The business challenge
The way people work today is undergoing a fundamental change. Work
and office environments are changing as a result of digitalization, new
leadership, organizational cultures and the growing importance of the
home office. One company that has been shaping this change for a
long time is the Austrian Bene Group. The international office expert is
specialized in furnishing modern office and work environments. Bene
develops innovative concepts with high design quality and provides tailormade
solutions for all sizes of companies — from start-ups to mediumsized
businesses and global corporations.
Bene’s company history goes back well over 200 years. The company
originally emerged from a joinery founded in 1790. But today Bene
is anything but a traditional company. The manufacturer relies on agile
methods and lean, order-driven just-in-time production that can be quickly
adapted to changing market and customer requirements.
“End-to-end digitalized processes with highly flexible data organization
are a key prerequisite for our strategy,” explains Joerg Baumgartner, CIO
at Bene GmbH. “This is the only way we are able to offer our customers such
a varied product range at competitive costs”.
The digital “customer journey” begins with the first consultation. Thanks
to state-of-the-art planning software with support for virtual reality and
augmented reality, customers can get an early idea of their future office
environment and take a virtual look around the planned rooms. As soon
as the order is signed, all necessary data is transferred to production
planning and production starts. In just-in-time production, all work
processes are highly automated and connected — even beyond the
company’s borders: many of Bene’s suppliers are also integrated into the
order and production process via digital interfaces.
“Consistent digitalization at all levels also means for us that without a
functioning IT system, our production comes to a standstill very quickly,” says
Baumgartner. “If a critical application were to fail for more than 24 hours,
there would already be noticeable delays in delivery and loss of sales”.
Bene must therefore ensure that all important IT resources for development,
design and production are available without interruption if possible — not
only at the headquarters in Waidhofen an der Ybbs, but also in the more
than 20 other branches worldwide. The company was therefore looking for
a powerful backup solution that would reliably protect the company’s digital
processes. The software previously used for this purpose could no longer
keep pace with the growing requirements.
The Veeam solution
After evaluating different solution variants, Bene decided to use Veeam®
Backup & Replication™. “The overall package convinced us from the very
beginning”, reports Baumgartner. “Veeam combines in one solution all
the functions we need for the simple and reliable backup and recovery of
our workloads. It not only allows us to maximize the availability of our IT
resources, but also to significantly reduce our operational expenses”.
Bene initially implemented Veeam Backup & Replication as a backup solution
for its virtualized infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. Today, more
than 200 virtual machines with a total volume of around 160 terabytes
are delivered with high availability using this solution. In addition to the
systems in the two main data centers in Waidhofen, this includes data and
applications from all other company locations. These are regularly transferred
to Waidhofen and backed up there with Veeam Backup & Replication.
With this solution, Bene ensures that all employees always have access to
their business applications. Should the planning software fail, for example,
the IT organization can restart the affected virtual machine directly from the
backup. Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery® technology reduces the recovery
time from hours to minutes, ensuring that Bene employees can resume their
work very quickly. Accidentally deleted files or folders on file servers can be
made available again in no time.
The new solution also makes work easier for Bene’s IT experts. Many processes
related to data backup have been automated with Veeam. For example,
manual backup and recovery tests are no longer necessary — Veeam’s
SureBackup® technology continuously checks the recoverability of backed-up
IT resources in the background. “This alone saves us many hours of work every
month,” confirms Baumgartner. “At the same time, the detailed reports give us
the certainty that all backup jobs have really been successful”.
Bene therefore soon extended the Veeam solution to the remaining physical
servers. Today, the company’s central Oracle cluster is also backed up with
Veeam technology. Depending on this system is, among other things, the
technical configuration software that generates the digital parts, lists and
work plans. A failure would quickly bring furniture production to a standstill.
The Veeam solution, on the other hand, guarantees smooth, secure operation.
The IT department is thus able to create transaction-consistent backups of the
Oracle cluster and reset the database to a specific point in time if necessary.
“It is a great advantage for us that we do not have to operate different
backup solutions for physical and virtual IT,” says the CIO. “With Veeam we
now have a central solution to protect our digital business processes from
planning, to production and logistics and to bring the availability of all
applications to a higher level”.
Bene therefore also relied on the support of Veeam for the introduction of
Microsoft Office 365. Around 550 office users in the group now use services
such as Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams for
their daily work. All data stored in the Microsoft cloud is automatically
backed up with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 in Bene’s data center.
Should important e-mails or documents in the cloud be accidentally deleted,
IT can restore them at any time using the familiar functions of Veeam.
“Especially since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft’s cloud
services have played an important role in virtual collaboration at Bene,”
reports Baumgartner. “Users can use them to communicate and exchange
information with internal and external contacts very easily, even in the
home office. But location-independent working must not be at the expense
of data security. This is why we decided to use Veeam Backup for Microsoft
Office 365. It gives us full control over our data and allows us to decide
where and for how long we want to keep it”.
- Maximum IT availability for digital business processes:
with Veeam, Bene ensures that data and applications for sales, development, production
and logistics are always available. In the event of a failure, the affected
systems can be restored within minutes. In this way, Bene prevents delays
in delivery for its customers.
- Savings of around 20% in IT operating costs:
many tasks relating to the backup and recovery of data have been automated with Veeam. The
SureBackup technology eliminates the need for manual recovery tests, for
example. CIO Jörg Baumgartner estimates that this has reduced operating
expenses by around 20%.
- Future-proof platform — also for cloud-based workloads:
Bene uses Veeam technology not only for physical and virtual IT resources in its
own data center, but also for securing cloud services. Veeam Backup for
Microsoft Office 365 helps the company to reliably protect office data —
no matter where users work. This made it easier to connect home office
users during the COVID-19 pandemic.