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A Tale of Three Companies: Working with SAP to Better Manage Data Assets

/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/database_205932.jpgData, the very lifeblood of any company these days, requires support for assessing, managing, using, improving, monitoring, maintaining, and protecting organizational information. And, yet, the increasing volume of this data, called “big data”, threatens to overwhelm the technology. So what are some of the problems and how are companies overcoming the overload?

Exponential data growth alone would present quite a challenge, but additional key issues that are emerging include data quality, ongoing data management, and just making sense of the data for better decision making. That means it is becoming necessary to find better ways to control and meaningfully use the data that supports the functioning of any company. Meanwhile, the need to lower cost, improve performance, reduce complexity, and help the business scale is pervasive among organizations that want to extend their competitive advantage.

In other words, the real problem with big data is that it’s so – well – big. First it requires massive amounts of storage, many times located in multiple databases. Second, its magnitude makes it more difficult to manage: additions, deletions, updates, and the aforementioned distribution all contribute to possible problems with both performance and the quality of the data. Third, the complexity inherent in its size severely inhibits the ability to harmonize and manipulate the data for analysis necessary to support both the operation and potential growth of any enterprise. These issues have caused today’s businesses – even those with data amounts at a level not normally classified as “big” – to take another look at exactly how they handle their information infrastructure in order to better prepare for future challenges.

Let’s examine three companies in various industries that are looking  to conquer the current shortcomings of their database technology with a common solution to reduce complexity, compress data storage requirements, accelerate operations, and use their data for better decision making before current trends, such as big data, exacerbate the problems.

Rashi Peripherals Private Limited

Established in 1989, Rashi Peripherals is one of India’s leading distributors of computer hardware, peripherals, and accessories.  With 64 branches, 8,300 resellers in 650 cities, and a portfolio of more than 20 world famous brands, Rashi attributes its growth to a focus on adding value for its customers.

Given this customer-centric focus, Rashi was dismayed to find that high maintenance of the systems necessary to support its vendors created lapses in availability, while the cost of administration and maintenance was escalating as well. All of these weaknesses combined to jeopardize the excellent service for which Rashi is renowned.

Rashi turned to its own trusted technology partner, SAP, to address this assortment of issues.  SAP proposed an implementation of SAP Sybase ASE and SAP ERP.  Rashi found this to be a simplified solution that reduced downtime and the cost of database administration, and compressed the size of the data from 900 GB to 350 GB, increasing available space for future business process requirements.

“The benefits of the migration of our SAP ERP system to SAP Sybase ASE from Oracle are clear: In just 2 months we achieved performance surpassing that on Oracle which took us six years of tuning to achieve. We were able to compress data by 60% saving us storage space and costs. And, our TCO was reduced even further with significantly simplified administration removing staff overtime requirements. SAP Sybase ASE on SAP ERP is providing the technology to help fuel our company growth.” says Business Manager, Yogesh Dhandharia, Rashi Peripherals Private Limited.

Novacart S.p.A.

Founded in 1926, Novacart has grown into an innovative leader in paper products for the baking and confectionery trade. The company’s products range from baking molds and cake boards to cake pan liners and doilies. Novacart’s growth has been both organic and through acquisitions. This has created a complex information infrastructure comprised of multiple databases.

Novacart presented SAP with the challenge of simplifying its information technology landscape: merge multiple acquired databases without disrupting operations and streamline database maintenance. SAP responded with a plan to migrate from an Oracle database to the SAP Sybase ASE database.

This solution delivered a much lower total cost of ownership – a 43% reduction in data storage requirements, 35% less database maintenance needed, and a 23% improvement in performance – and all with full data visibility. The ultimate benefit of this enterprise-wide data visibility is accelerated operations and better decision making.

Roberto Rocca, Novacart’s Information Technology Chief, summed up the entire process stating, “Our migration from Oracle to SAP Sybase ASE on our SAP ERP application was straightforward and fast with no disruption to our business. We completed a two-phase migration, first an application update and then the database migration …and our total downtime was limited to just 48 hours for each phase. Performance has been excellent and our licensing and maintenance costs are more economical now. A single vendor for application and database offers us an optimized solution to best meet our requirements.”

Video Pacini

Video Pacini started out as a small shop that installed and serviced radio, television, and communication equipment. Now almost 40 years later, it is a global service provider for a wide range of consumer electronics. The company’s services include repairs, upgrades, and technical support. This scope in services necessitated a database that could support multiple resource planning requirements in a time-sensitive and cost-effective manner.  When approached with Video Pacini’s requirements, SAP suggested SAP ERP on SAP Sybase ASE as the solution. The new system simplifies operations and maintenance as well as provides a roadmap to adopt new technologies in the future to support company growth.

Davide Ulivi, Managing Director at Video Pacini, has verified these expectations. “Moving our custom solution on MS SQL Server to a new installation of SAP ERP on SAP Sybase ASE allowed us to streamline our system administration and reduce our costs,” Ulivi says. “A single vendor for application and database enabled a simplified implementation and ensures a smooth upgrade path as the technology evolves and our business grows – SAP ERP on SAP Sybase ASE has been the ideal solution for us.”

In summary, Rashi Peripherals, Novacart, and Video Pacini all looked to SAP for a solution when faced with the need to improve the management of their data assets. Using SAP Sybase ASE and SAP ERP together in a “single provider” landscape has allowed them to realize a lower total cost of ownership, increased performance, streamlined maintenance efforts, improved data quality, and the ability to use their data in a more meaningful way. And each is satisfied that the benefits of this new platform offer preparation for the adoption of future technologies necessary to handle escalating data growth.

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