So you say you can move my SAP environment to the Cloud…

Most organizations tell us they have a “Cloud First Strategy”!
Once we get into conversations with them we learn that most of those clients have done many different interesting things in their Cloud strategy, leveraging on-prem Private Clouds, have deployed various PaaS platforms (on-prem or as a service),have moved applications to various SaaS solutions, have leveraged Public Cloud offerings, have looked at various IaaS offerings for various applications. Hence, one thing we have learned: It’s a “Multi Cloud” World! More to come in future blogs on that topic….

At the same time these clients tell us that they are in the process of looking at moving their most mission critical applications (such as SAP ERP) to the Cloud; some already successfully, some in the process and then most of them that say: “Where do I start?”

They realize the massive opportunity for increasing agility as an organization if they can innovate around their ERP systems creating a “Digital Core”, improving availability and performance if managed by someone that is in the business of knowing how to manage SAP in the Cloud, and driving an improved TCO model over time.

Third party analysts are also validating that this is accelerating now around mission critical applications. For example, according to research firm Forrester, half of enterprises expect to use public cloud platforms by the end of this year. Analysts at Gartner report that half of all applications hosted in public clouds by next year will be considered mission critical!

Take for example a company that is involved in a merger and acquisition (which happens frequently in this current changing business landscape). If they run an agile and digital ERP platform (such as SAP S/4HANA deployed in a Cloud) with the ability to integrate the company they are acquiring’s ERP system in 4-6 months vs 12 months, there can be significant savings involved. Actually, it can be the difference in the business case whether or not the company should acquire the prospected company; being able to quickly integrate them, create a culture of execution and achieve organizational satisfaction across the new company structure.

So where do you start?

  • Create a business case based on facts and outcomes! There are a ton of organizations out there (including Virtustream) that are interested in helping create a business case. There are also a ton of documented success stories which can validate your business case.
  • Realize it’s a Journey! Evaluate at what pace of that journey you are ready for, which many times depends upon if you are hypothetically moving to SAP S/4HANA in the Cloud; Or if you are deploying a greenfield environment (net new SAP deployment)? Are you migrating/deploying a brownfield environment (moving from SAP ERP on Oracle DB to SAP S/4HANA)? Are you deploying an SAP S/4HANA sidecar (SAP HANA live environment in a phased deployment)? Are you starting by centralizing a function within your organization such as central finance on SAP S/4HANA (while keeping other SAP ERP environments on the current platform)? All these various use cases are a great opportunity to start the journey with S4HANA in the Cloud. At Virtustream we have many examples of this happening from small clients, medium clients and then successful deployments of some of the largest organizations in the world such as GE, Coca-Cola, Cargill and others.
  • Realize where your current challenges are, and where potential new challenges lie when deploying and operating your SAP Platform in the Cloud.

Often we hear from clients that they face challenges in these areas:

  • Managing Performance
  • Managing Availability
  • Security & Compliance
  • Challenge of Manual Tasks & Lack of Automation
  • Overall Cost Efficiency of your SAP ERP Platform
  • Skill set and Experience required when moving to new innovative technologies like Cloud and SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA

I am sure there are others as well that are not listed above.

At Virtustream we believe that there needs to be a sound and differentiated foundation in the Cloud provider you select to help you with this journey in moving SAP to the Cloud. A Cloud company that can address these challenges and who has a proven track record (validated by 3rd party analysts) of achieving results and driving business outcomes.

As an example: one of our largest production SAP ERP platform customers (Fortune 50) in the Cloud shared with us recently that they had achieved the following results post migrations to Virtustream’s Enterprise Cloud:

  • Average dialog response times were reduced by 50%
  • Average database response times were reduced by 60%
  • Infrastructure costs were reduced by ~50%
  • Queries and analytics were improved by ~40%”

How did we/do we achieve these results for customers?
At Virtustream we address the challenges that clients face, we have built IP for solutions to address these challenges, we have built a purpose-built Cloud Platform for Enterprise workloads, we have built experience and BKM’s (Best Known Methods as Intel calls them) in migrating and running SAP in the Cloud and we have a comprehensive portfolio of services to assist in the Journey including: Assessment, On-Boarding, Migrations (OS/DB and/or SAP HANA/SAP S/4HANA migrations) and run services for both IaaS and what we call AMS focused on OS/DB/SAP Basis. Also, we are fortunate that the majority of the top SAP Systems Integrators have built their services offerings around our Enterprise Cloud Platform with many successful examples.

So let’s take a closer look:

  • Performance
    • Our patented MicroVM (µVM) resource allocation model ensures quality of service backed by performance SLAs which is unique in the industry
  • Availability
    • We deliver up to 5x9s availability SLAs with built-in resiliency for HA, Disaster Recovery and Backup/Recovery
  • Security & Compliance
    • We have built a reference architecture for enterprise-class security and industry specific compliance to meet some of the toughest security & compliance requirements in the world
  • Application Automation
    • We have built IP that automates SAP administrator tasks to drive consistency and reduce errors
  • Cost Efficiency
    • MicroVM (µVM) technology eliminates overprovisioning, enables true consumption based billing, and reduces overall cost of the platform with “Economies of Scale”
  • Services
    • Virtustream or Partner-led delivered Professional and Managed Services to reduce Risk and drive “Economies of Skills”. Unparalleled Experience

Our SAP Clients, Partners and 3rd party Analysts tell us these areas are differentiated in the Enterprise Cloud Industry for SAP customers looking at Cloud. I believe that this is just a credential to earn the right to have a conversation: What we really would like to do is be fortune enough to get an opportunity to talk with SAP clients about accelerating their SAP Cloud journey, transform customers to become digital enterprises, create outcomes…because in the end: That’s what we are passionate about!