When delivering medical devices to the healthcare sector, consistent quality is essential. Fast-growing provider Groupe Bastide preserves exceptional standards while pursuing its expansion strategy with help from IBM® Power Systems™ servers running SAP® ERP powered by SAP HANA®, enabling it to onboard new users without loss of performance.
Groupe Bastide was known for providing superior service around medical devices, resulting in rapid growth. How could it continue to expand while maintaining its reputation for excellence?
The company and its CIO, M. de Jabrun, ensured they could move on new opportunities quickly and confidently by transforming the IT landscape, implementing SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems servers and supported by IBM Storage.
Whether they’re in a hospital, in a care facility or at a patient’s home, care-givers need a reliable supply of high-quality medical devices to treat people effectively. Providers of this medical equipment must deliver to a consistently excellent benchmark, or risk compromising patient care.
One such provider is Groupe Bastide, an organization based in France that harbors ambitions of global expansion. Rapid growth – both organic and through acquisition – was making it more challenging for Groupe Bastide to maintain the exceptional standards on which its reputation rests.
Emmanuel Romieu, IT Manager at Group Bastide, explains: “Recently, our growth strategy has stepped up a notch with acquisitions outside France. For example, in the UK, we are now the second largest provider of medical devices, and we have plans to expand even further afield. We wanted to proactively make some changes to our operations to ensure that we could continue to seize opportunities as they emerge.”
Specifically, Groupe Bastide decided that deploying SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA database to increase performance and power faster analytics was the right decision. The group’s IT team began looking for the infrastructure to support SAP HANA to its fullest potential, while meeting the needs of a growing business.
“In the short-term, we needed server and storage solutions up to the task of letting us get the most out of our investment in SAP HANA,” comments Romieu. “Long-term, we wanted the ability to bring in current and future subsidiaries into our SAP environment, which meant plenty of headroom and flexibility.”
To remove barriers to growth, Groupe Bastide deployed SAP HANA running on IBM Power® Systems S824L servers virtualized with IBM PowerVM® and running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (link resides outside IBM.com).
“We quickly honed in on IBM Power Systems as the most flexible platform of the ones we considered,” recalls Romieu. “It scored highly on virtualization capabilities, which was a key priority for us. IBM also provides a lot of value-add services around technology, which other vendors simply can’t match.”
During the infrastructure-sizing process for SAP HANA, the Groupe Bastide IT team realized that it had underestimated how much memory was required. The differing reactions from IBM and a competing vendor helped to highlight the seamless scalability that is a defining characteristic of the IBM Power Systems platform.
“Choosing the non-IBM option would have meant deploying a server higher up the product range at significantly higher cost,” remarks Romieu. “In contrast, we could easily add extra memory to the Power Systems servers. We were already sold on the POWER architecture’s superior technology, but it sealed the deal when we saw just how simple it is to scale up the system.”
To underpin the environment, Groupe Bastide chose IBM FlashSystem® 5000 storage arrays. By asynchronously replicating data between two sites, the group protects against data loss in the event of a disaster. Romieu continues: "We've relied on IBM FlashSystem with IBM Spectrum Virtualize for some years now with great success, so it was the natural choice to support the new environment."
Since deploying the IBM solutions, Groupe Bastide is better-positioned to capitalize on new opportunities. As a result, the company is on the path to making its bold expansion plans a reality without compromising on service levels.
“IBM Power Systems deliver a huge amount of performance, and we’ve got plenty of room to grow – we’re not even close to stretching the infrastructure yet,” comments Romieu. “Alongside the IBM storage systems, they give us the ideal platform to add users and, once we’re ready, to support our plans of consolidating subsidiaries on our SAP environment too.”
Groupe Bastide’s employees benefit from faster, more powerful reporting capabilities enabled by SAP HANA, which is also easier to manage than the company’s previous database.
“Implementing SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems dramatically improved our user experience over what we had before,” explains Romieu. “We spend a lot less time administering the system and the users are happy, which translates into greater employee productivity overall.”
By enabling short response times for SAP HANA, the IBM server and storage solutions help to deliver the business insights that Groupe Bastide needs to continue delighting its customers.
Romieu concludes: “We’ve thought about a move to the cloud in the future, but we can’t see any of the current services offering the levels of performance provided by the POWER architecture. The combination of SAP HANA, Power Systems and IBM FlashSystem is a winning one, giving us what we need to take Groupe Bastide services global. Looking to the future, we’re excited to see what SAP S/4HANA and IBM POWER9 processer-based servers could do for our business, helping us build on the competitive advantage we’ve gained even further.”
Founded in 1977 by Guy Bastide, Groupe Bastide (link resides outside IBM.com) specializes in the provision and servicing of medical devices. ISO 9001 certified, the company offers products in multiple areas including diabetes, nutrition, respiratory and urology.
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