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Modernizing Factories with SAP HANA-Certified Hyperconverged Infrastructure

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Updated:December 7, 2020

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  • PDF
    (889.5 KB)
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Updated:December 7, 2020
 

Established in 1950, Pacific Electric Wire & Cable Co., Ltd. (PEWC) manufactures and distributes power cables, communication cables, fiber optic cables, bare cooper wires, bare aluminum wires, enameled wires, and other wire and cable products. The company has two production plants and three sales offices in Taiwan, plus subsidiary locations in China, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia. For more information, visit pewc.com.tw.

Executive Summary

Customer Name: PEWC

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

Number of Employees: 1000

Challenges

  Upgrade to SAP S/4HANA
  Refresh data center infrastructure
  Align factory and office operations

Solutions

  Cisco® HyperFlex™ Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)
  Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®)
  Cisco Intersight™ SaaS Systems Management Platform
  Cisco SD-WAN
  Cisco Firepower® Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)
  Cisco Customer Experience

Results

  Reduced IT footprint, electricity expenses, and maintenance costs
  Accelerated business analytics and reporting
  Established the IT foundation for factory modernization and cloud alignment                                                                    

 

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Challenge: Determine the best infrastructure for SAP S/4HANA

The time had come for PEWC to upgrade to SAP S/4HANA. In addition to facing an end-of-support deadline for its preexisting SAP software, the company’s IT staff wanted to take advantage of the latest features. They wanted to get more insight and value from internal data resources. And they wanted to speed up operational analyses and reporting.

But first, PEWC needed a new infrastructure platform to support the data-intensive workloads.

The company’s IT staff had several prerequisites. Exceptional performance and SAP S/4HANA certification were paramount, but they also wanted to simplify data center management. And they saw an opportunity to standardize the company’s infrastructure and extend it beyond Taiwan, bringing together PEWC’s international subsidiaries and integrating with public cloud resources.

“We want to connect all of our factories and offices,” says Ivan Hsia, chief financial officer of Asia Pacific Wire & Cable Co., Ltd. (APWC), a Nasdaq listed company and 75 percent owned subsidiary of PEWC, “so we needed a future-proofed solution that can scale across multiple sites and multiple clouds.”

PEWC received bids from three prominent vendors, two of which suggested a conventional, three-tier infrastructure. Cisco proposed a software-defined, hyperconverged solution.

 

“With a traditional architecture, there are more components to integrate and manage. We were very impressed with Cisco HyperFlex, which is easier to manage, easier to scale, and has better alignment with the cloud.”

-Lilin Wong, IT Manager, PEWC

 

“With a traditional architecture, there are more components to integrate and manage,” says Lilin Wang, IT Manager at PEWC. “We were very impressed with Cisco HyperFlex, which is easier to manage, easier to scale, and has better alignment with the cloud.”

Reducing the data center footprint

A 3-node Cisco HyperFlex cluster is now supporting PEWC’s SAP HANA databases and all of its business applications. The company’s two SAP S/4HANA appliances are running on Cisco UCS, and Cisco Firepower NGFW is providing an extra layer of data security.

The SAP HANA-certified infrastructure has freed up valuable space in PEWC’s data center and reduced electricity consumption and costs. Three racks of gear pulling 60 amps have been consolidated down to two racks drawing 40 amps. And single-vendor support has lowered the company’s maintenance costs—from 25 percent of its annual IT budget down to 15 percent.

“It’s a powerful and efficient solution,” says Wang. “And it gives us a lot of flexibility and control.”

The entire environment is being managed with Cisco Intersight, which allows distributed infrastructure systems to be configured and updated centrally. Cisco SD-WAN is helping optimize the routing between PEWC’s factories and offices in Taiwan, ensuring SAP workloads get top priority.

According to the company’s IT staff, the new infrastructure has greatly improved application performance. SAP reports that used to take five hours to process now take an hour.

Modernizing factories, extending to the cloud

PEWC views its new Cisco infrastructure not just as an underpinning for SAP workloads and business applications, but as a centralized, standardized platform that can help align its global operations and modernize its production plants.

 

“We want to transform our plants into smart factories, which requires more integration between components, systems, and networks. All of our subsidiaries want Cisco HyperFlex, and we’re eager to give it to them.”

-Ivan Hsia, CFO, APWC

 

“We want to transform our plants into smart factories, which requires more integration between components, systems, and networks,” Hsia says. “All of our subsidiaries want Cisco HyperFlex, and we’re eager to give it to them.”

With help from the Cisco Customer Experience team—which provides advanced consulting, integration, and transformation services—PEWC plans to take advantage of the latest IoT and digital manufacturing technologies. It will analyze more factory data and attain faster, more accurate business insights. And it can extend its infrastructure to the cloud if and when needed.

“We are very happy to have a strong platform for SAP S/4HANA,” says Wang, “and we are even happier to have a flexible, scalable infrastructure that can take our company into the future.”

Learn More

Explore more Cisco Data Center Compute customer success stories at cs.co/dccstories.

 

 

 

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