One of the largest and most successful companies in the Middle East, Egyptian car distributor and retailer Al-Mansour Automotive must keep track of many complex business processes to succeed. The company decided to upgrade its IT infrastructure by deploying SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, and gained a stable, reliable business platform, along with an estimated 70 percent reduction in reporting times and a 30 percent reduction in its total cost of ownership.

The Challenge

The motor industry, like the products it sells, requires regular and careful maintenance. As an importer, distributor and retailer of several international car brands including Opel, Peugeot and Chevrolet. Al-Mansour Automotive realized it needed to improve its IT systems to remain a well-oiled machine.

Muhammad Muharram, IT General Manager at Al-Mansour Automotive, explained: “Our previous database was less efficient than it could have been, and we were dealing with unnecessarily long wait times on some core business processes. Some reports were taking up to six hours at a time to create, slowing down our business operations.

“Our IT system was also run entirely on-premises, and we thought there were potential savings in a more cloud-friendly solution. We decided to migrate to a new database management system, which ultimately led us to the SUSE solution.”

“The SUSE implementation has been a great economic benefit. We estimate that since adopting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we have reduced our total cost of ownership by 30 percent.”

SUSE Solution

After evaluating the market for competing solutions, Al-Mansour Automotive decided to implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on its existing IBM Power Systems hardware, enabling it to run the SAP HANA database.

Muhammad Muharram elaborated: “Once we had committed to SAP HANA, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was simply the natural choice. We did consider other operating systems, but none of them were certified for SAP HANA on our IBM hardware. SUSE was certified on IBM Power, and that combined with SUSE’s strong partnership with SAP made SUSE the logical option for us.”

With the SUSE solution now in place, AlMansour Automotive has achieved reliable performance, and can manage its IT landscape more easily.

“The SUSE solution has been in place for a year now, and we have not experienced any downtime,” said Muhammad Muharram. “We get an extensive, accessible overview of the entire system, so it is very easy to manage, and the stability of SUSE’s operating system gives us confidence to enable further expansion. Within another year, we expect to have 24 servers all running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications.”

As well as SUSE’s own support, Al-Mansour Automotive benefits from direct access to SAP support services via the SUSE interface. “It’s very useful for us to have a single point of contact,” said Muhammad Muharram. “It makes SAP service requests far more efficient. This integration with SUSE not only makes our lives easier, it is testament to the strength of partnership SUSE has with SAP.”

The Results

Since implementing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, Al-Mansour Automotive has gained a stable, reliable platform for its core processes in Egypt, Iraq, Dubai, Libya, and Africa where it does business, as well as consolidating software licensing costs.

“The SUSE implementation has been a great economic benefit,” said Muhammad Muharram. “We estimate that since adopting SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we have reduced our total cost of ownership by 30 percent.”

The company has also benefitted from greater efficiency in its core business processes, particularly reporting.

“Our end-of-month process is more efficient now,” said Muhammad Muharram. “We have reduced our month-closing report times by around 70 percent; some reports that used to take up to six hours are now done in less than one. That is a great achievement, and it’s entirely thanks to the speed and consistency of SAP HANA on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications.”

With its SUSE solution firmly in place, Al-Mansour Automotive is looking to expand its use of SUSE technology in line with future growth strategy.

Muhammad Muharram concludes: “Our long-term plan is to migrate our current on-premises systems to the cloud, and the compatibility of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications gives us scope to do that. We are also in the process of testing SUSE Manager, which we expect to roll out fully next year.

“Overall, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications has more than proved its usefulness, and we believe it will continue fuelling business growth for years to come.”