Published on 09-Aug-2011
Validated on 06 Dec 2013
"Our expectations were not only met, they were surpassed – especially regarding the transition from our old hosting partner to IBM Global Technology Services. We had access to expert IBM contacts at all times, and now our services have improved through better personal contacts and monitoring" - Reiner Domogala, Team Leader SAP Technology, Landgard Service GmbH
Landgard Service GmbH
Wholesale Distribution & Services
Database Management, Data Warehouse, Enterprise Resource Planning, Systems Management, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server
IBM Business Partner:
Landgard GmbH is Germany’s leading marketing organization for cut flowers, potted plants, fruits and vegetables. The company also supplies horticultural products to tree nurseries, horticulturalists and florists. Landgard markets exclusively for wholesalers and retail sales teams in green businesses. Based in the Rhineland area, the organization employs over 3,000 individuals and has more than 3,000 suppliers and 25,000 customers. Its revenues for 2009 were approximately €1.65 billion.
Landgard markets to wholesalers and retail sales teams in green businesses. With more than 3,000 suppliers and 25,000 customers across Europe, a strong IT infrastructure is the backbone of its services. The company needed to find a solution to reduce excessive IT costs and achieve service requirements to support a €1 billion business. Boosting availability, providing on-demand services and improving response times were the main priorities. Landgard also needed guaranteed backup and scalability, and the minimization if not eradication of downtime.
Landgard selected an outsourced SAP solution with a wide area network connection to an IBM Global Technology Services – Worldwide Strategic Outsourcing data center. The company’s SAP systems run on IBM AIX on an IBM Power Systems server in the IBM data center, with applications on demand services from IBM Global Technology Services supporting SAP ERP, SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, SAP Solution Manager, SAP Business Connector and SAP Web Dispatcher applications.
Outsourcing of all software and hardware frees the Landgard IT team to focus on their key objectives of improving business processes. With guaranteed high availability, the company can provide uninterrupted service to clients, boosting responsiveness and agility. The expertise of IBM Global Technology Services ensures maintenance is planned and coordinated to avoid downtime. Combined with the quicker response times offered by the IBM Power Systems servers, Landgard users’ satisfaction rates have increased. Overall, the solution has significantly decreased Landgard’s IT costs.
Landgard GmbH is Germany’s leading marketing organization for cut flowers, potted plants, fruits and vegetables. The company also supplies horticultural products to tree nurseries, horticulturalists and florists. Landgard markets exclusively for wholesalers and retail sales teams in green businesses.
Based in the Rhineland area, the organization employs over 3,000 individuals and has more than 3,000 suppliers and 25,000 customers. Its revenues for 2009 were approximately €1.65 billion.
Landgard’s IT team was challenged to find a solution that would reduce its IT costs, improve its services, and streamline its business processes.
The company’s previous IT hosting partner was unable to provide the service levels that the company required. It was unable to ensure high availability or quick response times, and communication was often difficult and slow.
Mr. Reiner Domogala, Team Leader SAP Technology, explains, “We needed to find a solution that would meet our expected service level requirements, reduce our overall IT costs and improve our business processes. These are usually incompatible requirements.”
“We tried to find a solution with our previous IT hosting company, but we soon found that they could not meet the exacting standards that we expected. We also wanted to outsource our SAP services and infrastructure so that the team within Landgard could focus on improving processes rather than maintaining systems at a basic level.”
“We looked at various service providers and quickly concluded that outsourcing our SAP environment to IBM Global Technology Services would allow us to meet all our goals by housing the entire solution at the IBM Worldwide Strategic Outsourcing data center. This would enable us to benefit from IBM Applications On Demand services, as well as providing a highly reliable, well-tested IBM infrastructure for our suite of SAP software.”
“The entire transition took just six months, and we were highly impressed by how smooth the whole process was. All scheduled timelines were met and we had no unexpected downtime. The transition from one hosting provider to the other was planned and executed to perfection.”
He adds: “Our expectations were not only met, they were surpassed – especially regarding the transition from our old hosting partner to IBM Global Technology Services. We had access to expert IBM contacts at all times, and now our services have improved through better personal contacts and monitoring.”
The benefits of outsourcing SAP and IBM infrastructure
Landgard uses a suite of SAP solutions including SAP ERP, SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, SAP Solution Manager, SAP Business Connector and SAP Web Dispatcher applications. The SAP applications run on IBM Power servers running the IBM AIX operating system, with IBM DB2 as the database of choice.
The infrastructure is hosted by the IBM Worldwide Strategic Outsourcing data center. The organization relies heavily on its IT infrastructure in order to provide its suppliers and customers across Europe with the highest possible standards and services.
“Our IT infrastructure is absolutely critical to Landgard’s business success, so maximizing performance is the highest priority for us. All our SAP applications are outsourced, so it is absolutely crucial that they are hosted by a secure and trusted partner,” comments Mr. Domogala.
“Without the IBM servers, we would not have the speed, availability, security and scalability that our business requires. The migration from MaxDB to IBM DB2 boosted the performance of our applications, because IBM DB2 offers greater flexibility and speed when accessing our data.”
“SAP applications manage all aspects of our sales, and are designed to handle between 3,000 and 4,000 concurrent users across various locations, all with different rights of access. By outsourcing these services, my team is now able to concentrate on core responsibilities, such as monitoring and improving business processes and operations, and maximizing allocation of the SAP infrastructure. Outsourcing with IBM has relieved staff to focus their resources on developing and optimizing the system’s performance, without having to operate the actual hardware. Ultimately this improves our business operations and reduces our administrative costs.”
Securing highly available, tailor-made services with IBM
Working with IBM Global Technology Services offers Landgard a variety of advantages, providing a tailor-made solution that meets all of the company’s requirements around high availability, security and flexibility.
Mr. Domogala continues, “The IBM Power Systems solution guarantees high availability, and ensures that our systems are protected by using geo-redundancy: all data is replicated between two remote sites, so even in the event of a disaster at one data center, the other site can take over. Using the IBM team’s experience, it is possible to coordinate maintenance procedures in order to reduce, and altogether prevent, downtimes.”
“The IBM service level agreement also guarantees much quicker response times, which is partly a result of migrating our database from MaxDB to IBM DB2. DB2 is optimized for SAP, so it delivers much faster performance. Moreover, the scalable IBM Power Systems architecture allows us to temporarily activate extra resources at peak times, even on very short notice – so we can avoid performance issues. IBM Global Technology Services brings a professional, personal approach that makes our job at Landgard much easier.”
At the moment IBM Global Technology Services and Landgard are planning to consolidate to fewer and more powerful POWER7 processor-based systems, replacing physical hosts with logical partitions (LPARs) to ease administration and use the resources more efficiently.
“Overall we have better testing environments and faster implementation of new systems. The SAP environment has been 100 percent reliable since we moved to IBM, and we have improved the performance of our standard operations.”
“We are extremely happy with the outsourced SAP and IBM solution that IBM Global Technology Services has supplied. It has eliminated our concerns over reliability, helped improve our internal processes and increased flexibility and scalability – all at reduced costs. We can’t ask for more.”
Products and services used
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