Verdo A/S unlocks the business opportunities of deregulation

Enabling transparent billing services for a significantly larger customer base with help from IBM

Published on 19-Jun-2013

"Thanks to the IBM System x3690 X5 server driving our private cloud, we have increased the performance of our ERP platform by 80 percent compared to the previous infrastructure—enabling us to offer transparent billing services to a significantly larger customer base." - Jens Stougaard Frederiksen, IT Manager, Verdo A/S

Customer:
Verdo A/S

Industry:
Energy & Utilities

Deployment country:
Denmark

Solution:
Microsoft Dynamics - ERP, Business Resiliency, Cloud Computing, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
Atea A/S

Overview

Part of the Verdo Group, Verdo A/S is one of the longest-running combined heat and power plants in Denmark. In addition to providing heat and power to companies and private households in the Danish cities of Randers, Hobro and Hillerød and their environs, the company delivers water, broadband and telephony services throughout the north of the country.

Business need:
Verdo A/S wanted to win new business and become the fourth-largest energy supplier in Denmark when energy-market deregulation went ahead—but its ERP system would not scale cost-effectively.

Solution:
The company implemented a high-performance private cloud platform for its new Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution, based on an IBM® System x® 3690 X5 server with Intel® Xeon® processors and an IBM System Storage® DS3500 series.

Benefits:
Increases the performance of its ERP platform by 80 percent compared to the previous infrastructure—enabling Verdo to offer billing services to a significantly larger customer base.

Case Study

Part of the Verdo Group, Verdo A/S is one of the longest-running combined heat and power plants in Denmark. In addition to providing heat and power to companies and private households in the Danish cities of Randers, Hobro and Hillerød and their environs, the company delivers water, broadband and telephony services throughout the north of the country.

Unlocking the business opportunities of deregulation
With plans to deregulate the Danish energy market well underway, Verdo A/S recognized a major opportunity to win new business—enabling it to meet its corporate objective of growing to become the fourth-largest energy supplier in the country.

As Jens Stougaard Frederiksen, IT Manager at Verdo A/S, explains: “In the past, energy companies in Denmark were only responsible for delivering energy and heat to specific regions of the country. Soon, that situation will change, and customers will be able to buy heat and power from any Danish energy provider.”

To achieve its ambitious growth targets, Verdo needed to ensure that it could both deliver its energy services at a competitive price, and offer its customers full transparency of their energy costs when deregulation began. After reviewing its existing ERP infrastructure, the company determined that it needed additional functionalities to enhance its offering and win new business.

“We realized that the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics AX would offer us the functionality to create competitive heat and power tariffs,” says Frederiksen. “In order to use Dynamics AX to manage billing processes for our target customer base—which is significantly larger than today—we realized that we needed a high-performance platform.”

Designing a high-performance ERP platform
To help to design a platform for its Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution, Verdo engaged consultants from IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Rasmus Lamp Posselt, IT Server Manager at Verdo A/S, says: “We wanted a solution with sufficient compute performance to meet our requirements for at least the next five years, and the ability to scale cost-efficiently thereafter. Because we already had an extensive IBM infrastructure, we knew that IBM servers and storage could satisfy our requirements for a high-performance ERP platform.”

Posselt continues: “The advice from the IBM team was crucial in the deciding on the hardware platform for our new ERP system, and enabled us to create a solution that balanced performance requirements with software licensing costs.”

Following its consultation with IBM, Verdo deployed an IBM System x3690 X5 server with an IBM System Storage DS3500 series. Augmented with eXFlash technology, the x3690 X5 server enables high IOPS for the company’s Dynamics AX databases. Combined with two top-of-the-line Intel Xeon processors, the high-performance x3690 X5 server delivers the most advanced reliability features that power IT’s most demanding mission critical applications—helping to ensure that ERP performance will not drop as Verdo’s customer base grows.

Scalability in the cloud
To enable the company to scale out simply and cost-effectively to meet future business requirements, Verdo configured the solution as a private cloud using the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor to host multiple virtual instances of Microsoft Windows Server. Using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Verdo’s IT team can provision of central pool of compute and storage resources rapidly to support new data-driven business initiatives.

With the high-performance IBM platform in place, Verdo worked together with IBM Business Partner Atea A/S to migrate its ERP databases to Microsoft SQL Server. Today, the company also runs its Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange environments on virtual Windows servers on the x3690 X5 platform.

“We were very impressed by how smoothly the IBM System x implementation project was completed,” says Posselt. “Throughout the installation and subsequent migrations, we never experienced any significant challenges. What’s more, we have calculated that the x3690 X5 platform will meet our requirements for a minimum of five years—increasing the cost-effectiveness of the solution significantly.”

Ready for growth
By using IBM servers and storage as the basis of its private-cloud ERP platform, Verdo is well placed to achieve its corporate objective of becoming the fourth-largest energy supplier in Denmark.

Frederiksen comments: “Thanks to the IBM System x3690 X5 server driving our private cloud, we have increased the performance of our ERP platform by 80 percent compared to the previous infrastructure—enabling us to offer transparent billing services to a significantly larger customer base.”

He concludes: “We are extremely pleased with the IBM solution. Today, we have an ERP platform with the performance, availability and reliability we need to win and serve new energy customers across Denmark.”

For more information

Contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/systems/x

For more information on Atea A/S visit: atea.com
For more information on Verdo A/S visit: verdo.dk

Products and services used

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

Hardware:
Storage, Storage: DS3500 Express, System x, System x: System x3690 X5

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Systems & Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America June 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, System Storage, and System x 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 Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. 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. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.