Performance iN Lighting aimed to drive growth by improving its ability to win large-scale contracts. With multiple units around the world, how could the company integrate its resources effectively?
The company moved its SAP® solutions to SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud, enabling its lean IT team to eliminate manual management tasks and focus on business process integration.
99.5%service-level agreement ensures vital SAP solutions are always available
Real timedata replication enables rapid failover in the event of a disaster scenario
LiberatesIT team from management tasks, facilitating the business process integration project
Business challenge story
Moving forward as one
Performance iN Lighting designs, builds and markets indoor and outdoor light fixtures for a wide range of use cases, including retail stores, offices and industrial buildings. The industry is fiercely competitive, with very tight margins.
With growth slowing down in Italy, Performance iN Lighting realized that winning more large-scale lighting projects from government bodies and construction firms would be a key enabler of its long-term financial performance.
Maria Gutierrez, CIO at Performance iN Lighting, explains: “In the past, the companies in the Performance iN Lighting group relied on their own processes and systems to drive core processes such as sales, production planning and materials management. At the group level, this approach made it difficult to integrate our resources on bids for major projects.”
Targeting end-to-end integration
Performance iN Lighting has a large presence in Europe, with four manufacturing centers and three group companies. In the past, each business was responsible for managing its own day-to-day operations, which relied heavily on manual, spreadsheet-based processes.
“At the group level, we had been using SAP ERP applications for a few years to support our accounting and consolidation activities, so we were familiar with the speed and efficiency that digital workflows from SAP can bring to a process,” continues Maria Gutierrez. “To make it easier to compete for and win major contracts, we decided to bring all of our group companies onto the SAP platform. The aim was to replace slow, manual ways of working with faster and more efficient digital workflows.”
Performance iN Lighting had originally deployed its SAP ERP applications to IBM Cloud infrastructure services, supported by IBM Application Development & Management Services. To empower its lean IT team to focus on the new digital transformation initiative, the company targeted a new approach.
“We simply didn’t have the resources to manage our SAP ERP environment and extend the solution to other companies in the group simultaneously,” adds Maria Gutierrez. “To liberate our IT team from time-consuming manual tasks, we set our sights on a fully managed solution.”
Strengthening an effective partnership
Based on its positive experience with the IBM Cloud to support its SAP ERP solutions, Performance iN Lighting decided to transition its services to a fully managed cloud offering from IBM.
“Our partnership with IBM gave us real confidence that they understood our business and were committed to helping us achieve our objectives,” comments Maria Gutierrez. “If I had to sum up why we chose IBM in one word, it would be trust. We’ve long been impressed with IBM’s reputation as a leader in the cloud space, and the IBM teams that we’ve worked with have always been extremely knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile to support us.”
IBM Services (Global Business Services® and Global Technology Services®) worked with Performance iN Lighting to streamline its journey to SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud. Teams from IBM Services helped steer the move to the new cloud platform, and helped deploy SAP ERP solutions to all the subsidiaries.
“IBM Services gave us the peace of mind that we were in safe hands,” recalls Maria Gutierrez. “IBM Services provided us with an implementation plan that guaranteed the availability, security and safety of our SAP ERP data during the data transfer and go-live, and we really appreciated the transparent, straightforward way IBM communicated with us throughout the process.”
Peace of mind with a fully managed solution
Working with IBM Services, Performance iN Lighting successfully transitioned to SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud, on time and with zero downtime. With replication to a secondary instance in the IBM Cloud, the company has strengthened its disaster recovery capabilities.
“Our goal was to put ourselves in the hands of a specialist, and that’s exactly what we’ve achieved by working with IBM Services,” says Maria Gutierrez. “Our SAP ERP solutions are mission-critical, and we couldn’t afford any unplanned downtime. IBM Services gave us a transparent methodology that guaranteed the availability of our SAP ERP services throughout every stage of the project: including the data migration, testing and deployment of the new platform.”
Working with IBM Services, Performance iN Lighting configured SAP ERP to support emerging business requirements for electronic invoicing.
Maria Gutierrez explains: “New government regulations mean that e-invoicing is now mandatory for businesses in Italy. Working with IBM Services, we were able to enable e-invoicing capabilities in SAP ERP with ease—helping us ensure our compliance. And because we are in a fully managed cloud, there is no need for us to perform any ongoing management or maintenance on the e-invoicing component: it’s truly a case of set and forget.”
Freedom to innovate
Today, Performance iN Lighting has liberated its IT team from the day-to-day work on solution maintenance, freeing them to focus on digital transformation.
“Working with IBM Services, we successfully moved our SAP ERP applications to SAP Applications Management, based on IBM Cloud infrastructure,” explains Maria Gutierrez. “The scalability of the managed IBM Cloud solution enables us to centralize and standardize our group-wide workflows to a unified SAP ERP platform. Additionally, we are now free of system administration, and we can focus on building core insights to help drive the business forwards.”
Green light for growth
Maria Gutierrez continues: “There is no way we would have the bandwidth to do the work we’re doing today without the time we’re saving thanks to SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud. We are now working on a master data management project, which will make SAP ERP the single system of record for all of our manufacturing, production planning, sales and customer relationship management data.
“Once this project is complete, we will have the foundation we need to bring all our companies onto the SAP platform. With integrated processes, we will be able to offer decision-makers a single, accurate view of our international operations for the first time. This will put us in a strong position to marshal all resources of the business when we bid for high-value opportunities, such as tenders for large construction projects.”
In the future, Performance iN Lighting is interested in exploring in-memory analytics from SAP HANA to accelerate its decision-making.
“SAP HANA is certainly on our long-term roadmap—and with SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud, it will be far easier to make the move to the new platform when the time comes,” concludes Maria Gutierrez. “By working with IBM Services to move to SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud, we gain the peace of mind that our data is protected 24/7 with a disaster recovery solution in the IBM Cloud. Crucially, our lean IT team is free to focus on our digital transformation: laying the foundation for a more competitive and agile business.”
About Performance iN Lighting
An international group of companies based in Colognola ai Colli, Italy, Performance iN Lighting designs, manufactures and markets lighting products throughout Europe and around the world. Operating four manufacturing companies, Performance iN Lighting employs 700 people and markets its brands through international locations in Australia, Belgium, Dubai, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the USA.
Take the next step
To learn more about the IBM SAP Alliance, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: ibm.com/sap
To learn more about SAP Applications Management on IBM Cloud, please visit: ibm.com/services/sap/managed