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Global Home Design Leader Revs Up Its SAP Environment

The home accessories design market is driven by constant and rapid change. Successful companies respond nimbly to changing customer tastes, dynamic market conditions and supply chain variations. This is the case at Umbra, one of the world’s most innovative home design companies, based in Toronto, Canada. Umbra reimagines everyday items from furniture, decor, accessories, organizers and more for the entire home, selling its products in 75,000 stores in 125 countries. Vertically integrated, Umbra manufactures the majority of its original designs in its own facilities worldwide. To succeed, the company has always ensured that its IT infrastructure is in lockstep with its business strategy, with a focus on addressing timely business opportunities. But faced with aging infrastructure, Umbra was concerned that is could be limiting growth. “The growing number of orders is significantly increasing the amount of data our SAP environment has to ingest,” says Tariq Jamal, vice president of analytics and CIO at Umbra. With this in mind, Umbra’s IT leaders made the decision to upgrade the company’s business-critical SAP environment to a solution based on Dell EMC PowerEdge R840 servers and Dell EMC PowerMax storage with end-to-end NVMe and SCM drives powered by Intel® Optane™ technology.

Dramatic performance improvements

In the past, Umbra had some SAP processes that took hours to run. Following the rollout of its new PowerMax storage array on PowerEdge R840 servers, all that changed. In a Dell Technologies case study, the company reports that it has experienced a 400% improvement in its SAP processes, completing them in 30 minutes rather than up to two hours. Users no longer wait for screens to refresh or reports to run, allowing them to work faster and more efficiently.

PowerMax and its Intel Optane-powered storage class memory (SCM) drives are also making a big difference in the performance of SAP InfoCubes within Umbra’s SAP Business Warehouse (BW) application. Umbra has seen improvement of as much as 500% with PowerMax and SCM Optane technology when updating data within SAP BW. This gives users the extreme performance and responsiveness they need without a lot of extra IT effort to manage things.

In addition, Umbra’s improved data reduction ratio is 3.4 to 1 — better than the company was expecting when it selected PowerMax — which helps reduce the need for additional storage.

“Our technology stack is the foundation of successful order fulfillment, right down to the experience an end consumer receives,” explains Tariq Jamal. “Our most critical workloads benefit from PowerMax with its end-to-end NVMe and SCM drives powered by Intel Optane technology.”

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