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As artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) increasingly influence our everyday lives, the demand for sophisticated chips to support these innovations is on the rise. Nanometer-scale chip fabrication is extremely complex and requires the highest purity to eliminate even minuscule levels of contamination.
Entegris is a leader in specialty chemicals and advanced materials solutions for the microelectronics industry and other sectors that are driving these megatrends. The growing demand for our company’s services means that Entegris is expanding rapidly. We were looking to scale business systems securely, while cutting costs and boosting margins.
Entegris relies on SAP applications for core business processes. As transaction volumes increased, our reporting and analytics workload was growing – yet batch processes to prepare month-end reports required transaction systems to be halted, and backups required offline periods, causing unwelcome interruptions.
The shift to SAP HANA
To help the company continue to grow, Entegris evaluated switching to SAP HANA because of its high-performance, in-memory database technology. But the move would require a large investment in new infrastructure, and absorb internal resources for planning, deployment and management, a cost we wanted to defer or reduce.
We upgraded to SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and planned to migrate the existing business processes without changing them significantly. Before making the migration, though, we decided to review our infrastructure approach. We investigated the advantages of switching to fully cloud-enabled operations and found that selecting a cloud approach could provide the scalability we needed at much lower operational costs, while still providing a secure, robust application environment.
Transitioning with help from IBM
Entegris selected IBM Cloud for SAP Applications combined with IBM Cloud Managed Services. The fully managed IBM services include operating system support, monitoring, and network management. They also provide the expert advice and support needed for enterprise-level work, while also offering the advantages of scalability, reliability and cost efficiency.
To help the transition to IBM Cloud, IBM created the virtual machines and configured the applications and databases to aid our deployment of the SAP HANA solutions. The rollout was completed in phases, starting with smaller solutions and moving on to the larger ones.
Moving to IBM Cloud immediately improved Entegris’ business agility in three key areas:
- Improved flexibility. We can now create new SAP environments for testing simply by adding cloud capacity instead of having to wait for hardware arrival and set up. We’re also better able to manage system refreshes. Before the migration, we couldn’t refresh more than one SAP instance at a time due to the limited capacity of our fixed server. By using IBM Cloud, we can quickly add capacity to complete multiple system refreshes, and then scale it back once that capacity is no longer needed.
- Increased app availability. Since we can easily and quickly refresh SAP environments, Entegris can now keep applications available during month-end reporting, backups and system refreshes. As a result, we’ve seen a boost in productivity for Entegris’ around-the-clock work schedule.
- Faster response times. We can also run reports using near-real-time information, because IBM Cloud enables faster SAP data load times. For example, SAP application dialog responses are now 50 percent faster. As our workload grows, we can scale up compute capacity to meet rising demand without any delay.
We chose IBM Cloud Managed Services because IBM offered a higher-performing product at a lower cost. It also offered executive commitment to the migration process, so we could take on less risk as IBM were aligned with our business objectives.
The IBM Managed Services approach gives us the scalability, flexibility and capacity we need to make the most of the SAP Business Suite. We can now better tune our manufacturing to help us optimize the business. We’re reducing capital requirements, cutting waste and improving fulfillment, and IBM and SAP are central to our success.
Read the case study for more details.