Established in 2004, Nakilat is a Qatariowned shipping and maritime company providing the critical transportation link in the State of Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply chain. It oversees the activities of the country’s world-class shipyard and provides maritime services to vessels in Qatari waters.
Shipping company, Nakilat, relies on its SAP solutions to keep its business sailing smoothly, but its ageing SAP infrastructure was increasingly expensive to maintain and lacked scalability. The business knew it needed to upgrade for the next stage of its digital transformation journey. So, it migrated to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and SAP HANA, running on Fujitsu hardware — cutting IT costs by 50% and boosting employee productivity by 30%.
Shipping and maritime company Nakilat relies on a solid IT environment to run its business smoothly, but it found that its outdated hardware was becoming increasingly expensive to maintain.
Hamad Suwaid, information technology manager at Nakilat, says, “Our business depends on the SAP ERP Central Component and the SAP applications around it, so system availability is of vital importance for our company.
“We were previously running our SAP applications on proprietary HP hardware and the HP-UX operating system with an Oracle database, but the cost of maintenance and support was rising every year — it just wasn’t feasible to continue spending so much on maintaining outdated hardware.”
In addition, Nakilat was looking to move into the next phase of its digital transformation journey with its Nakilat Inception 2020 project.
“We knew that our efforts to achieve the Nakilat Inception 2020 vision would only be possible with the latest technology — flexible, scalable and high-performing — which provided an added incentive to migrate from our old systems,” says Suwaid.
“By migrating to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, we have cut IT costs by 50%, consolidated our servers by 75% and reduced our administrative overhead.”
Nakilat decided to update its SAP hardware and move to a scalable, opensource operating system. So, the company migrated its SAP applications to SLES, running on Fujitsu hardware with Fujitsu FlexFrame Orchestrator management software. Nakilat also transitioned from its previous Oracle database to SAP HANA, an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system.
“SAP HANA deploys cutting-edge technology with in-memory computing, meaning that we don’t lose time loading data from disk storage every time it’s needed,” says Suwaid. “Its fast response times and high performance were the driving factors for our migration from Oracle.
“What’s more, SAP HANA paved the way for our digital transformation strategy, enabling us to implement several SAP applications, such as SAP S/4HANA Finance.”
The move to SAP HANA was also a significant factor in Nakilat’s selection of SLES.
“We did consider other alternatives, but SLES is the most widespread Linux OS in the corporate world, so that swung it for us — plus it offers superior scalability, security and stability,” says Suwaid. “In addition, SLES is a reference development platform that SAP uses to design and test SAP solutions — SUSE and SAP have a close, longstanding partnership.
“The transition to SLES was very smooth. The OS came pre-installed with the hardware, and it is easy to deploy patches and updates.”
With the new solutions in place, Nakilat has the IT platform it needs to keep its business running smoothly and sustainably.
Suwaid says, “By migrating to SLES, we have cut IT costs by 50%, consolidated our servers by 75% and reduced our administrative overhead.
“At the same time, we have retained scalability and reliability, giving us the foundation to move forward with the Nakilat Inception 2020 project. And as the only OS to have been certified by SAP for this purpose, SLES gives us the capability to run SAP HANA, which is vital to our digital transformation.”
In addition, Nakilat has increased productivity and efficiency, thanks to its updated SAP infrastructure.
Suwaid says, “Our supply department has cut the time taken to generate a report from 30 minutes to less than one minute — a saving of 97%. We have also increased employee productivity by 30% and reduced the time spent on administration by 40% — enabling us to focus more time on driving the business forward.
“We made the right decision at the right time to improve our SAP infrastructure. The SUSE solution is a major component of our digital transformation strategy and a building block for the journey to come.”