To overcome the business challenges posed by regulations, customer requirements and market competition, this insurer wanted to enhance its reporting capabilities to gain greater operational insight.
To optimize reporting, the insurer migrated its core SAP applications to the SAP HANA database, supported by IBM Power Systems servers and IBM Storwize V7000 storage to unleash extra performance.
30% cost savingfrees up cash for investment in client-facing activities
66% time savingon report generation accelerates business decisions
65% cutin response times for critical reinsurance applications eases compliance
Business challenge story
Hunting for competitive advantage
The liberalized insurance sector in Brazil is awash with domestic new entrants and international competitors, and every company is under pressure to cut costs and enhance their service offerings. Compounding the challenges, the associated reinsurance marketplace faces tough compliance demands, with a steady flow of standards and rules issued by the industry regulator.
To delve deeper into customer demands and to reduce the compliance burden, this insurer set out to ramp up its reporting capabilities. To meet its aim, the company needed to boost the performance of its mission-critical SAP applications, which include SAP Reinsurance Management, SAP ERP, SAP Asset Lifecycle Accounting, SAP Business Warehouse and SAP ERP Human Capital Management.
A spokesperson at the company begins: “Technology plays a crucial role in helping us achieve our business goals. For years, we have relied on a comprehensive suite of SAP applications to manage our core business operations, but more recently we noticed that we needed even more power, performance, and reliability to tackle the new challenges of our highly competitive industry.
“We identified two bottlenecks within our existing IT environment: our database solution, and the hardware underpinning our SAP landscape.”
Unleashing immense performance
To accelerate database performance, the company migrated its SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA application, which was previously running on an x86-architecture appliance, to an IBM Power® System E870 server.
Next, the company joined forces with IBM and business partners to migrate the remaining SAP applications to SAP HANA. To provide capacity for the other SAP applications, the insurer activated additional processor cores on its existing IBM Power E870 server and deployed an IBM Power System S822L server.
Using IBM PowerVM® to provide multiple logical partitions, the servers run Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. Data is stored on IBM Storwize V7000 devices, which the company manages using IBM Spectrum Control software, and backed up to an IBM TS3500 tape library.
The company leverages the SAP HANA Live solution to support real-time analytics and operational reporting on a wide array of business-critical areas, including key financial metrics, such as net profit, insurance premiums, administrative expenses, as well as information on human resources, such as head count tracking and stats, working hours and employee benefits. With SAP HANA Live, the company’s personnel can rapidly generate custom reports on a self-service basis.
“When it came to defining the hardware in support of the new SAP landscape, the IBM team showed us the advantages of the Power Systems servers over our existing x86 servers, and worked with us to determine suitable hardware sizing and project scope,” recalls the spokesperson.
“The idea of running SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems servers appealed to us, because it would enable us to benefit from the on-the-fly analytics and business intelligence capabilities of SAP HANA on a fast, reliable platform.”
The deployment fits in with the company’s broader quest for continuous improvement, seeking to polish the customer experience and grow market share, and is already reaping the fruits of its investment.
“We have optimized system performance while reducing operating costs by 30 percent,” continues the spokesperson. “Those savings free up funds for investment in value-add and customer-facing activities, to help us deliver even more appealing products and services to our customers.”
“Additionally, IBM Power Systems and SAP HANA are helping us unlock insight from our SAP ERP and SAP Business Warehouse data faster, enabling us to make timelier, better-informed business decisions. We have cut report generation times by an average of 66 percent across the board, and response times for our mission-critical SAP Reinsurance Management solution have fallen by 65 percent. Further, some processes now run in just a third of the time needed previously, helping staff work more productively. Lastly, increased reporting performance has also translated into improved capabilities for regulatory compliance.”
The spokesperson concludes: “The cutting-edge solutions from IBM and SAP equip us with real competitive advantage, helping us to overcome current and future challenges in our industry.”
About Large Latin American insurer
This company is a large insurer based in Latin America.