Published on 29-Jun-2011
Validated on 01 Oct 2013
"With shared, consistent data throughout Nattura Labs, we are in a position to understand our business from the global perspective and take actions designed to help us achieve our corporate ambitions." - Miguel Agustin Chaves Herrera, IT Director for Nattura Labs
IT/infrastructure, Enterprise Resource Planning, Optimizing IT, Optimizing IT, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server
IBM Business Partner:
SAP, Consultores Informaticos GRC
Nattura Laboratorios (Nattura Labs) has set out to become a global brand leader in the worldwide hair care and styling marketplace. With more than 2,000 employees in 63 countries and an annual turnover of US$ 45 million, the Mexican-based company is rapidly gaining ground in the hair care industry. Over the last thirty years since its formation, the company has expanded from its Mexican base in Zapopan Guadalajara, Jalisco, to sites across the world, extending both its geographic reach and range of products.
Nattura Labs is seeking to position itself on the world market as a major brand competitor in the hair styling sector. The hair and skin care company has secured a presence in over 63 countries with a growing list of products and customers. Working across an increasingly complex operational environment, Nattura Labs needed a more reliable and robust solution to run its IT infrastructure and ensure sound business practices.
Nattura Labs switched from an HP environment to two IBM Power servers and IBM System x and upgraded its SAP Business All-in-One software to provide a highly available, reliable and robust infrastructure. The IBM solution enables Nattura Labs to create a solid IT backbone and optimize its business processes.
The IBM Power and System x servers have reduced workload for the IT department by 35-40 percent, reduced software license fees by around 30 percent, and cut the total cost of ownership by 30 percent. The upgraded SAP Business All-in-One system ensures faster response times and simple management of IT resources. The IBM Power and System x solution offers high availability and has eliminated unplanned downtime.
Nattura Laboratorios (Nattura Labs) has set out to become a global brand leader in the worldwide hair care and styling marketplace. With more than 2,000 employees in 63 countries and an annual turnover of US$ 45 million, the Mexican-based company is rapidly gaining ground in the hair care industry.
Over the last thirty years since its formation, the company has expanded from its Mexican base in Zapopan Guadalajara, Jalisco, to sites across the world, extending both its geographic reach and range of products. This has created an increasingly complex IT environment. Nattura Labs needed to ensure that the backbone of all its operations remained reliable and robust in order to sustain its aggressive growth targets.
Miguel Agustin Chaves Herrera, IT Director for Nattura Labs says, “Our previous IT infrastructure required a major overhaul, as it was not up to the challenge of the current and future necessities of Nattura Labs. We faced reliability and backup issues, which sometimes meant that work would be lost and had to be re-done. This was clearly a waste of resources and completely unacceptable.
“We needed to modernize our IT infrastructure to ensure a solid, robust and reliable system that would allow us to optimize our processes, handle our present needs, and take care of our future requirements. This includes for example our expansion into new markets, the creation of new and diverse product lines and securing a stronger international presence.”
High availability and ease of use
Nattura Labs previously ran its SAP software environment on five centralized HP DL 350 servers, running the Microsoft Windows Server operating system. The increasingly complex environment and the growth of the company meant that the solution was no longer reliable, and costly downtime was placing Nattura Lab’s business at risk. The company decided on a complete overhaul of its IT infrastructure, designed to create a flexible, cost-effective platform that would allow the company to grow rapidly with the least possible IT complexity.
The first step for the Nattura Labs team was to choose to move from the Windows operating environment to a UNIX-based platform, taking advantage of its stability and scalability. This implied migrating the core SAP Business All-in-One environment and potentially the database, and establishing new skills within Nattura Labs. Some additional SAP NetWeaver applications would remain on the Windows platform, and Nattura Labs wanted to create a mixed infrastructure capable of supporting each system with the most appropriate technology.
Nattura Labs worked with IBM Global Financing and IBM Business Partner Consultores Informaticos GRC, S.A. de C.V. to finance a solution to replace its existing HP IT infrastructure. The company selected IBM Power servers for its UNIX environment and IBM System x servers for its Windows-based systems. An IBM System Storage DS5020 disk system was also implemented to provide high-performance storage and offline backup capabilities.
Says Miguel Herrera, “We migrated our core SAP Business All-in-One instance and Oracle databases to IBM Power 520 Express Edition servers, running the IBM AIX operating system. We decided to switch to IBM because of the reliability and performance that the IBM servers offer - something we were simply not receiving with the five HP servers we previously used.
“Simultaneously, we upgraded and extended our SAP Business All-in-One applications to take advantage of new functionality. Even with the increased workload, the infrastructure upgrade delivers faster response times and allows for further scalability. It is 100 percent integrated to our IBM infrastructure and is a vital part of our ongoing business operations.”
A key factor in the business case for the migration has been the consolidation from five servers to two, which has resulted in reduced database software license fees.
“It was of the utmost importance that we migrate to a robust and reliable system that was fast, scalable and provided better backup. We are very happy with the SAP Business All-in-One upgrade and the IBM Power and System x servers, as we are confident that the solution will sustain our business’s operations well into the future.
Miguel Herrera continues, “Replacing our HP environment with the IBM Power and System x servers meant that we were entitled to reduced license fees for our Oracle database software because we require fewer processors. Our new leasing plan with IBM also offers us significant tax benefits. Altogether we have made savings estimated at 30 percent on our annual IT costs. Our total cost of ownership has been reduced by almost one-third, generating major savings for our business.
“We also estimate a 35 to 40 percent workload reduction for the IT department. This translates to serious resource efficiencies for our department, allowing us to concentrate on other, more pressing matters for projects and strategies focused on the business goals, rather than daily operations, as well as creating further efficiencies for our business. These kinds of results ultimately speak for themselves.”
Easy migration to Power Systems
Consultores Informaticos GRC managed the SAP software and Oracle database migration project and the IBM Power and System x implementation process. The speed of the migration and the fact that the project met all of its targets, including timelines and budgets, meant that the project was completed with great success.
Miguel Herrara reports, “The support and advice we received from IBM and Consultores Informaticos were of the highest standards. They fulfilled and even exceeded our expectations. The project was carried out very smoothly and this is surprising for a complete migration of this size and complexity. We were very happy with the service as all the goals we set out were achieved in a very timely and efficient manner.
“Implementation of the SAP All-in-One solution was very fast: it took approximately one month, starting on 11 January and finishing on 15 February. This period also included a ten-day test stage prior to the go-live. The whole implementation was achieved at the first attempt without any glitches along the way, and the project was completed within budget.
Working with IBM Global Financing also yielded numerous benefits, allowing Nattura Labs to manage its cash flow more effectively. The IBM financing solution enabled the company to pay for all the hardware, software and services it needed using periodic, fixed and predictable payments. This helped align project costs with anticipated benefits and minimize asset residual value realization and technology obsolescence risks. In the future, the company can take advantage of IBM Global Asset Recovery Services to recycle its assets and minimize its regulatory exposure risk.
Improved performance and reliability
Nattura Labs chose to run SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) on IBM System x servers, powered by Intel Xeon processors. The BW workload runs independently of the main SAP servers, and users can therefore run reports exactly as they please without impacting production systems.
Miguel Herrara concludes, “Using SAP NetWeaver BW allows us to analyze key data such as operating margin, like-for-like sales, regional comparisons, and production costs over time and much more, using transaction data extracted directly from SAP Business All-in-One. We consolidate information from mulitple sources to obtain summary reports shared with financial and production executives, who are then able to take decisions based on solid facts.
“With shared, consistent data throughout Nattura Labs, we are in a position to understand our business from the global perspective and take actions designed to help us achieve our corporate ambitions.”
Products and services used
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