Storage Platform Plays a Winning Game at Callaway

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2016-04-29 Email Print this article Print
Storage Platform

The golf equipment manufacturing firm upgraded its storage platform to enhance its ERP system and support supply chain processes and reporting requirements.

Maintaining a leadership position in today's highly competitive global economy isn't easy. For Callaway Golf, which manufactures and sells golf equipment and accessories around the world, the path to success has more twists and turns than an 18-hole course.

The Carlsbad, Calif., company manufactures clubs and other gear in China, assembles it in Mexico, and then ships the finished products to customers in the United States and other countries. The firm also operates offices in Australia, China, Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom. "We have very complex global requirements," says Sai Koorapati, vice president of global IT.

Supporting IT operations in all manufacturing and sales regions is essential. Although the company uses an SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform that has served the business well, it had begun to encounter limitations for tackling diverse application loads, including reporting and analytics. In many cases, it relied on batch processes that could take four hours or longer to complete.

This created bottlenecks in marketing, R&D and business operations. As a result, Koorapati says that the company recognized a need for a faster, more robust storage infrastructure to support supply chain processes and reporting requirements.

Deploying an Advanced Storage Platform

In response, the company turned to EMC to deliver a more advanced storage platform. It began rolling out storage and flash array technologies, as well as data protection solutions, in April 2015 and completed the transition last October.

Callaway Golf installed EMC VNX storage, which delivers capacity gains in conjunction with EMC Data Domain and EMCAvamar appliances and software. It also installed EMC XtremIO, which uses flash storage to provide additional speed and performance gains across the enterprise.

The storage technology has helped the company transition from bottlenecks and data latency to a more advanced digital framework. The ERP system can now support upward of 400 concurrent users with no impact on performance. "Users are able to obtain reports and data in real time," Koorapati says.

The system—which taps operational, sales and order data—updates on a minute-by-minute basis, rather than every 24 hours, which had been the past standard. But the gains haven't stopped there.

The new storage environment has also ratcheted up the company's disaster recovery and business continuity by introducing snapshots at 30-minute intervals. This has helped the Callaway Golf improve both recovery and time point objectives. The latter has dropped from 72 to 24 hours.

Ultimately, "Teams have far greater visibility into processes, and they have the information necessary to make key decisions," Koorapati reports. "We are able to respond to conditions and events immediately."

In addition, the platform has delivered tangible gains in operational efficiency. For example, Callaway now manufactures and ships custom clubs faster and more efficiently.

The next step, he adds, is adopting the SAP HANA platform in 2017, which will further enhance the company's data and analytics capabilities.

"We now have the systems and storage framework to support the company's initiatives," Koorapati says. "Using XtremIO, we are able to leverage our existing IT infrastructure and achieve far better results than if we used an appliance model."

Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).

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