Published on 15-Aug-2011
Validated on 06 Dec 2013
"The project has been completed on time and within budget. This is very important for a project of such a large scale, and we are very happy with the quality of support and advice we have received from both IBM and SAP." - Lue Wang, Deputy Manager of the Application System Management Department, Mindray
BA - Business Intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning, Information Infrastructure, Optimizing IT
IBM Business Partner:
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co. Ltd (Mindray) is a Sino-US joint venture, located in Shenzhen, China. The company develops, manufactures, markets and sells specialized electro-medical equipment in the patient monitoring, laboratory instrument and medical ultrasound fields. Mindray sells products in more than 190 countries worldwide, with a strong domestic Chinese market presence of 31 branch offices selling to over 10,000 hospitals. Founded in 1991, Mindray was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.
Medical equipment manufacturer Mindray is growing its annual sales by between 10 and 50 percent annually, mainly through international expansion. Older business solutions had been replaced with SAP applications, supported by an Oracle database. It soon became clear that Mindray needed a highly robust and scalable IT backbone that could support the company’s aggressive business and future development needs.
Upgraded to the most current versions of SAP ERP and SAP Customer Relationship Management applications, as well as SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, and took the opportunity to migrate from Oracle to IBM DB2 database software.
The combination of IBM and SAP software provides a highly scalable solution that can be easily rolled out and integrated with all of its subsidiaries worldwide. The SAP ERP suite provides a centralized management platform that fulfills the company’s core business needs. Together with IBM DB2, the solution supports Mindray’s global business development and growing organizational infrastructure by providing a powerful, highly available and easily manageable solution that offers the company both short-term and long-term cost savings.
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Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co. Ltd (Mindray) is a Sino-US joint venture, located in Shenzhen, China. The company develops, manufactures, markets and sells specialized electro-medical equipment in the patient monitoring, laboratory instrument and medical ultrasound fields.
Mindray sells products in more than 190 countries worldwide, with a strong domestic Chinese market presence of 31 branch offices selling to over 10,000 hospitals. Founded in 1991, Mindray was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2006. The company operates subsidiaries in Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey, UK and the U.S. Global sales reached $704 million at the end of 2010, and the group employs more than 6,000 people.
Lue Wang, Deputy Manager of the Application System Management Department, says “Successful expansion into international markets is producing sales growth of up to 50 per cent annually. Our plan is to maintain future annual growth at an average of 25 percent.
“Our original IT systems could not support our continually developing business operations. It was very difficult to run a global business with a platform that was not scalable or easy to integrate. We had to install many systems at different sites and then find ways to integrate them. This was very time consuming, difficult and costly.”
Seamless integration and business sense
Mindray needed a robust, scalable IT systems backbone that could support the company’s aggressive business and development needs. Early in the company’s development the business solutions were supported on an Oracle database.
Mindray wanted to provide centralized management for its global operations, which implied an integrated platform and IT infrastructure. The solution was to introduce SAP software as its core business administration system.
“SAP provides an excellent array of software,” says Lue Wang. “In our sector we believe that it is the leading ERP software solution, and most of the top 500 companies in the world use SAP for good reason. We were confident from the start therefore that SAP’s suite of applications could support our growth.”
“One of the biggest benefits for the company is that it provides a single platform with a global view and centralized management. All the subsidiaries at all sites use one system and we can integrate all our data and processes. This provides us with both technical and perhaps more importantly, business efficiencies.”
“Once we started using SAP software, we were able to transform our local company into a globally established organization.”
Migrating to DB2
Following the initial implementation, Mindray migrated to the most current versions of SAP ERP software, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse to provide enterprise analytics, and SAP Customer Relationship Management to provide advanced sales, marketing and commercial opportunity management.
During the SAP upgrade process, the senior management team took the opportunity to review its choice of database. Mindray decided to move away from Oracle, selecting IBM DB2 as its strategic information management platform, principally to meet the high scalability demands of its rapidly growing business operations. IBM DB2 was seen as a natural extension to the SAP software, offering full integration and highly competitive price performance.
“The price-performance ratio of SAP with DB2 is much better than our previous solution. Over time this translates to serious reductions in the total cost of ownership and saves the company money,” says Lue Wang. “The key reasons for selecting SAP and IBM DB2 together are that they integrate seamlessly, are easy to manage and can support our global business.”
“IBM DB2 is a rock-solid database that provides power and scalability while remaining simple to use and manage. The SAP DBA Cockpit shields all the complexity and automates most of the DBA activities for the SAP environment. This saves a lot of time.”
IBM and SAP collaborate to ensure that DB2 is optimized for SAP applications, and the software release cycles are fully coordinated. The collaboration between IBM and SAP is particularly important for Mindray because it ensures that the combination of software is reliable: high availability is of utmost importance to a company whose central SAP solutions are used beyond China and throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Lue Wang notes, “Once we implemented the solution at our headquarters in Shenzhen, we moved on to our second phase and rolled the solution out to our overseas branches as well, including the U.S., France, Netherlands and the UK, with the intention of covering more countries in the future.”
Mindray has around 1 TB of production data, and with sales growing quickly total data volumes are a significant concern. To help control data growth, Mindray has implemented the Deep Compression feature available in DB2, which compresses row data by an average of 40 percent, to support its SAP Business Warehouse solution. Mindray has achieved an even higher compression rate of 65 percent, saving a total of around 650 GB, avoiding expenditure on the physical storage, backup and administration services that this data would require in a non-compressed state. With later versions of DB2, which feature Index Compression and advanced algorithm, Mindray could expect to achieve yet further reductions.
On time and within budget
The Shenzhen SAP and DB2 implementation and migration project took eight months, and Mindray followed up with roll-outs in its US and European branches. The next phase will include roll-outs in India and Mexico.
“The solution will be directly integrated with key customers, partners and suppliers, and we may additionally create connections with banks, forward agents and other institutions. We are confident that the SAP ERP applications and IBM DB2 can support any future prospects for business efficiencies we require.”
Lue Wang concludes, “The project has been completed on time and within budget. This is very important for a project of such a large scale, and we are very happy with the quality of support and advice we have received from both IBM and SAP.”
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
DB2 for Linux, UNIX and Windows
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