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Whether the task is serving customers or serving up data, the traditional business structures are no longer enough. Organizations must develop new approaches and do so faster than the competition. In retail for example, buying models are rapidly evolving to meet customer demands, from in-store and mail order to online, and now online orders for in-store pickup. IT architecture must evolve as well to support the near real-time inventory tracking and analytics that such buying models require. Systems exist to facilitate these seismic shifts, but IT shops may be hesitant to migrate because of the logistical challenges and capital expense typically associated with the process.

“You can use your existing infrastructure. If you like your existing OSs and the workloads you run on them, you can continue to run them side-by-side with your SAP HANA partitions. If you have a skills gap, we help you close it. IBM has your back.”
–Vicente Moranta, IBM director of Offering Management, SAP on IBM Power Systems

Across industries, SAP HANA combines application-specific analytics with an in-memory database management structure to deliver actionable information, which organizations can then leverage to stay competitive in a fluid business landscape. However, software is only as good as the infrastructure on which it runs. Deploying SAP HANA on IBM Power Systems* with IBM services allows organizations to streamline migration from traditional databases to an in-memory database offering. This eliminates many of the pain points normally encountered in that process, including forklift upgrades and abandoning their preferred OS for Linux*.

When Swiss supermarket giant Coop Group added “click and collect” buying to its integrated purchasing model, it needed hardware and software offerings that could enable the organization to serve its 2.5 million members in the retail and wholesale markets (

“Ensuring inventory information is always accurate and the products customers order online are actually available for collection in their preferred store at their preferred time is a major challenge. To offer this service, we needed to transform internal processes and gain almost real-time insight into stock levels at all locations,” explains Thomas Vielhauer, head of ERP Processing at Coop Group, which operates 2,200 stores and outlets across Switzerland.

“Knowing the reliability and low administration requirements of the IBM Power Systems platform from previous experience with our major SAP applications and databases, we were curious to see how SAP HANA would perform on high-performance POWER8* processor-based servers,” he adds.

“In the past, we had to cut down the volume of data we used for SAP Customer Activity Repository analytics because of the limitations of the x86 infrastructure we were using. This made it difficult to gain a near real-time overview of inventory movement,” says Christoph Kalt, lead IT architect at Coop Group. “The IBM and SAP solutions allow us to offer customers complete flexibility and convenience, which increases customer satisfaction and gives us a real competitive edge over other retailers.”

A Trusted Platform

Under the terms of the Tailored Datacenter Integration (TDI) program, SAP has certified IBM Power Systems servers to host SAP HANA. TDI permits licensees to establish multiple partitions running separate instances of SAP HANA alongside virtual machines running AIX*, Linux and IBM i. The architecture enables organizations to get the benefits of SAP HANA without leaving behind the OSs they love and have trusted to run their mission-critical workloads for years.

“With Power Systems deployments, clients get reliability, availability, scalability, backup redundancy, etc.—everything we built into the IBM Power Systems is now available to support their SAP HANA implementation,” says Alison Butterill, IBM i offering manager.

Kristin Lewotsky is a freelance technology writer based in Amherst, N.H.



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