Wanting to upgrade its SAP environment, Sonalika International Tractors Ltd. also needed to update the underlying IT infrastructure that supported these systems.
The business now manages its back-office processes from a virtualized architecture powered by IBM server and storage technology.
Boosts performancesof key back-office processes while accelerating data access
99.999% availabilitydelivered for critical business systems
Improves scalabilitydelivering an architecture able to keep pace with the company’s exponential growth
Business challenge story
Too big to grow
It’s hard to plan for the future when you don’t know where you are. And businesses today — at least those with a focus on performance and growth — are investing heavily in solutions and technologies that let them convert the data at hand into actionable intelligence that can be used to plan for and drive the future.
Sonalika is one of those businesses. A leader in the agriculture mechanization industry, the manufacturer wanted to update the systems that managed its critical back-office tasks, particularly those related to financials.
“We’ve had an SAP landscape for the past 20 years,” explains Swapan Gayen, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Sonalika. “And we wanted to move forward with SAP S/4HANA. If we are going to continue to be a leader, we need to have strong processes — strong decision-making systems. We need to be able to routinely revamp what we are doing.”
But there was a wrinkle for this planned improvement: the company’s existing growth.
“For the last three years, our business has been growing dramatically,” notes Gayen. “In 2017, we grew by 31%. In 2018 and 2019, we grew 42% each year. So far in 2020, we are growing around 80%, and we expect 45% – 48% year-over-year growth over the next five years.”
And while this growth was a source of celebration within the business, keeping pace with the continued — and projected — expansion was proving difficult when it came to the company’s IT infrastructure.
“With the current business momentum that we have, our outdated systems could not keep up,” adds Gayen. “The existing equipment was quite old. We purchased it seven to eight years ago, and it was difficult to maintain to appropriate levels of business continuity, risk and reliability just for what we were doing at the time. Unless we changed that, we would not be able to move forward.”
Matching expectation with reality
As it considered the best strategy for updating its back-office systems, Sonalika began working with IBM Business Partner Tech9labs.
“Tech9labs was involved from the very beginning of the journey,” recalls Gayen. “When we first started conceptualizing what our new financials and analytics platform should look like, Tech9labs offered us enormous technical inputs and guidance. And from their very collaborative approach, we built a solution that matched our business parameters.”
To create the necessary architecture for the updated SAP S/4HANA environment, Sonalika and Tech9labs deployed an IBM Power System S922 server in the manufacturer’s main data center in Hoshiarpur, India. Presently, the equipment is hosting the firm’s SAP ECC instance, and it will host the SAP S/4HANA solution after the migration in early 2021. The SAP platform, alongside third-party analytics software, resides in a virtualized operating framework and is used to manage the company’s financial decision-making, supplier collaborations and distributed production planning efforts.
“Instead of an Intel platform, we chose IBM POWER for our high growth and decision-making systems,” explains Gayen. “IBM Systems are more reliable than any other OEM and offer the high performance and uptime we need for these critical systems.”
At the same time, the Sonalika and Tech9labs team deployed IBM FlashSystem® 5000 storage to store the related SAP data, while IBM Spectrum® Protect technology and an IBM TS4300 Tape Library provide highly reliable backup and recovery support.
Room for the future
With the new IBM technology in place, Sonalika now has a more powerful, resilient infrastructure to support its key operations. “We are running our SAP processes much faster now, and the new IBM storage delivers a remarkable performance improvement. My staff is much happier now that they aren’t waiting on the infrastructure.”
Further, the virtualized operating and storage architecture delivered with the solution encourages a highly-scalable environment that can keep pace with the manufacturer’s projected growth.
“Reliability is also important for us, and to make sure our system is up and running 99.999%, we chose IBM,” says Gayen. “Intel platforms offer a lot of vulnerability, but the IBM technology delivers disk security and stability that will let us avoid downtime and related operating losses.”
Alongside the capabilities of the IBM technology, Sonalika is also pleased with its choice in Tech9labs. “They have an honest, candid approach,” notes Gayen. “The insight they offered was done impartially and with an open mind, and we are confident that they are truly sincere about our continued success.”
Finally, as the new SAP S/4HANA software is put in place, Sonalika is confident that this new solution will only deliver further value, as Gayen elaborates: “Executives will be able to see everything — all of the info — related to gross margin, profitability, cash flow, everything on their laptop or tablet. We’ll have real-time insights with process visibility and will be able to drive process transformations in an integrated way. We’ll have a management environment that truly matches the capabilities of our infrastructure.”
Sonalika International Tractors Ltd.
Sonalika (external link) is a leading agriculture mechanization business with a global presence in more than 130 countries. The company, headquartered in Hoshiarpur, India, specializes in the manufacture and sale of tractors, farm mechanization equipment and other agriculture-focused solutions.
About Integrated Tech9labs Pvt. Ltd.
IBM Business Partner Tech9labs (external link) offers customized IT solutions and services, including cloud computing, cybersecurity and digital transformation offerings. The business was founded in 2011, and it is headquartered in New Delhi, India.
Take the next step
To learn more about the IBM solutions featured in this story, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.
To learn more about the IBM SAP Alliance, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/it-infrastructure/power/sap-hana
To learn more about its IT solutions and what Integrated Tech9labs Pvt. Ltd. can do for you, please visit: Tech9labs (external link)