Industry: Retail
Location: Saudi Arabia
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SACO delivers always-on service to customers with zero-downtime


  • Zero downtime since the solution was implemented.
  • Staff can focus on value-added tasks instead of patches and upgrades.
  • Provides a stable foundation for reliable processes and future business expansion.


Established in 1985, SACO is a pioneer in the hardware retail and wholesale business, and it is the largest total-solution home improvement superstore in Saudi Arabia. SACO has the buying power to import the best quality merchandise from all over the world, from electrical appliances to furniture, which it sells at affordable prices. SACO employs 1,500 people and operates 27 retail outlets in 15 cities throughout Saudi Arabia, providing over 45,000 different products. In addition, wholesale offices are supported by professional salespeople offering comprehensive services directly to customers. 


Saudi Company for Hardware (SACO) operates 27 retail outlets throughout Saudi Arabia and is looking to expand further. To achieve this, the company needs strong, scalable IT infrastructure to support its business-critical operations, so it migrated its SAP solutions to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for SAP Applications. With the new operating system in place, SACO benefits from a single, easily contactable source of support and zero downtime to date — providing a stable platform for further growth

The Challenge

SACO’s IT systems are crucial to the smooth running of its business, from managing product distribution to processing customer payments. However, as the retailer looked to expand throughout the Middle East, SACO decided it was time to upgrade its IT infrastructure.

Ibrahim Mahmoud, IT Director at SACO, said: “Our SAP applications are vital to our company, for everything from finance to HR. If our SAP solutions are down, then our business is down—the stores, the offices, the distribution warehouses."

“We knew we needed a stable, scalable platform for our business-critical SAP applications that we could rely on, both now and in the future as we grow; you can’t build a big building without strong pillars and proper infrastructure.”

SACO sought the right platform for its IT systems that would provide a stable foundation for future expansion.

“Thanks to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications, we’re getting the proper IT quality and support that our business needs to run smoothly—now and as we expand in the future.”

SUSE Solution

Requiring a scalable, high-performance operating system, SACO chose to migrate its SAP applications to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications running in a virtualized environment.

“As users of SAP applications, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications was our first choice,” said Ibrahim Mahmoud. “We received some good-value propositions from other companies, but there was no doubt in our minds that SUSE was the right option.

“The key factor for us was the close strategic relationship between SAP and SUSE; SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is purpose-built to support SAP solutions in a way that other platforms aren’t. What’s more, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has a first-rate reputation as the leading Linux distribution for enterprise organizations running SAP solutions.”

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is performance-optimized and configured to provide the best possible support for SAP applications, and is regularly updated as SAP releases new versions of its products. The solution also provides superior performance and reliability.

Ibrahim Mahmoud said: “As an IT director, I am always looking for security and stability, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications more than delivers on these measures. Since the implementation, we’ve had zero downtime.

“In addition, the SUSE team provides great support; whenever issues do arise and we need help, they deliver an almost instantaneous response. They also provide training sessions so that our people can scale up their skills and learn more about the operating system—any new functionalities, how it can help the business, how it can offer more control and scalability.

The Results

With SLES for SAP Applications supporting its SAP environment, SACO’s IT infrastructure is running smoothly and ready for the company’s strategic expansion plans. 

“Thanks to the strong partnership between SUSE and SAP, we have a single, easily contactable source of support so any issues are quickly sorted out,” said Ibrahim Mahmoud. “And thanks to the stability of the platform, we don’t have to spend as much time installing patches or doing upgrades, so can focus on more value-added tasks.

“Indeed, the solution is so stable that we’ve had zero downtime since moving to SLES for SAP Applications. This enables the entire business to run smoothly. Whenever customers want to visit a store or make a transaction online, they can, because everything’s working well on the backend.” 

Furthermore, the stability of the SUSE solution benefits business processes such as auditing and decision-making.

“SACO is a publicly-listed company, so we need to have reliable auditing processes,” said Ibrahim Mahmoud. “If required, I can prove that our IT systems haven’t suffered from any instability or downtime that could affect reports. Reliable reporting processes also help the management team to make the best decisions.

“Thanks to SLES for SAP Applications, we’re getting the proper IT quality and support that our business needs to run smoothly—now and as we expand in the future.”