Using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and the Novell Compliance Management Platform, Britehouse created a flexible, secure, high-performance platform for delivering hosted SAP applications as a managed service to businesses throughout Africa.
Britehouse is the technology provider for Swicon360, a specialist in Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions. When Swicon360 wanted to launch an innovative managed service for SAP HCM solutions, it approached Britehouse to create a robust, secure and cost-effective hosting platform.
There was a clear opportunity to make advanced SAP functionality available as a managed service to small and mid-sized companies that lacked the capital or skills to invest in their own SAP solutions. Equally, Swicon360 recognized that even larger companies and existing users of other SAP solutions could benefit from a cost-effective managed service implemented by HCM experts.
Britehouse needed to ensure that sensitive customer data could be kept secure—and be able to prove it. Cost-efficiency and flexibility were also priorities for the new platform, so that Swicon360 could offer competitive pricing and rapidly provision virtual machines.
To create a robust, secure and highly flexible platform for the new SAP Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) solution, Britehouse chose SUSE technologies. At the heart of the solution is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, which runs on virtual servers in a VMware environment hosted in a state- of-the-art Vodacom data center. Virtualization enables the rapid set-up of new, logically distinct customer environments for SAP HCM, without the need to procure and deploy new hardware.
“We made a strategic decision to choose SUSE Linux Enterprise Server based on the quality of the software,” said Warren Small, Managing Director, Britehouse. “Our tests revealed that it offers far higher performance and lower total cost of ownership for SAP solutions than we could achieve with Microsoft Windows. It also uses less system resources and is more stable— keeping hardware costs low while enabling extremely high availability for customers of Swicon360 in the new SAP BPO service. Finally, the alliance between SUSE and SAP and their joint-support offering for SAP solutions running on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server made us confident in the long-term viability of our choice.”
To control access to sensitive customer information, Britehouse selected the Novell Compliance Management Platform, which tightly integrates identity, access and security management capabilities. This combination enables secure, web-based single sign-on for BPO customers to their SAP solutions and data, with granular access controls to sensitive data and fully auditable monitoring of all events.
“To make an SAP hosting solution viable, we absolutely needed to make the security watertight,” said Small. “Novell Compliance Management Platform enabled us to integrate powerful identity and security management capabilities, allowing customers to manage access rights for their own users with ease.”
With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as its platform for the new BPO solution, Britehouse was able to meet Swicon360’s needs in terms of flexibility, performance and availability. This keeps hardware costs low and enables Swicon360 to significantly undercut the cost of running SAP HCM in-house.
“With the BPO offering, companies can simply pay a flat fee per employee per month to gain a complete turnkey SAP HCM solution,” said Small. “The solution includes enterprise-class backup and disaster recovery capabilities: customers benefit from our economies of scale, getting a solution that would cost them much more to set up and run themselves.”
The Novell Compliance Management Platform enabled Britehouse to rapidly and easily create a rich identity and security management framework for the new BPO solution. Customers can rapidly provision their own internal users, apply access controls according to pre-built corporate policies, monitor activity, and provide detailed information for internal or external auditors. The Novell technology also enables easy yet secure access to the SAP functionality through a standard web browser.
By deploying Novell Compliance Management Platform, Britehouse ensured that solution would meet customer requirements for auditable control over sensitive data.
“With the Novell Compliance Management Platform, we can offer end-to-end accountability for the SAP HCM environment,” said Small. “This is one of the factors that has helped Swicon360 become the first SAPBPO Provider in Africa.”