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Established in 1981, ABeam Consulting employs 4,350 people and holds a 6.2 billion Japanese yen capital. It provides management, business process consulting, IT consulting and outsourcing services, and has a presence in 33 countries.
Fast-growing ABeam Consulting avoided putting the brakes on corporate expansion by transforming its core application landscape to accommodate more data. With a new suite of SAP applications running on SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications, the company enjoys greater stability and performance, while SUSE Manager keeps management simple. The new environment is used to support internal operations and to launch new SAP solutions for clients, giving ABeam Consulting and its customers faster time-to-value.
In the last five years, ABeam Consulting has more than doubled in size. It has no plans to slow down: by 2020, it is aiming to become a billion-dollar company with more than 10,000 employees.
As ABeam Consulting’s operations and client base grew, so did the data that it needed to manage. To ensure that it could continue providing exceptional service to customers, the company initiated an IT transformation.
Tomoki Hatakeyama, executive officer, Principal, Process & Technology Business Unit at ABeam Consulting, says: “We wanted to replace our bespoke applications with an enterprise-class solution with strong support.” ABeam Consulting seized the opportunity to become an early adopter of SAP S/4HANA ERP, a real-time suite of enterprise resource management applications.
Nobukatsu Suzuishi, senior manager of the Information System Group, says: “We have over 2,800 of consultants certified by SAP — the largest number in Japan — and support about 300 SAP projects for our clients per year. As a leader in SAP services in Japan, we wanted to use our own deployment of SAP S/4HANA to develop best practices that we could then leverage during client implementations. We had a critical choice to make between SLES and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the operating system.”
“The SUSE solution contributes to our ability to provide stable, high-performance IT services to our employees, which will enable them to work more productively.”
ABeam Consulting selected SLES to underpin its core systems transformation.
Yoshifumi Ishida, manager of the Information System Group, says: “The first factor in favor of the SUSE solution is the long-term roadmap and support. We expect our SAP implementation to meet our needs for five to 10 years. SLES for SAP Applications has a product lifecycle of more than 10 years and comes with multiyear service packs and extended support.
“The strong partnership between SUSE and SAP was the deciding consideration. SAP uses SLES as its standard development environment, and 95% of the world’s SAP HANA users have followed suit. With so many compelling references, it was clear that not only was SLES the best choice for us, it will also be selected by many other companies to support SAP S/4HANA in the future. Developing hands-on skills for SLES for SAP Applications would provide the best value for our consultants.”
The SAP S/4HANA and SLES landscape is integrated with legacy systems running on Microsoft Windows and applications hosted within public clouds, including SAP BusinessObjects Cloud and SAP Digital Boardroom. ABeam Consulting deployed SUSE Manager to simplify the management of this hybrid environment.
“We had limited in-house experience of working with Linux solutions before this project,” says Suzuishi. “With SUSE Manager that doesn’t matter, as we now have a single graphical environment with which to manage our diverse IT landscape. Employees with no Linux-specific knowledge can apply and manage patches using SUSE Manager.”
As well as supporting its internal operations, ABeam Consulting also uses its SAP and SLES environment to build new solutions for its clients.
ABeam Consulting is expecting big returns on its investment in its IT transformation.
“The implementation is still in progress, but everything points to the new core systems yielding major benefits for our company,” says Ishida. “The SUSE solution contributes to our ability to provide stable, high-performance IT services to our employees, which will enable them to work more productively.”
As ABeam Consulting looks to the future, it can be confident it has the foundations in place to help make its growth strategy a reality.
Hatakeyama says: “Choosing the SUSE solutions gives us a low-risk, future-proof platform on which we can take ABeam Consulting to the next level of success. We can easily scale the environment and integrate new systems as required, giving us flexibility. And this will enable us to help our clients embrace similarly leading-edge solutions.”