Moving SAP to the Cloud: The Real Game Changer

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Switching entirely to Azure Cloud helped Softtek speed up SAP deployments and have a scalable, more reliable way to deliver agile IT to their global clients.

Softtek, a leading global IT services provider with headquarters in Mexico, decided to migrate its entire SAP estate to Microsoft SQL Server 2014 running in Microsoft Azure. The changes helped reduce SAP costs by a third, speed SAP project delivery times from weeks to hours, accommodate business growth with instant Cloud scalability, and improve business continuity with recovery times of days rather than weeks.

With over 9,000 employees, more than 30 offices worldwide and 15 global delivery centers in the US, Mexico, China, Brazil, Argentina, Spain or India, the organization is a worldwide leader in delivering process-driven IT solutions to top-tier corporations in over 20 countries.

Here we look at how undertaking a data center transformation helped them have a bigger impact on their business success and how now they are also helping customers move their SAP infrastructures to Azure to realize all the same benefits.

Looking for a more agile way to deliver IT at a lower cost

With such a large client portfolio, SAP has been a key application for both Softtek and its customers. They use it to run just about every aspect of the business, and a large proportion of their work goes to help customers set up and customize SAP to their business needs.

However, in order to innovate at the speed the marketplace demands, Softtek began to look for a more cost-effective, scalable, and reliable way to run SAP and other applications. They maintained three datacenters across Mexico, which had heavily virtualized using VMware software, but they wanted to stop spending money on costly IT infrastructure as they felt that this was a legacy investment that was slowing down their growth and their ability to deliver reliable IT more rapidly.

Not surprisingly, Softtek customers faced similar problems with their SAP deployments and asked them for help in transitioning to more cost-effective solutions. It was clear to the organization that the only one way to tackle the firm’s infrastructure problems and the customer needs, particularly as they related to SAP, was to move to the Cloud.

A markedly painless migration to the Cloud

After considering other Cloud options from the market, Softtek concluded that Microsoft Azure infrastructure delivered everything what they needed. They switched from the expensive third-party database program to Microsoft SQL Server 2014 database software and moved every application they could to Microsoft Azure, which provides on-demand compute, storage, and networking capabilities from Microsoft datacenters.

They went all in for their Cloud move and the migration to SQL Server turned out to be painless. In just one weekend, they were able to migrate a test SAP server to SQL Server 2014 with very positive results.

“We tested our largest SAP server in Azure and were really surprised at how easy the migration was and how great the performance was. Everything worked as advertised. Our employees are using SAP from all over the world, so it’s critical that the response be good from everywhere. Azure measured up.”, says Jose Luis Fernandez Domingo, Corporate Systems Director at Softtek.

Shortly thereafter, Softtek began the process of migrating its entire global database environment to SQL Server 2014 and its global development and test environments to Azure. When these steps were completed, they moved its production SAP servers to Azure.

Testing new SAP functionality in the Cloud

Today, Softtek is using the Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering to run SAP, which includes Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines and Microsoft Azure Virtual Network. Eager to use Azure to improve its production SAP systems as soon as possible, Softtek has created a copy of its production SAP environment in Azure, which it uses to test new SAP functionality.

“Having a development sandbox in Azure is great,” says Arturo Marroquin Nieto, Manager of IT Innovation and Strategy at Softtek. “It lets us apply SAP updates and test new functionality much more easily. Before, we had to test these in our on- premises dev-test environment, but it was difficult to synchronize our dev-test systems with our production systems. With a development environment in Azure, we’ve eliminated that problem.”

Embracing datacenter innovation facilitated the reduction IT costs, a higher speed of SAP project deliveries, gaining instant scalability by circumventing hardware barriers, and the improvement of the availability of critical SAP systems.

Do you want to help SAP customers to simplify infrastructure management, lower costs and improve time-to-market? Would you like to learn more about data center innovation and new Cloud hybrid options?

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