Wei Chuan Foods Corporation wanted to improve operation of its SAP ERP software, which it relies on to run operations in China. The company faced a growing volume of data and slower performance, but it wanted to upgrade without incurring significant
hardware costs. Wei Chuan deployed a Microsoft solution with its existing infrastructure and gained better query performance and increased storage capacity. As a result, Wei Chuan can improve service and stay competitive by investing more of its profits in
enhancing business processes.
Established in 1953, the Wei Chuan Food Corporation is a leading supplier of consumer products including condiments, breads, beverages, and fresh and frozen foods. It also operates a supermarket chain. To keep up with its expanding business, the company
needed to upgrade core infrastructure including billing, financial, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.
||We operate in a very demanding industry. Smooth business processes such as ordering and billing are critical. With SQL Server 2012, we can deliver good service and stay competitive.
| Simon Yu
IT Center Director
Wei Chuan Foods Corporation
Wei Chuan relies on SAP ERP software to run its operations. As data volume grew, the company faced slower performance and backups. The problem was particularly acute at the end of each month when the company analyzed financial performance and planned its business
strategy. For example, it used an SAP actual costing process that calculates overhead costs based on the prior month’s production volume. The process could take almost two hours to complete.
Wei Chuan had also run out of room on its storage area network (SAN). However, rather than purchasing costly hardware, the company wanted to extend the lifetime of the existing servers and SAN.
After comparing products from multiple vendors, Wei Chuan decided to upgrade its SAP environment with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise data management software running on the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system. The company liked the solution’s
built-in capabilities and the fact that it could be affordably deployed on Intel-based, industry-standard hardware. Scott Chen, IT Infrastructure Section Manager, IT Center, Wei Chuan Food Corporation, says, “We estimated that a solution based on SQL Server
2012 would be about one-eighth the cost of running competitive products and UNIX on proprietary hardware.”
Wei Chuan wanted to take advantage of the solution’s enhanced database features. It was also encouraged that Microsoft runs its own internal operations on SAP software with beta releases of SQL Server to ensure tight integration and improve product quality.
The result is an environment optimized for SAP processes. For example, SQL Server is the only database used with SAP software that provides compression as a default setting for all tables and indexes.
SQL Server 2012 has many additional features for SAP NetWeaver® Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) such as enhancements to partition switch operations. The number of partitions had increased too from 1,000 in SQL Server 2005 to 15,000 in newer SQL Server
releases. SQL Server 2012 also offers star-join query optimization and new support from SAP for parallelized queries and index builds. “We knew that Microsoft works closely with SAP,” says Jamie Chyu, Assistant Manager, IT Infrastructure Section, IT Center,
Wei Chuan Food Corporation. “SAP officially confirmed that SQL Server 2012 was supported and ready, so we felt confident.”
Wei Chuan began deploying SQL Server 2012 on existing IBM xSeries server computers with assistance from Microsoft Premier Support Services. The solution also includes an IBM DS5100 SAN. First, Wei Chuan upgraded the existing disaster-recovery solution to SQL
Server 2012 in January 2012. Next, the Wei Chuan and Microsoft team upgraded development and quality assurance environments to SQL Server 2012, followed by deployment into production in March 2012. For future implementation, Wei Chuan is also evaluating SQL
Server 2012 AlwaysOn, a new high-availability and disaster-recovery feature.
The Wei Chuan SAP reporting solution is based on SAP NetWeaver BW with SAP NetWeaver® Business Intelligence. Wei Chuan maintains 6 terabytes in its SAP environment, with more than 500 million rows in the largest table. By using data compression, SQL Server
2012 can store the same number of rows in less space while speeding query response time. At Wei Chuan, SAP tables such as BSIS, GLPCA, ACCTIT, and MSEG each had many hundreds of gigabytes of data. Not only were these tables compressed to 10–15 percent of their
original size, but performance improved as well.
By implementing SQL Server 2012, Wei Chuan has improved the performance of its SAP environment. It has also gained a stronger competitive advantage and better support for its expanding business.
Improved Business and IT Operations
Wei Chuan has boosted the performance of mission-critical operations. For example, Wei Chuan has cut the time it needed to run its actual costing process from two hours to 50 minutes. Wei Chuan did not experience any significant problems with SAP products running
on SQL Server 2012. “Whenever we had a question during the upgrade, we directly reported this to our First Customer Shipment program manager from the SQL Server development group. Any topic we raised was quickly addressed, and we saw the great cooperation
between Microsoft and SAP development resources,” says Chyu. “We have no concern at all about running our core production business systems on SQL Server 2012 because it has proved to be 100 percent stable and reliable and we are impressed by its compression
feature and its performance.”
Stronger Competitive Advantage
By running its enterprise SAP software with a Microsoft solution, Wei Chuan can continue to thrive in a challenging marketplace. “We operate in a very demanding industry,” says Simon Yu, IT Center Director at Wei Chuan Food Corporation. “Smooth business processes
such as ordering and billing are critical. With SQL Server 2012, we can deliver good service and stay competitive.”
Innovative Platform for Business Growth
Wei Chuan can support its growing business more affordably at a fraction of the cost of competitive products. “We have cut costs and continue to have good support with a Microsoft solution,” says Yu. “And we predict a trend toward Intel-based, industry-standard
The company believes that running SAP with Microsoft products is an innovative approach in its industry, which often uses UNIX platforms. “Our competitors spend millions of dollars on proprietary UNIX-based hardware and database licenses,” says Yu. “By running
SAP with SQL Server 2012, we are able to meet our business requirements and our customers’ expectations at a highly competitive cost.”
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