As its existing back-office solution neared the end of its lifecycle, 20 Microns Ltd. wanted to update its architecture with a more powerful, functional platform.
The new architecture, built with IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage hardware, provides a stable platform for the company’s new SAP S/4HANA solution.
~60% drop in processing timefor some SAP operations compared to previous platform
Helps boost profitabilitywith clearer insight into critical business processes
Protects critical dataand operations with an automated backup and recovery solution
Business challenge story
Trying to move forward
Technology advances quickly.
What was cutting edge just yesterday can become inefficient (at best) or obsolete (at worst) in the blink of an eye. And as time progresses, the gaps caused by this evolution grow more noticeable, limiting what innovations businesses can or can’t embrace and how efficiently they can compete.
This was the challenge facing 20 Microns, a leader in the production of ultrafine manufacturing materials and specialty chemicals.
“We were using SAP ECC [SAP ERP Central Component] for our business,” explains Nitin Anerao, General Manager for IT at 20 Microns. “We installed it a long time ago — around a decade back — and it was affecting what we could do. Slicing and dicing our sales records or just managing the data took a lot of time. We couldn’t push things automatically. It was restricting our opportunities for growth and enhancement.”
In addition, SAP had announced that it would end support for the SAP ERP Central Component platform by 2025, encouraging 20 Microns to find a new solution for its back-office systems.
“We were wanting to move to SAP S/4HANA, but our server hardware was not up for the change,” adds Anerao. “We also installed the hardware a long time ago, so it didn’t have the power or performance requirements that we needed.
Virtual architecture, real solution
To help implement the necessary infrastructure for its SAP S/4HANA environment, 20 Microns turned to IBM Business Partner Silver Touch.
“We built out an environment focused on availability and performance,” notes Chintan Khambholja, Business Development Manager for Silver Touch. “20 Microns was comfortable with the reliability of IBM Power hardware since they had used it in the past — with Power you don’t often see the downtime challenges that you do with x86 servers. So we worked with IBM to home in on the sizing and configuration for the project and built a production and recovery architecture with IBM hardware.”
The new SAP S/4HANA environment, hosted in 20 Microns’ corporate data center, includes a pair of IBM Power Systems H922 servers, running in a high availability mode. IBM PowerVM® technology allowed Silver Touch to build out virtualized SAP database, production, development and quality assurance (QA) servers across the IBM hardware. And the corresponding SAP data is stored on an IBM FlashSystem® 5010 solution.
Alongside the production environment, Silver Touch also deployed IBM Spectrum® Protect technology to create an automated backup process for this critical information. And an IBM TS2900 Tape Autoloader provides long-term data storage.
Altogether, the project was completed in less than four months after the initial contract was signed, and the actual deployment required only roughly 15 days. Currently, there are 105 users, distributed across 20 Microns’ various offices throughout India, for the updated SAP platform.
A confidence-filled future
Thanks to the help offered by Silver Touch, 20 Microns has been able to update and accelerate many of its critical SAP operations while also adding new functionality.
“We’re primarily using MRP [Material Requirement Planning] and CO-PA [CO Profitability Analysis],” explains Anerao. “With MRP we can tell which materials are required for us and our customers and which ones we should prioritize, helping us accelerate our deliveries. And CO-PA is letting us analyze our profits. We’re getting the logs. We’re getting the alerts, so we can know what’s working to advance our business.”
The IBM hardware has also helped in this push forward. “It’s much faster now,” adds Anerao. “We had one SAP operation that used to take us 3 - 4 hours to complete. We were able to get rid of about 60% of the time it needed, now getting it done in about 1.5 hours.”
Beyond the performance boost, the Silver Touch-delivered solution created an environment focused on high availability. The virtualized design along with the automated backup capabilities and the solid foundation of the IBM hardware offers an architecture that can readily support 20 Microns’ around-the-clock operations.
“It offers us peace of mind,” observes Anerao. “There are concerns even for scheduled downtime. Will the shutdown go past the expected time? Will it affect business? Will it affect our profits? But thanks to Silver Touch and IBM, we can worry less.”
Which makes sense, as Khambholja explains: “Being an IBM partner has been a positive experience for Silver Touch. Having the IBM hardware helps us a lot — it offers our customers more confidence for their SAP environments.”
20 Microns Ltd.
Since its founding in 1987, 20 Microns has grown to become a leading producer of ultrafine industrial minerals and specialty chemicals. The business, headquartered in Vadodara, India, maintains offices and production sites throughout the country, and its products are used in the manufacture of everyday materials sold around the globe, including paints, inks, rubber, cosmetics, ceramics, soaps, textiles and more.
About Silver Touch Technologies Ltd.
IBM Business Partner Silver Touch is an IT solutions provider specializing in system integration, software development, e-governance, IT consulting, mobility and cybernetics. Founded in 1992, the business currently employs over 1,400 IT professionals and maintains offices in India, the US, the UK and France.
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To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
To learn more about its IT solutions and services and what Silver Touch Technologies Ltd. can do for you, please visit: Silver Touch