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Industry: Transportation
Location: South Africa
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Imperial Health Sciences

Highlights

  • Boosts SAP application performance by 40%, improving service quality
  • Reduces total cost of ownership for IT systems by 90%
  • Ensures high availability for business-critical systems in the healthcare supply chain

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To unlock the operational and cost-efficiency benefits of a large acquisition, Imperial Health Sciences decided to rationalize its SAP landscape. The company migrated to a central platform based on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications—enabling an instant 40% increase in SAP application performance, a 90% reduction in total cost of ownership and higher-availability for life-and-limb systems.

Overview

Headquartered in Centurion, South Africa, and employing 800 people, Imperial Health Sciences delivers logistics and supply-chain services to Africa’s healthcare industry. Part of the Imperial Logistics division of the Imperial Group, the company has recently completed its acquisition of RTT Health Science.

The Challenge

To take full advantage of the operational and cost-efficiency benefits of its most recent acquisition, it was key for Imperial Health Sciences to ensure seamless integration between its own systems and processes, including mission-critical SAP applications, and those of the newly acquired company.

Imperial Health Sciences decided that the best solution was to move to a single, centralized platform, capable of supporting the increased demands of its expanded business—a migration that posed tough challenges.

Trevor Whiting, IT Executive, Imperial Logistics Group South Africa, said: “The IT department at Imperial Logistics supports 20 Imperial Group companies, including Imperial Health Sciences. The group has intensive performance and availability requirements for the IT systems—particularly for healthcare logistics, because patients’ lives can depend on our services running smoothly.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications has helped us to reduce the total cost of ownership for our IT infrastructure by 90 percent.”

SUSE Solution

In its search for a new system, the IT department had to consider a number of requirements, including the ability to meet service-level agreements for the SAP applications.

“High performance and straightforward manageability were both key requirements for the new platform,” said Whiting. “Of all the solutions we considered, we were most impressed with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications. In particular, we liked the flexibility that the SUSE solution offered around memory and kernel optimization, and high-availability configurations.”

“Moreover, the close strategic partnership between SUSE and SAP gave us great confidence that mature support frameworks and pre-configured integrations were in place to facilitate a smooth migration.”

Imperial Logistics deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications with SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension as the foundation for the new Imperial Health Sciences IT platform.

The platform is configured as a high availability cluster, enabling the company to fail over production services to a secondary instance immediately in the event of disaster scenarios and ensure business continuity.

The Results

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications at the heart of its logistics operations, Imperial Health Sciences is free to drive the benefits of acquisition. “Our confidence in SUSE was well placed— we completed the migration to the SUSE platform with virtually no disruption to end users, on time and within budget,” said Whiting.

“As soon as the SUSE solution went into production, we saw a 40% increase in SAP application performance. Offering a higher quality of service to our users means they can perform their roles more effectively, which translates into better service for our end customers in the healthcare industry.”

The move to the SUSE solution has also delivered impressive cost savings, helping Imperial Health Sciences run a more efficient business. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications has helped us to reduce the total cost of ownership for our IT infrastructure by 90%,” said Whiting.

Looking to the future, Imperial Health Sciences predicts that the SUSE solution will improve the effectiveness of its change management processes.

“Our SAP applications are mission-critical, and it is vital that we have a strong awareness of the wider impacts of any changes we may make,” said Whiting. “With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, it is simple to deploy a single machine for each of our SAP applications.

This makes effective change management far easier because we don’t have to worry about inadvertently taking down multiple systems during maintenance.”

“Our SUSE solution is a critical element in our SAP environment, and instrumental in delivering the healthcare logistics services that help save lives. It will be our strategic operating system, and for new SAP deployments, I am certain that we will be using the SUSE solution.”