Seizes New Opportunities for Growth with SAP Applications
Mexican paper manufacturer Papel San Francisco looked to grow its business – but to do so, it would need to adapt to huge seasonal peaks in demand. By moving its SAP applications to IBM Cloud bare metal servers, Papel San Francisco has gained the perfect combination of flexibility and cost-efficient operations to meet its business ambitions.
Paper goods manufacturers face a constant squeeze on costs. How could Papel San Francisco maintain IT systems capable of managing huge seasonal peaks without over-investing in capacity?
Papel San Francisco migrated mission-critical SAP applications to IBM Cloud bare metal servers certified by SAP for production SAP HANA workloads, reducing costs and boosting flexibility.
Business Challenge Story
Intense price pressure
In a commodity industry such as consumer paper goods, any increase in efficiency can provide a powerful advantage. In Mexico, home to Papel San Francisco, many companies vie for leadership, all seeking lower operational costs in a bid to undercut rivals and increase profitability.
Papel San Francisco runs a comprehensive suite of SAP applications powered by SAP HANA®, as well as SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Archiving and Document Access by OpenText, SAP Master Data Governance, and SAP governance, risk, and compliance solutions. The insights unlocked by these SAP solutions help the company understand its business processes and costs of operation and discover new production efficiencies. Agility is vital in the paper industry, where orders can come in with very little lead time.
As business boomed, Papel San Francisco’s IT infrastructure struggled to keep pace.
Faced with greater business volumes and customer numbers, the company experienced issues with system performance and data availability. In addition, the company operated an SAP application landscape split between on-premises servers in its corporate offices and hosted servers located in a hosting provider’s data center. The limitations of this physical infrastructure made it difficult for the company to scale up quickly to meet spikes in demand. Buying and integrating a new server, for instance, could take 8 to 12 weeks.
Sergio Colunga Cavazos, CIO of Papel San Francisco, explains, “As a commodity industry, we have to constantly balance quality and price, and run extremely efficiently in order to remain competitive. Upgrading our SAP landscape applications to SAP HANA had given us a huge boost, but the systems supporting it could not sustain the fast pace that our business demanded. How could we optimize or reduce our costs and yet enable the flexibility and scalability we wanted?”
Reaching for the cloud
Papel San Francisco realized that cloud services might provide the solution. The company looked for vendors that could ensure customer data was retained within Mexico, while also offering the ability to scale up to meet seasonal demand peaks rapidly and easily.
With the help of the IBM team, Papel San Francisco migrated its SAP landscape powered by SAP HANA to IBM Cloud bare metal servers certified by SAP for production SAP HANA® and SAP NetWeaver workloads, which enable customers to manage SAP workloads in the cloud with power, control and flexibility.
The servers run the Red Hat Linux operating system, using VMware to provide multiple independent virtual machines, for example containing production, test and development instances for each SAP application. To extract maximum value from its cloud and VMware deployment, Papel San Francisco uses the comprehensive IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions capabilities, which provide access to industry-leading disaster recovery, backup, security and compliance services. IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions also enabled Papel San Francisco to implement SAP HANA System Replication in its most critical production systems, providing a backup copy for disaster recovery.
To drive further efficiency, Papel San Francisco has introduced Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios in its production and distribution operations, in the form of SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence solutions running on the IBM Cloud bare metal servers. For instance, the company now employs loading dock sensors in trucks, connected to a screen for the driver which lets them know once the vehicle is fully loaded and ready to depart – to save time checking manually and to avoid vehicles departing with wasted capacity. Similarly, the company operates an IoT-connected production line, which pinpoints weaknesses throughout the manufacturing process to help avoid faults and delays and to obtain higher quality information regarding overall equipment effectiveness.
Sergio Colunga Cavazos continues, “IBM Cloud bare metal servers offer exactly the right solution for Papel San Francisco. IBM Cloud delivers a true cloud solution that can be set up in a single day, expanded and scaled back quickly, based in Mexico. Using IBM Cloud, we can spin up a new virtual server, fully configured with our SAP applications, in just a day.
“The IBM team provided dedicated and hard-working consultants, and complete commitment. With their help, it was easy to move our SAP ERP applications to the IBM Cloud bare metal servers. Our experience has been excellent – we have been running on the servers for six weeks, with zero downtime.”
Tearing ahead of the competition
Moving to IBM Cloud bare metal servers has delivered a much-welcomed boost to performance and availability, as Sergio Colunga Cavazos confirms, “Since moving our SAP landscape to the IBM Cloud bare metal servers, we have seen amazing improvements in performance. Naturally, anything running on SAP HANA will already have rapid response times but hosting our applications on IBM servers has accelerated reporting speed even further.
“For instance, our monthly closing report for senior managers took five hours to generate. With our SAP ERP applications on IBM Cloud bare metal servers, we have cut that report generation time to just a few seconds. With this kind of near-real-time insight, our managers can make timelier, better-informed decisions to help us seize new opportunities and stay ahead in a fast-paced market.
“In addition, it used to take five days to report on financial results. By moving to IBM Cloud, we now have that information ready in three days.”
The change has also given Papel San Francisco the agility to grow, able to expand its IT capabilities rapidly to meet changing business needs.
Sergio Colunga Cavazos states, “In the past, it took us months to set up a server, but with IBM Cloud bare metal servers we can have a new server up and running in a day. The cloud model is also much more cost-efficient. With IBM Cloud we have doubled the size of our infrastructure but are only paying one-third more than we were before, a 30 percent cost-efficiency gain.”
Sergio Colunga Cavazos concludes, “By boosting performance, availability and flexibility, moving to the IBM Cloud bare metal servers certified by SAP for production SAP HANA and SAP NetWeaver workloads gives Papel San Francisco the power to drive continued growth. IBM Cloud helps us focus more closely on our core business: making better paper.
“The capabilities enabled by IBM Cloud mean that our in-house IT staff can shift their focus from keeping the lights on towards higher-value activities, supporting our digital transformation to gain competitive advantage.”
Papel San Francisco