JAB achieves same-day order processing with SAP and IBM Power Systems

Published on 28-Oct-2008

Validated on 01 Aug 2013

"SAP and IBM are key partners for us, and their strategic alliance is very encouraging. By working together, IBM and SAP have developed an end-to-end ERP solution that delivers real business value for JAB ANSTOETZ." - Hermann Grauthoff, Head of the IT department at JAB ANSTOETZ

Customer:
JAB ANSTOETZ

Industry:
Wholesale Distribution & Services

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Energy Efficiency, Enterprise Resource Planning, Optimizing IT, Server Consolidation, Supply Chain Management, Virtualization

IBM Business Partner:
SAP, Becom

Overview

JAB ANSTOETZ is one of the largest fabric editors worldwide and can be found around the globe wherever there is a focus on elegant living and precious fabrics. According to the company’s slogan: “JAB ANSTOETZ does not simply sell fabrics, but a lifestyle.” Headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany, the JAB ANSTOETZ group employs about 1,350 people around the world.

Business need:
With a major international fabric business to run, JAB relies on its ERP applications from SAP to process customers’ orders fast and dispatch products quickly. With business expansion, its existing hardware footprint for the ERP environment was growing rapidly, and the company wanted to simplify its infrastructure by consolidating to fewer servers.

Solution:
Working with IBM Premier Business Partner Becom, JAB started a program of consolidation, ultimately replacing 15 UNIX servers with just four IBM Power Systems machines, and upgrading the database servers to IBM DB2 9. IBM Global Technology Services helped to create a SAN based on IBM System Storage DS4800 hardware, and the environment is monitored and managed by a suite of IBM Tivoli software.

Benefits:
Reliable, high-performance infrastructure helps JAB get the most from its SAP applications – it can offer same-day order processing and dispatch for most customers. Server consolidation simplifies maintenance and improves energy efficiency – reducing IT workload and avoiding an increase in costs. DB2 9 deep compression has boosted SAP application performance by 17 per cent and reduced storage requirements by 32 per cent.

Case Study

Click here for a German version.

JAB ANSTOETZ is one of the largest fabric editors worldwide and can be found around the globe wherever there is a focus on elegant living and precious fabrics. According to the company’s slogan: “JAB ANSTOETZ does not simply sell fabrics, but a lifestyle.” Headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany, the JAB ANSTOETZ group employs about 1,350 people around the world.

In 1999, JAB ANSTOETZ replaced its legacy SAP R/2® system and sales and logistics systems with a consistent and integrated ERP solution from SAP. Since then, the company has continued to upgrade, extend and optimize its SAP applications; the environment now supports around 550 named users who can be online at any given time.

“Our SAP applications are absolutely vital to the efficient operation of the company,” comments Hermann Grauthoff, Head of the IT department at JAB ANSTOETZ. “They support many of our most important business processes, including financial accounting, cost controlling, inventory management, human capital management and sales and distribution.

“In order to be able to respond rapidly to customer orders and dispatch products, our SAP ERP applications are a crucial requirement. To analyze the performance of our business we trust in our business data warehouse, which is based on the SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence component. Good response speeds and high availability are crucial – but as the business grows, the IT infrastructure needs to be able to cope with ever-increasing workloads.”

A new hardware strategy

By 2003, JAB ANSTOETZ’s SAP applications were running on 15 UNIX servers. Managing, monitoring and maintaining all these different machines was a complicated and time-consuming process.

“The environment kept growing, and we knew that simply buying more servers was an unsustainable strategy in the long term,” comments Hermann Grauthoff. “Not only would server management costs continue to increase, but we would also run out of space in our data center. In addition, there were considerations such as electricity and air conditioning requirements – running too many servers is expensive, and the environmental impact is considerable.”

Consolidating with IBM Power Systems

JAB ANSTOETZ decided to embark on a program of server consolidation, and worked with Becom, an IBM Business Partner, to replace the fifteen UNIX servers with just four new IBM Power Systems servers, running IBM AIX. Three p5-550 machines, each with eight IBM POWER5+ processors, handle the main systems, while a smaller, four-processor p5-550 is used for test and development.

IBM Global Technology Services provided support services for the AIX landscape, including configuration of the virtualized logical partitions (LPARs) and the virtual I/O servers. IBM PowerVM virtualization enables JAB ANSTOETZ to run all its SAP application environments on far fewer physical machines than the previous infrastructure – reducing administrative workload and saving floor space, electricity and air conditioning costs.

PowerVM virtualization

“With PowerVM technology on the IBM Power Systems platform, we have the ability to set up and manage SAP application environments quickly and easily,” explains Hermann Grauthoff. “This means that we are not only able to support all the companies in the JAB ANSTOETZ group, but we can also provide SAP hosting services for other companies.”

JAB ANSTOETZ is currently hosting six SAP environments for two external customers.

“IT hosting is not a core activity for us, but it is definitely a part of the business that we want to expand,” says Hermann Grauthoff. “The IBM Power Systems servers are an ideal platform for hosting – so we can help other companies build an SAP ERP environment without making our own IT infrastructure too complicated and expensive.”

Flexible tiered storage

IBM Global Technology Services also helped JAB ANSTOETZ create a storage area network (SAN), optimizing the communications between its servers, two IBM System Storage DS4800 disk systems, and an IBM TotalStorage 3494 Tape Library.

“IBM Global Technology Services helped us design the SAN to deliver the optimum combination of performance and cost-efficiency,” explains Hermann Grauthoff. “We use high-speed fiber channel disks to provide rapid I/O for the SAP environment, while less demanding applications make use of low-cost SATA disks.”

IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) provides incremental backup services, making backups quicker and reducing downtime for the production environment. Only data that has been added or changed since the previous backup is copied, so there is no need to move entire databases to the company’s tape library. Point-in-time restores can also be performed rapidly and reliably, helping the business bring its systems online again quickly in case of failure.

JAB ANSTOETZ is also using IBM Tivoli Monitoring and IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler to monitor systems and control and automate processes across the IT environment. IBM Tivoli Monitoring allows central monitoring of the entire JAB ANSTOETZ landscape including the SAP systems. Batch jobs and backups can be scheduled with the IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler to run automatically. Any errors or failures are immediately reported to IT staff – reducing administrative workload.

DB2 and deep compression

Response speeds in JAB ANSTOETZ’s SAP application environment have significantly increased as a result of the hardware and storage consolidation program, but IBM Global Technology Services also recommended a further improvement. By upgrading to IBM DB2 version 9, the company has been able to take advantage of the new deep compression feature.

“DB2 deep compression has reduced the size of the databases in our SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence environments significantly, keeping storage costs low,” explains Andreas Heidemann. “It has also improved response times in the SAP environment by 17 per cent, which is a significant benefit.”

In total, DB2 deep compression has reduced the size of the database for the company’s SAP ERP application by 28 per cent, while the Business Intelligence system was reduced by 38 per cent – which equates to a 32 per cent reduction across the two systems. As the data warehouse grows, DB2 will help the company make the most efficient possible use of its storage environment.

Working with IBM Global Technology Services

Throughout the course of the project, IBM Global Technology Services has played an important part – planning, sizing, deploying and configuring the hardware and providing support for the AIX and DB2 environments.

“Our partnership with IBM Global Technology Services has been important for the success of our SAP ERP strategy,” comments Hermann Grauthoff. “From server, storage and middleware design concepts through to implementation and support, they have delivered a consistently excellent service – and our in-house team has learned a lot from them about how to manage and maintain our systems.”

SAP Global Trade Services

With the new hardware and software in place, JAB ANSTOETZ has a secure, reliable infrastructure that delivers excellent performance for the SAP environment and will scale easily to accommodate future growth. In consequence, the company is able to leverage its SAP applications in a highly effective manner, providing support for most of its key processes.

For example, all German companies involved in the import and export business need to be able to use ATLAS (Automatisiertes Tarif- und Lokales Zollabwicklungssystem), a system created by the German Federal Customs Administration that enables automated customs clearance and monitoring of cross-border movement of goods. JAB ANSTOETZ has been able to integrate its ERP systems with ATLAS by using the SAP Global Trade Services application. As a result, goods stored at the company’s open customs warehouse in Bielefeld can now be automatically processed for customs clearance – helping to deliver orders to customers more quickly.

Faster delivery – better customer service

“In general, if a customer order reaches us before 2pm, we can process and dispatch it on the same day,” explains Hermann Grauthoff. “This is only possible because our ERP systems are able to automate many of the processes and eliminate delays. The SAP applications – and, by extension, the IBM infrastructure that supports them – are crucial if we are to run our business efficiently and deliver good service to our customers.”

As part of the company’s ongoing efforts to refine and enhance its business processes, JAB ANSTOETZ is planning an upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0.

Hermann Grauthoff concludes: “SAP and IBM are key partners for us, and their strategic alliance is very encouraging. By working together, IBM and SAP have developed an end-to-end ERP solution that delivers real business value for JAB ANSTOETZ.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage: DS4800, Storage: Tape & Optical Storage, System p: System p5 550 Express - AIX 5L Edition

Software:
Tivoli Storage Manager, DB2 9 for Linux, UNIX and Windows, Tivoli Monitoring

Operating system:
AIX

Service:
GTS ITS Server: Server Product Services for Power Systems, GTS ITS Storage & Data: Storage Opt. & Integration Services, IBM-SAP Alliance, GTS ITS Middleware: Information On Demand Infrastructure, GTS Data Center Services

Legal Information

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