Major Multinational Building Materials Company-SAP Migration to Azure

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Major Multinational Building Materials Company Introduction

The context

NEORIS worked with a multinational building materials company, one of the largest in Latin America. Within the past few years, The Company had been working extensively on their Digital Transformation. Optimizing their Operational Backbone based on SAP applications has been key to enabling innovation and process integration.

The challenge

One of the main challenges the company recently faced was delivering on the promise of gaining agility and resilience by migrating their SAP environments to the cloud for THE COMPANY’s Operations. Importantly, NEORIS had already been working with The Company to migrate divisions of their regional SAP instances to Azure.

NEORIS was chosen to address this major challenge, with the following focus points:

  • Service Improvement
    • The Company needed greater scalability
    • Need to reduce software maintenance efforts
    • Improve availability and responsiveness
    • Improve Security and compliance
  • Innovation
    • Leverage cloud services and business partners to improve the innovation process
    • Better analytics for application usage
    • Accelerate digital product development
    • Transformation of back-end systems to support Digital Transformation initiatives across core pillars: Customers (The Company’s Go), Vendors and Employees
  • Digital Transformation
    • Enforce and motivate Digital Transformation
    • Support Global Shared Services
    • Business agility, collaboration & flexibility
    • Cybersecurity strategy
  • Obsolescence
    • Leverage business partners’ ecosystems to mitigate obsolescence
    • Take the SAP product stack to the latest version
    • Keep technology updated with new infrastructure as a service model
    • Avoid SAP Technology obsolescence by adopting HANA Data Base, upgrade to latest ECC version, switch SAP Integration Platform from On Prem to Cloud Subscription Service and set up the foundation to adopt the next generation of SAP solutions for Intelligent Enterprise
  • Reshaping
    • Alignment with customers and partners
    • Reduced/re-allocated infrastructure costs
    • Maximize SAP Investment. New SAP functionalities
  • Simplification
    • A geographical reorganization of the SAP systems with three different SAP regions for The Company on Azure (Europe, Middle East and Asia) to optimize the SAP Landscape, leveraging the flexibility and elasticity of Azure cloud
    • New, rearranged services are being simplified and taken closer to the operations, which were previously centralized in Mexico
  • Financial
    • Reshaping of IT investments, increased focus on buying services, reduction or re-allocation of infrastructure costs and maximization of SAP investments by taking advantage of new functionality as a way to speed up innovation
  • Operational Efficiency
    • Improve Business Continuity:Increase critical SAP services availability and reduce response times for new services requests, i.e. alignment with The Company’s requirements for its strategic client facing mobile application Go
    • System unification and best practice replication from the different systems, looking for the optimal process to replicate across operations

Our solution

In order achieve and solve The Company’s challenges and provide the best existing solution, we reached out and collaborated with Microsoft and other business partners

  • Team: Microsoft (Mexico account team and Global Azure Black Belt Team), The CompanyP&IT and NEORIS
  • Accumulated Migration Scope to date: Asia (Philippines),Middle East (Israel, Egypt, Emirates), Europe-Mediterranean (Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland)– 8 Countries in total
    • Global Applications: BW, GRC coverage (over 30 countries)
    • Regional Applications: CRM Europe-Mediterranean
  • Simplification: This project continues the simplification process where the idea is to create one single instance for all Europe countries and one for EMEA
  • Reimplemented: 100% of Germany’s operation from (On Premise) on Europe’s Azure instance
  • Archive environment: Created Azure environments for five Legacy SAP Applications (Read Only)
  • Production environment: The new Suite on HANA environment to run the Operations went live without major issues and has been working smoothly ever since.To date, we had no outages that impacted the operations
  • Business Continuity: Azure High Availability for SAP applications was included and exercised. Detailed Global security approach for The Company was integrated as part of this project
  • Key Technology involved: SAP ECC on HANA, SAP Cloud Integration, SUSE for SAP and Azure IaaS certified infrastructure for SAP applications and The Company’s Global

Project Outcomes

  • A large ecosystem of SAP Instances has been migrated to Azure. All the regions have the following environments: Development, Quality, Pre-Production, Production, High Availability and Disaster Recovery. To date, the migrated regions are: Asia, Europe and the Middle East, which make 18 different SAP instances and their supporting services
  • The SAP PO integrator was migrated to Azure, all the interfaces are now Cloud to Cloud, improving integration performance
  • The solution is compliant with the available SLAs defined with the business, making the current Operational Backbone of The Company’s operations based on SAP, a reliable and resilient key component to enable The Company’s Digital Transformation
  • The SAP system was upgraded with the latest features and standard fixes from SAP
  • Implementation of local legal and fiscal solutions for each country
  • Enable the easier implementation of: MS Dynamics, Success Factors and Concur
  • Integration with satellite systems such as The Company’s Go is more agile, using integration Platform as a Service
  • By moving to Azure Cloud, SAP back-end systems received benefits from multi geographic zones that improve processing response time for the main processing zone and the DRP zone as well. Azure SAP certified IaaS provides an outstanding processing power foundation for SAP, helping achieve a significant time reduction for SAP transactions. SAP on Azure migration included SAP ECC version upgrade and HANA Data Base migration providing a foundation for future SAP evolution; this Azure Cloud environment supports availability requirements of Digital Transformation initiatives across core pillars: Customers (The Company’s Go), Vendors and Employees
  • During this project, NEORIS separated the SAP instances from the Middle East countries and European countries, to enable independent maintenance windows as these regions have different weekend workdays.
  • Security: For The Company, SAP on Azure operation has an improved level of business security than the previous on premises operation, with the same certifications, process and policies applied, along with the benefit of the robust capabilities provided by Microsoft Azure.
  • The current modern SAP architecture enables new Digital Transformation initiatives to improve The Company’s efficiency and revenues


  • Service Improvement

    After the migration to Azure, some services have tangible improvements:

    • Improved Availability, Improved Inter company interactions
    • Better support coverage due to specialization of cloud provider
    • In an event of recovery, the time to move the systems has been reduced from 2 hours to 15 minutes
    • Performance Improvement of 70% of transactions, 93% faster provisioning time
    • Simpler operations support (Infrastructure & Processes)
  • Innovation & Digital Transformation

    • Access to newest cloud-based features
    • Additional alternatives to speed up innovation
    • Improve performance on The Company’s Go (The Company’s Digital Platform); cloud to cloud latency reduced by 75%
  • Analytics

    • Simpler, more scalable approach to data landscape integration, management, and governances
    • Faster decision processes
    • Easier creation of powerful data processing pipelines to accelerate and expand data-centric projects
  • Obsolescence

    • Leverage partners’ ecosystems to mitigate obsolescence
    • Ensure SAP Higher version
    • Keep technology pace with new IaaS
  • Maximize SAP Investment

    • Reshape current licensing portfolio
    • Gain traction with newest SAP features
    • Prepare SAP S4 Adoption