Eighty percent of Delphi Automotive LLP’s business runs through one SAP system. Delphi needed an integration platform to support SAP interfaces with internal and external applications.
Facilitatesbusiness continuity and system availability to the business now and into the future
IntegratesSAP software with internal and external applications
Supportsan anticipated business growth of 20 percent over the next five years
Business challenge story
Ensuring business continuity
Eighty percent of Delphi’s business runs through its core SAP system, which must integrate with other internal and external applications, such as plant-based manufacturing and engineering applications, and with partner applications. Ashoka Jain, IT Program Manager for Delphi, is responsible for designing those integrations, ensuring that they are not only seamless but also stable.
“We were using an integration platform that was beginning to fail, which exposed our business to significant risk,” he recalls. “So a few years ago, we began working on upgrading it and bringing it up to the standards of current technologies.”
It was an IT-transformation project, driven by IT executives but backed by Delphi’s business leaders. “We weren’t trying to alter the business processes in any way, but our legacy architecture was beginning to fail. The integration platform wasn’t certified for use with current versions of our operating system or our new hardware,” says Jain. “A couple unplanned outages convinced the business side that updating the integration platform was something we needed to focus on.”
Additionally, platform gaps inhibited a necessary move to a hybrid integration solution. “Delphi’s portfolio is becoming increasingly cloud-based. We weren’t able to address those integration needs, preventing us from evolving into the kind of technology company we envisioned.”
Building robust architecture
Working with IBM Business Partner Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and IBM Systems Lab Services, Delphi deployed IBM App Connect Enterprise software as its enterprise service bus (ESB), augmented with an IBM DataPower Gateway appliance acting as the secure channel gateway. For its managed file transfer activities, Delphi selected IBM Sterling B2B Integrator. The Systems Lab Services team helped with initial architecture and landscape design, while the TCS team worked on development and implementation.
“IBM was instrumental in doing the initial architecture, and, of course, their commitment to standing by Delphi through this journey was extremely valuable,” says Jain. “We were given unprecedented access to the IBM lab in Hursley, England, as well as all the resources in the US. They knew we were embarking on something really, really big. And they fulfilled that commitment. Anytime we needed, we were able to engage the right technical and architectural resources from IBM with little notice. That was critical.”
TCS and Deepa Chandra, the company’s Global Technology Lead for IBM Integration, recommended the Integration Bus software for its capabilities relating to message translation, transformation and routing, as well as its proficiency as an extremely powerful messaging hub. TCS suggested the DataPower Gateway appliance because it is designed to meet large enterprise’s requirements for secure access to enterprise systems.
Says Chandra: “We engaged with Delphi as a strategic partner in trying to understand their IT systems and create a roadmap for those systems in the integration area. We have the experience working with other major US automotive partners and rewriting or migrating interfaces from one platform to the other. In this case, we worked in close collaboration with IBM, which was engaged in this whole initiative to make sure that the product they delivered was absolutely the best solution for Delphi.”
Facilitating business stabilityIntegration Bus software provides Delphi’s IT team with an SAP adapter that is ready for immediate use. “The IBM solution can talk to SAP directly in SAP’s language and is able to extract data from SAP in the most efficient way possible. Similarly, it deposits data into SAP in the most efficient way possible,” says Jain. “But it is not just the SAP integration. It is the comprehensive set of tools that makes the IBM solution really suitable for Delphi. It allows us to look forward to the future and put pieces in places that’ll help us tomorrow and in many years to come.”
Most important for Delphi, though, the IBM solutions facilitate business stability. The IBM platform is scalable and agile, helping ensure that the organization’s capabilities can keep pace with its business needs and technology as they change.
“This is a product that IBM is fully committed to maintaining and building on. It gives us features, such as API [application programming interface] management, that will allow us to offer solutions to our growing business needs and emerging technologies, such as autonomous cars, vehicle-to-vehicle communications—something we were not able to do with our old platform,” says Jain. “We now have a platform that will be able to not only support us today; it’ll support a business growth of 20 percent for the next five years. We are already embarking on mergers and acquisitions without having to worry about whether our underlying IT infrastructure will support it.”
Delphi Automotive LLP
Founded in 1994, Delphi designs, engineers and manufactures various components and integrated systems for vehicles. Headquartered in Gillingham, the UK, and employing approximately 161,000 people, Delphi operates technical centers, manufacturing sites and customer support services in 46 countries.
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