Pulp and paper firm Suzano has migrated to a core SAP ERP and in-memory database Hana in a multi-million pound centralisation project - the first of its kind in Brazil - it revealed this week in Sao Paulo.
Since completing the BRL$20 million (£5 million) integration project this year, Suzano, one of the 10 largest producers of market pulp and largest producer of eucalyptus pulp in the world, has seen a 20 percent increase in speed for its transactions and ordering processes.
The firm took the opportunity to pilot SAP Hana while migrating its three different ERPs, two data warehouses and SAP 4.7 to a single instance of SAP ERP and one warehouse in a seven-month long project assisted by Capgemini this year.
ComputerworldUK understands that it was the ninth company in the world to deploy SAP’s in-memory database. The vendor has said it has 1,500 customers using Business Suite on Hana.
Antonio Augusto Cruz, IT director at Suzano, said: “I was already thinking ahead, about the end of this integration process and what we are going to do next. At the beginning of the project, it was about innovation and simplification, so I started studying right in the beginning and thought why don’t we take this opportunity and move to Hana and think about going live with this new technology.
“I discussed it with Capgemini and SAP and took the shot.”
Although SAP does not normally offer discounts on its Hana product, Cruz revealed that by adopting early the firm would benefit from SAP experts who would help with the integration. Equally, it was a lucrative opportunity for Capgemini’s Latin American arm to partner and assist while learning from the project.
The migration, assisted by a 200-strong core IT team, took place over 76 hours during Brazil’s world-famous carnival to avoid disruption to its 4,000 end-users. The final move to the Hana database took place over a six- hour window.
Cruz said: “The day after we went live absolutely nothing changed on the user side. It was a really, really fast project, we had to make a lot of archiving, and when we successfully went live and the next day, for users, it was completely transparent for them.”
Since the deployment in March this year, business users have better access to information, improving productivity and reconciliation across inventory, order processes as well as stock-keeping units, of which it has 7,000.
“We now have the opportunity to really go through the numbers in much deeper granularity in a much faster processing fashion.
“Hana is a breakthrough process for us because with such good processing capability, you are allowing pretty much to make your [data] cubes within the operational database and you no longer have to start or to wait until midnight to start a batch process,” Cruz said.
He hastened to add that speedier business processes are due to the overall project, including the ERP consolidation and reorganisation of data during the migration to Hana.
“But the ability to make it faster, is due to Hana,” he added.
Using technology in the forestry industry
The Brazilian firm has a presence in over 80 countries and offices in Buenos Aires, Fort Lauderdale, London and Shanghai. It reported a net revenue of £1.4 billion last year (BRL$5.7 billion). But like other forestry-based firms, it must innovate to stay competitive and make use of technology, including biotechnology across its plantations as well as technology to improve business processes across its global markets. “All this complexity requires us to think ahead and see where are the opportunities,” Cruz said during a presentation in Capgemini's Latin American headquarters in Alphaville, Sao Paulo.
Next year Suzano will begin to tackle its big data and implement SAP Fiori and Screen Personas to improve user interfaces for its end-users.