Due to growth and acquisitions, Nowy Styl needed to improve the performance, security and scalability of its hybrid computing infrastructure and prepare the system for future business growth.
Increases key system processing speeds by ~450%to provide management with business-critical information more quickly
Provides more layers of securitythrough more powerful data encryption capabilities
Enables more growth for the futurewithout increasing the overall cost of software licenses or increasing footprint
Business challenge story
A growing firm outpaces its legacy system
From its inception in 1992 as a maker of office chairs in Poland, Nowy Styl has grown to become Europe’s third-largest manufacturer of furniture solutions for offices and public spaces. This growth has been underpinned by the company’s commitment to designing inspiring office interiors and operating highly efficient and modern production facilities.
In addition to organic growth, Nowy Styl expanded through strategic acquisitions in key markets. Starting in 2011, Nowy Styl took over a series of well-known German office furniture companies. Now, Germany represents the company’s largest single market. To become a major participant in the dynamic Turkish market, Nowy Styl took a 50% ownership position with a Turkish production and distribution company. Nowy Styl also made acquisitions in the important Swiss market.
Nowy Styl provides furniture for new office buildings, conference centers, cinemas, stadiums, music, sports and multi-functional facilities. Nowy Styl references include multinational corporations such as DS Smith, Honeywell, Deloitte and ABB, cultural institutions such as the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice and the Munich Opera, as well as stadiums in Poland and France where European Football Championships were held in 2012 and 2016. In six out of the seven stadiums now under construction for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, fans will sit in Nowy Styl seats.
With operations in 16 countries and sales to over 70 nations, Nowy Styl placed an ever-increasing workload on its legacy IT infrastructure, which was, like with so many other rapidly growing companies, built incrementally. The company’s IT footprint evolved to include multiple distributed servers, and system management became more challenging as business demand grew for computing services.
“As we grew, we had a lot of problems with performance,” says Piotr Ziemiański, Deputy IT Director of Nowy Styl. “We had more data to analyze, the system took longer to process reports, and in some cases, people didn’t have all the information they needed to make the right decisions.”
Long data processing times impacted production, one of the company’s most vital business operations. “Our automated manufacturing lines had to wait for data before they could start production,” says Ziemiański. “These delays also impacted our logistics operations, which took more time to prepare products for shipment. We had a lot of problems with this.”
The company’s legacy data storage system also had performance issues. “Our Oracle database system was always waiting for data to come from our storage systems,” says Ziemiański. “There were also security issues because our old storage system couldn’t encrypt the data.”
When Nowy Styl’s management asked the IT department to improve the performance of the system, the search started for a solution that could address the performance issues and prepare the system for future growth and upgrades. “We conducted a thorough analysis of the challenges and made a list of available solutions on the market that could help us,” says Ziemiański. “And because we’ve worked a lot of times with IBM, we asked them to support us.”
Integrated solutions with smooth deployment
After an in-depth analysis, Nowy Styl chose to work with the technical consultants at IBM Systems Lab Services — experts at designing, building and implementing Linux® solutions to meet growing business needs and configuring hybrid cloud infrastructures to handle the most demanding workloads.
The deployment team also included Warsaw-based IBM Business Partner UpWare, an IT solutions consulting firm with deep expertise in complex system migration projects.
As part of the company’s infrastructure upgrade, IBM Systems Lab Services deployed the LinuxONE Rockhopper II, an advanced server, and combined it with FlashSystem 5100 storage to provide higher levels of security on each layer of infrastructure. LinuxONE also has the performance and workload isolation that will allow Nowy Styl to expand the use of microservices and run additional open source workloads on the same system as Oracle Database instances.
To enable rapid analytical environment provisioning, IBM Systems Lab Services consultants also have experience deploying “as a service” analytical solutions. As a result, new systems can be provisioned in minutes instead of hours or days.
Lab Services installed FlashSystem 5100 all-flash storage systems to further enhance Nowy Styl’s performance optimization of its Oracle Database. These data storage systems provide advanced capabilities designed to maximize performance, data protection and security. “We also appreciate that FlashSystem 5100 provides high availability for improved system resilience,” says Ziemiański.
With FlashSystem 5100, Nowy Styl will also have the data management resources to derive maximum utility from its IFS ERP software, especially with manufacturing and supply chain management operations.
To help it start the hardware implementation sooner, Nowy Styl engaged IBM Global Financing to provide a payment plan that could help optimize cash flow and align the infrastructure investment with current and future business needs.
“The migration had some challenges. But working together with IBM Lab Services, we completed the implementation process very smoothly,” says Ziemiański. “It has brought us very good performance benefits.”
First IBM LinuxONE deployment in Poland
By deploying the LinuxONE server and FlashSystem 5100 storage, Nowy Styl saw significant performance improvements, with business-critical processing speeds increasing by an average of 450%.
Examples of performance improvements include:
- A shop material planning report that used to take 187 minutes to process is now completed in 60 minutes — a 68% shorter time.
- A key process replication report that used to take 62 minutes to prepare is now completed in 16 minutes — a 74% shorter time.
- A key production scheduling planning report that used to require 111 minutes to prepare is now available in 24 minutes — a 78% shorter time.
With FlashSystem 5100 storage deployed in support of Oracle Database, Nowy Styl is also much more confident about data security. “This storage solution gives us stability, fast access to the data and more security because of full data encryption,” says Ziemiański. “Now we know that our data is safe, and the platform will have quick access to the data.”
A further benefit of the consolidation is that the physical footprint of Nowy Styl’s IT infrastructure is smaller than the previous system. Efficiencies gained by the LinuxONE deployment means that the footprint won’t need to substantially grow as workloads increase.
The LinuxONE solution provides the potential for cost savings when it comes to software licensing fees. The system is designed to optimize the current software licensing structure. As business grows, Nowy Styl won’t need to license more software, even as workloads increase. The system also provides flexibility to deploy existing licenses for new projects.
As Nowy Styl considers moving computing services to a private cloud, the LinuxONE system will enable the deployment of more software containers and microservices. “Our internal developers are creating modern solutions that give us an advantage in the market,” says Ziemiański. “We believe that microservices improve the development process and give us more flexibility and security.”
Today, Nowy Styl benefits from optimized Oracle database performance and more layers of system security. The overall results have exceeded initial expectations. But even greater benefits from LinuxONE consolidation will be realized as the system scales up to handle increased workloads. “After this migration, our computing platform will not limit us in the future,” says Ziemiański, “and we will be able to meet the challenges management will give us.”
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Krosno, Poland, Nowy Styl (external link) delivers furniture solutions to over 100 countries. The privately-owned company operates 31 showrooms located in European cities, with many other dealer showrooms around the world. Furniture production facilities are located in Poland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine. With 28 years of experience and 2019 revenue equal to EUR 461 million, Nowy Styl has received many awards for product design and manufacturing technology and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Employers in Poland.
Based in Warsaw, Poland, IBM Business Partner UpWare (external link) is a comprehensive IT solutions provider and specializes in IT infrastructure projects for IBM. UpWare also provides services related to data centers, archiving and backup systems, migration and optimization of base environments, safety analytics, IT resource monitoring, performance optimization and open source solutions. UpWare has extensive experience with Oracle database migrations, helping clients navigate through complex migration processes in the shortest possible time while maintaining appropriate levels of security.
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