2 page Case Study - Posted 5/15/2013
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Firm Adopts a Modern, Flexible IT Platform and Cuts Costs by Approximately 20 Percent

Singapore firm SATS, a leading provider of gateway services and food solutions, wanted to move its mission-critical SAP ERP environment to a more cost-effective and easily scalable environment. The company implemented a solution based on a Microsoft platform that includes Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise. As a result, the company cut operating costs by approximately 20 percent while increasing scalability about 30 percent. SATS can now expand its enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities more easily and affordably, provide remote real-time access to line-of-business software and cloud-based office programs, and streamline its IT environment and business processes.

Business Needs

SATS—formerly known as Singapore Airport Terminal Services and a prior subsidiary of Singapore Airlines—is the leading ground and in-flight catering service provider at Singapore Changi Airport. Based in Singapore, SATS operates in more than 30 airports in Asia.

In its main hub at Singapore Changi Airport, SATS handles approximately 80 percent of scheduled flights and serves nearly 60 scheduled airlines. The company continuously strives to improve efficiency while controlling costs. “Aviation is a challenging industry because high fuel and labor costs have eroded the profits of our airline customers. As a result, there is always pressure on the service provider to lower prices,” says Lee Siew Kit, Vice President of Information Technology Services at SATS. “We have to stay competitive and manage our costs better as well.”

Because of its divestiture from Singapore Airlines, SATS was required to maintain its SAP ERP system in its own data center and, as a result, needed to deploy a cost-effective solution within a short time frame. The mission-critical solution, which automated core processes such as production planning and inventory management in food service operations, ran on-premises on costly, proprietary UNIX servers with an Oracle database.

The company also wanted to improve efficiency and synergies companywide, so it planned to extend its SAP system to subsidiaries. In addition, SATS sought to take advantage of more functionality in its SAP software, especially mobility features. To meet its goals, the company needed easier, more affordable scalability.

* We estimate that we can save about 20 percent in hardware and licensing costs with a Microsoft platform and server virtualization. At the same time, we are boosting scalability by about 30 percent.  *

Lee Siew Kit
Vice President of Information Technology Services


After initially considering an upgrade to its existing UNIX environment, SATS ultimately chose Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise software running on the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system. The company also opted for Cisco UCS server computers. SATS believed that the Microsoft platform would deliver the same or better results than the proprietary UNIX environment in terms of performance and reliability, but at a much lower cost.

SATS chose Accenture, a Microsoft partner with 24 gold-level competencies, to implement and host the solution. The company had in-depth expertise with SAP products and Microsoft technology as well as extensive knowledge of business processes at SATS. Accenture began migrating the SAP software to the Microsoft platform in August 2011 and completed the project seven months later in April 2012. Lee says, “Accenture managed the migration from UNIX and Oracle to Windows and SQL Server transparently. The standard SAP migration tools used were 100 percent reliable”

SATS manages approximately 4 terabytes of production data in its SAP environment. The mission-critical system is protected by a comprehensive high availability and disaster recovery solution that replicates data across two geographically separated data centers in Singapore. “SQL Server 2008 R2 gives us a lot of flexibility,” says Lee. “We have seven environments set up in our SAP data center, including production, staging, and QA. We can have multiple instances running on the same physical servers using virtualization.”

SATS is expanding its mobile capabilities too. SATS implemented Microsoft Office 365, which provides cloud-based versions of familiar office applications. The solution replaces multiple email systems at SATS and offers a comprehensive and consistent set of productivity and communications tools. The company also plans to expand its use of devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ultimately, SATS employees in any location will be able to connect with mission-critical SAP software through the corporate intranet.


SATS can expand its mission-critical SAP ERP system more affordably on a Microsoft platform. The company has cut operating costs by approximately 20 percent, improved efficiency, and streamlined both business and IT processes.

Cuts Operating Costs by 20 Percent

Now, SATS can expand its mission-critical SAP ERP more easily and affordably. “We estimate that we can save about 20 percent by reducing hardware and licensing costs with a Microsoft platform and server virtualization,” says Lee. “At the same time, we are boosting scalability by about 30 percent while using existing hardware infrastructure.”

The solution also provides better flexibility, so that the company can add new services and capabilities as needed. Lee says, “With SQL Server 2008 R2, I can scale up and down quite easily without heavy investment.”

Improves Access to Information with Cloud-based Solution

SATS is improving efficiency across its organization with remote access to both line-of-business applications and office tools. “To improve productivity, we needed to use more mobile applications,” says Lee. “With a cloud-based Microsoft platform, employees don’t have to return to the office—they can access information on their devices in real time.”

Streamlines Business Process and IT

The company is simplifying IT management in addition to improving the productivity of office and service personnel. “I can take advantage of the whole Microsoft stack to streamline my infrastructure,” says Lee. “For example, I can use Office 365 instead of maintaining multiple programs. And with a solution based on SQL Server, I can easily integrate with multiple systems and extend my SAP environment to subsidiaries. The solution simplifies IT operations as well as business processes.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 14000 employees

Organization Profile

Based in Singapore, SATS is a leading regional provider of gateway services and food solutions. The company serves multiple industries, including aviation, hospitality, retail, and healthcare.

  • Cisco UCS server computers

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Office 365

Vertical Industries


Business Need
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Mission Critical
  • Cost Containment
  • Mobility

IT Issue
  • Integration with SAP
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)