RCS Global readies itself for worldwide expansion with SAP for Healthcare and IBM Power 550 Express

Published on 12-Oct-2011

Validated on 07 Jan 2014

"Running the IBM i operating system with integrated DB2 for our SAP landscape is ideal for RCS Global. " - General Manager, Operations, RCS Global

Customer:
RCS Global

Industry:
Healthcare

Deployment country:
India

Solution:
Enterprise Resource Planning, Infrastructure Simplification, Optimizing IT, Server Consolidation

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

With operations in India and the Middle East, RCS Global Limited develops end-to-end integrated business and clinical management applications for the healthcare sector. The solutions focus on customer relationship management, business intelligence and advanced reporting for hospitals and healthcare groups, designed to improve patient outcomes.

Business need:
With multiple standalone servers that were costly to manage and operate, RCS Global wanted to find a simplified, highly available and high-performance IT platform that would support its ambitions to expand beyond India and become a worldwide success.

Solution:
RCS Global consolidated its SAP for Healthcare and further SAP ERP components to an IBM Power 550 Express server, cutting system management, maintenance, floorspace and energy costs by a factor of at least ten.

Benefits:
Reduced system management, maintenance, floorspace and energy costs by 10 percent. Eliminated multiple standalone servers and consolidated to a single IBM Power 550 Express. Ensured extremely high reliability, availability and performance, at a low total cost of ownership.

Case Study

With operations in India and the Middle East, RCS Global Limited develops end-to-end integrated business and clinical management applications for the healthcare sector. The solutions focus on customer relationship management, business intelligence and advanced reporting for hospitals and healthcare groups, designed to improve patient outcomes.

The company is part of the Rama Group, founded in 1992, which employs around 5,000 people and has global interests in healthcare, education, construction and real estate.

With the success of its hospital and patient management solutions, RCS Global is looking to expand beyond India. As the company increases its sales in the Middle East, to grow profitably RCS Global must streamline its operations. The objectives were to reduce paper-based processes, improve efficiency and flexibility, speed responses to customers, and introduce a standard operational model that could be rolled out to each new market.

At the same time, global economic uncertainty places a great deal of pressure on controlling costs and managing business risk.

Dr Suraj Singh, Managing Director at RCS Global, explains, “We have approximately 80 staff in two locations, generating some five million Rupees in sales. Our objective is to reach 600 employees in five years’ time and sales of more than fifty million Rupees. This presents enormous management and scalability challenges, and part of that is ensuring we have the right IT systems and infrastructure in place.”

The General Manager, Operations, at RCS Global, adds, “To satisfy our commercial ambitions, we wanted to have scalable systems, effective data backup and disaster recovery in operation, suitable for global operations. We rely on SAP software to run the business; managing and protecting that system is critical, and we must be able to recover quickly from any unplanned downtime.”

Consolidating to an IBM Power server
RCS Global Limited was running its SAP software on a mix of vendors’ hardware. With its need to reduce reliance on paperwork and increase its internal efficiency, the company chose to take advantage of the latest integrated solutions from SAP. RCS Global selected SAP for Healthcare software, with SAP Patient Management, SAP Education, and SAP ERP Human Capital Management including payroll.

Looking at the likely future workload, the company needed to implement a computing platform that could scale up as the business grew, without requiring costly migration to different physical hardware or new operating systems as international operations expanded.

RCS Global chose to migrate and consolidated to an IBM Power 550 Express server with POWER6 processors running the IBM i operating system to handle its complete SAP software landscape, managed on a single system with integrated IBM DB2 database. Using IBM PowerVM, RCS Global operates two independent virtual servers (known as logical partitions, or LPARs), one for production systems and one for development.

The General Manager, Operations, comments, “Previously we ran our SAP software on HP and other Intel processor-based computers. We operated multiple boxes, and did not even know the total number.

“With the single Power 550 Express we have 15 SAP users accessing a single SAP system instance of around 50 GB of production data. The company’s growth plans predict that we will reach 200 users in five years’ time. The IBM Power 550 Express has two processors enabled of a possible eight, and 16 GB of main memory of a possible 256 GB, which gives us enormous scalability.”

“Running the IBM i operating system with integrated DB2 for our SAP landscape is ideal for RCS Global,” says the General Manager, Operations. “We do not need a dedicated database administrator, and have assigned just one technician to manage the entire system.”

“Managing the LPARs is very easy, and we can set up automated resource allocation to ensure that applications share processing capacity and memory to achieve our target service levels. Having a single physical system greatly reduces our management, maintenance, floorspace and energy costs, by a factor of at least ten.

“As a fast-growth company, we have minimal resources in-house to monitor the system. One key advantage of the Power 550 Express solution is the excellent support from IBM. The server automatically reports potential errors to the IBM technical teams, contributing to very low costs of operation, which is of great benefit for RCS Global.”

Creating new solutions
RCS Global not only runs SAP software for its own business management, it creates solutions for its own healthcare clients based on SAP applications.

Dr Suraj Singh explains, “It is common in the healthcare sector to create in-house solutions to meet specific needs. At RCS Global, we create solutions based on SAP software and third-party applications, that we use in our own hospitals. We gain SAP certification for those solutions, and sell them preconfigured to our clients.”

“With clinical solutions based on SAP software running on IBM i, we can deliver relevant data at the point of treatment, rather than retrospectively. For example, we hold electronic medical records (EMR) within the SAP software, and during a consultation the patient’s history can be called up. This enables decisions to be based on a total view of medications, therapies and results.”

“Doctors can enter new prescriptions directly into the system, which are then transferred immediately to the pharmacy for preparation. Without any paper-based transactions, we are able to reduce error rates, and the prescribing application guides the doctor through the correct steps, such as contraindications or mandatory procedures, before the prescription is confirmed.”

“Similarly, the prescription data is handed to the SAP materials management and financials components, to allow us to control inventory and supply, and to monitor cost and efficiency.”

“Having patient data is only useful if you can make it available, analyze it and understand it. Running the SAP for Healthcare solution on the IBM Power 550 Express means that the components are integrated so well that performance, even as we grow, is assured.”

Success with IBM
Central to the success of the project was senior executive engagement with the process, which included direct input from the chief executive officer, chief financial officer and the IT team. The combined RCS Global and IBM Global Business Services team developed a clear value proposition in terms of return on investment, emphasizing the performance and scalability of the solution that was appropriate for the company’s commercial ambitions.

As well as the clinical data, the SAP for Healthcare solution and SAP ERP components deliver a clear view of performance across all aspects of the business. The IBM Power 550 Express server and the IBM i operating system help ensure extremely high reliability, availability and performance, at a low total cost of ownership.

Dr Suraj Singh concludes, “The management and scalability challenges posed by our planned growth will easily be satisfied by the IBM Power 550 Express solution. In partnership with SAP for Healthcare and our own applications, we have the right IT systems and infrastructure in place to expand into new markets and meet our business targets. The SAP solutions on IBM Power 550 Express provide the ideal platform to help us target new markets effectively.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Power 550 Express

Software:
PowerVM, IBM i, DB2 for i5/OS

Service:
IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

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