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Volvo: Preventing accidents before they happen

on . Posted in Customer Stories

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Customer Case | Volvo Car | The Netherlands

It is no coincidence that Volvo uses Quick-EDD/HA software for its dealer management system in the Netherlands. “Preventing accidents before they happen” is, after all, a slogan of Volvo that could apply to Quick-EDD/HA as well.
Safety has been key to Volvo ever since its very first car appeared in 1927. The Volvo Car Group now makes and sells more than half a million premium cars per year and employs more than 28000 people in approximately 100 countries. Volvo Car is currently making a spectacular breakthrough in China with its new parent Zhejiang Geely Holding.

In the Netherlands, Volvo Car currently accounts for almost 5% of the company’s worldwide sales through 30 dealer-owners operating in 100 locations.
Each dealer used to have its own local IBM AS/400 server (now IBM Power i) containing a version of the Volvo dealer management system: iDAS.
Today this software runs on two centralized IBM Power i systems, mirrored by Quick-EDD/HA in order to minimize the risk of running on a single machine, therefore preventing accidents before they happen.

Tjeu Bollen
(Former Volvo Car IT manager. Now CEO of “BeesdA2”, a 2004 spin-off IT company of Volvo Car in Beesd):
“It was a logical decision to migrate all our 30 IBM AS/400 systems to one centralized IBM Power i system. After all, one machine costs much less than thirty, also in terms of maintenance. After an extensive selection process, together with our dealers and with the help of Cap Gemini, we found that – instead of buying a software package off the shelf the best solution for us was to stick to our iDAS dealer management system, to upgrade it, and to run it centrally on a single IBM Power i system with connections to our 100 dealer locations. And we were confident with this outcome.
After all, not only is the IBM Power i still used by many large companies and acclaimed as the most powerful and reliable system yet on the market, our very own iDAS software application had also proven itself for many years, containing all the functionality our dealers need.

As we said: we knew what we had but we did not know what we would get if we were to migrate to another hardware platform with another application. So we fully modernized our dealer management system by upgrading our iDAS software and by migrating to a new centralized IBM Power i configuration.
However, this meant that all our 30 dealers would be relying on a single system, so for safety reasons our IBM Power i business partner Softwarebevers proposed to implement the high availability software solution Quick-EDD/HA from software vendor Trader’s. In conjunction with a second IBM Power i system, Quick-EDD/HA minimizes this risk and guarantees the full availability of our systems to our users and safeguards us against any loss of data by continuously replicating all data to a second system.
So, if anything happens to the main IBM Power i system, we can quickly switch to the second system containing the replicated data. No other solution was found as fast, reliable and easy to use. Our decision to go for the Quick-EDD/HA high availability solution was made easier, not only because our IBM Power i supplier Softwarebevers already had extensive experience with this software and its support, but also because we were offered the opportunity to try it out on a ‘no-cure, o-pay’ basis which we accepted and was successful”.

Frans Brouwer
(Softwarebevers, IBM business partner and IT supplier of Volvo Car in Beesd):
“One of the great things about Quick-EDD/HA is that it uses net change technology for the replication process, which means only changes in the local journal are replicated to the target system instead of the full journal content.This guarantees the high availability of our systems and makes sure we do not suffer from significant loss of data if anything should go wrong.

Furthermore, Quick-EDD/HA needs very few CPU capacity, minimum of bandwidth and is easy to use and easy to maintain. In the case of a system crash, Quick-EDD/HA makes it possible for the users to continue their work on a mirrored system without even noticing it. So our dealer management system users never suffer. We have worked with IBM AS/400 systems for many years, and we have never been able to find a better and safer high availability solution than Quick-EDD/HA.

In our view it is the only ‘real high availability solution’ on IBM Power i”.

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