Business Challenge

Certified IT Consultants (CIC) handles all things SAP for its clients, acting as a single point-of-contact for everything from infrastructure to licensing. The company’s comprehensive offering includes implementation, migration, training, maintenance, and support services.

To help clients get the most from their SAP investment, CIC is always eager to adopt the latest technologies and take advantage of innovation. Cloud computing was one such innovation, and it represented a golden opportunity for its clients.

Its clients usually relied exclusively on on-premise infrastructure to run their SAP solutions. CIC worked with several hardware vendors, delivering and installing the infrastructure in clients’ data centers as part of the SAP implementation service. On-premises management took a lot of time—time to acquire the hardware, time to install and configure it, and time to manage it.

Transformation

To boost agility, shorten time-to-market, and reduce the time and effort spent on maintenance, CIC wanted to start hosting clients’ SAP environments on the cloud rather than on premises.

CIC selected IBM Cloud for SAP Applications as the basis for the new offering because they wanted the peace of mind that came with a fully managed service. IBM takes care of everything. CIC simply selects the most suitable SLA—from 99.5 to 99.9 percent availability—for each client environment. Having best-in-class SLAs backed by a world-renowned company like IBM gives CIC and its clients so much confidence in the service.

Another attraction of the IBM Cloud was the impressive range of platform services it offers. IBM provides a full suite of solutions, from Infrastructure-as-a-Service to mobile and cognitive services.

When CIC launched the new cloud offering, they encountered some resistance from clients wary of hosting their most critical business applications in the cloud. They were accustomed to storing data on physical servers on premises, and many had concerns about data availability and security. CIC explained that its services would be backed not by just any cloud provider, but by IBM. IBM’s reputation as a technology leader and experienced cloud provider convinced clients to make the move, giving them confidence that their SAP environments would be in good hands.

With IBM Cloud for SAP Applications, CIC offers clients extremely high availability—much higher than if the client’s SAP applications were hosted with on-premises hardware in their data center or at our co-location site. They can deliver a more reliable service and scale client environments much more flexibly because additional cloud resources are available on demand.

Since CIC no longer needs to worry about underlying infrastructure, we can set up new client environments up to 25 percent faster. IBM Cloud for SAP Applications has made life much easier for its employees, who can now focus their time and energy on supporting clients in other ways.

CIC have already begun offering clients additional services from the IBM Cloud portfolio, including IBM Watson® AI and machine-learning solutions. For example, CIC recently built a virtual assistant for a client to automate their customer support services. The chatbot answers common queries, relieving pressure on the support team. This new solution enabled the company to reduce the size of the support team by 50 percent, freeing employees to work on more valuable tasks.

CIC feels that IBM Cloud for SAP Applications has given them a real competitive advantage when it comes to the core competencies. Now its looking forward to exploring how it can improve client services even more with the help of innovative add-on IBM Cloud platform services.

Solution Component

  • IBM Cloud