Teeing Up with EMC: Callaway’s IT Transformation

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Golf is one of the world’s grand old games. Ironically, the most advanced technologies ensure it stays that way.

Callaway Golf Company is a prime example. The world’s largest golf club manufacturer with a presence in 110 countries, Callaway competes in an intense market and faces added pressure from a softening global economy. IT transformation is front and center in Callaway’s strategy to stay in front of the pack, with the ultimate objective of ensuring that IT transforms itself from a point of resistance to a point of reliance.

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As the company rapidly digitizes business processes and strategy, Callaway tells us that IT infrastructure plays a vital role in maintaining market leadership and supporting application workloads to enhance total customer experience. For example:

  • Marketing must continue to improve the total customer experience and performance of their custom-club offering. Callaway helps clients customize – and then quickly build – a club with precision-tuned loft, shaft, weight and other characteristics geared to individual playing styles.
  • R&D continually analyzes how the slightest club variations impact performance. Powerful CAD systems enable them to design and test the smallest of changes using hundreds of gigabytes of data.
  • Business operations run on SAP. The better its performance, the better Callaway can streamline shipping, control inventory and manufacturing volume, and optimize retail supply chains. All must be supported by a massive data-intensive reporting and analysis capability.

Before EMC, the Callaway team reports that their IT was challenged to handle diverse application workloads. Business process bottlenecks occurred due to a lack of available data copies that are essential to help drive on-demand analytics and development efforts. For many of these business process requests, IT struggled to deliver.

Callaway’s IT transformation began with core storage technology. EMC® VNX® storage and EMC data protection solutions contributed to a major improvement in capacity (due to the data reduction services provided by EMC Data Domain® and EMC Avamar® appliances and software), in the amount of simultaneous workloads they could support, and in the speed at which they completed tasks. The results were significant, so much so that Callaway took another step, consolidating and accelerating the database workloads and business process agility of its entire SAP system by implementing the EMC XtremIO® all flash array.

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Today, Callaway’s sales, marketing and operations teams benefit from the improved IT performance that helps accelerate their custom-built products and stay tuned to an increasingly global and tech-savvy consumer base. It used to take five days (or more) to receive the custom specifications, get the order into manufacturing, and ship it to the customer. Today, because of major performance gains enabled by their EMC storage infrastructure, new clubs can be custom-designed online, built and shipped the day after an order is received.

The resource contention, performance issues, and process agility challenges that Callaway experienced supporting R&D’s design and testing efforts have significantly improved. Callaway generates hundreds of gigabytes of data on thousands of golf club designs simultaneously. This data is copied and instantly available across many teams. Today with the help of EMC VNX storage, Callaway experiences predictably high IT systems performance and availability, even under peak workloads.

The same improvements also extend across Callaway’s shipping, distribution, analysis and reporting operations. That transformation also sits on the shoulders of XtremIO, running their SAP environment, and on Callaway’s infrastructure with breakthrough application performance (latency and IOPS) and storage cost efficiency with XtremIO’s powerful data reduction capabilities. Callaway continues to leverage VNX for many of its cost-sensitive, high-capacity file/block use cases.

The improvements reach every corner of the business. Today, Callaway more accurately predicts inventory and manufacturing requirements and streamlines shipping to the retail chain. And as far as reporting goes, Callaway has cut the time to complete analytics and reporting tasks in half.

The Callaway IT transformation with EMC—from sprawling to sleek, and from uncertain to peak performance—delivers great value across the enterprise. With EMC infrastructure, they’re able to reach the market faster, with better product and more innovative designs. The company is streamlining the costs of doing business. And it’s generating smarter, faster intelligence to help drive profitability.

In the world of golf club manufacturing, that’s how you stay at the top of the leader board.

Learn more about the IT partnership between Callaway Golf and EMC here.

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