Snam S.p.A. is one of the world’s leading energy infrastructure operators. As a natural gas transporter, dispatcher, storer, and regasifier, the company has been providing energy security in Italy since 1941. Today, Snam is focused on repositioning itself internationally by further developing its energy business and transitioning into new areas like hydrogen and biomethane. The company is pursuing carbon neutrality by 2040.
To achieve these goals while ensuring business continuity in the rapidly changing energy sector, Snam recognized it needed to evolve its IT strategy by implementing innovative and flexible infrastructures and leveraging specific and versatile skill sets from its business partners.
Snam knew it was essential to adopt an IT strategy and technology platforms that could reliably support its business with geographical high availability (HA), agility, traceability, and auditability. Only by mastering these requirements would it be able to manage complex IT environments, evolve rapidly and competitively, and maintain high safety standards.
Snam chose to consolidate all its workload automation tools and exclusively use Control-M, BMC’s leading application and data workflow orchestration platform. And it selected BMC partner Beta 80 Group, a company that plays a leading role in the infrastructure and communication technology market in Italy and abroad, to help with the consolidation.
With a successful Control-M migration, Snam would be able to deliver high quality 24x7 business services to clients while meeting strict regulatory requirements.
The Challenge: Communicating Across A Complex Stakeholder Network
Many of the mission-critical aspects of Snam’s business, including daily gas trading, sales, and balancing activities, depend on a complex business network of external stakeholders, trading partners, service providers, and contractors.
For example, to commercially balance its natural gas system (ensuring the equality between the quantities injected into and withdrawn from the network), calculate market value, or perform accounting activities, Snam must orchestrate data movement from internal and external systems and sources across the network, alongside other complex data processing activities.
Because Control-M has robust managed file transfer capabilities, Snam was able to integrate, automate, and orchestrate data and application workflows, including file transfers, pre-existing SAP processes, and various related applications, and keep track of logs, output, and audit information produced during workflow execution. With Control-M Managed File Transfer, it has replaced a custom solution and increased data encryption and security.
By integrating Control-M with its IT service management (ITSM) platform, Snam was also able to automate the management and tracking of service requests associated with workflows to significantly speed up internal audit and compliance checks.
The Solution: A Single Platform Approach
With Control-M, Snam now has a single platform to orchestrate all the application and data workflows that support its critical infrastructure and business services. Workflows span from on-premises to cloud and include databases, file transfers, SAP solutions and packages, cloud platform as a service (PaaS) and container models, OpenShift and Azure services, and more. And Snam regularly uses Control-M Application Integrator tools to incorporate workflows from new applications.
Snam has also been expanding its business through recent mergers and acquisitions, which has introduced new systems, technologies, and custom-built solutions. As part of that, it’s become essential to eliminate inefficiencies, integrate acquired companies faster, consolidate infrastructures, and centralize and standardize the management of different systems into a single platform.
Control-M met those desired efficiency requirements, too. After migrating from Redwood and consolidating all data and application workflows in Control-M, Snam has achieved the following benefits:
- Improved business services time-to-market by 20 percent
- Reduced workflow errors by 40 percent
- Increased efficiency in defining, managing, and monitoring workflows
- Hardened auditability and compliance to meet regulatory standards
- Secured file transfer management and orchestration
Furthermore, managing SAP with Control-M has allowed Snam to eliminate out-of-control child jobs and manual work by monitoring SAP jobs and their dependencies with spawned child jobs, and implement the “wait for jobs plus children” functionality.
Snam’s application and data workflows have grown exponentially, and many changes have been made over time. When that happens, companies often lose some of the optimization and efficiency with which their workflows were initially built. As part of the migration to Control-M, Snam and Beta 80 decided to perform an optimization analysis.
To streamline the process, the migration from Redwood workflows, which included SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) and SAP S/4Hana, was broken down into smaller phases. Each phase related to specific business units.
The workflows in each phase were analyzed in detail, with a particular focus on understanding the purpose of individual jobs, whether they were still needed, how often each job failed, and the reasons for failures. As a result of this investigation, Snam and Beta 80 were able to reduce 25 percent of the migration by removing jobs that were obsolete or no longer useful before they were migrated.
The next new phase of the project—reengineering and relocating existing jobs—will help Snam improve workflow performance by further reducing errors.
“With Control-M processing all our infrastructure and business activities, we have gained the operational efficiency that we needed to support the evolution of our business. We hadn’t reached that level of efficiency with Redwood, especially when managing dependencies with non-SAP® processes.”— Marcello Principato, Manager, IT Systems, Snam S.p.A.