Building a winning SAP on Azure ecosystem for a global brand

Our client is one of the world’s most high technology brands.

Building on its successful racing expertise, the group has diversified to include a global, high-performance sports car business and a game-changing technology venture.

Despite the broadening of the group’s business interests, their goal remains singular: they exist to win.

Building a winning SAP on Azure ecosystem for a global brand

SAP HEC to Azure

SAP has been the technology backbone across the group since 2012. SAP HANA was selected to help gain a holistic view across all business lines, ensuring a real-time insight and the ability to leverage best practice principles over the wider business.

Following further SAP integration, 2019 brought an inflection point as our client's commitment to HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud) was nearing an end. While confidence in SAP as an ERP system was concrete, the HEC platform was not meeting the demands of the business. With other workloads already being hosted in Microsoft Azure, an Executive led consideration for moving their business-critical SAP landscape to Azure also was high on the agenda.

Two employees talking about moving from SAP HEC to Azure

Ultimately, the business wanted to:

Improve their services

Improve their services

Provide deeper analytical real-time insights

Provide deeper analytical real-time insights

Prioritise access to a cloud-native ecosystem

Prioritise access to a cloud-native ecosystem

Improve cost optimisation

Improve cost optimisation

Powering through unforeseen circumstances

With these objectives in mind, our client became one of the first companies in the UK to exit HEC, and move to Azure with our team spearheading this ambitious initiative.

The project involved building over 100 virtual machines using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) principles and migrating in the region of 3.7 TiB of data.

We migrated the full application layer, including:

  • ECC ABAP (Sandbox, DEV, QA, and Production)
  • ECC JAVA (DEV, QA, Production)
  • PI (DEV, QA, Production)
  • Solution Manager (DEV and Production)
  • BOBJ ( DEV, QA, and Production)
A group of employees working on migrating the client's full application layer

A new DEV, QA, and Prod SLT/Sidecar system landscape was also built alongside the following clusters and HA/DR environments:

3 x

HANA database clusters

2 x

NFS clusters

10 x

(A)SCS/ERS clusters

4 x

ASE in HA/DR configuration

The impact of COVID-19 initially delayed the project, and meant once the project had started all stakeholders had to work closely, within tight deadlines to ensure the mobilisation of resources and the meeting of milestones.

These aggressive timescales had to be met to achieve important cost savings and deadlines, with minimal disruption to the business. Accustomed to a remote delivery model, we leveraged our four-pillar methodology and championed daily calls using the Microsoft Teams platform. For the duration of the project, we became an extension of the group's team.

The successful integration of both parties along with our expertise in SAP migrations to Azure, resulted in production cutover causing no disruption to our client's critical services, which was a headline considering the complexity of the SAP estate. Milestones were also met on time and within budget with our team delivering a re-architected SAP on Azure landscape. This enabled the business to accelerate change and lower TCO.

The four-pillar methodology

Accelerating change with Azure

With our client already championing a cloud-first strategy, they were already aware of Azure's benefits.

The exit from HEC, however, offered them more control and flexibility over their business-critical systems. In addition to this, it enabled them to be more agile when responding to market conditions, analytical innovations and unlocking significant savings across the SAP estate.

Microsoft Azure


"Myself and the team really appreciate all of the hard work that’s gone into the HEC migration project. It went incredibly smoothly, which is truly a testament to the professional approach and attention to detail from all involved. I won’t hesitate to reach out as and when anything arises, the team have only had great things to say about Centiq."


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