Toyota Motorsport in Germany says that getting a single, business view of its IT infrastructure is massively reducing car development and production lifecycles, improving race track performance, slashing system downtime and costs, and saving millions by identifying unused IT.
It's an extraordinary set of claims, but Thomas Schiller, IT systems manager at Toyota, insists that the trick is aligning his IT with the company's Formula One race requirements from start to finish.
That's being achieved, he says, by adopting an IT management system that provides an overview of all management, engineering and production systems. One that also dynamically maps key IT to all of the ultimate business goals.
And that's the job of BMC Software's Business Service Management (BSM) strategy, with its Atrium Configuration Management Database (CMDB).
"In the past, IT was concerned with servers. By allowing us to concentrate on services instead, the BMC Atrium CMDB and integrated BSM strategy places our focus on the business," explains Schiller.
"For example, it monitors the satellite link between Cologne and any racetrack. This link is essential to the entire team. It allows us to replicate the 6–8Gb of real-time data, gathered by about 100 sensors on each F1 car, from the racetrack to our engineers in Cologne, for immediate analysis.
"Without this live insight into the car's performance, we could not respond to changing conditions as the race progresses. By helping us guarantee the availability of these comms, the BSM strategy is making a key contribution to our success."
And it doesn't stop there. BSM, he says, enables Toyota to fine tune its F1 manufacturing and cut the time from car concept to track. It also enables the firm to understand and predict how technology impacts the business and, conversely, how business impacts the IT infrastructure.
Additionally, it cuts direct IT cost and complexity. For Toyota, that alone has meant inventories of PCs, notebooks and workstations reduced by a cool 20%. It's also meant 15% savings on server costs by identifying unnecessary resources. And what's more it's resulted in no – that's zero – SAP downtime, compared to eight hours in the previous year.
Schiller: "Working with BMC Software, we have set up a process-driven and highly automated monitoring system, that has enabled us to achieve efficiency with moderate resources and ultimately become more competitive."
Author: Brian Tinham