Linnenbecker’s headquarters in Bad Salzuflen, East Westphalia, handle all management functions for the group’s 19 specialized trade locations, including finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, and enterprise resource management.
The hardware platform powering the central ERP application consisted of two Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer 4100s runnin OpenVMS. These mid-range systems supported close to 500 users, and generated extensive data analysis reports during nightly batch runs. “The ERP application became increasingly important over the years. By the time it had become critical to the business, however, the risk of failure had become high, since spare parts were becoming hard to find,” recalled Michael Flader, Linnenbecker’s head of IT. In addition to a significant increase in maintenance costs, the system’s power consumption and the lack of available space in the data center were becoming problematic. But how could the IT system be modernized without disrupting business operations?