Following the merger of its two constituent companies, the new business of SUMOL+COMPAL needed to implement a uniform IT infrastructure that it could deploy with minimum disruption. By implementing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to support its main business platform, the company benefits from lower costs, while ensuring high availability and security.
Formed by the merger of Portuguese companies, SUMOL+COMPAL combines the two organisations' extensive portfolios of some of the best-known brands in Portugal. Specializing in non-alcoholic beverages, the company employs 1,400 people and achieves an estimated annual production of 500 million liters.
Following the incorporation of SUMOL+COMPAL, the new organization faced the challenge of integrating its constituent companies' IT infrastructures. With Compal using Novell technologies, and Sumolis on a proprietary UNIX platform, the company wanted to migrate its core business applications to a standardized solution that it could implement with minimal disruption to ongoing operations.
"Any merger involves a difficult period during which the companies involved need to adjust and integrate processes," explains Dr. Luís Gravato, Director of Information Systems, SUMOL+COMPAL. "We were committed to finding a way to make this phase as painless as possible, and the first step was to ensure that we had a consistent and uniform IT infrastructure in place."
SUMOL+COMPAL aimed to introduce a new strategic operating platform which would allow it to reduce its reliance on proprietary hardware and software, without sacrificing performance or reliability. The company aimed to avoid the cost and disruption of purchasing new hardware by finding a solution flexible enough to run on its existing infrastructure.
SUMOL+COMPAL worked with Data Identity, one of its IT partners, to migrate critical SAP applications including SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse and SAP Customer Relationship Management to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on the company's existing hardware. The company mainly operates Fujitsu Siemens servers.
"As Compal employees already had extensive experience of using Novell software -and were very positive about its benefits-SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was immediately one of the front runners," said Dr. Luís Gravato. "When we discovered that the flexibility of the Novell operating system meant we could use it with practically any type of hardware, it became the most logical option, making the merger of our IT systems a relatively straightforward process."
The migration of the SAP applications to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server took only three months, and caused no interruption to daily operations, with business users largely unaware that such a fundamental change was even taking place.
"We trusted Data Identity as their consultants knew our systems inside out, and they championed Novell for its excellent support and easy implementation," said Dr. Luís Gravato. "The rollout of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server ran smoothly, and there were no problems in getting drivers for our existing hardware."
The simple licensing model for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was a significant draw for SUMOL+COMPAL; the proprietary UNIX platform previously used by Sumolis required additional investments as new applications were added. By selecting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the company was able to take advantage of known licensing costs with no restrictions on user numbers or workloads. Additional cost savings emerged from the reduced hardware resource consumption and low management overhead offered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
SUMOL+COMPAL was previously unable to leverage the advantages of virtualization. Implementing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with built-in Xen virtualization technology has opened up new possibilities and enabled further expansion within the existing hardware footprint.
By standardizing on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as its platform for SAP software, SUMOL+COMPAL has gained a flexible operating environment that offers enterprise-class reliability, availability and vendor support. The company was able to deploy the Novell operating system on its existing Fujitsu Siemens hardware, eliminating the need to invest in new hardware.
The solution has also enabled the use of virtualization at no additional cost through the built-in Xen hypervisor. This has produced a number of benefits for SUMOL+COMPAL, enabling IT staff to consolidate hardware, simplify infrastructure management and maximize the utilization of existing resources.
"The cost savings associated with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server have really impressed us, especially those produced by virtualization, which has proved a key element in our new streamlined infrastructure," said Dr. Luís Gravato. "Sharing resources using Xen for virtualization has enabled us to get the most value from our server hardware investments, while enabling greater speed and flexibility in meeting new business requirements."
With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUMOL+COMPAL has complete freedom in choosing the future hardware platform for its SAP software, and can draw on both the highly active open source user community and on Novell technical resources for enterprise-class support.
"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has proved perfectly suited to our needs, providing a truly flexible and high-performing solution that is the ideal environment to support the applications critical to our new merged organization," said Dr. Luís Gravato. "The cost savings will grow as the years pass, because we now have a more compact infrastructure that costs less to run, maintain and extend."