A EINS I.T. GmbH boosts reliability and legal compliance

Software-as-a-service solution 21st Mall has become the leading e-marketplace for the IT industry

Published on 21-Dec-2011

"Together with the IBM specialists we have planned and developed a very efficient, sustainable and professional infrastructure, the performance of which can be extended as and when required." - Andy Altmeyer, Founder and Managing Director, A EINS I.T. GmbH

Customer:
A EINS I.T. GmbH

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Germany

Solution:
Optimizing IT, SaaS, Security: Governance, Risk and Compliance, Web Services

Overview

First of all: regional providers are highly desirable. Furthermore: the period between intending to purchase and actual purchase is becoming ever smaller. These are the most important characteristics of e-commerce among business customers (B2B) in the ICT industry. A EINS I.T. GmbH’s 21st Mall platform links up manufacturers, distributors, system houses and specialist dealers. Procurement, sales and marketing processes are all fully integrated on a centralised platform.

Business need:
The company A EINS I.T. GmbH needed an efficient, legally compliant and internationally extendible e-commerce platform for its customers, without having to worry about the hardware infrastructure.

Solution:
21st Mall hosts and runs the commercial platform from the IBM Computing Centre in Ehningen, Germany.

Benefits:
Creates reliable customer relations with a high measure of security, protection, performance and availability. Enables future enterprise growth and market leadership on the international e-commerce stage. Takes the operational and technical tasks - such as system administration, maintenance and data protection - out of the developers’ hands.

Case Study

To read a German version of this case study, click here.

First of all: regional providers are highly desirable. Furthermore: the period between intending to purchase and actual purchase is becoming ever smaller. These are the most important characteristics of e-commerce among business customers (B2B) in the ICT industry. A EINS I.T. GmbH’s 21st Mall platform links up manufacturers, distributors, system houses and specialist dealers. Procurement, sales and marketing processes are all fully integrated on a centralised platform.

As a fully automated software-as-a-service solution, 21st Mall optimises purchasing by comparing prices and availability, and it also simplifies promotion and marketing activities. “We do not compromise on performance or security,” stresses Andy Altmeyer, Founder and Managing Director of A EINS I.T. GmbH in Wittlich. “With IBM as our hosting partner we guarantee pan-European e-commerce networking under the most secure conditions.”

With 21 employees and a network of well-known cooperative partners, the company has succeeded in developing its fully integrated channel concept into a near-100 percent market place for the German ICT specialist trade. The 21st Mall e-commerce engine offers more than 285,000 ICT products, with some 520,000 updates on product availability, 1,000 imported goods and around 350 new product updates every day, linking up 1,174 manufacturers (as of August 2011). For these reasons, 21st Mall - an e-commerce engine based on a cutting edge infrastructure with insider knowledge - was awarded a prize for innovation in German business in 2010.

“We support service-oriented, sustainable and legally compliant providers, creating more transparency,” says Andy Altmeyer. “21st Mall stands for efficiency, honesty and reliability - and that goes for everyone involved.”

Ticket to the future of cross-border e-commerce
After comparing a selection of providers, A EINS I.T. GmbH decided on IBM as its hosting partner. IBM was the best at guaranteeing security and performance while running the platform. The previous platform was operated by an external service provider. That provider could not fulfil the application’s multilingual and multi-marketability requirements, nor could it ensure a future-proof system, with the number of customers and users constantly growing.

Legal compliance is a decisive criterion for both buying and selling in e-commerce. “With IBM we’re in the best position in that respect,” says Andy Altmeyer. “21st Mall and IBM - that means reliability and professionalism to our customers.” The entire infrastructure is legally ‘watertight’ and is seen by customers as legally compliant and reliable e-commerce. The IBM Computing Centre in Ehningen is the physical location at which the technical infrastructure for the virtual platform is hosted. This includes the IBM System x server, the implementation of the IBM Tivoli Security Compliance Manager and the adherence to all security obligations. IBM is responsible for both the operating side and entire system management right up to encrypting the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), including monitoring all systems.

A EINS I.T. GmbH saw the potential of IBM Hosting for its customers back in 2007, and recognised the high security standards at IBM in particular as a basis for a truly efficient SaaS solution. “With the IBM solution we are best equipped to deal with any customer questions related to performance, security and data security,” says Andy Altmeyer. The stresses inflicted on the infrastructure in the transaction-oriented business of A EINS I.T. GmbH are no longer growing - despite increasing customer numbers and their demands for ever greater functionality.

“Together with the IBM specialists we have planned and developed a very efficient, sustainable and professional infrastructure, the performance of which can be extended as and when required. Our specialised technical skills and those of IBM complement each other extremely well.” Thanks to IBM Hosting, developers can concentrate fully on the application and on customer requirements, instead of having the additional work of purely operational and technical tasks. For the 21st Mall customer an excellent infrastructure is the basis for their business, in which they are ever ready to invest.

Andy Altmeyer: “Our customers’ number one question is about the service’s performance and availability. Availability is at 99.9 percent. That’s exceptional. The total number of new products with complete product data for the German and Austrian market rose by 101,000 from January to July 2011, all without any compromise in performance.”

Should the industry and the e-commerce-model of 21st Mall become subject to new, tighter data security laws, as a partner of IBM, A EINS I.T. GmbH is well prepared. “IBM certifications and legal compliance, which we have attained, are our ticket to the future of e-commerce: cross-border, locally adaptable, secure.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
System x

Software:
Tivoli Security Compliance Manager

Service:
GTS Strategic Outsourcing: e-business Hosting

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Deutschland GmbH 71137 Ehningen Deutschland ibm.com/de IBM Österreich Obere Donaustrasse 95 1020 Wien ibm.com/at IBM Schweiz Vulkanstrasse 106 8010 Zürich ibm.com/ch Produced in Germany December 2011 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, System x and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.