manroland Goss web systems GmbH
90% cost savings in the SAP archive
manroland Goss web systems counts on the Silent Brick System from FAST LTA
manroland Goss web systems GmbH is one of the world’s leading suppliers of web offset presses and finishing systems. In addition to its headquarters in Augsburg, the company has further locations in North and South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Demands in the area of digitization are also increasing at the internationally operating press manufacturer - especially with regard to access to documents and their revision-proof archiving. In the course of the in-sourcing of the previously externally hosted archive of the SAP merchandise management system, the revision-proof archiving of delivery bills and invoices was an important aspect. An immutable long-term archiving solution for the documents was sought together with system specialists CTO Balzuweit GmbH and found to be FAST LTA. The Silent Brick System is ideally suited for the desired requirements and is also flexibly expandable. Approximately 90 percent of the operating costs could be saved compared to the externally hosted archiving system, while at the same time providing significantly greater flexibility in the processes.
In 2018, manroland web systems and Goss International merged to form manroland Goss web systems. Today, with around 1,000 employees, the company provides web offset equipment and service offerings for the global printing market - including the most highly automated and productive web offset presses in the world. The company also provides spare parts and comprehensive service in a worldwide network. The company has been relying on SAP to digitize its business processes since 2004. While SAP systems were originally mainly found in the areas of finance and controlling, purchasing, quality management and incoming goods, they have also been fully implemented for the warehouse (electronic warehouse management) as well as for service and production. The archiving system for documents and technical drawings was operated by an external hoster.
External hosting transferred to own IT
Upcoming updates to the archive software and increased costs for the external service provider led to the consideration of transferring the archive system to the internal data center. The archiving concept was also generally questioned. An evaluation by the team of Peter Brechtel, Head of Global IT Infrastructure and Ivo Kvocic, Head of Global IT Processes at manroland Goss web systems and the consulting system house CTO Balzuweit, led to the decision for internal operation. In response to the question “Update or new archive?”, the decision was therefore made in favor of the “new archive” variant, as it allowed the company to benefit almost cost-neutrally from additional advantages, such as better connection to SAP.At the beginning of the project, it was not entirely clear how many and which documents were to be migrated at all, as the previous archive had already been in use for several years. It contained various types of documents from different sources, so the main challenge was to develop a migration strategy. In the end, it turned out that over two million documents were affected by the migration. In addition, about 455 different SAP objects linked to document types were identified. The archive had a volume of about two terabytes.
New lean archive and self-hosted archiving hardware from FAST LTA
At the beginning of 2019, the SAP systems were moved to another hoster, thus providing the impetus for in-house archiving. The CLARC CONTENT SERVER FOR SAP was chosen as the archiving software. This is a high-performance and audit-proof archiving solution that can be easily integrated into the existing SAP environment. FAST LTA’s Silent Brick System with WORM storage was implemented as the physical storage medium and the connection was configured by the content server. Sales partner CTO has already integrated several of these systems for customers and recommended the German manufacturer also due to its many years of positive experience and easy integration into complex archive systems.For better handling, the CLARC CONTENT SERVER was installed on a virtual server, which was then connected to the Silent Brick System. In this way, an initial basic setup could be carried out and the SAP systems were immediately able to connect to the archive solution. In parallel, the scanning lines for document capture were set up. manroland Goss web systems had different generations of scanners that had to be connected to the archive system.
Migration largely self-sufficient - operation considerably simplified
CTO Balzuweit gave the IT team at manroland Goss a tool to carry out the migration themselves. The setup was carried out jointly, and initial tests were also run together in order to be able to implement possible readjustments. A guide summarized the most important points for the migration. By implementing the migration in-house, manroland Goss saved a lot of consulting time and had the timing in its own hands. The Silent Brick System was integrated together with FAST LTA, also through a simple installation routine, and put into operation together. Peter Brechte is pleased: “Thanks to the extensive preparation, we were able to quickly set up our archive system, which is now operated in-house, and have since had a system tailored to our needs. The Silent Brick system is much easier to use compared to the previous system.”
With the hardware-sealed Silent Bricks WORM, revision-proof archiving of invoices and delivery bills is now possible, which can be accessed easily and at any time via the archiving software. Initially, 12 terabytes of gross data volume are available. Currently, 7 TB of this is being used, with data that must be retained for up to 10 years migrated to the new system. Due to the modular concept, the Silent Brick system can be expanded almost indefinitely. To ensure resilience, there are plans to mirror the Silent Bricks to another data center located in another fire zone. Replication will then take place automatically while the system is in operation. In addition, individual Silent Bricks are to be stored offline in a third location, further increasing security.
Conclusion: Complete success and 90 percent operating cost savings
“In-sourcing our archive system has resulted in significant cost and effort savings,” says Peter Brechtel. Thanks to the automatic status updates from the Silent Brick System, he and his colleagues know the status and utilization of the archive at all times. An extension is already planned due to the rapid data growth. The fact that manroland Goss web systems was able to save almost 90 percent of the costs previously incurred for external hardware and software, and the flexibility gained, makes the project a complete success.