American Technology Major Saves $5 Million in Infrastructure Costs with Estuate ILM Solution

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Industry       :  Hi-Tech

Practice Area  :  Information Lifecycle Governance & Security

About the Client:

The client is an American technology major that has a strong market presence in consumer and business technologies, and is the creator of exquisitely-designed products for consumers and businesses alike.

This company’s retail operations are spread out across sixteen countries on five continents and have set the standard for customer service across the retail sector.  The company also maintains an extremely strong presence online, and reports a significant amount of sales through its online channels.  

Business Challenge:

The client manages its customer service and warranty operations using a highly-customized implementation of Oracle® PeopleSoft® Customer Relationship Management (CRM).  This is a mission-critical system that provides data to the Sales, Marketing, Finance and Operations teams.  It is also the one of the main repositories of data for its reporting applications.

However, business growth, combined with the data multiplier effect and data retention regulations, were leading to an uncontrolled data explosion within the system.  Data was likely to continue growing at a faster pace. The data growth increased application maintenance and upgrade times. The client needed an effective integrated data management strategy to control IT complexity, risks and costs associated with CRM data growth.

Setting up and administering PeopleSoft Security processes was another key challenge. PeopleSoft CRM components were heavily customized by the the client according to their needs. These customizations involved modifications to multiple PeopleSoft objects, such as components, component interfaces, messages, pages, application engines, records and application code. A security review process was not in place for the customized PeopleCode for various events of PeopleSoft objects.   This review process was critical to discovering instances of PeopleCode modification or addition that could result in a security vulnerability and a possible exploit.

Moreover, these PeopleSoft data security vulnerabilities caused the application to crash on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, leading to financial losses.

The client needed a solution which would:

  • Control data growth in Oracle® PeopleSoft® CRM databases.
  • Retain access to historical business data.
  • Formalize a SQL security review process for PeopleCode customizations.
  • Improve PeopleSoft CRM application performance.
  • Decrease downtime and costs during PeopleSoft enterprise upgrades.
  • Reduce the cost associated with data retention needs to comply with corporate governance, federal and local regulations.
  • Limit the growth of storage costs due to increased data volumes.

The Estuate Solution:

The project would effectively streamline large databases and optimize the performance of the mission-critical application. Failure of the project would have adversely affected the client’s critical business processes. Estuate delivered a scalable and efficient archiving strategy that easily adapted to client’s ongoing business requirements. Some of the key highlights of the solution as below:

  • Archived, managed and retained many years of PeopleSoft CRM data.
  • Formalized and implemented SQL Review Process, which helped make changes to the production efficient and safe.
  • Responded to audit and discovery needs with easy access to archived data.
  • Simplified the upgrade method by upgrading only the current data.
  • Maximized PeopleSoft application performance by removing redundant data.
  • Created customized templates to archive, browse, speed reporting and restore the data based on user-specified criteria.

Detailed features and solution framework:

  • Archive data with IBM Optim Data Growth Solution
    • Analyzed IBM Optim out-of-box archive templates for PeopleSoft CRM
    • Finalized archived data access mechanism – streams to a separate database
    • Customized templates as per requirements
    • Applied custom archival selection criteria
    • Tested templates and got business sign-off
    • Archived & deleted data in production
  • Retire unused tables
    • Classified tables into used and unused
      • Based on code references
      • Based on age and size of data
    • Application teams signed off on unused table list
    • Archived “unused” tables and renamed them
    • Dropped renamed tables after 3 months

Business Impact:

Effective implementation of the Optim Data Growth Solution helped the client enhance application service levels, mitigate risks, and control costs, thus adding a great value to the business. Some of the key impacts are as highlighted below:

  • Reclaimed up to 89% of tablespace for Leads in PeopleSoft CRM.
  • Reclaimed 1.4 TB in Production Database.
  • Achieved $5 million in savings from avoiding a hardware upgrade.
  • Processed millions of transactions during Black Friday by avoiding the database performance issues that had led to application crashes during previous Black Friday.
  • Improved database server performance, enabling the client to meet revenue targets and SLAs.

        Our Database Archiving program, using Estuate and IBM’s Optim Data Growth Solution, saved our company millions of dollars, provided the business with standardized access to the historical data, and enabled us to set up standard security review processes to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities.