Published on 06-Jan-2009
Validated on 18 Jul 2013
"With DB2 on the IBM Power Systems platform, we get great performance and reliability at a low cost of operation – as well as the potential to leverage the latest advances in database technology." - Ozcan Soke, IT Manager, Borçelik
Enterprise Resource Planning, Optimizing IT
IBM Business Partner:
SAP, ComPro Bilgi Teknolojileri AS
Founded in 1990, Turkey's first private and second-largest flat steel producer, Borçelik, commenced production in 1994. Based in Gemlik, Turkey, Borçelik enjoys the strategic advantage of proximity to several ports, to Istanbul (200km) and to Bursa (28km), the country's key industrial and commercial centers. Borçelik’s plant spans a total area of 240,000m2, 118,000m2 of which is indoors.
Steelmaker Borçelik focuses on product excellence and relentless cost reduction. Supporting these twin objectives, the company has been using SAP ERP applications, initially with an Oracle database platform. Licensing and support costs were rising, and Borçelik looked for a more efficient solution to help optimize business processes.
Working with Compro, an IBM Business Partner, Borçelik migrated its SAP application environment to IBM DB2, running under IBM AIX on IBM Power servers. The migration was completed successfully during the company’s standard maintenance window.
IBM DB2 on the IBM Power platform provides excellent performance and reliability for the SAP application environment, with simple administration from within the SAP interface. Total cost of ownership has been reduced significantly compared to the existing database platform.
Founded in 1990, Turkey’s first private and second-largest flat steel producer, Borçelik, commenced production in 1994. Based in Gemlik, Turkey, Borçelik enjoys the strategic advantage of proximity to several ports, to Istanbul (200km) and to Bursa (28km), the country’s key industrial and commercial centers. Borçelik’s plant spans a total area of 240,000m2, 118,000m2 of which is indoors.
Borçelik’s annual production capacity of 1 million tonnes consists of 500,000t of cold rolled annealed, 420,000t of hot-dip galvanized and 80,000t of pickled and oiled material, and generated revenue of US$810 million in 2007.
The global steel business is intensely competitive. With raw materials prices set on world commodities markets, commercial success depends on product excellence combined with constant reductions in operational expenses through process and business efficiencies, and straight cost savings.
To support these twin objectives, Borçelik originally used a number of applications developed in-house to manage its production lines, financing and supply chain. These applications were expensive to maintain, and it was difficult to extend them to introduce new functionalities. Borçelik wanted to update its business processes to benefit from the latest industry best practices, and decided to move forward to a more comprehensive, up to date and standardized ERP platform.
“We looked at all the vendors in the ERP market, and it was clear to us that SAP was the best option for our business,” explains Ozcan Soke. “SAP ERP is widely used in manufacturing companies, and the integration between the different applications makes it possible to manage all our core business processes with a single point of control and a single repository for business data.”
Choosing SAP ERP
Borçelik implemented SAP ERP for financial accounting, controlling, sales and distribution, materials management and production planning functionalities, as well as the SAP Strategic Enterprise Management application (SAP SEM) and the SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence component (SAP NetWeaver BI).
“With SAP SEM and SAP NetWeaver BI, we can perform detailed real-time business reporting and develop scorecards to monitor key performance indicators,” says Ozcan Soke. “As a result, our managers can keep much tighter control over internal processes and react more quickly to changing market conditions.”
Difficulties with databases
When the SAP software was first implemented, Borçelik chose Oracle as the underlying database platform.
“At the time, Oracle was one of the most widely used databases for SAP applications, and it was the right choice,” explains Ozcan Soke. “Since then, IBM and SAP have formed a close alliance and IBM DB2 has transformed into becoming a leading database platform for SAP applications, with high functionality, easy management and low operational costs. We soon began to see the advantages of migrating to the IBM platform.”
ComPro – expert support
Working with ComPro, an IBM Business Partner based in Istanbul, Borçelik migrated its existing database to DB2 during a standard maintenance slot. The migration plan for the database was to allow 32 hours, and was actually completed easily before the deadline.
“ComPro did a very good job of the migration and helped us ensure that all our database administrators were ready to work with the new platform,” says Ozcan Soke. “DB2 is very easy to use, so it did not take long before our in-house team was able to take control of day-to-day operations.”
DB2 and SAP ERP – a potent combination
DB2 offers a number of key advantages as a platform for SAP applications – notably the DBA cockpit which enables administrators to manage the data from within the SAP interface.
Borçelik is running its SAP applications and DB2 databases under IBM AIX, in virtualized logical partitions (LPARs) on eight IBM Power Systems servers with quad-core IBM POWER5+ processors. The servers are distributed between two data centers, and Borçelik is planning to implement a full disaster recovery solution in the coming year.
“There are a number of features in DB2 that we are not using yet, but we are looking at how they could benefit our business,” explains Ozcan Soke.
“For example, the HADR [high availability disaster recovery] feature could be very useful in our disaster recovery project. Also, the deep compression feature could potentially help us cut our storage requirements by as much as 40 per cent.”
Cost-effective database platform
With IBM DB2, Borçelik now has a highly cost-effective database platform for its SAP application environment.
“Thanks to DB2, we are saving around 25 per cent on software licensing and maintenance fees – which means we have more money in the IT budget to spend on solutions that deliver additional competitive advantage for our business,” concludes Ozcan Soke. “With DB2 on the IBM Power Systems platform, we get great performance and reliability at a low cost of operation – as well as the potential to leverage the latest advances in database technology.”
Products and services used
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