IBM IOD 2011: Colgate reaps rewards of DB2 implementation

IBM IOD logo

Colgate-Palmolive has extolled the business virtues of moving its SAP estate onto IBM's DB2 platform.

The company sells products in more than 200 countries and employs some 38,000 people around the world. Sales in North America and Europe combined accounted for 38 per cent of all products sold during the second quarter of this year.

We found it as advertised. The relationship between IBM and SAP was there.

Innovation and a focus on emerging technologies in the long-term are cited as key enablers for continued growth and success globally, according to Colgate's investor relations positioning presentation.

"Our IT organisation faced constant pressure from the business to deliver new and innovative solutions that address business needs," said Jim Capraro, vice president of global IT for the consumer product giant.

"We run SAP in over 100 subsidiaries throughout the Colgate world. Those subsidiaries account for over 99.5 per cent of all revenue generated by Colgate This initiative was really moving our entire business onto DB2."

Working closely with IBM, the roll out went smoothly. "We found it as advertised. The relationship between IBM and SAP was there," he added.

The company was expected to achieve compression levels of between 40 and 45 per cent. However, post roll-out, these expectations were more than exceeded, according to Capraro. Compression levels were actually near 65 per cent and there was an instance of more than 70 per cent compression for one SAP database, he said.

IBM fellow Curt Cotner said the current version of DB2 is 15-20 per cent faster than the previous release and questioned how competitors such as Oracle benchmarked similar technologies.

"DB2 can do many more transactions with the same number of cores and the same number of processors," he said, alluding to the pricing model for such systems, which is tiered according to the number of cores and processors. "You end up paying a lot less for DB2 It's a more affordable product."

Colgate-Palmolive is certainly making the most of such cost savings, according to Capraro.

"We can reinvest more IT dollars into new and innovative solutions to help drive the business forward," he said.

"If you were to come up to me and ask whether we would do this again upgrade to DB2 the answer would be Yes.'"

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.