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IT in a globally strong position is a decisive success factor for the VBH Group, the market leader in the retail of building fittings. However, the existing business warehouse system could not provide the necessary performance. IT management decided to migrate to Hana.
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During the course of a proof-of-concept (PoC), a production environment (PRD) was to be established on the basis of a virtualized Hana system (vHana) and comprehensively tested without any impairment to the day-to-day business. Fujitsu had already been reliably operating and hosting the complex SAP landscape of VBH for three years. The service provider was now also commissioned to migrate the existing SAP BW system to Hana.
Fujitsu began the installation and configuration of the systems in February 2015. The PoC environment was set up in a similar way to the production system, via a system copy, and with the aid of SAP Post Copy Automation (PCA). Parallel to this, Fujitsu also performed a release-upgrade of the PoC environment to SAP NetWeaver (NW) 7.4 and migrated the database platform to Hana.
The experts also set up the required interfaces and took care of the network connections and activations. The original BW PRD system on the basis of a DB2 database, and the PoC under vHana, were operated und tested in parallel for approximately two months. After the successful conclusion of the tests the PRD and DEV systems were set up in parallel. On account of the deadlines set, Fujitsu had a very tight implementation schedule right from the outset. The deadlines were reliably met.
Minutes became seconds
The in-memory database went live in mid-April 2015. The advantages of the Hana architecture soon became evident: thanks to the fast in-memory technology, the 150 users at VBH benefit from a substantial increase in performance. The time required for complex requests for customer-data was reduced from several minutes to just a few seconds. With just one mouse-click, customer consultants now have all the relevant information that they need, in real time.
They are able to provide their clients with information at short notice over the telephone, which considerably increases the consulting quality in service and sales. VBH views it as an obligation to the customer to provide a special service in the form of fast response times and short delivery deadlines.
As this is of great significance for VBH as an internationally-operating specialist retailer, the plan is for the in-memory database to also support all e-business processes in future. Hana is to be used as a stable and high-performance platform: information about the usage behavior of buyers and visitors to the online shop is to provide an insight into customer wishes and product preferences.
The huge amounts of data (big data) that result are then to be evaluated and analyzed in real time with the aid of in-memory technology. This will enable VBH to better understand the requirements of its customers and quickly and precisely draw up offers which are tailored to their requirements. The planning envisages that the new platform will in future also be used both to enable customers to be contacted efficiently and also to open up additional sales potential in the international environment.
Through migrating its business warehouse system to Hana, the VBH Group has been able to considerably increase database performance. In future, the decision in favor of Hana will permit additional applications with a high value-in-use for the core business, especially e-business.
• Proof-of-concept permits comprehensive tests to be run without impairing operation
• Significant increase in business warehouse performance
• Systems by Hana
• Customer data requestsprocessed within seconds
• Analysis and evaluation of large quantities of data from complex reports, for improved customer relationship management
• Reliable operation of the Hana infrastructure in highly secure and certified data centers in Germany