Business challenge

As part of a company-wide effort to optimize costs and transform business operations, the IT department at Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I) needed a more cost-effective and more resilient database platform.


O-I migrated its legacy Oracle database onto the Db2 platform. The team performed more than 100 migrations in six months across five continents without disrupting business operations.


50% reduction

in data storage usage

Up to 30% improvement

in database performance

Seven figure savings

in total cost of ownership (TCO)

Business challenge story

A time for change

After 115 years in the glass container manufacturing business, O-I was undergoing a transformation aimed at improving cost structures and streamlining operations. For the organization’s IT department, that meant taking a critical look at the existing database infrastructure. For years, O-I’s business operations ran on an Oracle database, but Rod Masney, Chief Information Officer, and Ray Case, Director of SAP Infrastructure and Enterprise Platforms, felt that it was time to consider a new database solution.

“We needed to produce cost savings … to be able to spend money on other things that make more sense,” explains Case. “Paying for software maintenance because you’ve always done it is not always the right answer.”  

There was a lot to consider as the team looked for a new database. Masney explains: “It’s not just about cost. Certainly that’s high on the priority list, but it’s also about reliability, relationships with the suppliers, making sure that our systems are available. We looked at the whole picture.”

With petabytes of data spread across five continents and supporting 78 manufacturing plants, that was a particularly challenging proposition. The new platform would support not just the company’s SAP infrastructure, but also the data that feeds manufacturing systems, orders, deliveries, invoicing, procurement, inventory and more.

In today’s environment, IT budgets don’t grow, so we have to find other ways to fund projects that give us a competitive advantage.

Ray Case, Director of SAP Infrastructure and Enterprise Platforms, Owens-Illinois, Inc.

Transformation story

A smooth transition

With help from IBM Business Partner DXC Technology, O-I decided to migrate its data to the Db2 platform. “As we looked at our relationship with IBM over the years, we felt there was a great opportunity to not only look at our total cost of ownership, but work with a company we could trust,” says Masney.

However, transitions of this magnitude require precise coordination and robust support from technology partners. Masney explains: “You’ve got to make sure it’s done right and with integrity. Fortunately, IBM has methodology to migrate from any other vendor’s database platform to IBM Db2. It’s well-known and well-documented. We ran the process and it went very, very well, and on time, on budget, on plan.”

Even when minor issues arose, the IBM team was on hand to resolve them quickly. “I could rely on the IBM team to help us out. They were part of the team,” says Masney.

With an organization as geographically diverse as O-I, avoiding downtime during a transition like this can be particularly difficult. A time of day that works in Asia might not work in North America, and vice versa. And with each migration, the O-I, DXC and IBM teams also completed a practice run. In total, the project included more than 100 migrations over a six-month period, performed exclusively on weekends.

“The business didn’t even notice,” says Case. “They left on Friday, they were in SAP. They came back on Monday, they were in SAP. They had no idea that the underlying database had changed.”

The technology support we received from both IBM and DXC was exemplary during the project. We had calls late at night where we had both IBM and DXC on the phone. It just made us feel more comfortable during the migration overall.

Ray Case, Director of SAP Infrastructure and Enterprise Platforms, Owens-Illinois, Inc.

Results story

Remarkable improvements

O-I experienced remarkable business improvements as a result of its migration to the Db2 platform. To begin, the organization is using 50 percent less storage. Performance has improved by as much as 30 percent in some cases, and the company has seen seven-figure savings in TCO. Says Case, “In today’s environment, IT budgets don’t grow, so we have to find other ways to fund projects that give us a competitive advantage.”

One of those projects involves the IBM Db2 with BLU Acceleration® solution. “IBM Db2 is a very reliable, highly available platform [that puts us] in a position where we can focus on things that are more strategic and less operational in nature. As we continue to transform the company, digital transformation is on the roadmap. Clearly, IBM Db2 BLU Acceleration will be a factor in enabling reporting, analytics and machine learning.”

Owens-Illinois is data-driven, and the migration from Oracle to Db2 was a building block that will help us step into the future.

Ray Case, Director of SAP Infrastructure and Enterprise Platforms, Owens-Illinois, Inc.

business logo

Owens-Illinois, Inc.

The Owens Bottle Company was founded in 1903 by Michael Joseph Owens, who developed the first automated bottle making machine. In 1929, the company merged with the Illinois Glass Company, to become Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I). Today, O-I is one of the world’s largest glass container manufacturers, serving the beer, wine, spirits, non-alcoholic beverage and food industries. O-I is headquartered in Perrysburg, Ohio, and it operates 78 plants on five continents. Its revenue exceeded USD 6.8 billion in 2017, and it has over 26,000 employees.

About DXC Technology

Founded in 2017, DXC is a multinational business-to-business (B2B) IT service provider. Its primary focus is on helping clients from across industries modernize their IT infrastructures in pursuit of digital transformation. DXC has more than 6,000 clients in the private and public sectors, and its 130,000 employees provide services in 70 countries. It is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia and reports revenues in excess of USD 20 billion.

Solution components

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