Intellectual property is one of the most valuable assets a company owns, particularly in the automotive industry. As competition intensifies between companies who have to adapt to changing developments such as sustainability, digitalization, electrification and autonomous vehicles, intellectual property becomes a defining factor in a company’s success.
Intellectual property is a defining factor in a company’s value too. According to Ocean Tomo, an intellectual capital merchant bank firm, intellectual property can constitute more than 80% of a single company’s value.
Terberg Group has intellectual property from 28 companies.
One example is computer-aided design (CAD) drawings. For decades, Terberg has used CAD to develop and refine each chassis in its specialty vehicles, including tractors that move cargo at airports, seaports and distribution centers. Terberg’s primary CAD applications are PTC Creo and Windchill. The company also uses AutoCAD, HiCAD and Solid Edge.
“CAD drawings are one of our strongest assets,” said Marco de Hair, IT Manager at Terberg Group. “Protecting them is a priority because losing them could lead to bankruptcy.”
Symantec Backup Exec protected CAD drawings (and all data) until it was incapable of accommodating Terberg’s business growth. Within one year, company acquisitions nearly tripled the number of employees from 1,110 to 3,000 and terabytes of data from 80 to 200.
“Our company grew exponentially in a very short time, but legacy backup wasn’t scalable,” de Hair said. “Backup failed throughout the day, making recovery a much longer and more complicated process. Who wants to spend all their time rerunning failed backups and restoring data when they’d rather be developing new tools for the business?”
The IT team also faced a second challenge. Terberg was migrating to Microsoft Office 365, and the team worried about losing access and control of historical data in Exchange Online and OneDrive Online.
“Microsoft offers a 30-day retention period, but that’s not a proper backup,” de Hair said. “We have to be able to restore emails and files fast for legal purposes, but we weren’t confident in our ability.”
Terberg replaced legacy backup with Veeam Backup & Replication, putting data protection in the driver’s seat and safeguarding intellectual property. Next Terberg deployed Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, gaining total access and control of historical data to meet legal compliance requirements. By simplifying IT, Veeam saves the equivalent of nearly one FTE, which allows IT to shift the focus from backup and recovery to predictive analytics.
“Everyone said Veeam is the best solution out there, and everyone was right,” de Hair said. “Veeam takes care of data protection so we can focus on the business.”
Veeam backs up and replicates more than 200 TB across nearly 450 virtual machines (VMs) from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) 3PAR StoreServ Storage Snapshots. Recovery with Veeam is four times faster because of a feature called Instant VM Recovery®. Legacy backup couldn’t recover an entire VM instantly.
Instant VM Recovery is essential when a company’s most critical applications run o n several VMs, including Terberg’s CAD applications. They fuel intellectual property, enabling Terberg to differentiate itself in the market. Terberg’s electric tractors are a prime example. They not only eliminate carbon emissions, but they also improve safety by restricting speed when they’re hauling two stacked containers rather than one. An autonomous vehicle called AutoTUG improves safety too, and it saves on personnel costs. AutoTUG determines its position using transponders embedded in the ground, enabling it to operate alone or among vehicles with human drivers.
Instant VM Recovery is essential when a company’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system runs on several VMs too. Terberg uses Microsoft Dynamics AX on-premises to automate and optimize business processes. Veeam backs up the VMs that support Dynamics AX.
“It’s a relief knowing Veeam protects our intellectual property and our ERP,” de Hair said. “It’s also a relief knowing Veeam protects our data in Microsoft Office 365.”
Microsoft provides powerful services in Office 365, but comprehensive backup is not one of them. Veeam fills that void while also providing full visibility into Office 365 backups, granular recovery of individual items and an easy-to-use eDiscovery option, so Terberg can meet legal compliance requirements quickly and easily.
“One of the biggest benefits of using Veeam is ease-of-use, and that saves time,” de Hair said. “Before we deployed Veeam, one of our colleagues spent 90% of his time rerunning failed backups and recovering data. Now he spends less than 10% of his time on backup, giving us the flexibility to work on projects that add value to the business like predictive maintenance.”
Predictive maintenance lets Terberg evaluate the condition of vehicles at customers’ work sites and proactively repair them before problems arise. Predictive maintenance is a product of predictive analytics. Terberg extracts data from Microsoft Dynamics AX and places it in Microsoft Azure for analysis.
“The more we use Veeam, the more we realize how reliable, robust and effective it is,” de Hair said. “If you’re not already using Veeam, you should consider using it.”
Terberg Group has been in business for more than 150 years, beginning as a village forge in Benschop, Netherlands and developing into a holding company with 28 companies in 12 countries and nearly 3,000 employees. Terberg is still based in Benschop, but now it’s one of the world’s largest independent suppliers of specialty vehicles and products, exporting to more than 100 countries.
The automotive industry is changing rapidly, driven by developments in sustainability, digitalization, electrification and autonomous vehicles. Terberg responds to each development with high-quality, customized solutions derived from decades’ worth of intellectual property. Protecting intellectual property was Terberg’s challenge. Backup was unreliable and recovery was slow because the legacy solution was incapable of scaling to accommodate business growth. Another challenge was protecting historical data in Microsoft Office 365. Terberg didn’t want to lose access and control of emails and files required for legal purposes.