Founded in Cairo, Egypt, in 1975 as a subsidiary of the international Mansour Group, Al-Mansour Automotive is an importer, distributor and retailer of automobiles. It is the official dealer for General Motors in Egypt, Iraq, Dubai, Libya and Africa, selling over 100,000 vehicles a year and employing 2,000 people. Mansour Group was recently listed by Forbes Magazine as the fourth largest privately-owned company in the Middle East.
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% reduction in reporting times and a 30% reduction in its total cost of ownership.
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, explains: “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%.”
After evaluating the market for competing solutions, Al-Mansour Automotive decided to implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications on its existing IBM Power Systems hardware, enabling it to run the SAP HANA database.
Muharram elaborates: “Once we had committed to SAP HANA, SLES 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, Al-Mansour 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,” says 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 SLES 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,” says Muharram. “It makes SAP service requests far more efficient. This integration with SUSE not only makes our lives easier — it is a testament to the strength of partnership SUSE has with SAP.”
Since implementing SLES 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,” says Muharram. “We estimate that since adopting SLES for SAP Applications, we have reduced our total cost of ownership by 30%.”
The company has also benefited from greater efficiency in its core business processes, particularly reporting.
“Our end-of-month process is more efficient now,” says Muharram. “We have reduced our month-closing report times by around 70%; 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 SLES 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.
Muharram concludes: “Our long-term plan is to migrate our current on-premises systems to the cloud, and the compatibility of SLES 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, SLES for SAP Applications has more than proved its usefulness, and we believe it will continue fueling business growth for years to come.”