Lighting giant OSRAM is entering innovative, fast-evolving markets, where circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. How could this huge company remain nimble enough to stay ahead of the game?
To kick-start its business transformation, OSRAM focused on gaining agility, and chose to migrate its business to the IBM Cloud and the IBM Cloud for SAP Applications, pursuing a multi-cloud strategy.
Supportsthe company’s new business model by boosting flexibility
Winscompetitive advantage as OSRAM can respond fast to changing market conditions
Business challenge story
Spotlight on a new strategy
OSRAM is finding ever more innovative ways to light up the lives of millions of people around the globe. In 2015, the company decided to change its focus by divesting its general lighting lamps business as a newly established company called LEDVANCE. Now, OSRAM’s vision is centered on the digital future of light, and the company is rapidly entering new markets.
Setting out on its new course, OSRAM launched connected lighting based on Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology, specialized LED components for self-driving vehicles, textile lighting, architectural illumination, lasers, facial recognition solutions, horticultural lighting, invisible light for the security industry, and more. OSRAM is brightening up the entertainment industry too, providing striking displays for the Eurovision Song Contest for four consecutive years, as well as solutions for cinemas and film sets. Now, OSRAM is branching out to become a service provider for light – representing a major transformation of its business model.
As the company evolves, operational and business flexibility has risen to the top of the agenda. Many of OSRAM’s new offerings focus on cutting-edge technologies. As these new technologies progress, market conditions and priorities can change in the blink of an eye. How could this massive company remain nimble enough to adapt its business on-the-fly as circumstances change?
To sharpen its agility, OSRAM decided to support its new business with cloud computing, and to migrate its existing business to the cloud, too.
Martin Daigneault, Global Head of IT Processes and Applications at OSRAM, explains: “As we launch new products and enter new markets at pace, flexibility is vital to staying ahead of the game. Cloud computing was a perfect fit, as the model would allow us to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances, and scale capacity up and down as demand fluctuates. What’s more, we have greater freedom to try out new ideas and innovate.
“We selected IBM because of their strong SAP Platform-as-a-Service cloud service solution and their capacity to support a large carve-out project. Additionally, IBM proposed a managed service, which would free up our IT personnel so that they could focus on adding value in consultancy to our business. We were confident that IBM was a good fit, because IBM had previously provided hosting for one of our subsidiaries, and we were satisfied with the service.
“Naturally, data security and compliance are serious concerns for any company of our size. With these factors in mind, we were keen for our data to reside within Europe – ideally in Germany. Because IBM operates data centers all over the world, they were able to meet our requirements.”
To underpin many of its core business processes, OSRAM relies on SAP® applications, including SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA®, SAP Data Services, SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management, SAP Product Lifecycle Management, SAP Supplier Relationship Management, SAP Supply Chain Management, SAP Process Orchestration, and SAP Solution Manager. The SAP environment is divided into three instances, supporting Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. IBM Services helped OSRAM migrate its entire SAP landscape from an on-premise environment to a managed service built on the IBM Cloud for SAP Applications. Today, the SAP applications are accessible to all OSRAM personnel regardless of location. They run in an IBM data center in Germany, with a disaster-recovery site in France.
In parallel, IBM Services helped OSRAM move its non-SAP applications to IBM Cloud Managed Services®. Both migrations were completed in parallel within just nine months, culminating in a ‘big bang’ deployment.
Later, OSRAM decided that an unmanaged service would be a closer fit with its requirements. In response, IBM Services helped OSRAM adopt a 'multi-cloud strategy', which involves combining several cloud services to best meet its requirements. IBM helped OSRAM migrate its non-SAP workloads from IBM Cloud Managed Services to unmanaged IBM Cloud bare metal servers in just six months – an impressive timeframe for a project of this size and complexity.
Dr. Claus Ebner, Global Head of IT Infrastructure and Operations at OSRAM, recalls: “As we migrated our non-SAP workloads from the managed to the unmanaged environment, IBM helped us move around 250 servers over a single weekend. We could not afford a longer downtime for the cutover because we were dealing with live production systems, so we had to work within an even tighter timeframe than the one we had for the move from OSRAM’s on-premise environment to IBM Cloud.
“The IBM Cloud catalog features a huge array of services from which we can pick and choose, enabling the IBM team to tailor the migration to suit our business requirements. For example, the IBM team took advantage of cutting-edge IBM Cloud for VMware solutions to test and adapt individual migrations, to ensure that everything would go smoothly on the day. Additionally, IBM simplified the migration using virtual replication solutions from Zerto on IBM Cloud. With IBM’s help, we were able to complete the cutover on time and with only 14 hours of disruption for the business. Now we are ready to continuously optimize our environment and adjust to our needs.”
Today, OSRAM’s non-SAP environment runs on IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers using VMware Cloud Foundation technologies and a software-defined data-center model. The main data center resides in Germany, with a disaster-recovery site in another European country.
“Throughout our various cloud migrations, the IBM team listened carefully to our needs, which helped to make each project a success,” remarks Dr. Ebner. “The IBM consultants were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, often coming up with ideas and suggestions on how we could improve. Working with IBM in these projects was a real pleasure. We see our work with IBM as a real partnership, and we have good relationships between the OSRAM and the IBM project teams.”
Moving to IBM Cloud improved the business resiliency of OSRAM’s critical non-SAP systems by using Zerto on IBM Cloud and Veeam on IBM Cloud technologies.
Moving to a multi-cloud strategy has unleashed additional opportunities for OSRAM. The different cloud solutions offered by IBM enabled OSRAM to choose the appropriate operating model for its SAP and non-SAP environments, which generates economies of scale to the tune of seven-digit annual savings. What’s more, the shift to cloud enabled OSRAM’s internal IT team to focus more closely on consulting the business.
Dr. Ebner says: “With resources from IBM, we can now rely on truly 24/7 operational support.”
In the future, OSRAM plans to further continuously optimize its IT landscape, by moving to more modern technology, such as virtual flash storage from VMware on IBM Cloud. This shift will enable OSRAM to improve performance and reduce storage cost.
Dr. Ebner concludes: “OSRAM has made significant strides on the journey towards becoming a high-tech company. Our multi-cloud strategy gives us the agility to react fast to new demands as we continue our journey.”
OSRAM, based in Munich, is a leading global high-tech company with a history dating back more than 110 years. Primarily focused on semiconductor-based technologies, its products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality to autonomous driving and from smart phones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. OSRAM uses the endless possibilities of light to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. OSRAM’s innovations enable people all over the world not only to see better, but also to communicate, travel, work and live better. OSRAM has approximately 26,400 employees worldwide and generated revenue of more than EUR 4.1 billion in 2017.
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