Case Study

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Case Study Hillarys adopts a new strategy for its future IT needs Huawei’s SAP Appliances underpin another successful SAP HANA migration

Responding to change Since its creation in 1971, Hillarys has grown to be the UK’s leading supplier of window coverings and carpets, with over 1,000 advisors nationwide processing more than 12,000 orders every week. SAP’s enterprise software is central to the way it manages its business and the company is one of SAP’s leading users. Following a major review of its ICT strategy in 2014, Hillarys made the decision to migrate to SAP HANA, the next generation of SAP’s Business software Suite. Julian Bond, Head of ICT, explains: “When SAP was originally implemented, Hillarys was a relatively straightforward business focused on manufacturing and fitting made to measure blinds. Now we are a multi-channel retailer with a vertically integrated supply chain that has expanded its product portfolio to include blinds, shutters, awnings, curtains and carpets. “We know that S/4 HANA will be a key enabler of our digital transformation, allowing us to be more agile and responsive to the changing opportunities and threats of our commercial landscape.”

As SAP HANA needs an in-memory computing based platform to function, it also meant replacing the company’s hardware estate. Therefore, the potential impact on the business and the level of investment required meant that it was important for Hillarys to consider options other than what was being offered by its incumbent supplier. Julian Bond continues: “It wasn’t a decision we took lightly. We didn’t have any specific technical requirements but we knew we had to find a hardware solution that would give us the best return on our investment. So our SAP partner, The Birchman Group, suggested we look at Huawei as an alternative, pointing out that it had already supplied SAP appliances for a number of customers in Western Europe.”

Executive Summary Company Hillarys

Industry Retail/Manufacturer

Challenges • A scalable, reliable and cost effective infrastructure solution to support the use of SAP HANA® • A trusted and reliable strategic IT partner • Transformation into a digital business

Solution SAP HANA Appliances comprising RH5885H V3 and RH8100 Rack servers

Benefits • Successful implementation of the Huawei solution • Complete peace of mind for Hillarys following a successful migration to SAP S4/HANA® • A platform that will develop with Hillarys changing requirements

Case Study A compelling solution Working closely with Birchman, Huawei soon impressed Julian Bond, quickly building strong credibility and overcoming any initial concerns he might have had about working with a vendor he knew little about. “The initial attraction of Huawei was its competitive pricing and compelling return-on-investment, but as investigation and evaluation proceeded, it was the performance and technical innovation of the Huawei solution that really stood out and helped us to decide to go with them to support our ambition to become a digital business,” says Julian Bond. Huawei’s solution is made up of six virtualised SAP hardware appliances in total; a combination of RH5885H V3 and RH8100 servers, both featuring the world’s fastest PCIe solid state disks. All of the devices can run components of SAP Business Suite 4 HANA, in a traditional three-tier landscape. The Huawei SAP appliances are designed to accelerate mission critical applications, analyse large amounts of data in real time and help build data warehouses effectively. They also provide a robust and flexible infrastructure foundation to support future SAP developments.

Supporting the migration challenge The first stage of the migration project was to get the new Huawei hardware installed and working. Following a high degree of collaboration between the partners involved, this was achieved without a hitch. The amount of technical change required for a successful migration, however, was always going to be a gr