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Follett LLC

Company:

Follett designs and manufactures innovative solutions inspired by ice for the food service and health care industries. Solutions include ice storage, transport and dispensing systems as well as medical-grade refrigerators and freezers. Founded in 1948, Follett has manufacturing sites and call centers in Easton & Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as well as Gdansk, Poland. The company employs hundreds of people worldwide.

Challenge:

ERP systems make companies more efficient, productive and competitive. Follett’s ERP system is mission critical and any downtime incurred would cause delays that could cost thousands of dollars per hour.

Results:

  • Increases backup and recovery success rate to 100 percent
  • Eliminates the risk of downtime and supports SOX compliance
  • Simplifies the backup infrastructure and realizes ROI in months

The Business Challenge

Follett LLC leads the industry in designing and manufacturing ice and refrigeration solutions. Follett’s products are in such high demand that the company’s manufacturing facilities must operate around the clock. That means Follett’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system must operate around the clock too.

“ERP is mission critical” said Michael Labate, System Administrator at Follett. “Our ERP system runs everything from order entry to production planning. If our ERP system is not highly available we stand to lose thousands of dollars per hour. Downtime is unacceptable.”

Downtime loomed one Saturday morning at the end of a quarter. Follett’s manufacturing facilities were operating at peak performance until a problem arose with their ERP system. A critical file was overwritten and could not be restored. The IT team found a way to work around it, but the situation startled everyone.

“We all agreed we needed to make a change, and fast” Labate said. “Unreliable backup and recovery was threatening the business.”

“We had no faith in our backup solution, and restoring a file was like playing Russian roulette,” Labate said. “Only 63 percent of backups and 82 percent of restores completed successfully.

Then Follett tried Veeam® Availability Suite™.

“Several people told me Veeam would be the best backup application I would ever use,” Labate said. “They were right. Veeam cannot be beat.”

The Veeam Solution

Veeam delivers 24.7.365 Availability of Follett’s critical systems including ERP. Veeam helps Follett ice the competition.

“Veeam helps us meet customer demand and stay ahead of the competition by ensuring ERP is highly available,” Labate said. “Our backup and recovery success rate for all tier 1 systems have been 100 percent since switching to Veeam. I can truly say Veeam is one of the best—if not the best—software suites I’ve ever used.”

Veeam lets Follett do something the company could not do before: disaster recovery (DR) testing.

“We didn’t have the capability to do proper DR testing until we started using Veeam,” Labate said. “Now we test failover for ERP and other tier 1 systems to protect our most critical data.”

DR testing is mandatory now that Follett is a public company. Middleby Corporation acquired Follett in 2016; therefore, Follett must comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).

“Prior to Veeam, there’s no way we could have met SOX requirements,” Labate said. “Now we simply test DR and hand in a report.”

Reports from Veeam help Follett document backup and recoverability testing. Detailed test logs validate SOX compliance.

Reporting is just one example of how Veeam simplified backup. Another example is visibility. Veeam gives Follett complete visibility of the backup and the VMware vSphere infrastructures so the IT team can identify and resolve issues before they develop into problems and impact business.

Labate said Veeam simplified the backup infrastructure so quickly and efficiently that Follett’s return on investment (ROI) was achieved within months.

“Our backup infrastructure was convoluted before Veeam—to say the least. Because Veeam delivers 24.7.365 Availability of ERP and other critical systems, we were able to eliminate contracts with third-party providers who were helping us keep hardware and software up and running. Because Veeam is storageagnostic, we were able to leverage existing backup storage rather than purchase specific backup storage. Veeam paid for itself within months. I can truly say Veeam is a set-and-forget solution.”

The Results

  • Increases backup and recovery success rate to 100 percent
    “Having a 100 percent success rate means our ERP and other tier 1 systems are available 24.7.365,” Labate said. “Veeam keeps the business running so we can meet customer demand and stay ahead of the competition.”
  • Eliminates the risk of downtime and supports SOX compliance
    “Veeam makes it easy to test DR and log the results,” Labate said. “We don’t worry about downtime and SOX compliance like we did before deploying Veeam. What we’ve gained in reliability and confidence is remarkable.”
  • Simplifies the backup infrastructure and realizes ROI in months

    Not only did Veeam help Follett simplify a convoluted backup infrastructure, Veeam also paid for itself within months.

    “Veeam is unmatched in the marketplace,” Labate said.

Follett LLC
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