2 page Case Study - Posted 9/28/2012
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Biotech Manufacturer Cuts Query Times from Hours to Minutes and Boosts Productivity

Produquímica, a Brazilian manufacturer of nutritional supplements and specialized chemical products, needed to improve the performance of its mission-critical SAP and business intelligence (BI) systems. To do that, the company upgraded to a new Microsoft-based database environment. The firm reduced database query times from 7 hours to 3 minutes, helping employees get useful business information faster. The solution has also boosted productivity by 50 percent and contributed to reducing system backup times by 88 percent.

Business Needs

Founded in 1965, Produquímica is the leading manufacturer of microminerals and micronutrients in Brazil. The company supplies Brazilian agribusiness firms with foliar and fertigation supplements, as well as mineral micronutrients for cattle, poultry, and swine. The organization also produces acids, aluminum, ammonium, and zinc for chemical companies.

* Using the compression features in SQL Server 2012, we have reduced the overall database size by 70 percent …. This has helped reduce database query times from 7 hours to just 3 minutes.  *

Luiz Fernando Frederico
IT Coordinator

Produquímica uses SAP systems for its business processes, including materials management, sales, distribution, production planning, and accounting. High performance is essential for these mission-critical systems, many of which are used to manage the company’s supply chain. “Our SAP operations cannot stop, at any time. If there is slow performance, or downtime, customer purchases cannot be tracked or delivered on time,” says Luiz Fernando Frederico, IT Coordinator at Produquímica.

System performance had become an issue, however, because the SAP environment was based on outdated hardware. Also, the company wanted to upgrade the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 software that supported the SAP systems. “We were experiencing delays in reporting, backing up, and loading data. We needed to update our hardware and software to achieve stronger performance, to better meet our customers’ demands,” Frederico says.

Performance issues also affected the company’s business intelligence (BI) system, used by hundreds of IT employees to gather customer information and provide reports to analysts. “It often took up to seven hours to load the BI data into the system. Analysts did not have the information they needed when they needed it,” says Frederico.

Finding newer, innovative technology was especially important. “We are constantly investing in new technologies to aid our production and research,” states Frederico.

Produquímica started searching for a new database solution in late 2011.


Produquímica decided to stay with Microsoft technology for its new database solution. “Our SAP systems were already running on Microsoft technology, so we knew we would have a better total cost of ownership compared with other solutions,” says Frederico.

In January 2012, working with Brazilian Microsoft partner ITST, the company upgraded its environment to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise running on the Windows Server 2008 Enterprise operating system. Frederico says, “We saw that this new technology would give us the better performance and operations redundancy we needed.”

Produquímica also wanted to take advantage of the data compression features in SQL Server 2012, which can help organizations store more data per gigabyte of space, improve application performance, and save data compression and backup compression space.

Produquímica implemented SQL Server 2012 on HP ProLiant DL380 server computers with a NetApp network-attached storage solution. The SQL Server 2012 data warehouse holds 3 terabytes of data in two databases. The SAP systems supported by this new environment are accessed daily by more than 300 Produquímica employees, including IT personnel and other workers throughout the business. The company is also considering giving employees self-service BI capabilities by implementing SQL Server 2012 Power View, a new interactive data exploration and visualization feature within SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services.


With its new solution, Produquímica has improved performance and reduced database query times, giving workers the ability to get customer information faster. The company’s employees are also 50 percent more productive, and the firm has cut its system backup times by 88 percent.

Cuts Database Query Times from 7 Hours to 3 Minutes

Since upgrading to SQL Server 2012, Produquímica has seen a boost in system performance. “Using the compression features in SQL Server 2012, we have reduced the overall database size by 70 percent and increased the effectiveness of database I/O. This has helped reduce database query times from 7 hours to just 3 minutes,” says Frederico. As a result, employees using the company’s mission-critical SAP systems no longer experience delays, and IT staff members can more quickly produce analytical reports. “Now, our IT employees can provide customer data to our business leaders more often, improving the time-to-market,” adds Frederico.

Promotes Better Decisions and Boosts Productivity by 50 Percent

With better-performing SAP systems and the ability to get useful business intelligence faster, Produquímica employees are well-equipped to do their work. “This solution empowers our users to make better and more accurate decisions about our business. And it also increases productivity for our users by 50 percent, because they don’t have to deal with system delays or longer loading times for online analytical processing cubes for BI anymore,” Frederico says.

Reduces Data Backup Volume by 88 Percent

Produquímica has also reduced its system backup times using the built-in data compression features in SQL Server 2012. “Using SQL Server 2012 compression, we decreased our backup data volume by 88 percent. This reduces backup times and will also help us lower our overall investments in storage and related services. And with the better performance and smaller database, we can double the number of SAP users without investing in new hardware.,” says Frederico.

Produquímica now has an innovative Microsoft database and BI solution that fosters better customer relations and will continue to do so in the years ahead. “We are the first company of our kind in Brazil to adopt this type of solution. It is already generating a positive image for us with our customers,” says Frederico.

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

Organization Size: 3000 employees

Organization Profile

Produquímica, based in São Paulo, Brazil, manufactures essential nutritional supplements and chemicals for water treatment and chemical and metallurgical processes. These products are used in the agribusiness and petroleum, mining, and paper and cellulose industries. It has nine manufacturing facilities in Brazil.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

Vertical Industries
Life Sciences, Chemicals; Oil & Gas, Mining


Business Need
Business Intelligence and Reporting