Ariston Group’s Path to Optimizing SAP Implementation on AWS

Ariston Group’s Path to Optimizing SAP Implementation on AWS

In an effort to reduce operational IT costs, many large organizations are beginning to rely on third-party suppliers to deliver high system availability and an optimal cost structure. This approach consolidates resources into Availability Zones where a Single Pane of Glass Management is the key benefit. Learn how Artison Group, a world leader in energy-efficient, renewable heating and hot water solutions, leveraged AWS and Syntax to achieve success with moving to a cloud-based SAP model.

Published: 08/September/2022

Reading time: 4 mins

Key Takeaways

⇨ Control costs while improving data analysis capabilities from SAP Business Intelligence using AWS

⇨ Consolidate all relevant resources into a single Availability Zone reducing operating costs

⇨ Single Pane of Glass Management for SAP on AWS

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Optimizing SAP on AWS

From the Americas to Asia, Ariston Group’s employees use SAP in their mission to be the world’s preferred partner for energy-efficient, renewable heating and hot water solutions. To support this, Ariston Group’s IT division started the “New BI” project in 2019 with an external provider. “Our goal was to implement SAP Business Intelligence on AWS to improve the organization’s data analysis capabilities,” says Laura Laici, Group ICT Services Director at Ariston Group. “Like many large organizations, we have a lean approach to IT, relying on third-party suppliers and Service Level Agreements (SLA) to deliver high system availability and an optimal cost structure.” However, to ensure technology competency in-house, the Ariston Group IT division remains hands-on with experts in both SAP and AWS.

“Our ICT strategy is to move more and more to the cloud every time we introduce new technologies and when we make significant upgrades to simplify infrastructure management, and improve scalability and flexibility,” Laici explains. “Thus, the decision to move SAP Business Objects and Intelligence processes to the AWS Cloud was relatively easy to make thanks to the attractive cost savings and ability to streamline internal systems and processes further.” By 2021, project “New BI” had fulfilled many of its goals with both SAP Business Warehouse and Business Objects operating on AWS. The next step was to review the implementation and existing supplier contracts to reduce the number of external partners and attain further cost-downs.

Reviewing the AWS Architecture and Backup Implementation

The team from Syntax was invited to review the implementation to make recommendations on improvements. As a certified AWS Well-Architected Partner and SAP expert, Syntax is well-versed in design principles, key concepts, and best practices for operating SAP in customized cloud architectures. These capabilities ensure that customers benefit from audited competence in operational excellence, security, cost optimization, reliability, and performance efficiency. “After careful analysis, Syntax provided a detailed report highlighting some core recommendations,” Laici recalls. “These ranged from rightsizing, as around half the machines in use were too large for the assigned tasks, to simplifying the architecture and optimizing the backup systems. Syntax also predicted that these aggregated changes would further improve cost-efficiency.” Based upon this report, Syntax was selected to take over responsibility for revising the SAP BI implementation on AWS. Over the course of a week, the team successively took control of the monitoring, backups, and alerts to ensure minimal disruption to Ariston Group’s operations. This process was simplified thanks to Syntax’s Intelligent Autonomous Platform (IAP). With a decade of experience with AWS, they provide a quick setup for managed AWS Cloud so as to deliver reliable monitoring, comprehensive security, and scheduled backups. The rightsizing recommendations were implemented first and followed by the proposed architecture optimizations. During the analysis, it was determined that parts of the system had made use of costly high[1]availability mechanisms and, upon closer inspection, Syntax determined that these were failing to offer any impact. Calculation of costs for cloud services is not a trivial matter as you have to take into account not only the expenses for virtual machines but also for additional services like migration or backup. However, once the changes were complete, the predicted cost savings calculated by Syntax were achieved.

Single Pane of Glass Management for SAP on AWS

A significant reduction in AWS operating costs was realized by bringing all the relevant resources into a single Availability Zone. For further transparency, the AWS implementation was integrated into Syntax CxHub, a ‘single pane of glass’ multi-cloud management customer portal already in use to manage Ariston Group’s existing SAP services hosted at Syntax’s data centers. CxHub draws everything from billing details and invoices to resource provisioning, security, and monitoring into a single location. Furthermore, it integrates with ServiceNow (SNOW), Syntax’s ticketing platform, simplifying change management and the opening of incidents. Thanks to considerable upfront testing and planning, Syntax successfully brought the existing deployed SAP systems base to Syntax CxHub cloud management portal using AWS within a scheduled one-hour maintenance window and is managing the underlying infrastructure.

The Importance of Bundled SAP and AWS Competence

Laura Laici is clear why Syntax was selected as the new partner for managing their public-cloud hosted SAP implementation. “Throughout all our interactions with the Syntax team, we were reassured by their structured approach and technical competence,” she explains, “as well as their ongoing commitment to fulfilling our individual demands.” This is a critical aspect for someone in Laici’s role. While her team wants to be informed about and involved in technology decisions, the ultimate goal is fulfilling the business’s needs. For organizations also looking to take advantage of the cost savings offered by the public cloud, Laici has some helpful recommendations. “Companies should understand the service levels and flexibility required to achieve their targets and choose service providers who know the ropes and deliver exactly the services the organization requires,” she says. Selecting a partner versed in SAP and AWS was also essential for implementing a scalable architecture that ideally met Ariston Group’s needs. She also highlights the value of excellent cooperation with service suppliers as critical. For example, she recalls the series of workshops between Ariston Group and Syntax to determine an optimal approach to the system architecture that also enabled efficient resolution of existing pain points. Undoubtedly, it is Syntax’s dual competence in both SAP and AWS that is especially valued by Ariston Group. Furthermore, they have acquired a single supplier for both technologies while meeting their cost-saving targets. With Syntax at their side, Ariston Group can be sure of getting closer to their goal of being the world’s preferred partner for energy-efficient and renewable heating solutions.

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