The Brother Group of Nagoya, Japan operates in 28 countries and sells its products in more than 100. Although probably best known for its communication products such as printers and faxes, Brother is also a leader in industrial and domestic sewing machines and in typewriters which are still popular in Eastern Europe.
“We needed to make our IT operation more flexible to reduce costs as far as we could and we liked the “Utility Computing Services” concept that Atos offered. The transition went very smoothly with minimal disruption to the users and it has made our IT operation more responsive to the business needs.”
Ian Metcalfe, senior manager ERP, Brother International Europe
Brother International Europe is the sales, marketing, service and distribution division of the corporation and is headquartered in Manchester. It turns over around £400 million each year and operates in 17 countries in Europe as well as South Africa and Israel.
Brother competes in a market which is growing in volume but falling in unit price. To hold its own against fierce competition, Brother issued a global mandate: to grow profits and market share by bringing new products on board, generate more profit by lowering its costs and increase flexibility from its computing power.
Already a trusted supplier and understanding the business pressures that Brother faced, Atos proposed its “Utility Computing Services” solution to lower costs and increase flexibility. Essentially an “on tap” source of computing power, Brother can increase the flow when it needs more capacity and turn it down when demand reduces. So, when Brother has a short-term need for additional computing power, it no longer sources more IT hardware or memory. It simply asks Atos to supply additional capacity for, say six weeks or six months, and, thereafter, returns to its previous level.
The “Utility Computing Services” solution went live within three months of signing contracts.“Utility Computing Services” delivers greater control over IT usage and flexibility at lower cost. Brother no longer owns the hardware which it previously paid Atos to host. Instead, it uses Atos hardware and software as required. Brother gets all the benefits of outsourcing such as reduced risk and costs and increased control, but with greater flexibility. Cost reduction in the region of 10 per cent is forecast within a few months. Return on investment is almost immediate as the costs are lower from the day the old system is switched off and the new one turned on.
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