Kwizda Group Gains Real-Time Business Insights With Lenovo and SAP

Challenge
Kwizda Group wanted to strengthen the market-leading position of its pharmaceuticals wholesale business division by enabling it to respond to market trends faster than the competition.
 
Solution
To gain real-time business insights, Kwizda implemented SAP S/4HANA with the Lenovo System x3950 X6 solution for SAP HANA solution, featuring Intel Xeon E7 processors.
 
“By moving to SAP HANA and the Lenovo System x3950 X6 solution for SAP HANA, we have gained a future-proof solution that helps us turn business data into competitive advantage.”
 
Bruno Larcher
Manager of Infrastructure & Support
Kwizda Group
 
Key solution components
Industry
Pharmaceuticals
 
Applications
SAP® Business Warehouse, SAP ERP, SAP Extended Warehouse Management, SAP Fiori, SAP HANA®, SAP S/4HANA
 
Hardware
Lenovo System x3950 X6 workload optimized solution for SAP HANA, Lenovo System x3950, Lenovo System x3550, Lenovo System x3450, IBM SAN Volume Controller/Spectrum Virtualize including IBM Easy Tier, IBM Storwize V7000, IBM Storwize V3700
 
Software
SEP sesam for SAP HANA, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications
 
Services
Lenovo Installation Services for SAP HANA, Lenovo Solution Support for SAP HANA, Warranty/Maintenance – Committed Recovery Service (CRS)
 
Benefits
Enables procurement staff to take better advantage of different scales of discounts
Improves claims management with faster information flow, enabling employees to react faster when issues arise
Empowers sales teams to provide better customer service
 
Kwizda Group is a life sciences enterprise headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The group employs about 1,100 people and is a leading producer and wholesaler of pharmaceuticals in the region. Other business divisions include agricultural and construction products.

As instant, real-time insight into business performance becomes increasingly important across all industries, Kwizda Group wanted to gain a competitive advantage and be able to make better business decisions, especially for its pharmaceuticals wholesale business division where fast logistics without delays are essential for business success.

“We needed to be able to respond faster to market trends to stay ahead of the competition. To achieve this, we wanted to speed up complex planning and logistics processes. At the same time, we aimed to help our staff in negotiations with suppliers and in dealing with customers by providing real-time analytics of business, supplier and customer performance,” says Bruno Larcher, Manager of Infrastructure & Support at Kwizda Group.

Paving the way for innovation
To strengthen its market position, Kwizda Group wanted to improve customer service and help its businesses to optimize their operations more effectively. The company was looking for a future-proof approach to speed up its business processes and allow for tighter integration of data, making better use of corporate information on customers, stocks and orders.

The company realized that it could achieve its goals and increase business agility by migrating its business applications to the SAP® HANA® platform.



Rapid and smooth deployment
Kwizda evaluated three vendors and decided to deploy the Lenovo System x3950 X6 solution for SAP HANA solution. The company used the new Lenovo System x environment to replace a legacy application and migrate its wholesale pharmaceuticals business to SAP S/4HANA. Moving off a specialized platform and onto Lenovo System x servers with fast and highly versatile Intel® Xeon® E7 v3 processors, the company also successfully standardized its server landscape.

Bruno Larcher comments: “With Lenovo and our implementation partner dyna bcs Informatik, we found a trusted team that could deliver a workload optimized solution that actually works, provides great performance and enables us become more efficient.”

The company worked closely with Lenovo and dyna bcs to draft the solution architecture and specify the sizing of the new solution. Bruno Larcher confirms: “We were impressed by the skillset and knowledge of Lenovo and dyna bcs. As a result, we had a very smooth implementation.”

Kwizda uses SAP HANA multitenant database containers running on Lenovo System x3950 X6 servers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. In doing so, the company can use a single solution for its three SAP applications—SAP Business Suite, SAP Business Warehouse and SAP Extended Warehouse Management—complete with separate development, test and production databases.

Furthermore, Kwizda takes advantage of the closer integration of SAP ERP and SAP Business Warehouse on SAP HANA. The company no longer needs to replicate data on a daily basis between systems, but can always immediately access the latest transactional data for complex analyses in SAP Business Warehouse.

The team deployed two Lenovo System x3950 X6 workload optimized solutions for SAP HANA, one for production workload and the other as a backup solution in case of disaster. In normal operation, the backup system also runs development and quality management databases. Bruno Larcher explains: “With synchronous in-memory replication from the production to the backup system, we achieve the balance we need between performance and quick disaster recovery capabilities.”

In addition to synchronous in-memory replication, the company relies on SEP sesam for SAP HANA for backups. This certified backup solution for SAP HANA is natively integrated into the SAP HANA studio management tool and ensures that Kwizda always has consistent backups of mission-critical business data. By using the parallel backup and restore capabilities of the SAP HANA platform, the company has been able to further reduce recovery time.

The migration of the wholesale division to SAP HANA is part of a wider modernization and standardization initiative at Kwizda. The company plans to migrate its six other businesses that already use SAP ERP to the SAP HANA platform in the future. In total, approximately 600 business users will access the SAP applications running on Lenovo System x servers once the migration is completed.

Kwizda also relies on Lenovo System x3950, x3450 and Lenovo System x3550 servers for many other workloads. On about 40 physical Lenovo servers, the company operates 320 virtual servers with VMware vSphere virtualization technology.

Bruno Larcher comments: “As well as on-going support from dyna bcs, we know that we can rely on the Lenovo team for help. With Lenovo Solution Support for SAP HANA, we have a single point of contact for both hardware and software, ensuring that we get the right support for our IT infrastructure at the right time. Our Lenovo services include an annual ‘health check’, as well as microcode and release management.”

Real-time analytics improves business performance
Kwizda is highly satisfied with its new Lenovo solution. Bruno Larcher says: “The performance of the new Lenovo System x for SAP HANA solution is even better than we expected. Thanks to our trusted partnership with dyna bcs and Lenovo, we completed the implementation about 40 percent faster than we would usually estimate for such a project. The combined team of dyna bcs and Lenovo personnel deeply impressed us with their expertise throughout the implementation.”

Fast system performance is key to gaining rapid business insight. In the past, Kwizda could only load data once a day into its analytics environment. Today, with SAP HANA, the company can leverage real-time data to better understand the drivers of its business. Bruno Larcher elaborates: “Before we deployed the Lenovo System x for SAP HANA solution, we could always only work with data from the previous day. Now, staff in our procurement department can, for example, analyze the latest orders at 10:00 in the morning to place new orders with optimized order volumes before the deadline at 11:00. This helps us make better use of different scales of discounts on offer and we also have a better position when we negotiate with our suppliers to get better prices—ultimately increasing our profit margins.”

Real-time data also improves customer service, as Kwizda staff visiting customers can now use up-to-the-minute figures on their mobile devices to provide better advice about, for example, order discounts.

Faster information flow also helps improve claims management and enables Kwizda employees to react faster when issues arise, helping them to increase customer satisfaction.

To boost its logistics capabilities, Kwizda is currently implementing SAP Extended Warehouse Management on SAP HANA. Powered by Lenovo System x servers, the solution is helping Kwizda to streamline its logistics workflows and benefit from faster planning processes. Bruno Larcher says: “Using the latest technology, we have optimized our warehouse processes. In the future, we will use real-time data and mobile apps to unlock efficiencies in our logistics operations.”

Thanks to the new solution based on the two Lenovo System x3950 X6 workload optimized solutions for SAP HANA, Kwizda benefits from technology innovations quicker and can use the latest solutions such as SAP Fiori to provide staff and customers with modern, mobile tools that boost productivity. The flexibility and scalability of the solution enables Kwizda to grow the new environment as needed and scale out as the company migrates more and more business divisions to the in-memory platform.

Bruno Larcher concludes: “By moving to SAP HANA and the two Lenovo System x3950 X6 workload optimized solutions for SAP HANA, we have gained a future-proof solution that helps us turn business data into competitive advantage. Based on accurate data in real time, we can make business decisions quicker and respond faster to changing demand trends.”

For more information
To learn more about Lenovo Enterprise Systems contact your Lenovo Sales Representative or Lenovo Business Partner, or visit: lenovo.com/systems

To learn more about Lenovo System x3950 X6 solution for SAP HANA, visit: lenovo.com/sap/hana

For more information about Kwizda Group, visit: www.kwizda.at
 

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