Syntax empowers manufacturers to deliver on time
Ensuring 24/7 access to mission-critical logistics data with IBM and SAP
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Supporting just-in-time workflows

In today’s manufacturing industry, time is critical. Dirk Nitze, COO Europe at Syntax, says: “Enterprises all over the world trust us to manage SAP solutions that support complex just-in-time and just-in-sequence logistics processes—and even minutes of unplanned downtime could be costly. Thanks to the ultra-resilient IBM Power Systems servers at the heart of our Enterprise Cloud for SAP, we’ve maintained an unbroken two-year record of 100 percent platform availability for mission-critical SAP solutions.”

From the start, Syntax has worked closely with system integrator SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH to design, implement and expand its private cloud solution. The in-depth knowledge of the SVA team has shaped its architecture decisions, and empowered Syntax to offer reliable IT services for its customers every day. Today, more than 200,000 business users across more than 510 SAP systems depend on the Syntax private cloud to ensure timely deliveries to customers all over the continent.

With SAP applications running on SLES for SAP Applications on scalable Power Systems servers, the company is poised to enable next-generation services. These innovations will include business process automation and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities—enabling Syntax’s clients to create new sources of customer value.

Tuning into the needs of the market

The global COVID-19 pandemic has increased cost pressure in the manufacturing industry. For Syntax, the renewed customer focus on innovation, digitization and efficiency has created new business opportunities, especially around IoT solutions. As manufacturing processes have become ever more integrated, automated and precise, the digital systems that drive them are absolutely essential. 

To provide maximum availability for mission-critical SAP applications, Syntax decided to offer a streamlined and reliable private cloud solution. To meet the industry’s demanding requirements around scalability and cost-efficiency, the company targeted a standardized, high-performance architecture.

Marco Eitzer, Director IT Operation at Syntax, notes: “Many of our customers are part of integrated supply chains with narrow margins for error. For example, a minor glitch with generating receipts or other important documents can delay departures of shipments. Efficient operations are a priority, every minute counts when trucks or ships need to reach their destination at a designated time. Small issues can quickly snowball into major problems, with a serious financial impact on our customers. For that reason, we targeted the highest level of stability and reliability for our private cloud solution.”

Business Impact

2+ years of perfect reliability for critical cloud services, strengthening Syntax’s reputation

Enables real-time business insights across 4.5 TB of data in SAP HANA

Ensures smooth business operations for clients, nurturing long-term loyalty

>200,000 business users across all cloud customers supported on a single platform, with scalability for future growth

Supports service innovations such as IoT, enabling new value-added offerings
Selecting the optimal solutions

Syntax was confident that its considerable experience of working with manufacturing-sector clients would make it an ideal managed services partner for industrial champions across the globe. Itself a medium-sized business, Syntax knows the importance of control, security and performance, while managing costs and maximizing business value.

These first-hand insights put Syntax in the ideal position to select an infrastructure platform that perfectly addressed the needs of its customers. “We have many years of experience with IBM Power Systems, the platform has always provided excellent value for us and our customers,” Dirk Nitze remarks. “After rigorously evaluating IBM Power Systems running the SUSE Linux operating system against a number of x86 alternatives, we found that the IBM platform stood head and shoulders above the competition in stability and performance.”

Another important factor in the decision was the company’s trusted relationship with SVA. “We can rely on IBM Business Partner SVA to tell us their honest opinion and give us sound technology advice,” says Marco Eitzer. “SVA’s industry knowledge, combined with their proactive approach to customer service, empower us to develop innovative and effective solutions.”

Driving digital transformations

Today, the Syntax Enterprise Cloud supports a wide range of SAP environments, including 300 SAP ERP applications, 10 next-generation SAP S/4HANA solutions, and 200 SAP HANA databases. As more customers embrace SAP S/4HANA, Syntax is working together with SVA, IBM, and SAP to analyze the new deployments, determine the technical requirements, and optimize its IBM Power Systems resources to achieve the maximum performance and cost-efficiency.

As innovative technologies such as IoT gain traction, Syntax is ready to capitalize on the opportunities. “As pressure on manufacturing-sector margins intensifies, our IoT solutions are in high demand to help lift efficiency and control costs,” notes Dirk Nitze. “Thanks to our considerable manufacturing experience, IoT is one of our core competencies—and we have the flexible, scalable platform to bring these solutions to market rapidly.”

Syntax aims to use automation to sharpen its focus on customer service. The company plans to harness IBM PowerVC to streamline cloud management further, and is considering SUSE Manager (external link) to reduce the time for patching and systems management. Syntax also plans to leverage SUSE Linux Enterprise Live Patching (external link) technology to keep mission-critical systems secure without the need for downtime.

After rigorously evaluating IBM Power Systems running the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications operating system against a number of x86 alternatives, we found that the IBM platform stood head and shoulders above the competition in stability and performance.

Syntax benefits from SVA’s specialist knowledge and wide network of experts. “Our collaboration with SVA and IBM is perfect,” says Dirk Nitze. “SVA knows our environment and our clients’ requirements. We never need to repeat ourselves, so we can focus on building solutions that deliver business value. SVA scrutinizes our architecture concepts and has become a true innovation partner.”

Syntax relies on advanced virtualization with IBM PowerVM® and maximizes availability using Live Partition Mobility technology to run SAP ERP systems with up to 25 TB of data and SAP HANA databases up to 4.5 TB in size. The company is taking advantage of SUSE solutions across all its platforms and architectures. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is the primary operating system for all SAP instances, including SAP ERP, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA.

To boost the performance and capacity of its cloud, Syntax enhanced the platform with cutting-edge IBM Power System E950 servers. “For many years, IBM Power Systems has provided great performance for SAP applications,” confirms Marco Eitzer. “Customers always want faster data analytics. With IBM Power Systems, we can offer tailored solutions to provide the latest in-memory technology and enable real-time business insights.”

Solution components

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About Syntax

Syntax (external link) is an IT provider specializing in global managed services solutions. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, the company’s 1,200 IT professionals work in 13 offices across 7 countries around the world to deliver first-class customer services. An SAP Gold Partner with 40 years of hands-on experience, Syntax focuses on medium-sized companies and delivers mission-critical SAP business applications—including SAP S/4HANA—via its enterprise cloud platform, built on high-performance IBM Power Systems servers.


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