OTHER SUCCESS STORIES

OLÍMPICA

Generalidades

OLÍMPICA S.A.

Consumer Stores

18000 assets

BARRANQUILLA

Olímpica S.A. is a company incorporated in Barranquilla in 1953; this extensive mass consumption store chain is one of the main retail players in Colombia, with double-digit continuous growth in the last decade. As of the 2017 closing, the company had sales equivalent to Col$ 5.3 trillion and more than Col$·89 billion in profits. This company, consisting of 100% Colombian private capital, is a flagship of the Atlantic Coast and has 350 points of sale, has almost 18,000 employees in superstores (“supertiendas”), super-depots (“superalmacenes”), super-drugstores (“superdroguerías”) and drugstores of the country.

Entity

Olímpica S.A. is a company incorporated in Barranquilla in 1953; this extensive mass consumption store chain is one of the main retail players in Colombia, with double-digit continuous growth in the last decade.

Challenge

In 2017, Olímpica, the second most important retailer in Colombia, faced a very large technology challenge to improve the technology services experience, services that were strengthened between 2012 and 2015, with an IBM Power 750servers solution and a previously-acquired storage system from HP and 3Par.

The solution started to report considerable delays due to the high volume of information that the swift company growth meant.

Little by little, the processing systems reached 100% of its capacity, which increased the process retention reports, and delays of hours and days, and inclusive the cancellation of processes, many of which it was necessary to abort and fragment in order to meet the operating requirements.

This overflown demand forced users to conduct wasteful consolidation and report presentation processes with long execution times. In turn, the storage system took an average of 10 hours to make a general backup copy, which was made once a week and forced the operation to have a long pause.

All this volume of financial, accounting and commercial information gradually threatened to cause greater slowness of the system, process inefficacy, and inclusive the possible loss of critical data for the business.

Solution

Its continuous double-digit growth during the last decade, leads it to formulate, by mid 2017, an investment in technology to improve the information management and backup capacity. A new processing model is designed based on IBM On-Demand solutions and a two-brand integration in the storage component.

In its head office, Barranquilla, the design would offer unbeatable response times for the current information processing and backup demand. In addition, it would integrate the HP 3Par storage technology already acquired. This solution was executed in three (3) weeks during June 2017, with no traumatisms of any nature. Here, it starts a turn-key solution with Redsis’ mentorship, the business’ technology ally during the last 20 years. The strategy consisted of increasing the computing power: One 32-processor, 3TB-memory, IBM OnDemand iSeries 870 server. If we add other 20 processors licensed, the IT service offer, the reliability and the performance substantially improve. This model allowed the business to plan scalable growth for 2020.

Under the processing layer, it was implemented an SVC System: SAN Volume Controller and an IBM Storewize V7000F, and the HP 3Par solution was integrated as backup platform. Response times and reliability gave positive results, especially taking into consideration that, in this case, SAP Retail system if associated to a 40TB-base and 2,800 users use it every day at the same time.

Benefits

One of the main benefits of the solution was the considerable experience improvement of the concurrent company users, who perform in excess of 14 million operations a day in the SAP database. According to project leaders, John Fernando Calderón, IT Systems Manager, and Armando Rodríguez, IT Infrastructure Manager in Olímpica, the efficiency level grew an average of 30% in all processes, adding value to the daily activities of the different offices.

On top of this, also there is substantial improvement in the process of the daily consolidated that enters into the POS system, which allows the company to know more swiftly the daily accounting operation of each point of sale. Previously, this process took days to be completed. Likewise, the scheme designed unveiled the latent level of demand, which was uncertain. Users perform tasks that were practically impossible to do before, because some processes that took 2 days or 6 hours, now, after the implementation, are conducted in one hour or 15 minutes, respectively. Part of the major achievements is to have daily backups of all the information through IBM Flash Copy technology, a high-performance storage feature that improves users experience. For the Systems and Infrastructure Managers of the company from Barranquilla, this highly-scalable technology integration allowed establishing the policy for information storage in solid-state drives as the reliability and security strategy thereof. Likewise, IT area costs substantially decreased by the On-Demand model for processing, especially in high commercial flow times, better controlling the delivery of resources to the user. All these also facilitated to the company to be in sync with the business own needs and its commercial activity, which includes the opening of an average of 25 stores a year throughout the country and a subsequent bet on the electronic market.

The success of this solution allowed redesigning other IT area components like the adaptation of a new Data Center at main office. This project demonstrates the Company’s efforts to maintain its competitive position thanks to technology allies like Redsis, that strengthens as an extensive-experience provider and integrator with knowledge of the business challenges that companies like Olímpica face in Colombia.

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