The Daylight Company is a distributor of specialised lighting products which replicate natural daylight, designed for users who want enhanced visual quality. The lighting product range includes daylight bulbs, lamps with magnifiers and grippers, such as those for needlework enthusiasts and modellers, and specialist medical fittings. Daylight employs 30 people internationally, and has sales offices throughout Europe, in the US and in Australia.
Daylight’s business IT infrastructure was struggling to manage a rapidly growing customer database. The underlying Intel®-based hardware was not meeting the company’s performance requirements, and running separate systems in each of the corporate locations was expensive in terms of training, administrative support and management time.
Lee Raynor, Finance Director, comments, "Gathering sales reports from different systems was taking too long, and the existing systems had reached their limits in terms of database size. One option would have been to delete some historical data, but we need that history to examine long-term trends, so we knew we needed a new server architecture."
With advice from ABS Ltd, Daylight selected Standard ERP, planning to implement a single instance of the software at its UK headquarters, and provide web-based access for the rest of its offices. Daylight needed to ensure excellent availability and ample capacity for data growth, and duly selected IBM pSeries Model 615 running Red Hat Linux®.
"Moving all our applications onto a single system for worldwide operations means we no longer have to recruit IT staff locally, and central support staff do not have to learn multiple systems."
Lee Raynor | Finance Director
Standard ERP combines contact management, email, task management, calendar, document and information management, logistics and accounting. We needed a solid platform for this global solution, and the pSeries has proved to be an excellent choice. It offers excellent availability and is more than capable of handling our growing customer database.
"With [Standard ERP] on pSeries, we can see business trends in real time, and the finance department can now focus on strategic problems rather than just trying to get the figures."
Daylight worked with ABS on the implementation of Standard ERP, and engaged Morse Computing, and an IBM Business Partner to advise on hardware sizing, installation and configuration.
Lee Raynor comments, “ABS was very good at understanding our requirements, and then recommending the right software for our needs. And the partnership between Daylight, ABS and Morse was a crucial factor in the success of the solution.”
The pSeries 615 is based around the IBM POWER4+ processor, a powerful 64-bit CPU offering excellent performance and flexibility. Lee Raynor explains, “The upfront hardware cost of the pSeries is higher than the Intel®-based options we looked at, but the extra power has enabled us to consolidate to a single instance of a enterprise-wide solution. As a result, our software licensing costs are lower, and support and administration costs have also been reduced.
"And of course the ability to run 64-bit Linux natively on the POWER architecture gives us real flexibility for the future, as well as keeping licensing costs low."
The next steps are to integrate Daylight’s lighting web orders with Standard ERP. The IBM pSeries platform is more than capable of scaling to meet the workload, with easy upgrade options.
Lee Raynor concludes, “When you are a small company with global ambitions, you need total confidence in your main business server. The p615 is extremely reliable, which is very reassuring – it keeps our IT resources free to focus on delivering business value.
"The integrated view of data provided by [Standard ERP] has improved the quality of our management information."