As a supplier of water and water recycling services in one of the driest areas of the UK, Anglian Water needs to make sure every drop counts–including recycling. As part of ongoing efficiency and sustainability programs, Anglian Water is transforming its operational resilience, reducing risk and enhancing service for millions of customers.
Millions of household and business customers rely on Anglian Water. As critical back-office infrastructure neared end-of-life, how could service levels be enhanced and further improved?
By migrating critical SAP solutions to IBM® Power Systems™ servers and the IBM Db2® database, Anglian Water is reducing business risk, cutting operating costs and increasing service efficiency.
Anglian Water is the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales by geographic area. Its region receives an average of just 600 millimeters of rainfall each year—a third less than the rest of England. Such a limited supply combined with prolonged dry spells presents a constant challenge to the company, which is responsible for providing more than six million customers with sustainable water and water recycling services.
Operationally, Anglian Water relies on SAP® Business Suite (link resides outside ibm.com) and SAP for Utilities (link resides outside ibm.com) to manage its core business processes. These include human resources, operations, finance and customer billing. For example, when customers ring the Contact Center and when field engineers accept maintenance work orders, the data is served, managed and processed by SAP Business Suite solutions.
These business-critical SAP applications were implemented on infrastructure that had reached the end of its service life. Maintenance could only be completed during pre-booked downtime, usually on Sundays, when fieldwork and transaction volumes are lower.
Sam Mellodew, SAP Program Leader, explains, “We strive to offer our customers the best possible service. This means we need reliable back-office systems to enable our Contact Centre team to access information swiftly when issues arise, with prompt responses and helpful, appropriate service.
“As the systems aged, the business risk increased. During planned downtime, we advised people to switch to paper records, which potentially impacted operational efficiency and our customer service.
“It was clear that the existing IT infrastructure would not be able to meet our future capacity requirements. As downtime for maintenance increased, the balance swung in favor of a complete systems refresh, designed to resolve our cost, efficiency and resilience issues.”
Anglian Water called on its partner Capgemini, which hosts the data centers on behalf of the company, to work with vendors to propose possible infrastructure solutions. The solutions offered also needed to fit with the company’s business plan for the next Asset Management Period (AMP) as defined by Ofwat (the water industry regulator).
Sam Mellodew comments, “We wanted a server and database platform that offered high availability, improved performance, and excellent cost of ownership combined with efficiency that would support our sustainability ethos.
“The IBM Power Systems and IBM Db2 platform offered significant operational advantages in every area, from enhanced disaster recovery to data compression, including improved system resilience. To some degree we balanced the risk of migrating to a new platform and database against the promised benefits.
“After presenting the business case to the leadership team, we selected IBM Power Systems and Db2 as the best combination to deliver a high-performance, scalable, proven, reliable and agile platform for SAP, as well as offering significant cost savings.”
Anglian Water worked as an integrated team with Capgemini and IBM on a nine-month project, to complete the infrastructure deployment and SAP application and database migration. Expert IBM Db2 SAP Migration Services and IBM Systems Lab Services worked closely as a team with Capgemini and Anglian Water.
Sam Mellodew remarks, “The teamwork and collaboration was great throughout the project – with no need to ‘referee’ between organizations and tasks. The line between IBM and Capgemini was invisible to us, and we all took a ‘one team’ view, focused on delivering a successful solution.
“In particular, IBM was always clear and open about the likely technical improvements we should expect, and how these would translate into business benefits. By matching promises to reality, we could make accurate assessments of risk against outcome, which reinforced our belief that this was the right choice.”
Anglian replaced 24 machines with six IBM POWER8® processor-based IBM Power® System E850 and two IBM Power System S822 servers running IBM AIX® and IBM Db2 software, hosted by Capgemini in twin data centers.
The core solutions, including SAP Business Suite, SAP for Utilities, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Enterprise Portal (link resides outside ibm.com), SAP Gateway (link resides outside ibm.com) and SAP Process Orchestration (link resides outside ibm.com), were migrated to IBM Db2 during a national holiday weekend in August, Saturday to Monday, with immediate go-live on the Tuesday morning.
During the migration, Anglian Water took advantage of the advanced, adaptive compression features offered by Db2 to shrink total data volumes from around 5 TB to 2 TB, some 60 percent, dramatically reducing the need for future storage investments. Additionally, because release cycles for SAP NetWeaver / ERP and Db2 are aligned, the company will be able to take advantage of new application and database features at a pace to match their need, maximizing the delivered benefits, availability and stability of the combined solution.
The Power Systems servers feature IBM Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD) features, providing the flexibility to scale up for peak processing requirements if needed, while optimizing the use of deployed capacity.
Additionally, the reduced number of processors contributes to lower software and database licensing costs, even as batch times have improved by up to 40 percent. The shorter batch times also ensure Anglian Water’s IT division can meet and exceed its service level agreements, delivering timely information for executives’ business decision processes.
“Everything we set out to achieve in performance and delivery terms has been achieved,” comments Sam Mellodew.
By migrating critical SAP solutions to IBM Power Systems servers and IBM Db2 database, Anglian Water has reduced business risk, increased efficiency and reduced operating costs.
Sam Mellodew explains, “For Anglian Water’s customers, our new capabilities help us provide a high-quality, responsive service, continuously supported by our information systems. Operationally, reduced downtime helps to minimize the need to switch to paper-based processes, offering significantly improved productivity and continuity.”
The solution is designed to span and exceed the five-year Ofwat regulatory period, helping Anglian Water achieve its business, customer service and efficiency objectives with the awarded AMP funding limits. The improved resilience and disaster protection have greatly reduced the business risk, and the solution delivers greater capacity to enable future growth.
“The new IBM Power Systems and Db2 solution is highly cost-efficient thanks to lower database license and support costs, and reduced data storage and backup costs,” comments Sam Mellodew. “The costs saved allow us to maximize funding in other areas of the business, such as the critical customer-facing services and sustainability programs.
“Migrating our SAP applications and data to the IBM Power Systems platform and IBM’s Db2 has boosted performance, cut operational costs and introduced new resiliency to our business. These are essential enabling factors to deliver even better, sustainable water and water recycling services for our customers – when every drop truly counts!”
Anglian Water (link resides outside ibm.com) is the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales by geographic area, serving more than six million domestic and business customers. Anglian Water collects, cleans, and distributes around 1.2 billion liters of water a day through 112,833 kilometers of pipes, covering 27,500 square kilometers, and employs about 4,000 people.
To learn more about solutions from IBM and SAP, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/sap
Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services, employing more than 180,000 people in over 40 countries. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. For more information on Capgemini, please visit: capgemini.com (link resides outside ibm.com).
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