Uberlândia Refrescos transforms operations with SAP and IBM

Published on 18-Apr-2012

Validated on 01 Oct 2013

"The standardized IBM technology landscape for our SAP applications reverses the situation, and we now have rapid information delivery and accelerated decision processes." - Lafaete Pereira, Chief Information Officer, Uberlândia Refrescos

Uberlândia Refrescos

Consumer Products

Deployment country:

BA - Business Intelligence, Business Resiliency, Energy Efficiency, Information Integration, Small & Medium Business, Information Infrastructure, Optimizing IT

IBM Business Partner:


Uberlândia Refrescos Ltda, is the sole bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products and distributor of Heineken Brazil products in the Triângulo Mineiro region, Alto Paranaíba region and in other cities in the northeastern Minas Gerais state of Brazil. Existing software at Uberlândia Refrescos was comparatively limited in scope.

Business need:
Coca-Cola subsidiary Uberlândia Refrescos, Brazil, chaired by Alexandre Biagi, found that its existing business systems could not easily generate key performance metrics. Extracting, consolidating and sharing business data with its parent company was constrained by differing data formats. Collecting and validating information required manual processes that were prone to error.

Uberlândia Refrescos migrated to a comprehensive suite of SAP software, the standard business solution for Coca-Cola companies. The company selected IBM BladeCenter technology for its SAP applications, able to support rapidly growing workloads in the most cost-efficient manner, combined with IBM System Storage and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for data management.

Reduced error rates by 70 percent. Ensured a close match between IT investment and business performance. Saved around 50 percent of predicted capital expenditure thanks to virtualized servers for key SAP production and other applications. Helped to reduce the costs of handling the 14.4 TB production database by 90 percent. Cut energy consumption by 60 percent and reduced the data center cooling load.

Case Study

Uberlândia Refrescos Ltda, is the sole bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products and distributor of Heineken Brazil products in the Triângulo Mineiro region, Alto Paranaíba region and in other cities in the northeastern Minas Gerais state of Brazil. Existing software at Uberlândia Refrescos was comparatively limited in scope.

Different parts of the company’s operations, such as distribution, finance and manufacturing were run on separate business solutions.

As part of the Coca-Cola Company in Brazil, Uberlândia Refrescos exchanges performance, sales and production data with its parent. When reporting key performance indicators to the parent company, information was extracted and consolidated manually, a slow process that introduced the possibility of error. Some years back, the US Coca-Cola Company had chosen SAP® business software, with standardized templates and ways of reporting that the country operators, including Brazil, followed. For Uberlândia Refrescos, migrating to SAP software made good business sense.

With the selection of SAP software confirmed, the company’s senior management team looked for a partner that would complete the migration reliably and at a commercially attractive price. At the same time, the company looked for an IT systems infrastructure that offered the best price-performance ratio.

SAP software delivers business integration

In common with the other Coca-Cola subsidiary companies in Brazil, the Uberlândia Refrescos team chose to implement its new SAP software on the Microsoft Windows Server platform with Microsoft SQL Server providing database services. Lafaete Pereira, Chief Information Officer at Uberlândia Refrescos, explains, “The previous solution’s main challenge was the lack of standardization in information format between the Coca-Cola subsidiary companies. Each company ran its own ERP solution, which greatly complicated the aggregation of business metrics. The result was manual working and delays in creating consolidated reports, and lack of transparency into business performance.

“For Uberlândia Refrescos, our existing application could not easily be enhanced or extended. Areas such as materials management were outside its scope, which meant that we had to use and connect separate applications to be able to measure the company’s operational performance.”

With 200 users, of which up to 90 may be concurrent, and an extensive suite of SAP applications in mind, the team wanted to be certain that the infrastructure selected for the new solution would provide a solid foundation for future growth, with the ability to handle increased workload and additional functionality.

Uberlândia Refrescos implemented SAP ERP applications including financials, controlling, logistics, production planning, materials management, planned maintenance, SAP Product Lifecycle Management, and SAP Supply Chain Management.

“The advantage of SAP software for Uberlândia Refrescos is that from the core SAP ERP applications we can add fully integrated human resources, supply chain and analytics functionality,” says Lafaete Pereira.

“For Uberlândia Refrescos, this replaces multiple separate solutions and the need to build special connections with an enterprise-wide information solution covering both financial and operational areas in one central solution.”

Selecting the best IT infrastructure

Uberlândia Refrescos reviewed proposals from three major IT infrastructure vendors, and selected the IBM® solution based on IBM BladeCenter® and IBM System Storage® technologies. Specifically to support the SAP applications, Uberlândia Refrescos implemented an IBM BladeCenter H chassis containing 12 IBM BladeCenter HS22 and two IBM BladeCenter HS21 blade servers.

The blade servers provide virtualized environments to support a wide range of SAP applications, including the SAP NetWeaver® Business Warehouse environment housed on the HS21 blades. Further IBM System x® servers, models x3550 M3 and x3400 M3, support general business administration and office productivity solutions. The x3550 M3 and x3400 M3 servers are powered by Intel® Xeon® 5600 series intelligent server processors, which automatically regulate power consumption to combine industry-leading energy efficiency with intelligent performance able to adapt to the workload.

“The IBM BladeCenter solution, powered by Intel Xeon processors, delivers the ideal combination of performance and scalability,” comments Lafaete Pereira. “We completed a comparison of SAP production throughput, and the IBM BladeCenter surpassed our expectations.”

To provide storage for the new solution, Uberlândia Refrescos implemented an IBM System Storage DS4700 Express with two expansion trays, providing a total of 14.4 TB of capacity. To protect its mission-critical data, the company implemented IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager software, which runs on the x3550 M3 server. Tivoli provides a complete, automated backup solution, helping the company improve business continuity by cutting backup and recovery times while maximizing application availability with advanced data recovery management technologies. Implementation services were provided by LCS, an IBM Business Partner. The objectives were to reduce energy consumption and costs, cut the total costs of IT infrastructure operation and ownership, and protect mission-critical data.

“Previously we had heterogeneous environments and systems, causing us significant operating and maintenance costs. The resulting difficulties slowed down data consolidation, which in turn affected the decision-making process,” says Lafaete Pereira. “The standardized IBM technology landscape for our SAP applications reverses the situation, and we now have rapid information delivery and accelerated decision processes.”

The virtual servers on the IBM BladeCenter enable Uberlândia Refrescos to exploit its IT investments to the maximum. Around 20 virtual servers are hosted on the BladeCenter servers, sized to ensure that SAP application performance targets are met, with no over-investment. If an application’s workload changes, the virtual server can be adjusted accordingly without requiring additional hardware investment. Additionally, because virtualization enables Uberlândia Refrescos to run many more virtual than physical servers, the company has cut energy consumption and reduced the data center cooling load.

“SAP applications provide a single business management solution that covers all of Uberlândia Refrescos’ key operational areas, so we no longer have multiple data entry,” reports Lafaete Pereira. “Centralizing on SAP applications reduces error, and ensures that we all work from a shared information source. For example, we now have detailed, accurate control of company equipment assets such as refrigerators and casks, the costs and the stock, which helps us understand business operations and serve our customers more efficiently.”

Ready for growth

With the SAP and IBM solutions in place, Uberlândia Refrescos is looking at its data backup, archive and disaster recovery plans. Uberlândia Refrescos has deployed IBM Tivoli Storage Manager to automate and control the majority of its data management tasks, which helps to reduce the costs of handling the huge production database. In future, the company will work with IBM to implement a second data center, for failover and disaster recovery purposes.

“The migration and transfer to the SAP applications on IBM technology was handled smoothly and efficiently,” concludes Lafaete Pereira. “When the second data center is in place, Uberlândia Refrescos will be ideally positioned to grow rapidly and cost-effectively, with SAP applications managing our business processes and IBM technologies providing a robust, reliable and scalable IT infrastructure.”

Products and services used

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

BladeCenter, BladeCenter H Chassis, BladeCenter HS22, System x, System x: System x3400 M3, System x: System x3550 M3

Tivoli Storage Manager

IBM-SAP Alliance

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