Ricca S.r.l. raises the bar for SaaS in Southern Italy to win new business

Helping its clients reduce their IT operational costs by deploying new cloud services

Published on 08-Apr-2013

"The consolidation of eight blade servers running 90 virtual servers onto just one Flex System solution, containing two compute nodes and hosting the same number of virtual servers, has allowed us to cut our energy consumption and costs by 40 percent." - Stefano Ricca, Business Developer, Ricca S.r.l.

Customer:
Ricca S.r.l.

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Italy

Solution:
Flex System, Flex System Manager, Flex System x240, PureSystems, Storage: Storwize V7000, Business Integration, Cloud Computing, Cloud & Service Management, Energy Efficiency, SaaS

Overview

Headquartered in Ragusa, Sicily, Ricca S.r.l provides spare parts and engines to the marine and agricultural industries. The company set up its own IT division as an independent company, which now has operations in Bologna, employs around 15 people, and is a certified IBM Business Partner.

Business need:
Ricca found that potential clients were looking for ways to cut operational costs. It wanted to increase its own efficiency to beat competitors to this new business.

Solution:
Ricca implemented a cloud-ready IBM® Flex System™ solution, with IBM Storwize® V7000 storage and IBM Flex System Manager™ software, boosting efficiency by offering IT services hosted in the cloud.

Benefits:
Enables Ricca to offer services more efficiently. Clients benefit from better quality services and lower operational costs, increasing their loyalty. Cuts energy costs by 40 percent.

Case Study

To read an Italian version of this case study, click here

Headquartered in Ragusa, Sicily, Ricca S.r.l provides spare parts and engines to the marine and agricultural industries. The company set up its own IT division as an independent company, which now has operations in Bologna, employs around 15 people, and is a certified IBM Business Partner.

Building a loyal customer base

Ricca offers a range of services based on infrastructure management: from data center set-up to server and desktop consolidation to application security. Stefano Ricca, Business Developer at Ricca, says, “Over the years, we have succeeded in creating a long list of happy customers. Our existing customer base has allowed us to maintain steady growth despite the tough economic situation that our industry is currently experiencing.”

Around 60 percent of Ricca’s customers are partner software houses which handle the relationships with the end-user customer clients. Ricca provides infrastructure support to these channel partners, enabling them to offer competitive and cutting-edge services.

Stefano Ricca says, “Our channel partners informed us that potential clients were looking for ways to cut their operational costs. We realized that by increasing our own efficiency, we would be able to offer services to our clients, and ultimately their customers, at lower rates. This would help Ricca and its partners gain new clients by meeting the end-users’ desire for enhanced IT efficiency and greater operational flexibility.”

Seeking a highly automated and resilient platform

The existing IT environment at Ricca was several years old, and was unable to provide the automation and flexibility necessary to support cloud services. “To support business growth, we needed a resilient platform that could be easily managed and scaled up to provide for a growing customer base,” continues Stefano Ricca.

“As a certified IBM Business Partner, we have an in-depth knowledge of its products and services. We consider IBM’s expertise to be a cut above the rest, so we asked its consultants to support us as we migrated to a cloud-ready IT environment.”

Ricca chose to implement a resilient and highly automated IBM Flex System solution with three Flex System x240 compute nodes, IBM Storwize V7000 storage and IBM Flex System Manager software.

The integrated IBM Flex System platform is designed to guarantee simplicity, flexibility, reliability and upgradability; all important factors for Ricca. Stefano Ricca remarks, “Flex System was exactly what we were looking for: an easy-to-deploy system capable of supporting a cloud-enabled environment that we can update quickly and safely at any time, without needing to delay business operations or disrupt our services.”

The company included an IBM Storwize V7000 storage system in the solution to manage ever-increasing volumes of data, while at the same time keeping costs low. IBM Flex System Manager software offers Ricca a single point of control for the integrated storage and networking components – as well as physical and virtual compute resources.

“The cloud-ready solution based on IBM Flex System hardware enables Ricca to offer cost-effective Software as a Service [SaaS] offerings to our clients. The whole solution was implemented in just one week, a surprisingly short time considering all the benefits it has brought about,” says Stefano Ricca.

“Implementing a cloud-ready platform based on the IBM Flex System platform enables us to offer services to our clients more efficiently, helping us win new business. Our clients benefit from lower operational costs, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty. This solution has put us one step ahead of our competitors, as many IT service providers – especially in Southern Italy – are still stuck with a basic service offering at a higher cost.”

Saving time and money

IBM Flex System Manager software, one of the key elements of the new platform, automates and simplifies management of Ricca’s IT environment.

Stefano Ricca explains, “The degree of automation offered by Flex System Manager is so high that we call it a ‘self-managing tool’. Firmware updates are automatic and even if problems arise in the system, we do not need to request technical support, saving us time and money. With the Flex System solution, we will be able to grow our business and manage a larger IT environment without needing to hire additional IT staff or let our IT operational costs spiral out of control.”

Slashing energy consumption

In Stefano Ricca’s words, “The consolidation of eight blade servers running 90 virtual servers onto just one Flex System solution, containing two compute nodes and hosting the same number of virtual servers, has allowed us to cut our energy consumption and costs by 40 percent.”

He concludes, “Our new services are a massive success. We are planning to extend them further by implementing, for instance, IBM Tivoli® Endpoint Manager and a distributed desktop hosted in the cloud. We trust IBM to accompany us in our journey into the cloud by providing us with the best technologies to support our clients and, ultimately, safeguard the success of our business.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Flex System Manager, Flex System running Linux - Other, Flex System x240, Storage, Storage: Storwize V7000

Operating system:
Linux

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Italia, Circonvallazione Idroscalo, 20090 Segrate - Milano. Produced in Italy. April 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM Business Partner, IBM Flex System, IBM Flex System Manager, Storwize and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.