City of Plzen reduces future database license costs by 53 percent with IBM and SAP

Published on 16-Jul-2012

Validated on 07 Jan 2014

"Using IBM DB2 to support SAP ERP applications helps us to do more with less, and reduce our present and future business risk. I would definitely recommend the combination." - Tomas Krblich, Application Operations Manager at the City of Plzen

Customer:
City of Plzen

Industry:
Government

Deployment country:
Czech Republic

Solution:
Data Serving, Enterprise Resource Planning, Small & Medium Business

IBM Business Partner:
SAP

Overview

With a total of around 700 employees, the local government of the Czech City of Plzen is responsible for the management of public transport, pre-elementary and elementary schools and social care services. The City of Plzen’s IT department provides IT support for all institutions that are fully or partially owned by the City. A team of 80 people – including six SAP specialists – manage a total of approximately 5,000 PCs, 60 applications, and 18 SAP systems, with a budget of some CZK 200 million (€8 million).

Business need:
The Czech City of Plzen’s IT department wanted to continue to provide a high-quality SAP service to its customers in the face of leaner budgets brought on by the global recession.

Solution:
The City discovered that the new features of SAP ERP with EHP3 would enable it to run its SAP systems more efficiently. To prepare for the installation of EHP3, the City implemented a full hardware refresh, and engaged IBM to migrate its Oracle database to IBM DB2®, upgrade its operating systems to Windows Server 2008, and install SAP DBA Cockpit software.

Benefits:
The City predicts that IBM DB2 migration project will provide a return on investment within two and a half years. Advanced data compression functionality within IBM DB2 reduces the need for new storage hardware. Database volume has decreased by 59 percent, from 2.1 TB to 870 GB. Future database license costs will be cut by 53 percent.

Case Study

With a total of around 700 employees, the local government of the Czech City of Plzen is responsible for the management of public transport, pre-elementary and elementary schools and social care services. The City of Plzen’s IT department provides IT support for all institutions that are fully or partially owned by the City. A team of 80 people – including six SAP specialists – manage a total of approximately 5,000 PCs, 60 applications, and 18 SAP systems, with a budget of some CZK 200 million (€8 million).

Meeting budgetary challenges

Like many European cities, Plzen is faced with budgetary challenges in the wake of the global economic slowdown. As Tomas Krblich, Application Operations Manager at the City of Plzen, explains: “Owing to the national budgetary response to the recession, all local government departments had to find ways to increase efficiency in order to continue providing a high level of service to the public. For our department, this meant lowering the overheads of our SAP infrastructure.”

The City of Plzen relies on integrated SAP ERP applications such as financials, controlling and SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse for critical administrative tasks such as accounting, reconciliation and reporting.

“Our SAP systems are essential for the smooth running of the City,” says Tomas Krblich. “If we had been unable to reduce the cost of running them, we would have been forced to make cuts to keep them operational – either by shrinking our headcount or uninstalling secondary applications. We were keen to avoid both of these options, as they might have reduced our ability to provide the IT services that our customers rely on. It was therefore a key priority to increase the efficiency of our infrastructure.”

Building a cost-effective platform

To meet the challenges of its reduced budget, the City of Plzen reviewed its IT infrastructure for inefficiencies. “We discovered that our existing IT landscape was not optimized for providing quality IT services for a reduced spend,” says Tomas Krblich. “After a thorough review of our infrastructure, we determined that the new features and functionalities of the latest version of SAP ERP with EHP3 would enable us to run our services at a lower cost and improve our operational efficiency.”

It was not possible to run the new SAP applications on the existing server landscape, which itself was becoming expensive to support, and there was no way to expand the hardware. Faced with the need to complete a server refresh project, the IT team looked at other options, including the costs of renewing the supporting Oracle database.

The City planned to run all its core processes on the integrated SAP ERP applications, including SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, and provide user access via SAP NetWeaver Portal. Additionally, the IT uses SAP Solution Manager and SAP Exchange Infrastructure for systems management and application integration.

“As the purpose of our IT upgrade project was cost reduction, it was important that we found some way to offset the cost of our new servers,” says Tomas Krblich. “We investigated the cost-effectiveness of the key components that support our SAP systems, and discovered there were significant savings to be made on software license fees and related storage management expenses by switching from Oracle to an IBM DB2 database.”

“We made the decision to move to DB2 for both its financial and technical benefits. DB2 is developed in close collaboration with SAP, which makes it extremely stable and reduces the need to apply patches. Based on the lower maintenance costs alone, we calculated we would receive a full return on investment within four and a half years.”

The business case was further enhanced by making use of the IBM DB2 Deep Compression feature. By reducing its total database volume by an estimated 50 percent, the City could factor in reduced storage requirements and remove the need to invest in costly new storage hardware.

“When we considered the savings possible with the reduction in storage hardware requirements, maintenance workload, and the 53 percent decrease in future purchase database license costs, the business case for DB2 was improved to a return on investment within just two and a half years.”

Rapid migration

Between the installation of its new hardware and the upgrade of its SAP applications, the City of Plzen engaged IBM to implement IBM DB2, and upgrade its operating system from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008.

Working to a tight deadline, an IBM team successfully migrated the City’s Oracle database to IBM DB2, installed SAP DBA Cockpit software and upgraded the City’s operating system in just five weeks – enabling the SAP upgrade to proceed on schedule.

“We were very satisfied with the work of the IBM team,” says Tomas Krblich. “During the planning stage, they looked at the whole picture, including the steps required to complete our SAP ERP upgrade. Careful planning by IBM meant we completed the necessary hardware and operating system upgrade and database migration in a single project, sharing common steps – which saved time, reduced disruption and cut project costs. We were impressed by how quickly the migration was completed.”

Do more with less

“Using the Deep Compression feature of DB2, we have decreased our database size more than we initially expected, from 2.1 TB down to 870 GB, a reduction of 59 percent,” says Tomas Krblich. “With lower storage requirements, we have reduced our need to spend on additional storage hardware, helping us stay well within budget, and maintain a consistent level of service for our customers.”

In addition to reducing the City’s need for capital expenditure on storage hardware, the database license costs for future purchases of IBM DB2 are more than 53 percent lower than for Oracle – generating further savings for Plzen’s IT department.

The refreshed hardware, SAP applications and IBM DB2 combination has resulted in a 35 percent improvement in SAP dialog transaction response times – a significant performance advantage over the City’s legacy system.

With reduced database volumes, critical system backups are completed in a shorter timeframe. If a backup process fails, the City IT team has sufficient time to analyze the cause and re-start the backup, helping to protect valuable data.

“The longer a backup window is, the greater the likelihood of an unanticipated hardware failure causing a loss of critical data,” explains Tomas Krblich. “Because we have reduced the size of our database with DB2 Deep Compression, we have shrunk the time window required to complete the backup process by 57 percent – and our business risk along with it.”

As well as improving the cost-effectiveness of its SAP platform, the technical collaboration between IBM and SAP has helped reduce the City’s database maintenance workload.

Krblich comments: “In the past, our database administrator was a diehard proponent of command-line administration. After we had made the switch to integrated IBM DB2 and SAP DBA Cockpit database management software, we found that he was completely won over to the easy graphical interface. The software allows him to spend less time managing the database, which gives him the freedom to focus on more valuable administration activities.”

Ready for the future

“Thanks to IBM and SAP, we can keep providing a high-quality IT service to the City,” concludes Tomas Krblich. “The IBM DB2 migration project is projected to provide a full return on investment within just two and a half years – allowing us to keep staff levels constant. What’s more, we have actually been able to improve the performance of our SAP applications for a significantly lower IT spend.

“Using IBM DB2 to support SAP ERP applications helps us to do more with less, and reduce our present and future business risk. I would definitely recommend the combination.”

For more information

To learn more about IBM DB2 software, contact your IBM sales representative or visit: ibm.com/software/data/db2/

Products and services used

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

Software:
DB2 for Windows

Service:
IBM-SAP Alliance

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012. IBM Deutschland, IBM-Allee 1, D-71139 Ehningen, Germany. Produced in Germany. July 2012. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com and DB2 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. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. SAP ERP is a product of SAP. IBM and SAP are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor SAP makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. 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.