IT Relation comes to the rescue of customers seeking exceptional service

Competing effectively in a demanding market with IBM PureSystems technology

Published on 27-Jun-2013

"Once again, IBM has provided the innovative technology we need to compete with the big hitters in our industry by maximizing efficiency without compromising on performance. Equipped with the IBM Flex System, we can deliver on our aim to become ‘everyday IT superheroes’, coming to the rescue of our customers who want to keep IT costs low but performance high." - René Jeppesen, Sales Manager, IT Relation A/S

Customer:
IT Relation A/S

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Denmark

Solution:
Flex System, Flex System running hypervisor - Hyper-V, Flex System x240, PureSystems, Enabling Business Flexibility, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Service Management, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
Arrow ECS Denmark A/S

Overview

IT Relation A/S aims to be the “everyday IT superhero” for its clients, striving to respond with “no problem” to any IT-oriented challenge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Providing IT support and outsourcing services to primarily Danish customers, IT Relation currently employs approximately 60 people and has its headquarters in Herning, Denmark.

Business need:
IT Relation found itself squeezed by larger cloud services providers, and knew it needed to dramatically increase efficiency and service quality to compete effectively.

Solution:
Working with IBM® Premier Business Partner Arrow ECS Denmark A/S, IT Relation became an early adopter of the IBM Flex System™ solution, effectively supporting a wide range of customer applications.

Benefits:
Offering an estimated decrease in IT costs of 15 percent along with enhanced performance, IBM Flex System helps IT Relation maximize its margins while delivering exceptional service to customers.

Case Study

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

IT Relation A/S aims to be the “everyday IT superhero” for its clients, striving to respond with “no problem” to any IT-oriented challenge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Providing IT support and outsourcing services to primarily Danish customers, IT Relation currently employs approximately 60 people and has its headquarters in Herning, Denmark.

Squaring up to the competition
Delivering outstanding service quality is at the center of IT Relation’s ethos. This is becoming increasingly important as the company finds itself competing with much larger companies, which can cope with smaller margins because they have economies of scale on their side.

René Jeppesen, Sales Manager at IT Relation A/S, describes the challenges facing the company: “We are being squeezed by large cloud services providers all the time, and we know that in order to compete effectively we need to maximize efficiency without compromising on performance. Our main differentiator is personalized service, but to deliver this we need to free our employees from focusing too much on managing the infrastructure.”

IT Relation found itself needing more capacity, and began looking for innovative technology to meet its performance and efficiency objectives. As a solution integrator, the company also needs to be familiar with the latest technology sooner than others. Jeppesen comments: “With customers expecting more and more in terms of availability and flexibility, it is leading-edge technology that helps us stay ahead.”

Leaning on a sidekick
When IT Relation’s most important strategic partner, the IBM Premier Business Partner Arrow ECS Denmark A/S, proposed the IBM Flex System offering, the company was intrigued. A cost-benefit analysis between deploying the IBM Flex System and extending IT Relation’s existing IBM BladeCenter® server environment revealed that the company could take advantage of the latest-generation, higher-performing Flex System technology to gain numerous benefits.

“When we began looking for a solution, the IBM Flex System was still extremely new on the market,” says Jeppesen. “But ultimately, we trusted IBM and Arrow ECS to deliver on the impressive claims around Flex System and provide exceptional support, should we need it. It’s safe to say that they have definitely achieved this.”

Super-strength technology
IT Relation chose to deploy the IBM Flex System Enterprise edition, selecting IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes that are based on high-performance Intel Xeon processors and optimized for virtualization. The implementation was completed in just two weeks, and the system was seamlessly integrated with the company’s existing storage area network (SAN), which is based on an IBM Storwize® V3700 storage system.

“Implementing the IBM Flex System solution was a smooth and painless experience, overall,” adds Jeppesen. “The inherent interoperability of the Flex System platform makes it ideal for cloud services providers like us – providing optimal performance for a range of customer applications such as Microsoft software, ERP systems and various databases.”

Some of IT Relation’s customers have begun deploying the IBM Flex System offering in their own datacenters, with help from the company. Jeppesen comments: “The performance and small footprint of the Flex System make it a compelling proposition for our customers. For example, one recently calculated that the power savings alone would pay for the solution within three years.”

Coming to the rescue
The extremely high density of processing power within the IBM Flex System helps IT Relation maximize its margins without any negative impact on service levels for its customers. The ability to host more virtual machines on a single server enables the company to consolidate management of multiple customer environments, cutting complexity and saving time.

“Do not let the relatively small size of the IBM Flex System solution fool you: it packs a lot of power into a compact package,” says Jeppesen. “Although we have not measured the impact that deploying the solution has had on our IT costs, we estimate that combining energy savings and reduced licensing costs means that it could be in the region of a 10-15 percent reduction overall.

“From an internal point of view, consolidating many customer environments onto a single machine allows us to simplify management. By saving time on administration, our employees can instead focus on our core business – delivering outstanding service to customers.”

Contented customers
Since deploying the IBM Flex System offering, IT Relation has enjoyed exceptional availability, helping the company ensure that customer satisfaction levels stay high. Built to scale easily, the solution enables IT Relation to manage the unpredictable growth of customer environments effectively.

“IBM Flex System builds on the record of exceptional availability we have always enjoyed with IBM technology. We have experienced no unscheduled downtime since deploying it, and the positive experience we have had so far in implementing it and scaling it up has made it our designated platform for the future,” says Jeppesen. “With each of our customers environments growing anywhere up to 20 percent each year, scalability and flexibility are central concerns for us, and the Flex System allows us to meet these demands with ease and at a low cost.”

He concludes: “Once again, IBM has provided the innovative technology we need to compete with the big hitters in our industry by maximizing efficiency without compromising on performance. Equipped with the IBM Flex System, we can deliver on our aim to become ‘everyday IT superheroes’, coming to the rescue of our customers who want to keep IT costs low but performance high.”

Maximizing efficiency without compromising on performance
Offering extremely high density of processing power within a small footprint, the IBM Flex System helps IT Relation drive up both profit margins and service levels. The company estimates that savings including reduced energy consumption, management time and licensing costs have cut annual IT spending by up to 15 percent overall.

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Flex System, Flex System running hypervisor - Hyper-V, Flex System x240, Storage, Storage: Storwize V3700

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Danmark ApS Nymoellevej 91 2800 Kgs. Lyngby Denmark Produced in Denmark June 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, BladeCenter, IBM Flex System, PureSystems and Storwize 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 “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. IBM and Arrow ECS Denmark A/S are separate companies and each is responsible for its own products. Neither IBM nor Arrow ECS Denmark A/S makes any warranties, express or implied, concerning the other’s products. 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. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. 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.