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AIX > Case Studies > Miscellaneous

Paving The Way

Top Grade Construction replaces HP with IBM System p and BladeCenter solutions to run Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.

Photography courtesy of Paul Dyer


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CUSTOMER: Top Grade Construction
HEADQUARTERS: Livermore, Calif.
BUSINESS: General engineering and specialty contractor
HARDWARE: Two IBM System p 550s, an IBM BladeCenter server, an IBM System Storage DS4700 Express and an IBM System Storage TS3310 Tape Library
SOFTWARE: Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP software and Tivoli Storage Manager
CHALLENGE: Keeping up with the competition, improving business services and restructuring the way the company conducts business
SOLUTION: Moving from an outdated, HP-based IT environment to a scalable System p infrastructure

Michiganders don’t wait for the flowers to pop up to signal the return of spring and summer. We wait for the orange cones that line the miles upon miles of freeway reconstruction. Yes, it’s a hassle sometimes, when two lanes suddenly turn into one, but it’s one of those necessary evils.

That’s why I admire the men and women toiling under the hot sun to keep our roads in good repair. It’s not an easy job, to be sure, but an essential one. On the other hand, most of us don’t think about all of the office workers, who, supporting those roadside laborers, land the contracts, schedule the work, make sure supplies are on-site as needed and collect the bills.

Those working in construction-company IT departments support both sides of the business, making sure the systems are in place for everyone else to do their work as seamlessly as possible—and have those cones taken down as quickly as possible. The four-member IT staff at Top Grade Construction Inc. is one example. When the company began growing almost exponentially over the past several years, company leaders realized their IT infrastructure had to keep pace. And thanks to some internal insight and external support, they did just that, replacing some aging HP servers with the latest and greatest IBM System p* servers, as well as an IBM BladeCenter* server and several IBM System Storage* devices.


Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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