Isuzu Motors South Africa protects revenue streams with Veeam

Isuzu Motors South Africa protects revenue streams with Veeam

Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAF) is an automotive manufacturer and distributor based in Port Elizabeth. Established in 2018, IMSAF is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Limited, a global automotive company headquartered in Tokyo. IMSAF employs more than 1,000 people and supports a network of 115 dealers. Recently the company implemented the Veeam Backup and Replication solution to protect its revenue streams.

Data protection is a critical yet sometimes neglected part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, but not for Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAF). When legacy backup began to slow down as it recovered SAP, IMSAF shifted into high gear and sought a replacement. Slow recovery can knock SAP offline for hours or even days, putting revenue streams at risk. That’s why IMSAF turned to Veeam, a backup solutions vendor that delivers cloud data management. Veeam provides a single platform for modernising backup, accelerating hybrid cloud and securing an organisation’s data. With 365,000 plus customers worldwide, including 81% of the Fortune 500 and 66% of the global 2,000, Veeam customer-satisfaction scores are the highest in the industry.

Today, the vendor’s global ecosystem includes 70,000 plus partners, including HPE, NetApp, Cisco and Lenovo as exclusive resellers.

The business challenge

In 2017, General Motors (GM) divested from South Africa during a global restructuring process. Isuzu Motors purchased GM’s manufacturing facility and GM’s share in Isuzu Truck South Africa. IMSAF was born. One of the top priorities during the divestiture was for IMSAF to build its own IT infrastructure. GM had provided IT services from the United States during the joint venture, so now it was up to IMSAF to support the business.

IMSAF turned to Dimension Data for help. Renowned for its expertise in infrastructure design, optimisation and management, Dimension Data has more than 8,000 clients worldwide, including 70% of the Fortune 100 and 60% of the Fortune 500.

“We chose Dimension Data because they have the skills and staff to bring together the world’s best technologies and for us that includes SAP,” said Loren Meyer, CIO, IMSAF. “Dimension Data built a robust IT infrastructure for us and recommended a replacement for legacy backup because it didn’t adequately protect SAP.”

Protecting ERP systems such as SAP is a concern for many businesses. According to the Forbes Technology Council, 89% of companies surveyed worry about ERP downtime and they estimate subsequent damage could cost US$5 million. “Legacy backup was slow to recover SAP, sometimes preventing access to data for hours or even days,” Meyer said. “Data related to automotive parts and vehicle information is integral to our production facilities. Without it, bakkies (small pick-up trucks) and trucks can’t be sold to dealers or customers and dealers can’t order parts from our warehouses. If we had continued using legacy backup, our revenue streams would have suffered.”

The Veeam solution

IMSAF replaced legacy backup with Veeam Backup and Replication. “Veeam protects our revenue streams by radically reducing the risk of downtime,” he said. “Recovery speed increased by 99%, making SAP available all the time. That means we always have access to the critical data that enables bakkies and trucks to be sold to dealers and customers – without delay or interruption. Vehicle sales grew by nearly 9% between 2018 and 2019, and Veeam supported that growth.”

Veeam is an SAP-certified backup and recovery solution. The Veeam Plug-in for SAP HANA lets IMSAF manage backup and restore natively through backint integration. The plug-in functions as an intermediary between SAP HANA and the Veeam backup repository; therefore, all backup and recovery operations are performed with native SAP HANA tools to simplify management and assure transaction consistency. “One of the biggest benefits of using Veeam is being able to recover SAP data instantly. Almost every business decision is driven by SAP and Veeam helps us make sure it’s always accessible. Another benefit is protecting customers’ personal information from loss or damage,” Meyer added.

Veeam supports compliance with the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act by providing built-in, AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption. Every backup is protected against unauthorised access. Veeam backs up 4 TB across 50 virtual machines on-premises for instant recovery and replicates them off-premises for BC and DR Replication, failover and failback weren’t an option before Veeam. “Veeam makes BC and DR amazingly efficient and effective,” he said. “It’s easy to see why Veeam is a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for data centre backup and recovery solutions. That’s one of the reasons we knew Veeam would be right for us.”

The results

According to IMSAF, it has protected revenue by recovering SAP 99% faster (in minutes, not hours or days). “The business can’t operate without SAP data. That’s why Veeam is such a vital part of our IT infrastructure. We don’t have to worry about SAP being offline because Veeam helps us make sure it’s always available,” he said. “For the first time, we can replicate data to our DR site of choice. Veeam helps us minimise downtime and maintain business operations.”

In addition to supporting compliance with the POPI Act, Veeam helps to secure data with built-in encryption that transforms data into an unreadable, scrambled format with the help of a cryptographic algorithm and a secret key.

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