D+H consolidates its IT environment for improved growth and efficiency

Improving application performance, shortening time to market and reducing cost of ownership

Published on 17-Sep-2012

Validated on 02 Dec 2013

"So, while it took us a year to do the development on Oracle Fusion, we were up and running both development and a production service on the DataPower appliance within four months, shockingly fast." - Paul Lewis, vice president of technology, architecture and security, D+H

Customer:
Davis + Henderson Corporation

Industry:
Financial Markets

Deployment country:
Canada

Overview

Davis + Henderson Corporation (D+H) has been a trusted partner to the financial services industry for over 130 years. Today, D+H offers a broad range of technology and technology-based solutions to financial institutions across North America, including commercial and mortgage lending technology, student lending services, collateral registration and recovery services, and payments solutions. Headquartered in Toronto, D+H employs approximately 4,500 people. The company has been publicly listed since 2001.

Business need:
After acquiring several companies, D+H needed to reduce the operating expenses associated with redundant IT systems. It began to look at application servers, ESB solutions and databases.

Solution:
After performing several POCs, D+H chose IBM WebSphere Application Server software, IBM WebSphere DataPower appliances and the IBM DB2 database.

Benefits:
In addition to cutting costs, D+H has seen 20 to 40 percent performance increases and can now deploy new workloads in hours versus the five days required in the past.

Case Study

Davis + Henderson Corporation (D+H) has been a trusted partner to the financial services industry for over 130 years. Today, D+H offers a broad range of technology and technology-based solutions to financial institutions across North America, including commercial and mortgage lending technology, student lending services, collateral registration and recovery services, and payments solutions. Headquartered in Toronto, D+H employs approximately 4,500 people. The company has been publicly listed since 2001.

Managing a growing IT environment resulting from acquisitions

D+H has experienced significant growth over the past few years as it continues to diversify its solution offerings to support the growing needs of customers. Much of this diversification has come by way of acquisitions, which resulted in a geographically distributed and often redundant IT environment. With plans to continue its acquisition strategy to add other new products and services to its portfolio, D+H needed to reduce the operating expenses associated with redundant IT systems. To consolidate, standardize and update its IT infrastructure and application portfolio, the company began to look at application servers, enterprise service bus (ESB) solutions and databases from several providers.

Effortlessly transferring applications

D+H had been using the Sun Microsystems GlassFish application server, which was originally offered under an open source license. However, after Oracle acquired Sun, the cost per CPU of the supported version of the application rose to USD50,000. To replace it and avoid the increase in cost, D+H considered several application servers, performing multiple proofs of concept (POCs). “We said, ‘Let’s look at JBoss open source; let’s look at IBM; let’s even look at WebLogic,’” says Paul Lewis, vice president of technology, architecture and security, D+H. “And it was a very easy choice to choose IBM not just on price, but from a total cost of ownership perspective, because IBM was able to put in the investment, put in the time, and I knew that they had the support response required for our level of criticality.” The company found that it took just four hours to move its applications, which are complex and contain anywhere from 10 to 15 million lines of code, from its existing application server to IBM® WebSphere® Application Server software. It took three to four times as long using other solutions.

In addition, D+H found that the WebSphere Application Server software would prove to be easier to maintain. “The business case was quite clear from both an upfront cost perspective and an ongoing cost perspective. When you include the relationship—especially when you include the serviceability and availability of the system—WebSphere made a lot of sense,” says Lewis.

Implementing cost-effective IBM WebSphere DataPower appliances

Next, D+H looked at ESB solutions. “We did a simple technology evaluation, and it was incredibly obvious that IBM DataPower was the selection, the choice,” says Lewis. Not only was the IBM WebSphere DataPower® appliance more cost-effective than competing offerings, but it also offered shorter time to market. “So, while it took us a year to do the development on Oracle Fusion, we were up and running both a development and a production service on the DataPower appliance within four months, shockingly fast,” says Lewis. The WebSphere DataPower appliance also proved to be easier to maintain. “I had about three people who needed to know it versus a team of 20 people who needed to know it; very, very different TCO,” says Lewis.

Using the IBM DB2 database to support analytics

Finally, D+H looked at databases. As part of its consolidation effort, the company was combining the functions of 17 data centers into just one data center. However, the business found that if it continued to use the Oracle database for all of its applications, its costs would not go down in accordance with the consolidation. “As we consolidate 17 to 1 in our data centers, we weren’t getting a 17 to 1 reduction in our database cost. That’s a problem,” says Lewis.

As a POC, the company ported its two main applications to three different databases: Microsoft SQL database, the MySQL open source database and the IBM DB2® database. “In this circumstance, IBM came to the table significantly,” says Lewis. “So, not only did they help train our DBAs into DB2, but IBM actually went all the way to certify every one of our DBAs in DB2. Not only did they give us access to interesting technical information about DB2, but I sat with lab representatives; I met with the development engineer and the fellows that represent that application.”

Another bonus to choosing the DB2 database is that it integrates easily with IBM business analytics applications, which D+H is planning to implement in the near future. “I have a much better appreciation for what the future of DB2 is, especially as it integrates and interrelates with the analytics,” says Lewis. “So, we made the decision purely based on the investment IBM is willing to make into the relationship, not just on the technology itself.”

Improving performance, shortening time to market and reducing costs

After choosing to implement WebSphere Application Server software, D+H deployed it throughout the company in just three weeks. Plus, the application offers significant performance increases over the company’s previous solution. “So, from GlassFish to WebSphere, we’ve seen anywhere between 20 percent to 40 percent performance increases, massive, massive changes,” says Lewis. The WebSphere DataPower appliance also offers significant performance improvements. D+H can now deploy new workloads in hours versus the five days required in the past. Finally, using the DB2 database helped reduce database costs. “For IBM, you only pay for the workloads that you need,” says Lewis. “So, if your box is 200 workloads and you only have 140 on there, you are only paying for 140, a much different value proposition, especially on a business case by business case, project by project, line of business by line of business perspective.”

And perhaps one of the most significant benefits to choosing the IBM software is in the growing partnership between D+H and IBM. “The relationship between D+H and IBM is very close,” says Lewis. “We not only consider IBM a partner; they are a key partner. We spend more time with them than with anybody else because they want to make sure that they allow our business to grow, and we want to make sure we can do everything we can to keep that partnership alive. It’s very exciting.”

To learn more about IBM WebSphere software, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/websphere
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Products and services used

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

Software:
WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere DataPower Appliances

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America September 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, DataPower, DB2, and WebSphere 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 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 performance data and 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.