A PERPETUAL EDGE ON INNOVATION

How CSI is enabling a leader in the UK’s service industry to keep track of buying patterns across its large, distributed customer base and streamline operations with accurate management information.

Our Client: provides services to meet the needs of up to 100 million people across almost every sector from restaurants to offices, hospitals and schools.

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Context

Our client’s market sector is extremely competitive and it must offer innovative solutions to beat cheaper but less sustainable alternatives.

The company has a range of diverse operating companies providing a broad range of services to over 120,000 customers in more than 300,000 locations. With such a large and distributed customer base, it is essential to understand customer buying patterns.

Goal

The client’s business success  is supported by critical systems including Infor’s M3 ERP system running on an IBM i system. The performance and stability of this environment is a key factor in the company’s continued growth.

Challenge

A strategic goal aims to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction while making it as easy as possible for customers to access their services, including the ability to track orders and access account information – and this depends on stable and reliable IT systems.

For several years, CSI provided 24/7 remote monitoring services for the client’s on-premise IBM POWER7 environment. As that system neared its end of life and in-house IBM i skills were lost, the existing platform was deemed to be a business risk.

An alternative IBM i environment was required to run the core Infor M3 workload – one that would offer more compute capacity and could run the most recent operating system.

65% OF IBM i SHOPS ARE PLANNING TO EXPAND THEIR IBM i FOOTPRINT OR KEEP IT AS IS FOR 2020, WHICH SIGNIFICANTLY OUTNUMBERS THOSE WHO PLAN TO MIGRATE OFF THE PLATFORM. INFOR IS RUNNING IN 15% OF IBM i SYSTEMS - A STRONG INDICATION OF THE PLATFORM’S STABILITY.

HelpSystems IBM i Marketplace Survey 2020

Solution

Experience of monitoring the on-premise POWER7 system gave CSI an excellent understanding of the client’s ideal configuration.

A new CSI PowerCloud environment was designed to run an IBM i workload at the optimum level of performance and reliability. The latest PTF patches were applied to ensure that the new platform was running the most recent, stable version of the IBM i operating system.

CSI completed a full system save of the production system which was restored to the new cloud platform. Both systems were run concurrently to confirm high-speed VPN connectivity.

CSI provides maintenance, monitoring, and system management services for the new environment.

Outcomes

The CSI PowerCloud solution allows the core Infor M3 ERP application to run on the latest IBM infrastructure without the cost of acquiring and operating new technology.

The upgraded IBM Power System provides an improved level of performance while CSI’s managed services ensures the stability and availability of the application. Backups are carried out against an agreed schedule and sensitive data is encrypted.

A CSI PowerCloud platform will support this client as long as it requires an IBM i environment. The cloud platform will be upgraded to run at optimal and cost-effective levels of service.

10%

This sector of the service industry employs over 10% of the UK’s total workforce.

4Million

Our client made almost 4 million client site visits in the past 12 months alone.

70,000

Our client recycles over 70,000 tonnes of waste - diverting 90% away from landfills and into low-carbon energy.