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Global manufacturer ditches underperforming IBM in favour of IaaS provider

The exclusive manufacturer of Goodyear products has selected Virtustream to host its SAP apps

By Derek Du Preez, Computerworld UK
November 15, 2012 06:55 AM ET

Computerworld UK - Veyance Technologies, the exclusive manufacturer of Goodyear Engineered Products, has ditched its traditional outsourcing relationship with IBM after it failed to perform to acceptable service levels, and is in the process of moving its SAP applications to infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider Virtustream.

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Computerworld UK spoke to Veyance's CIO, John Hill, who was brought into the company a year ago to drive the use of IT as a competitive advantage for the business and to help ensure a healthy return for its private equity investors.

The five year contract with IBM was Hill's first port of call.

"The contract was scheduled to expire in February 2013 and so I launched a competitive process for an IaaS provider to host our global SAP instance, which is what we use to run our business on a 24x7 basis - everything from manufacturing, distribution, to financials," said Hill.

"There were problems with availability and reliability. IBM wasn't even close to providing the standards we needed as a business, especially in terms of flexibility and speed when provisioning capacity or test and development environments."

He added: "It wasn't anywhere near as fast as it needed to be."

Hill explained that there had been times when Veyance had ordered new servers, which he believed, with an acceptable response time, should have been available within three or four weeks. However, IBM sometimes took up to ten weeks to provision the servers.

He said: "Having to wade through extended procurement and provisioning cycles in the IBM relationship was a real drain on value for the business.

"In an IaaS environment you should be able to provision capacity on demand, within a day or so."

Veyance awarded the contract to Virtustream in July of this year, where it is in the process of migrating its systems (SAP R/3, SAP XI, TREX, Netweaver, ITS and WAS) to its xStream cloud platform.

Hill also believes that the IaaS platform will provide better reliability and backup controls when compared to the set-up it had with IBM.

He said: "We were also lacking in effective disaster recovery. We had some outages with IBM that were very costly and very painful. With Virtustream we have a service level agreement that provides a full recovery of the production environment in an alternate data centre in under an hour."

"When you are running a global business that is tied to that one system, it is very costly to have an outage. In the cloud we can include disaster recovery and data replication as inherent features."

Veyance has already moved its test and development systems to Virtustream and is scheduled to move the production system over in January.

Hill told Computerworld UK that he expects to save approximately 30 percent by migrating to the cloud, which equates to "millions of dollars". He said these will either go back into the bottom line or be reinvested in talent.

However, the infrastructure is only part of Hill's plan to transform Veyance's technology set-up. He also has plans for both the network layer and the application layer.

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