Galexis Ltd. is a leading healthcare wholesaler in Switzerland, supplying pharmacies, medical practices, drugstores, nursing homes and hospitals with a range of goods. The company operates two warehouses to distribute over 100,000 products. Headquartered in Niederbipp, Switzerland, Galexis is part of the Galenica Group. The group’s pre-wholesale division, Alloga, provides supply chain solutions to Galexis and other healthcare suppliers.
When wholesaler Galexis wanted to migrate, modernize and optimize its business processes, the company selected SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications, running on IBM Power Systems infrastructure, to operate its mission-critical SAP S/4HANA, SAP HANA and SAP Extended Warehouse Management applications. These applications handle the timely delivery of more than 400,000 items (around 130,000 order lines) per day, streamlining administration and maintenance workflows.
As a major player in the wholesale business, Galexis continues to grow. Building on the technological innovation in the industry, the company wants to offer digital, real-time services to complement its logistics operations, as well as Alloga’s pre-wholesale operations.
Reto Wyss, Team Lead, Core Services at Galexis, explains: “We are dispatching deliveries three times a day to 6,800 customers, shipping more than 400,000 items (around 130,000 order lines). We can only provide reliable supplies to our customers if our ERP and logistics systems keep running. A downtime of more than 30 minutes means delays and lost revenues.” Besides day-to-day operations, Galexis needs the flexibility and performance to smoothly handle seasonal spikes.
“We are now harmonizing our business and IT operations with SAP software and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. This certified operating system, optimized for SAP S/4HANA applications, helps us to support a growing number of systems more efficiently.”
Galexis decided to implement SAP S/4HANA powered by SAP HANA running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications and IBM Power Systems with technology partner ITpoint. To standardize and modernize logistics operations, the company implemented SAP Extended Warehouse Management.
Reto Wyss explains: “SLES for SAP Applications is the most-widely used operating system to run SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems. We are now harmonizing our business and IT operations with SAP software and SLES for SAP Applications. This certified operating system, optimized for SAP applications, helps us to support a growing number of systems more efficiently.”
Together with ITpoint, Galexis installed IBM Power Systems E880C and IBM Power Systems E850C servers—for production and sandbox workloads respectively—in combination with an IBM SAN Volume Controller solution built with IBM Spectrum Virtualize software, connected to IBM FlashSystem 900 all-flash storage arrays.
The team has already set up around 50 SLES for SAP Applications systems. Reto Wyss confirms: “We have consolidated all our SAP solutions, application servers and databases on SLES for SAP Applications where possible— based on the SAP and SUSE release dependencies.”
As a next step, Galexis is considering the deployment of SUSE Manager to keep a total of around 60 SLES instances and up to 180 other Linux systems updated, standardizing system administration and significantly reducing its maintenance workload.
Galexis evaluated its options and IBM Power Systems proved to be a highly competitive offering. Reto Wyss explains: “Our
experience with IBM POWER is very positive. The advanced virtualization helps us provision test systems faster and be more productive. If you consider the outstanding reliability of the platform and SLES for SAP Applications, the solution is cost-efficient and provides all the performance and stability we need.”
The company also standardized operating systems across platforms, when different hardware architectures are required for compatibility reasons. Reto Wyss confirms: “Our goal is to standardize IT operations. With SLES for SAP Applications, we also benefit from the close integration with SAP software.”
ITpoint and Galexis also implemented an advanced business continuity solution. Reto Wyss elaborates: “Based on SLES High Availability Extension and a fully automated, performance-optimized configuration for SAP HANA, we aim to reduce failover times by more than 50 percent to approximately 15 minutes. SLES High Availability Extension will help us streamline cluster management and improve availability of our business applications.”
For Galexis, IT point is the single point of contact, covering infrastructure well as coordinating application customization in collaboration with SAP implementation partner TeamWork. Reto Wyss remarks: “Taking advantage of SAP HANA 2.0 with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications on IBM Power Systems was new to everyone. We have learned a lot together.” To ensure reliable operations for its most important systems, Galexis relies on the comprehensive priority support from SAP and SUSE.
Reto Wyss concludes: “Thanks to SLES for SAP Applications running on IBM Power Systems, we can make the most of our SAP S/4HANA application. Standardizing on this platform helps us increase IT efficiency. Furthermore, streamlining system administration with SUSE Manager will help us scale up our SAP environment, supporting the digital transformation within the Galenica Group.”