With aging software nearing the end of its production life, Sungwoo Hitech needed help securing a more robust operating platform able to support the newer versions of these critical applications.
The manufacturer refreshed its server architecture with IBM hardware, creating a virtual environment to host its production database as well as a related testing instance.
Avoids disruptionsin critical production systems throughout a major migration
>25% speed increasefor back-end job completion, saving time
Simplifies IT oversightwith a virtualized architecture and unified management console
Business challenge story
Ahead of the curve
Like many businesses across the globe, Sungwoo Hitech, an automotive parts manufacturer in South Korea, had standardized its back-office operations on the SAP platform. “We were running SAP ECC [ERP Central Component],” recalls Mr. Hemanand, Senior Officer at Sungwoo Hitech. “But SAP planned to sunset that platform by 2025. Our corporate office wanted to be proactive and have every site in the company move to SAP S/4HANA long before this deadline.”
To manage this transition, Sungwoo Hitech began looking at potential IT service vendors, and it quickly selected IBM Business Partner ROX. “We liked that that they could provide an entire solution,” adds Hemanand. “In the past, we’ve worked with separate hardware vendors and software vendors, but for something this complicated, we wanted a single point of contact.”
“Moving to S/4HANA can be complex,” clarifies Karthik Kalaimani, Senior Manager of Delivery and Sales at ROX. “There’s a huge shift in the way users see, manage and experience the system. There is a lot of change management, and you need to plan carefully.”
In pursuit of this goal, ROX worked with Sungwoo Hitech to map out its existing environment, identifying key application dependencies as well as the projected workload for the new SAP platform. And to help minimize disruption to Sungwoo Hitech’s production efforts, ROX planned this migration to occur during the celebration of Thai Pongol, a week-long regional holiday.
“Our Chennai plant services a major automobile manufacturer,” adds Hemanand. “And we can’t shut down our operations even for a day. But our office was already going to be closed for Pongal, so the timing was perfect.”
A surprising development
With the migration plan in place, everything was set for a seamless transition during the Thai Pongal holiday. But there was a problem.
“We received a new directive from our headquarters,” explains Hemanand. “Our current Oracle database was no longer going to be supported, so the corporate office wanted all sites to standardize onto the newest Oracle platform. We needed to prioritize this update over the SAP one.”
To meet this new mandate, Sungwoo Hitech worked with ROX to alter its plan, choosing to delay the SAP migration and instead use the Thai Pongal holiday to update its systems to the Oracle Database 12c platform. Luckily, the IBM hardware would be powerful enough for the more robust database. However, ROX had to make some adjustments to accommodate the new software.
“We had optimized everything for HANA,” clarifies Kalaimani. “So we had planned to load Linux onto the POWER9 servers. But Oracle will not run on SuSE. Instead, we had to upgrade the servers to run IBM AIX.”
For the new Oracle instance, ROX deployed a pair of IBM Power System H922 servers at the Chennai facility. The IBM hardware, running the IBM AIX® 7.1 operating system, also uses PowerVM technology to create a virtualized operating environment to host the production database as well as separate quality assurance and development instances.
And to store the related database information, ROX also deployed an IBM Storwize® V5000E (now known IBM FlashSystem® 5000) storage, which boasts a capacity of over 26 TB.
The entire installation occurred during the Pongal shutdown, avoiding any disruptions to Sungwoo Hitech’s manufacturing schedules.
“Things would have been much more difficult without ROX,” adds Hemanand. “Especially when we changed the initial plan. I can’t imagine how complex it would have been if we were working with multiple vendors. But ROX got everything done without any impact to our buyer.”
Beyond the smooth transition, the new environment, powered by IBM hardware, has also improved day-to-day operations. “It’s much faster now,” confides Hemanand. “Our back-end jobs are completing at least 25 percent faster. And we are seeing a huge time savings in our daily loads.”
He continues, adding: “And once we complete the S/4HANA migration, we project that our batch processing efficiency will improve by at least 50 percent.”
In addition, the virtualized operating environment, as well as the ease of use of the PowerVM technology, helps to simplify management of the Oracle environment and will help streamline the future migration.
Headquartered in Busan, South Korea, Sungwoo Hitech manufactures and markets automobile components, specializing in bumpers, doors and fenders. The business was originally founded in 1977 as SungWoo Metal Co., Ltd., and it has expanded operations steadily over the intervening decades, now maintain production sites in South Korea, China, India, Russia, Slovakia, Germany, Uzbekistan, Mexico and the Czech Republic.
An IT solutions provider with over 15 years’ experience, IBM Business Partner ROX offers its customers with complete technology solutions alongside outsourced support. The business is headquartered in Chennai, India with additional offices in Bangalore and Singapore.
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 its IT solutions and what ROX can do for you, please visit: ROX.