Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword today, rather a matter of survival for companies, across size and sector. In fact, the pandemic and other changes within the market make it necessary for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to take the digital transformation path. One such recent example is Kuantum Papers, a paper mill established in 1979-80, in an economically backward village, Saila Khurd, in District Hoshiarpur, realized that its existing business processes and systems would be unable to scale efficiently unless the company undergoes digital transformation.
The company enhanced its business processes with integrated, ultra-efficient workflows supported by SAP S/4HANA running on IBM Power Systems servers and IBM FlashSystem storage and achieved 40% lower operational spend on IT infrastructure helped enhance efficiency.
For more than 40 years, Kuantum Papers has produced environmentally sustainable writing and printing paper. From a single site in India’s Punjab region, the paper mill manufactures hundreds of tons of paper per day, which it markets and ships to clients across the country.
Vikas Grover, Head of IT at Kuantum Papers Ltd., explains, “Our manufacturing operations have grown significantly over the years—from around 30 tons per day when the company was starting in the 1980s to around 350 tons per day in the present. To continue to grow the company, our long-term objective is to open new business locations and expand into new markets.”
Identifying the requirements
Kuantum Papers realized that extending its business operations more widely across India would increase the complexity of its business processes. Over the years, the company had developed highly effective systems and processes for managing every stage of the value chain: from production planning and raw materials management to quality control and logistics.
“Our existing business applications had supported us well for many years, but we knew that scaling them out to cover new business areas would require prohibitively costly and complex development work,” continues Grover.
“In addition, there was limited integration between our business systems. We knew that there was a big opportunity to drive up efficiency on the factory floor by allowing teams working in different parts of the process to share information more effectively.”
Targeting digital transformation
Kuantum Papers was confident that integrating its manufacturing and back-office workflows would create valuable opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enable future business expansion. To support its digital transformation, the company set out to replace its legacy applications and the underlying IT infrastructure.
“We decided to look for a modern, enterprise-class ERP platform that would support the next phase of our growth strategy,” said, Vikas Grover. “In the future, we want to harness sensor data to increase automation and maximize the availability of our manufacturing assets. As well as enabling us to integrate our manufacturing processes, we targeted a solution that supported the latest industrial internet-of-things [IIoT] technologies.”
Selecting a class-leading solution
After a thorough review of ERP solutions from several vendors, Kuantum Papers selected SAP S/4HANA as the foundation for its new digital business and engaged an SAP consultant and implementation partner to configure and deploy the solution.
Building on a proven platform
To maximize the value of its investment in SAP S/4HANA, Kuantum Papers decided to replace its aging x86 server landscape with a compact, secure and high-performance footprint of IBM Power System S824 servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications and connected to IBM FlashSystem 5000 storage, built on IBM Spectrum Virtualize. To safeguard its critical business data, the company uses IBM Spectrum Protect to perform automatic back-ups to an IBM TS3100 Tape Library.
“By using IBM PowerVM to split up our IBM Power System resources into separate logical partitions [LPARs], we were able to consolidate five physical x86 servers into just two IBM Power Systems servers, avoiding 20% in capital costs on the equivalent x86 solution,” said,”Vikas Grover.
“Besides significantly reducing our data center footprint, the combined IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage solution is highly secure, extremely straightforward to manage and offers us all the headroom we need to scale out for at least the next few years. By choosing IBM as our single vendor for compute and storage, we also felt strongly that we would benefit from an expert team with a close, strategic partnership with SAP.”
Engaging trusted partners
After procuring the IBM solutions via IBM Silver Business Partner Fore Solutions Pvt Ltd, Kuantum Papers engaged IBM Systems Lab Services to implement the new infrastructure solution and prepare the environment for the SAP S/4HANA deployment.
“For a successful implementation, IBM team collaborated with SAP andKuantumPapers’s internal IT team to develop and finalize the architecture for the IBM Power Systems environment.We performed the necessary configuration work to help extract the maximum performance from SAP S/4HANA with the shortest time-to-value. IBM also helped the client build the required in-house skills needed to manage the platform effectively from the go-live and beyond,” says Ravi Jain, Director – Server Sales, IBM India/South Asia.
Protecting data 24/7
Based on the successful implementation and positive experiences with the IBM infrastructure solution, Kuantum Papers subsequently chose IBM to build its new disaster recovery environment. The disaster recovery platform is based on an IBM Power System H922 server connected to IBM FlashSystem® 5000H storage, hosted in a geographically separate data center from the primary site.
Results post implementation
Since digitizing its business processes with SAP S/4HANA on IBM infrastructure, Kuantum Papers has started to shape the lean, integrated operations it needs to boost efficiency, cut costs, and improve agility.
Capturing new opportunities
By consolidating its production environment from five x86 servers to just two IBM Power Systems servers, Kuantum Papers is unlocking additional efficiencies. Thanks to the 60% reduction in physical server footprint, the company has shrunk its maintenance, power and data center cooling costs by a combined 40% contributing to a lower total cost of ownership.
“One of the biggest advantages we see in the IBM solution is the ability it gives us to protect our SAP S/4HANA data,” adds Grover.
“By replicating data in real time between our primary data center and disaster recovery site, we are significantly reducing the business risk of IT disruption.”
With SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems supporting its new digital workflows, Kuantum Papers is preparing for the next phase of its business expansion. As Grover says, “Our IBM and SAP solutions will ultimately help us to transform our traditional manufacturing processes into advanced automated workflows.”
“Looking ahead, we are confident that SAP S/4HANA on IBM Power Systems and IBM Storage will help us to build the digital capabilities we need to accelerate our business growth,” concludes Grover.