Case Study Hapag-Lloyd

Concept, consulting, implementation: Finding the right CMDB solution with SSC

Hapag-Lloyd AG is one of the world's leading liner shipping companies with approximately 14,000 employees at locations in 137 countries. It is required by law to safeguard its critical IT resources. Strategic Service Consulting GmbH (SSC), a Serviceware company, therefore assisted Hapag-Lloyd AG in defining and implementing a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) solution that met their requirements.

"With SSC, I have a strategic partner at my side who not only offers advice, but also has the technical know-how and can take on professional project management on the CMDB front. This creates trust and leaves me plenty of room for my own work."

Jan Kornfeld
Director IT Cloud Management Services, Hapag-Lloyd AG

Safeguarding critical IT infrastructure

Like all companies in Germany, Hapag-Lloyd AG is required by law to ensure data protection and the security of its IT systems. For this reason, the implementation of a CMDB in which all relevant configuration information (CIs) regarding the systems is consolidated and the relationships between the systems are mapped was mandatory. It was designed to improve the handling of incidents, changes and other IT service management processes in the future and to make a complete change history available. In addition, the connections between assets, applications and business processes were intended to allow criticality to be derived and parts of the IT landscape to be fully restored after a severe disruption.


From concept to project: use cases, database design and maintenance plan

The market for CMDB solutions is large and each company has its specific requirements for the right tool: “We were looking for a strategic partner who, on the one hand, offers consulting services and knows exactly how a CMDB should be perfectly designed and, on the other hand, provides support in the search for and implementation of an appropriate solution. That's exactly what we have found in SSC," explains Jan Kornfeld, Director IT Cloud Management Services. As a Serviceware company, Strategic Service Consulting GmbH gives advice on strategic and operational digitalization issues through holistic enterprise service management.

After a comprehensive analysis in which all requirements from the individual stakeholder teams were collected, the project team defined the corresponding use cases – structured according to ITIL processes. In addition, it was determined which components would be maintained in the CMDB in the future and how the whole thing could be covered with the help of a maintenance plan within the team. For this purpose, a high-level architecture was developed with which all required systems can be represented and linked.

The design of a data model suitable for processing the defined use cases and containing the necessary interfaces was also one of the project team's tasks. The worked-out elements were finally combined to an overall concept and the tender for a suitable tool as well as its implementation were accompanied by SSC: “An important requirement was that the relationships between the IT systems must be immediately visible," explains Jan Kornfeld. “If a system fails or a change is made incorrectly, what other systems or CIs are affected? This requires a deep technical understanding of a CMDB in order to be able to manage it for us. The SSC consultants involved provided perfect support in that regard."

The key results at a glance

  • Definition and prioritization of use cases and definition of expansion stages based on the prioritized use cases
  • Development of a high-level architecture, for example to clearly separate the CMDB from other IT systems.
  • Adaptation of a data model standard
  • Definition of interfaces with other systems
  • Overall CMDB concept reviewed by Gartner
  • Execution of the tendering process and tool selection
  • Technical management of the implementation and project management

Collaboration between Hapag-Lloyd and SSC

Jan Kornfeld, Director IT Cloud Management Services at Hapag-Lloyd AG, clearly felt in good hands with Strategic Service Consulting's project team right from the start: "In those initial meetings, I said I didn't need to implement a CMDB that would be dead in the water after only 3 or 4 years. The SSC gave me their word and I'm still holding on to it. Of course, the maintenance plan is now partly our responsibility, but the foundation has been laid and I have built the necessary trust in the process.

SSC also clearly stands out from other consulting firms when it comes to their services. We always have permanent project managers, for example. There is a good pace, agile collaboration, quick understanding among each other and simply great communication. In consulting, it is often the case that even though senior consultants are booked, three or four other clients are also being advised, and you simply notice that in terms of workload. With SSC, you do not get that feeling."

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