Applications On-Demand and Network Provision as Managed Services

Trocellen Group: A New, Europe-wide ICT Infrastructure, with SAP Migration, in just three months

(PresseBox) ( Köln, )
Foam material manufacturer, Trocellen, together with its project partners, Pironet NDH AG and Gambit Consulting GmbH, has successfully completed a complex, Europe-wide migration project, in the record time of just three months: the detachment of all important business applications from the IT environment of former parent company, profine GmbH (a subsidiary of former RAG Concern member HT Troplast AG); the transfer of these applications to a new, uniform, central technology platform; and the outsourcing of the operation and maintenance of this IT platform to the high security data center of Pironet NDH.

The high-speed implementation, including the complete transfer of all data, was made possible on the one hand by the use of a standardized SaaS (Software as a Service) solution, for which many important components were already available and turnkey ready. On the other hand, an alternative SAP migration procedure was employed – a procedure that requires a fraction of the time normally required before implementation and that is also SAP-compliant. Planning and execution were in the hands of the ICT outsourcing service provider, Pironet NDH AG, and the SAP consultant company, Gambit Consulting GmbH.

Access On-Demand to Business Applications

The new, Europe-wide IT platform comprises the essential business applications from SAP, the production support system, MES, the mail and file-server system and the Microsoft solutions, Office, Exchange and Sharepoint. All applications are provided in the Pironet NDH data center and operated centrally according to ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) guidelines. Users can access the applications from wherever they happen to be, right across Europe and independent of current time and location.

Access to the applications is made possible by the SaaS (Software as a Service) procedure: Each and every IT resource – right down to individual Office applications – can be both activated and subsequently exited with immediate effect, for any given user; charges are based on actual usage. IT costs are therefore highly flexible and subject to continuous adaptation, reflecting the business development of the company. Furthermore, users from Management and Sales can retrieve important business data via their Blackberry devices whilst away from the office, as well as enjoying wireless access to groupware applications.

International Corporate Network

Besides the operation and continuous maintenance of the software applications, Pironet NDH connects the altogether eight branch offices of the Trocellen group in Germany, Italy, Romania and France, via a corporate network, to form a functioning European communication network. In order to ensure uninterrupted availability and high-speed response times for the essential business applications, the business network is based on MPLS (MultiProtocol Label Switching) technology, which guarantees a very high data throughput at all times. In addition, all factories and branch offices are connected via redundant – i.e. multiple – lines and a range of access technologies.

The actual catalyst for the migration project was the oncoming expiry (on December 31, 2006) of all IT service contracts with the former parent company, profine GmbH. From this situation arose the necessity to detach important business applications from the profine GmbH IT environment – without any downtime – and to transfer these applications to a new, multilingual IT platform, which needed to be completely independent from the previous business group. The upcoming end of the financial year for Trocellen meant that the timescale of the project, with 3 months to "Go live," would be very tight.

Flexible Cooperation

"We had initially decided in favor of one of the worldwide operating IT service providers, but in the end they were not able to adhere to our narrow timescale," remembers Oliver Cordt, the Head of Corporate Finance & IT for Trocellen GmbH. "It turned out to be a very good decision that we immediately switched to the team from Pironet NDH and Gambit Consulting. Together they saw to it that in the first place the deadline was met, and that in the second place we are now in possession of a highly-efficient and expandable IT infrastructure."

In view of the narrow timescale, Pironet NDH provided a standardized SaaS solution that is based on turn-key components: from the pre-configured user interface through to multilingual applications. Meanwhile, project partner Gambit Consulting selected a particularly high-speed, alternative migration procedure that specifically avoids the central "brake factor" of SAP migrations: "For Trocellen we used an alternative procedure, whereby all data connected to the business is migrated during the first phase," explains Holger Wüsthoff, Project Manager and Senior Consultant at Gambit Consulting. "The components that did not belong to Trocellen were then extracted bit-by-bit during the second phase, by which time the business was already working on the new IT platform. This procedure – officially approved by SAP – offers a considerable advantage in terms of the time saved."

According to Felix Höger, board member at Pironet NDH, the successful realization of this project came about as a result of the high level of flexibility and agility and extensive common competence-spectrum of the project team: "German middle-sized industries in particular attach a great deal of importance to finding project partners who are both reliable and flexible enough to adapt themselves to individual business requirements. Thanks to the combination of SAP consulting from Gambit Consulting and our own resources and experience, Trocellen can rely on a breadth of service that stretches from application development and the high availability of systems in the data center to the provision of the international corporate network."
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