAP software, Redecard has outsourced the management of the entire IT environment to IBM Global Technology Services and IBM Applications Management Services.

“We wanted to be able to focus on business challenges, not technical issues, so IBM’s ability to provide a full-service solution – including software, infrastructure, day-to-day management and third-party licensing – was a key differentiator. Few other technology companies have the range of skills and resources to offer this kind of end-to-end solution.”

IBM Global Technology Services implemented the hardware for the environment, delivered low-level ABAP development services, and provides ongoing support. The production SAP application server runs under Microsoft Windows 2003 on two dual-processor IBM System x3800 servers, with several other System x machines handling the SAP development and quality assurance system, as well as a Web front-end. The underlying IBM DB2 database runs under AIX 5L on an IBM System p5 520 with two IBM POWER5+ processors.

The IBM System x servers leverage IBM X-Architecture, introducing technologies designed for mainframe computing to the cost-effective Intel- and AMD-processor-based hardware platforms. This advanced architecture helps to boost performance and reliability for SAP application workload, providing not only very high levels of availability and responsiveness for business users but also enhanced systems management, power and cooling.

To deliver enterprise-class performance for the all-important DB2 database that supports the SAP software environment, Redecard relies on the IBM System p platform, with its high-performance IBM POWER5+ processors. The highly scalable System p architecture enables Redecard to simply activate more processors as the database workload increases, providing non-disruptive scalability at relatively small pricing increments.

IBM Application Management Services provides an ERP On Demand service, including 24x7 support for the software and applications and management of the DB2 database platform. DB2 is recommended by SAP, and has been optimized to deliver outstanding query performance. By upgrading to DB2 9, Redecard will be able to benefit from industry-leading features such as XML support and Deep Compression, which can reduce database size by as much as 40 to 50 per cent.

The IBM Application Management Services team also uses Tivoli Storage Manager to perform policy-based incremental backups of the entire environment, ensuring business recovery in case data is accidentally deleted or production systems fail. Tivoli Storage Manager is flexible enough to handle data from a number of different operating systems, so it can back up Redecard’s Windows and AIX environments automatically according to pre-set policies.

Manuel Correa comments: “The purpose of the outsourcing exercise is that, from our point of view, we shouldn’t have to worry about the technology. The combination of reliable IBM hardware and software with the dedicated IBM service teams means that we gain the levels of performance and availability our users need to achieve their business goals.”

Transforming business processes

Thanks to IBM’s end-to-end delivery of the new SAP software solution, Redecard has been able to transform its business processes, increasing control, flexibility and transparency in its financial systems and increasing operational efficiency. As a result of the new solution, Redecard will be able to reduce its total cost of operation by around $2.5 million over the next five years.

IBM Business Continuity and Recovery Services (BCRS) has helped Redecard prepare its infrastructure for all kinds of disasters – both natural and man-made – and has designed a resilient environment for critical business applications such as SAP ERP, XRT and Accounting Integrator. The reliable IBM infrastructure and outsourced management of the whole environment have also contributed to an average availability rate of around 99.5 per cent.

“The IBM and SAP solution has played a significant role in preparing Redecard for stock market flotation and dealing with regulatory pressures,” says Manoel Correa. “Equally, by promoting the spread of best practices and boosting productivity, the solution will provide an ideal foundation to support future business growth.

“IBM has delivered a true end-to-end solution, encompassing everything from initial design through to implementation and support – enabling Redecard to focus on business objectives, not technical issues. The successful delivery of this complex project within an ambitious time-frame is a testament to IBM’s dedication, professionalism and technical skill.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
System p: System p5 520 Express - OpenPower Edition, System x

Software:
WebSphere Application Server, Tivoli Storage Manager, DB2 Universal Database for Linux, UNIX and Windows, DB2 for AIX

Operating system:
AIX, Win NT/2003

Service:
GTS ITS BCRS Resiliency Consulting Services, GTS Strategic Outsourcing, IBM-SAP Alliance, IBM Global Business Services, GTS Enterprise Services

Legal Information

IBM Deutschland GmbH D-70548 Stuttgart ibm.com/solutions/sap IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, System p, and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at: http://www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Xeon and the Intel Xeon logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product or service names may be trademarks, or service marks of others. This case study illustrates how one IBM customer uses IBM and/or IBM Business Partner technologies/services. Many factors have contributed to the results and benefits described. IBM does not guarantee comparable results. All information contained herein was provided by the featured customer and/or IBM Business Partner. IBM does not attest to its accuracy. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models. © Copyright IBM Corp. 2008. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2008 SAP AG SAP AG Dietmar-Hopp-Allee 16D-69190 Walldorf SAP, the SAP logo, SAP and all other SAP products and services mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and several other countries.