Business Challenge

To cook up innovative ways to deliver value to hospitality clients while keeping manufacturing running smoothly, WMF Group aimed to sharpen its analytics capabilities without sacrificing reliability.


WMF Group built a state-of-the-art data center equipped with the latest IBM Power Systems servers and IBM FlashSystem storage, and migrated its SAP Business Warehouse application to SAP HANA.


18 times faster

report generation speeds time-to-insight

20% time saving

on backups and system restores boosts business resiliency

79% reduction

in database size accelerates backups by 20%

Business challenge

Savoring the past, preparing for the future

Next time you visit a high-end hotel or restaurant, take a glance at the cutlery on your table, and you may well see the WMF letters glittering up at you. If you could stroll into the kitchen, you might find knives, pots, pans and coffee machines all bearing the same logo. The three letters ‘WMF’ are a hallmark of quality, representing a brand that has stood for culinary excellence since its inception over 160 years ago.

Today, times are changing, and WMF Group continues to innovate to retain its market-leading position. For example, the company is developing smart products such as coffee machines that report on sales data, detailing how many drinks of each type are produced at certain times on each day of the week. These kinds of insights could enable WMF Group’s hospitality clients to run promotions – such as a free croissant with a coffee – to boost sales during off-peak periods.

Additionally, WMF Group is developing Internet of Things (IoT) technology to detect and gather data on coffee-machine faults, enabling the company to shift towards predictive maintenance. Finally, the company is examining opportunities to provide coffee-as-a-service to hotels and restaurants, including the equipment, maintenance, supplies and sales insights – an innovation that could revolutionize the coffee industry.

To help get these fresh initiatives off the ground, WMF Group is digitizing more processes and gathering and analyzing more data. The aim is to better understand the needs of its hospitality industry clients and the coffee-drinkers who frequent them, so that it can tailor its offerings more effectively. The success of this plan will depend on WMF Group’s ability to understand and interpret information, much of which resides in the company’s core SAP ERP applications.

As WMF Group steps into the future, the company is determined not to forget the roots of its success. The WMF brand is built on its reputation for quality, and it still lives up to these high standards today.

As part of a new administrative and manufacturing campus, WMF Group is building a state-of-the-art data center and investing in essential infrastructure. The company set out to find an IT platform that could provide superb reliability to support its mission-critical production operations, and also sharpen its analytical capabilities to foster innovation.

To support our in-house manufacturing operations, we require excellent availability and performance on our SAP ERP applications – and that’s exactly what IBM Power Systems provides.

Jörg Heinen, CIO, WMF Group


Crafting a recipe for success

After evaluating proposals from several vendors, WMF Group decided to deploy two IBM Power System E850 servers virtualized with IBM PowerVM® technology and running the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications (external link) operating system. Data is stored on four IBM FlashSystem storage arrays, virtualized with IBM Spectrum® Virtualize software, and connected to the servers via four IBM System Storage® SAN24B-4 switches.

At the same time as the infrastructure renewal, WMF Group decided to migrate its SAP Business Warehouse application onto the new SAP technology platform SAP HANA, which supports rapid queries on huge data volumes. The company’s core SAP ERP applications run on the same IBM Power Systems servers on the IBM AIX® operating system and SAP MaxDB database. For help during both the infrastructure refresh and database migration, WMF Group engaged SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH (external link), an IBM Business Partner.

Jörg Heinen, CIO of WMF Group, explains: “To support our in-house manufacturing operations, we require excellent availability and performance from our SAP ERP applications – and that’s exactly what IBM Power Systems provide. I have been at WMF Group for two years, and I cannot recall an outage on our IBM Power Systems servers. Furthermore, we have a long relationship with IBM, and our companies have a fruitful partnership.

“SVA helped us migrate our SAP Business Warehouse application to SAP HANA over a single weekend, keeping downtime to a minimum and avoiding disruption to our business. Working with the IBM and SVA team was enjoyable, and their expertise helped to make the project a success.”


Cooking up fresh insights

The first reports to be trialed in SAP HANA were from WMF Group’s finance department.

“When we ran our first finance reports using SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA, the results were astonishing,” recalls Jörg Heinen. “Reports that previously took three or four hours to generate were completed within ten minutes – over 18 times faster than before. Some particularly large jobs that frequently caused error messages in our previous environment now complete in an hour without fault. Speedy reporting enables employees to work more productively.

“The benefit to our finance and controlling teams was enormous, as WMF Group had recently been purchased by Groupe SEB, and we needed to provide our new parent company with many different kinds of reports and information during the onboarding stage. Furthermore, the acquisition means we are now part of a publicly listed company, so we must provide detailed financial reports by certain deadlines. SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA combined with the powerful IBM Power Systems servers and IBM FlashSystem storage will help us to meet these compliance requirements.

“The glowing feedback from our finance team gave us confidence to migrate our entire SAP Business Warehouse environment to SAP HANA. As a result, we have dramatically accelerated analysis of data from diverse areas of our business. Furthermore, the immense power from the IBM hardware and the SAP HANA database mean that we can analyze data at a more granular level. The insights we gain are much more detailed, and we spend less time aggregating data.”

Critically, the new IBM infrastructure and SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA will help WMF Group keep its production lines ticking over smoothly, while helping the company innovate.

Additionally, because the IBM hardware is remarkably powerful, WMF Group can rely on fewer physical servers than in an equivalent x86 architecture. Switching to IBM FlashSystem solutions also enabled WMF Group to consolidate from three to two storage devices – a 50-percent reduction in physical footprint. This reduces energy and cooling costs, helping the company pursue a greener IT strategy and save money.

The new IBM FlashSystem storage helps WMF Group achieve a very high IO throughput. Furthermore, because the compression in SAP HANA shrunk WMF Group’s database by 79 percent, backups and system restores are now completed in 20 percent less time.

Jörg Heinen concludes: “The IBM and SAP solutions help us keep our day-to-day business running smoothly, while equipping us with valuable tools to support innovation. We are excited to see where the future will take us.”

WMF Group logo

WMF Group

For more than 160 years, the brands that make up the WMF Group (external link) have stood for the best in cooking, drinking and dining. Every day, more than 100 million people around the world use products from WMF, Silit and Kaiser to prepare, cook, bake, eat and drink in their homes. And when they are not doing that, they are enjoying coffee specialties and foods prepared by the hotel and catering industry using WMF, Schaerer or Hepp products. The Group’s business has a long tradition, having been founded in Geislingen an der Steige in 1853, and has been part of the French Groupe SEB since the end of 2016.

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Power Systems for SAP HANA, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit: /power/saphana

SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH is one of Germany’s leading systems integrators. Headquartered in Wiesbaden, the company operates 16 offices across the nation and employs more than 750 people. To find out more, please visit:

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