winnovation helps customers make better business decisions with SAP and IBM

Published on 04-Mar-2013

"With IBM, we selected a leading technology platform for SAP HANA. The strategic alliance between IBM and SAP and the tight integration of their solutions was a big advantage for us." - Martin Effinger, CTO, winnovation AG

Customer:
winnovation

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
Switzerland

Solution:
Technical Computing, Business Integration, Business Resiliency, Enterprise Resource Planning, General Parallel File System (GPFS), High Availability , Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
Prometheus Informatik AG, SAP

Overview

winnovation AG is an IT service provider headquartered in Baar, Switzerland. The company has 13 consultants and specializes in business intelligence solutions across all sectors with customers from life science, healthcare, service, process and many related industries.

Business need:
IT service provider winnovation specializes in delivering business intelligence capabilities to a broad range of customers, of many different sizes and in multiple industries. winnovation’s customers must react to changing market conditions faster than the competition and rapid access to sales and performance figures is essential. To do this, companies must analyze large amounts of data and spot patterns early. winnovation wanted to enable its customers to improve business intelligence reporting by delivering real-time data for quicker and better-informed management decisions.

Solution:
winnovation trained its consultants to support customers in planning and implementing innovative business intelligence projects using in-memory technology. winnovation implemented SAP HANA with the IBM® Systems solution for SAP HANA, hosted at IBM Business Partner Prometheus Informatik AG. Using this solution, winnovation gained hands-on experience with in-memory technology. As a Training Partner for SAP, winnovation also provides training to other SAP Partners and customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Benefits:
winnovation’s customers use readily available real-time business critical data to improve business decision making. SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA increase business agility by reducing the time required for changes to data models from many hours to just minutes. The company acquired in-depth knowledge of in-memory technology and became a regional Training Partner for SAP HANA.

Case Study

winnovation AG is an IT service provider headquartered in Baar, Switzerland. The company has 13 consultants and specializes in business intelligence solutions across all sectors with customers from life science, healthcare, service, process and many related industries.

winnovation is an SAP Partner and offers small, medium and large customers tailored services around SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, SAP BusinessObjects and SAP HANA solutions.

Michael Hutter, COO at winnovation AG explains, “Our customers need rapid access to sales and performance figures to react quickly to changing market conditions. We always keep an eye on the business intelligence market and ask our customers what challenges they see ahead and what solutions they require to run their businesses more efficiently.”

Analyzing large amounts of data, spotting patterns early and reacting to dynamically changing markets faster than others offers a significant competitive advantage for winnovation’s customers.

To meet its customers’ demands for improved business intelligence reporting, winnovation identified the opportunities to exploit the latest in-memory business analytics technologies, designed to produce real-time data for quicker and more comprehensive business decisions.

As a service provider for SAP solutions, winnovation always wants to offer its customers excellent skills in all areas.

On that basis, to continue providing high-quality consulting services, successful proof of concepts and implementation projects to its customers, the company needed to gain hands-on experience with SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA.

Innovating with in-memory technology

winnovation decided to implement its own SAP HANA in-memory technology to provide its consultants with the training they needed to support customers in innovative business intelligence projects.

The company evaluated solutions from different hardware vendors and selected the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA. Martin Effinger, CTO at winnovation AG says, “We were impressed by the competence of IBM Business Partner Prometheus Informatik and IBM. Their solution was also the most cost-efficient offer on the table.”

In collaboration with IBM Business Partner Prometheus Informatik AG, winnovation deployed a 256 GB (size S) IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA.

The solution is based on a workload optimized IBM System x®3690 X5 server with the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications operating system and the powerful and reliable Intel® Xeon® processor E7-2870 with ten cores. These top-of-the-line processors deliver performance designed to handle data-demanding workloads with improved scalability and increased memory and I/O capacity.

The unique, highly scalable IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS™) is a key part of the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA. The solution includes high-performance eXFlash SSD and disk access, enabling winnovation to offer its customers high-availability solutions using GPFS replication as well as seamless cluster extension.

Administration is simple because no storage area network (SAN) is required. The database capacity can be easily expanded by adding nodes.

Martin Effinger explains, “With IBM, we selected a leading technology platform for SAP HANA. The strategic alliance between IBM and SAP and the tight integration of their solutions was a big advantage for us. IBM installed the software in just two days. Whenever we had questions about our new system during the implementation, the IBM team provided quick and competent help.”

winnovation uses its SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA to prepare proof of concepts for its customers and train consultants.

Martin Effinger states, “Thanks to SAP HANA with the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA, we quickly gained hands-on experience with in-memory technology. All our consultants are familiar with SAP HANA, and as a Training Partner for SAP, we provide training to other SAP Partners and customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”

Hosting partner Prometheus Informatik operates IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA for winnovation. In addition, Prometheus Informatik runs other SAP systems for winnovation on IBM System x3850 class and IBM System x3650 class servers running VMware virtualization. The servers use virtualized storage provided by IBM Storwize® V7000 and an IBM System Storage® DS3400.

Reinventing business reporting

Now that the test and training environment has been implemented successfully, winnovation’s customers benefit from expert consulting and implementation services for the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA. Michael Hutter says, “We ran a customer event earlier this year, and many customers were interested in SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA. In the past, data warehouses only provided data from the previous day. Now we can offer whole new solutions to reporting problems and integrate real-time data into business intelligence reports. This will help our customers to make better decisions when managing their businesses.”

SAP HANA improves business agility, for example by allowing companies to alter reports quickly. A typical scenario is adding a custom field. Once the new field is implemented in the ERP system, the data warehouse data model needs to be updated, which requires multiple steps; data reloads could take anywhere from several hours to entire weekends.

With SAP HANA such changes can be implemented quickly, and data reloads take only minutes.

The result of quicker project delivery is that winnovation’s customers can keep their reports up to date and introduce new key performance measures faster than the competition.

SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA is designed for speed and boosts reporting performance substantially. This innovative platform enables businesses to revisit ideas that were previously considered too complex to implement.

Martin Effinger explains, “With the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA, our customers can leverage their data in whole new ways. Processing large volumes of data across geographies and accounting periods is no longer a problem. Whenever reporting projects were abandoned in the past for being too complicated or slow, we can now implement them easily with this new solution, because SAP HANA provides very fast response times.” SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA provides consistently excellent performance, without any need to tune or optimize the database. The reduction in technical management reduces the workload for database administrators and enables them to work on new projects to help drive the business forwards. Martin Effinger summarizes, “We are very satisfied with Prometheus Informatik and IBM, who provided reliable and competent consulting, implementation and hosting services. Quick and precise response to support requests helped us to deploy and optimize our SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA rapidly. The solution proved to be a perfect test and training environment to prepare for new business intelligence requirements.

“SAP HANA and the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA enables much more responsive business intelligence solutions and brings added value to our customers. Furthermore, as a Training Partner for SAP we also show other SAP partners and customers how to use the SAP HANA platform efficiently for their own projects.”

Michael Hutter concludes, “Adapting to new technology early allows winnovation to be one step ahead of the competition. We are confident that being a leader in SAP HANA with the IBM Systems solution for SAP HANA will improve our professional services offerings and provide additional growth opportunities. By embracing real-time technology, we are ready to help our customers with new business challenges ahead.”

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage: DS3400, Storage: Storwize V7000, System x: System x3650 M3, System x: System x3690 X5, System x: System x3850 X5

Software:
General Parallel File System for Linux on xSeries, Linux

Operating system:
Linux, Novell SUSE Linux

Service:
IBM-SAP Alliance

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