itesys AG is the largest SAP-based service provider in Switzerland. In the past, the company, which occupies a leading market position in SAP-based consulting, implementation of SAP HANA migration projects and SAP outsourcing, operated a heterogeneous server landscape in its two computing centres. With the support of infrastructure partner Bechtle Schweiz AG, itesys has gradually modernised its infrastructure on the basis of SAP HANA-certified HPE servers. Thanks to this homogenous, integrated server infrastructure, these Swiss SAP professionals can now react more quickly to new customer and market requirements and benefit from considerable cost advantages.
Infrastructure patchwork hampered growth. “Today, SAP means HANA”, says itesys partner and Managing Director Sascha Lioi as an opener to the conversation. “Companies operating an SAP system landscape will sooner or later face the challenge of switching to the new in-memory ERP suite. This is where we come into play with our many years of SAP HANA experience, SAP outsourcing and additional service offerings.” When it comes to infrastructure, the CEO speaks of a paradigm shift: “In the past, we operated dedicated infrastructures for our customers as a host. Today, we strive for a computing centre infrastructure that is as homogeneous as possible; one which enables us to reduce response times as well as costs.” Sascha Lioi adds: “From the architecture to the value-added processes, SAP HANA is a consistent vertical solution. This not only requires comprehensive expertise across all system layers, but also coordinated certified hardware.”
The speed of implementation in customer projects is very important to him. Anyone who can offer a shorter implementation time as an SAP host has a competitive advantage. For these reasons, itesys AG got to grips with the standardisation and homogenisation of server infrastructure with the support of infrastructure partner Bechtle.
20 HANA-certified HPE servers form the heart of the itesys computing centre. The new server infrastructure of itesys AG is based on 20 HP ProLiant Gen9 DL580 and DL380 series servers, all of which are HANA certified for use with SAP. CEO Sascha Lioi says: “On our modern HPE server infrastructure we run both HANA solutions as well as classic SAP suites for our customers. Thanks to consistent SAP-certified components, we are very flexible and can make best use of existing server capacities. Identical driver and network cards and, of course, uniform lifecycles simplify infrastructure management immensely. From the small system for five end users to the high availability environment with up to 5500 users, we can cover all customer needs with the same two basic server components.
“The decision to choose HPE and our partner Bechtle Schweiz was easy. Not least because, as an SAP HANA customer at both HPE and Bechtle, we benefit from premium support and we always get components, such as the coveted memory banks, delivered quickly and reliably.” The unified infrastructure base enables largely automated deployment of new virtual machines and simple system monitoring via a unified management solution.
Thanks to a consistent HANA-certified server infrastructure, we can respond quickly and flexibly to new customer requirements.
The homogeneous HPE server infrastructure gives competitive advantages to itesys. The unified infrastructure base with HPE ProLiant Gen9 servers offers many benefits to itesys. Sasha Lioi: “For us in the infrastructure sector, everything now works according to the same scheme. When setting up a new customer case, I give the server requirements to the infrastructure partner, receive an offer within 24 hours and can trigger the order. The speed and the short communication channels are fundamental for us as a service provider, regardless of whether we offer the customer an SAP outsourcing or an on-premise solution. Incidentally, in order to provide customers with a – usually informative – cost comparison, we frequently offer both.”
The veteran IT professional also emphasises the importance of the strong HPE brand. Even though the CEO thinks that the infrastructural aspects of cloud solutions are not so important for the customer, there are indications in practice that the deployed hardware fosters trust. “HPE is a big name in the market that stands for performance, stability and future-proofing,” explains Sascha Lioi.
Instead of an infrastructure patchwork, itesys AG now has a homogeneous server landscape with two main components in its computing centres. Faster setup and easier system administration offer significant cost savings. “We are investing the released funds in the further development of our service portfolio. They also allow us to make our pricing competitive. Thanks to our highly secure, consistent and scalable server infrastructure, we can respond very quickly to new customer needs and guarantee maximum availability. In addition to our many years of HANA expertise, it is therefore a key selling point for our SAP cloud offering. More and more customers who are facing the generational shift to HANA shy away from the high technical and financial costs and therefore envisage SAP outsourcing. Our experience shows that on average 25 to 33% can be saved compared to on-premise solutions – and this with clearly calculable annual costs. In contrast to an in-house cloud solution, customers do not have to buy any stock from us. They only pay for the resources they really use and can scale effortlessly in both directions.”