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Cypress Semiconductor Achieves Positive ROI by Using ActiveBatch® from Advanced Systems Concepts for Efficient Process Scheduling

Release date: 10/1/2003

Multi Platform enterprise scheduling makes Cypress more competitive

PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY (October 1, 2003) – Advanced Systems Concepts announced today that leading communications chip manufacturer Cypress Semiconductor has realized a significant return on investment from its selection of ActiveBatch® for cross-platform, distributed job automation and process management. Cypress turned to Advanced Systems to provide robust process scheduling for its planning systems. ActiveBatch enables Cypress to intelligently manage and schedule jobs to provide efficient use of computing resources.
Cypress is using ActiveBatch to control its planning systems, which match orders against manufacturing facilities and decide what to build and when. Cypress acquired ActiveBatch in November 2001 and the system went into production in March 2002. The planning system involves 14 computers running 81 different programs from i2 Technologies every night. The machines include Sun servers running Solaris, and Hewlett-Packard servers running Windows NT. ActiveBatch coordinates more than 300 separate processes on these machines.
“It acts like a concert master,” said Dennis Bell, Director of Information Systems Operations at Cypress Semiconductor. “It decides when one program is finished, and when to start the next program. It also keeps track of all the dependencies and error conditions.”
Cypress has extended ActiveBatch to move information between machines and control when updates are made between systems, such as from the HR system to the stock administration system. “We’re controlling the movement of data from system to system,” said Bell. “A program like ActiveBatch automates what operators used to do 20-plus years ago for the mainframe environment.”
The main ROI achieved by Cypress was the time and effort it saved on creating a homegrown scheduling system. Bell believes it would have required at least half a year of programming time for his staff to create their own software to do the scheduling and coordinate multiple jobs on just one machine. Cypress decided to search for a commercial program that could do the job and found that ActiveBatch was in a price range it could afford and worked across multiple types of systems.
“We could never have run a planning system without a scheduling program,” said Bell. “The planning system is a multimillion-dollar program with a multimillion-dollar payoff. Our initial estimate was that it would have taken at least six months to do the programming, and I don’t know if we ever would have gotten it done.”
Cypress already has one homegrown scheduling system for controlling engineering jobs, and that system took two man-years to create and is much less sophisticated than the one ActiveBatch now controls.
ActiveBatch proved itself quickly once it was installed. “The payback was immediate,” said Bell. “We paid about a third of what it would have cost to code it ourselves and that’s a very conservative estimate. It probably would have taken a lot longer to do the minimum functionality.”
Originally, i2 recommended that Cypress talk with several high-priced vendors, but Cypress was able to do the job with the more moderately priced ActiveBatch. Cypress seamlessly integrated ActiveBatch’s object-oriented, graphical user interface-based system with the i2 programs.
“We had no problems with integration,” said Bell. “As long as the job is executable at a command line, you can execute it from ActiveBatch. We use the GUI interface into ActiveBatch, and ActiveBatch has an agent on the computer that does the same thing you would do on the Unix command line. You can make changes quite quickly and easily configure the system with the GUI interface.”
Bell likes the fact that end users have interfaces into the system and can see how long their jobs have been taking and trigger jobs themselves. “That cuts the workload on IT,” said Bell. “The IT people don’t have to keep running jobs, so the ROI is quite high on operator time. The users don’t have to call anybody in IT to do things. They can just do it themselves.”
Users of the planning system are much more satisfied because of the new scheduling capability. “The customers are very pleased to have control of their own jobs,” said Bell. “That’s a real plus. Before, they always had to work through IT. Now, they can trigger the jobs on the planning system and for other areas too. That’s certainly something people want.”
Cypress has increased revenue as a result of the combination of the planning system and scheduling system. With the two systems in place, Cypress was able to cut the size of its planning department in half, from 50 to 25 people. The company also reduced inventory by 30% and cut cycle time in the factory by about 10% as an effect of having the planning system work properly. Bell estimates that the company is saving millions of dollars per year from the planning system, which is controlled by ActiveBatch.
Using ActiveBatch also means that Cypress doesn’t need to have live operators sitting in front of terminals scheduling jobs, as companies used to do. “If we tried to have operators do that, we would have to have a 24-hour person on board,” Bell noted. “Even if we used someone overseas, it would cost $70,000 to $100,000 per year.”

About Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
Cypress Semiconductor Corp., a San Jose, CA-based manufacturer of computer chips and semiconductors, has revenue of about $880 million per year, 3,600 employees, and operations in 15 countries. Cypress Semiconductor is “Driving the Communications Revolution”™ by providing high-performance integrated circuit solutions to fast-growing markets, including data communications, telecommunications, computation, consumer products, and industrial control. With a focus on emerging communications applications, Cypress’s product portfolios include high-speed physical layer devices (PHYs), network search engines (NSEs), network coprocessors, datapath switching elements (DSEs), networking-optimized and micropower static RAMs; high-bandwidth multi-port and FIFO memories; high-density programmable logic devices; timing technology for PCs and other digital systems; and controllers for Universal Serial Bus (USB).

About Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc.
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Advanced System Concepts, Inc. offers many software products and options for users of Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT/9X, UNIX, Linux and OpenVMS systems. These products provide answers to software developers and system managers with improved system efficiency and utilization. Advanced Systems Concepts today has over 200,000 licenses installed and a worldwide base of customers in 27 countries around the world. Advanced Systems Concepts is a Microsoft Independent Solution Vendor, an HP Business Partner, a Sun Catalyst member and an IBM Business Partner.

Copyright © 2003 Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. ActiveBatch is a registered trademark of Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. Other company and/or product names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective firms

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