SAP is a leading provider of enterprise software solutions that enable businesses to manage their operations more efficiently. SAP can be a backbone for business operations that range from resource planning and logistics to financial and human capital management. As more enterprises move their operations to the Cloud, SAP users are increasingly looking to migrate their systems in the long run. Migration of your SAP software to the Cloud solves several things: your organization saves on infrastructure costs, Cloud providers can give you the exact parameters you need for best performance, overhead costs for infrastructure, and SAP Basis support optimization.
But what are the major advantages of migrating to the Cloud? How does the process look step-by-step? And what is the best SAP Cloud migration provider? Let’s answer all these questions alongside reviewing challenges, key considerations, and other relevant details.
Why might one need SAP migration to the Сloud?
Before reviewing the significant benefits of Cloud providers, such as AWS, GCP, and Azure, it’s crucial to understand why organizations might consider Cloud migration in the first place. Moving to the Cloud can transform the way your business uses technology by excluding expensive upfront investments. As a whole, the main business drivers that convince enterprises to consider SAP migration to the Cloud migration are:
- Cost optimization: The most crucial reason enterprises that store their SAP infrastructure in-premise move to the Cloud is cost efficiency. Businesses can reduce their SAP software ownership cost for infrastructure hardware, infrastructure overhead, and modernization cost, and SAP Basis support of all SAP Environments they use (e.g., SAP S4/HANA, ECC, SolMan, ADS, WD, or any other SAP software product you have on-premise). The result is that companies can achieve significant cost savings over time, allowing them to redirect budgets to other business areas.
- Increased flexibility and scalability: With the SAP Cloud migration, companies can easily scale up or down without expensive hardware and IT infrastructure. The migration process allows companies to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer demand. Because the on-premise solutions are less flexible, moving to the Cloud is a viable solution to this problem.
- Improved automation: By conducting the SAP migration to the Cloud, enterprises can see how their SAP landscape can no longer rely on particular hardware limitations, such as SAP ECC to SAP S4/HANA migration. Ultimately, it can help with workload automation and provide access to a better-managed service with shorter development cycles and enhanced infrastructure reliability.
- Enhanced security and data protection: SAP Cloud solutions are designed with security in mind, using advanced encryption and security protocols to protect sensitive data. In the long run, this factor will help enterprises meet compliance and regulatory requirements while reducing the risk of data leakage.
- Long-term strategizing: With the SAP HANA mandate requiring companies to migrate the non-SAP databases of SAP ECC and use the next-generation S4/HANA solution, Cloud migration is merely a matter of time. With the Cloud migration, businesses will quickly realize the benefits of their investment, access new functionality, and build a long-term SAP Cloud strategy.
7 Steps of implementing the SAP cloud migration strategy
Making the shift to the Cloud with critical SAP workloads can be a daunting experience. Since your business core activities run on SAP, you can’t afford any downtime or migration mistakes. At N-iX, we conduct the migration using the seven-step SAP Cloud migration strategy, which you can get acquainted with below:
- Assessing your current SAP system and business needs: Before proceeding with the Cloud migration, it's necessary to assess your current SAP system and business needs. Partnering with a reliable SAP consulting vendor will help you determine the right Cloud solution and match your business objectives with the migration process details.
- Developing a migration plan: Once you have assessed your current system and business needs, you can begin developing a migration plan. During this step, our team includes the key milestones, conducts SAP sizing, and maps out the necessary resources required to complete the migration.
- Performing a trial migration: Before moving the entire SAP system to the Cloud, we perform a trial migration to test the process and ensure everything works correctly. This step is crucial to identify and resolve potential issues that can arise before the entire migration and omit workflow interruptions.
- Migrating your data: Once the trial migration is successful, our team can begin migrating your data to the Cloud. It typically involves extracting data from your on-premises SAP system, preparing it for migration, and then transferring it to the Cloud using our methodology.
- Testing and validating the migrated data: After the data has been migrated, our team tests and validates the migrated data to ensure that it has been transferred correctly and is functioning properly. It helps to identify and resolve any issues before going live with the new system.
- Going live with the new system: Once the migrated data has been validated and tested, we can continue with the new system on the chosen Cloud provider's platform. This process typically involves switching to the new system and providing ongoing maintenance to manage SAP infrastructure in a new environment effectively.
- Monitor and maintain the new system: If agreed in the contract, we can also monitor and maintain the migrated SAP systems in the post-deployment stage to ensure that it continues to function properly and meet your business needs. It may involve regular updates and upgrades, as well as ongoing support and maintenance. One of the options is to establish Reactive and Proactive Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager for all of your SAP Environments, and we cover all SAP Basis support which will take monthly much less time and save your costs.
Read more: Top 30 cloud migration companies in the world
How to choose the best SAP cloud migration provider
When choosing the SAP Cloud migration provider, you’d inevitably stumble upon the offerings delivered by AWS, GCP, and Azure. Since the SAP Cloud migration is an encompassing process, learning about all the smallest nuances is a must. For this purpose, you should carefully consider the benefits and competitive advantages of each Cloud provider.
The first option enterprises consider when migrating SAP HANA to the Cloud is the solution offered by AWS. It’s one of the most trusted Cloud providers for SAP enterprises, which capitalizes on the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of its services. With more companies choosing this provider, it’s advised to review its competitive advantages for SAP migration.
Some of the most convincing are:
- A large community of partners and customers;
- Comprehensive and industry-leading approach to security and compliance;
- An extensive range of infrastructure applications that work well with SAP architecture, such as Redshift, Athena, and S3;
- A wide variety of IoT and AI tools, coupled with AWS-native offerings that drive SAP innovation;
- Multiple migration models, including approaches that don’t require infrastructure modernization.
Here, at N-iX, we deliver AWS consulting and development services. We are recognized as the AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, which signifies long-standing expertise in the field. Except for SAP migration services, the team is competent in optimization, governance, DevOps, and custom solutions for Data Analytics.
Another option one should consider when creating an SAP Cloud migration strategy is the offering delivered by Google with its Cloud Platform. The crucial feature to remember is that Google also features custom SAP tools and services that can deliver a competitive edge. Currently, GCP highlights that deploying SAP on its Cloud can extend the key benefits of enterprise solutions.
The crucial advantages of moving the SAP architecture from on-premise or another Cloud provider to GCP include:
- Flexible visualized architecture that allows scaling environment depending on your individual workload needs;
- A solid variety of built-in features, such as Compute Engine live migration and automatic restart, which minimize downtime and maintenance times;
- Integration opportunities, including SAP data incorporation with multiple data sources that can be processed using BigQuery and embedded data analytics;
- Various migration models, such as deploying SAP HANA system on the Cloud Platform or solely migrating a database to the provider’s environment.
GCP is one of the three major options when partnering with the N-iX center of SAP excellence. The company has a Partner Level status in the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program.
Last but not least in our Cloud migration portfolio for SAP is Microsoft Azure, a Cloud provider with comprehensive hybrid support and a range of peculiar benefits. Since Azure is Microsoft’s solution, it might be the best option for enterprises that have already been using Office 365, Active Directory, and Dynamics 365.
Overall, the main convincing reasons to choose Azure for SAP migration to the Cloud are:
- The presence of a reliable, scalable, and SAP-certified infrastructure to cover your needs;
- A partnership between SAP and Microsoft, with a joint long-term development roadmap;
- An option to bring an individual SAP license, which helps reduce capital expenses and monitor Cloud-related costs;
- Microsoft’s built-in data analytics tools, crucial for implementing better and faster decisions that drive innovation.
Read more about Cloud migration services
At N-iX, dedicated Cloud and Enterprise teams have sufficient experience delivering custom SAP migration services to Microsoft Azure. The company is a Microsoft Gold Partner, which signifies industry recognition.
Regardless of the Cloud provider and the challenges that come alongside any SAP Cloud migration, this decision can bring numerous positive changes to your business operations. They include cost optimization, infrastructure updates, and boosting overall operational efficiency. To make the most of the SAP Cloud migration procedure, partnering with a reliable SAP services provider like N-iX can be revolutionary for your business. Whether you choose our one-stop-shop service that features sizing, infrastructure migration, and maintenance, or just an assessment solution, you can be sure that it’s delivered according to your business needs.
Why choose N-iX for SAP cloud migration?
- N-iX is a certified SAP development partner, proven by 15+ years of expertise in delivering Professional Services;
- The company’s Cloud team consists of 400+ engineers, with 150+ certified and accredited experts capable of delivering Cloud migration solutions;
- Except for the SAP and Cloud expertise, N-iX offers technology consulting and implementation of Embedded and IoT, Data Analytics, Cloud-native services, DevOps, and AWS Consulting & Development, among the few;
- N-iX portfolio comprises projects delivered for cleverbridge, Gogo, Fluke Corporation, Office Depot, OpenText, Messer, Lebara, and a range of Fortune 500 companies;
- The company complies with industry regulations and standards crucial for SAP migration, including PCI DSS, ISO 9001, and ISO 27001;
- N-iX is recognized as the AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, has a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Competency, and a Partner Level status in the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program;
- CRN has repeatedly recognized N-iX among the leading solution providers in North America in their ratings, including Solution Provider 500 and CRN Fast Growth 150.