AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Learn about the SAP and Amazon Web Services Collaboration for Life Sciences Customers

By Christopher Chen. Chris is the Global Strategic Technology Alliances Lead for HCLS at AWS.

This week, SAP is holding their annual user conference, SAPPHIRE NOW, and we’re excited to announce a new collaboration between AWS and SAP that will support our mutual Life Sciences customers on their journey to the cloud.

SAP has been a leader in providing solutions to the Life Sciences market for over 45 years, and many of our customers and APN Partners have been moving to HANA workloads on AWS. Life Sciences customers often work in highly regulated environments, and through our collaboration with SAP, we aim to help their businesses run better by enabling this transition with new tools.

What are some unique considerations for Life Sciences customers?

As explained by Chris Whalley, AWS Partner Network (APN) Compliance Program Leader, in an earlier blog post detailing GxP (Good [anything] Practices) on AWS, we‘re deeply invested in helping enable customers to run GxP workloads on AWS. In January 2016, we published a whitepaper titled, Considerations for Using AWS Products in GxP Systems,” with the assistance of Lachman Consultant Services, Inc. (Lachman Consultants), one of the most highly respected consulting firms on FDA and international regulatory compliance issues affecting the pharmaceutical and medical device industry today.

Initially, we’ve found that many IT departments have questions about how they can meet their compliance needs and achieve the same level of control in a cloud environment that they do in an on-premises model. By being able to treat your infrastructure as code on AWS, you can apply the same level of control to your infrastructure as you do to your software, and easily test and validate each change to your environment. You can take advantage of AWS to automate the traceability and audit process so that you can not only meet your compliance requirements but also drive continuous compliance as you increase agility and lower your operational burden.

One of our Life Sciences customers, Moderna Therapeutics, is building a digital company with full integration in a GxP environment. According to Marcello Damiani, Chief Digital Officer at Moderna, “We worked with SAP and AWS because we wanted to take advantage of the flexibility that AWS provides and, at the same time, ensure compliance with all the applicable regulations of the biopharma industry. In the GxP space, it was very helpful that AWS had the industry experience to help guide us and work with our quality team to understand what this all meant in the cloud.”

Our goal is to help enable and accelerate the journey of digital transformation for Life Sciences customers as they adopt SAP’s cloud-enabled innovations. Customers can leverage the tools and resources that SAP and AWS make available to help meet their compliance objectives with increased speed and agility while supporting mission-critical applications like SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA.

Easing the process of getting HANA environments up and running on AWS

I’m excited to announce that we will soon make available guidance and documentation for the validated deployment of SAP HANA qualified for GxP. This documentation will be built off our previous work with SAP in developing the “SAP HANA on the AWS Cloud” Quick Start, which allows you to scale out HANA to 34TB. It launches, configures, and runs the AWS compute, network, storage, and other services required to deploy a specific workload on AWS, using AWS best practices for security and availability required while operating in a validated environment for Life Sciences customers. This is done, in as little as an hour, by deploying a collection of AWS CloudFormation templates and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) which configures SAP HANA. The templates included in the documentation enable all auditing and logging features available and are coupled with an IQ (Infrastructure Qualification) document in order to enable a qualified environment once deployed.

Transitioning more quickly to HANA

In addition we will also help existing SAP Life Sciences customers quickly transition to HANA with a rapid test migration program for non-HANA Suite or B/W workloads (FAST). Now, instead of taking months to migrate workloads to HANA, our Life Sciences customers can be up and running with HANA on AWS with minimal effort and without long term commitments. Our first customers have already achieved success with this program, and have had test environments up and running in less than a week’s time.

Minding your IQ’s, OQ’s, and PQ’s – qualification of SAP HANA on AWS

Validation is the process of establishing documentary evidence demonstrating that a procedure, process, or activity carried out in testing and then production maintains the desired level of compliance at all stages. To achieve and maintain a validated environment, our customers monitor the activity of their qualified systems and leverage many of the controls and services AWS provides. Most relevant to our joint customers are the required documentation around Installation qualification (IQ), Operational qualification (OQ), and Performance qualification (PQ). We know how important this is and so to simplify the process, we are working with SAP to share our templates for these qualification requirements. You will be able to use the IQ Template from AWS in combination with the OQ and PQ templates available directly from SAP and our ecosystem of SI Partners.

Joe Miles, Global Vice President of Life Sciences at SAP states, “Life Sciences companies are aggressively moving to the cloud to reduce cost, complexity, and risk of their – increasingly digital – business. SAP chose to collaborate with Amazon Web Services in Life Sciences because of its deep industry experience in managing regulated, GxP datasets. More importantly, AWS provides an exceptional ability to co-innovate with SAP. Programs like FAST are the first of many solutions that will come out of the SAP – AWS collaboration and we look forward to seeing more of those innovations in the future.”

We are excited to help our customers continue to get their mission critical SAP solutions to HANA on AWS faster, easier, and with an even better path to help them meet their specific compliance requirements. If you want to learn more about running SAP on AWS please join us for an upcoming session at SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 on Wednesday, May 17th 3:00 pm at Booth 539!

Read on for session details.

Cloud Compliance for Life Sciences in the Digital Age: Interactive Session

Life sciences organizations running regulated workloads in the cloud can achieve continuous compliance with the mandates of auditors and regulation entities. Hear real-world use cases of how heavily regulated environments maintain governance and control and on innovative Life Sciences customers journey in implementing SAP on AWS. Gain insights into some of the AWS services customers can use to accomplish continuous compliance in the transition to a digital world and move from point-in-space testing of their environment to near real-time testing. Finally, find out how the SAP collaboration with AWS in Life Sciences can speed your transition and deliver mission critical applications while accelerating value for your organization. 

Join our panel of experts including Ander Tallett – Associate Director Business Systems at Moderna Therapeutics, Joe Miles – SAP’s Global Vice President of Life Sciences, and Chris Whalley – AWS’s Industry Compliance Lead as they provide insights and answer questions on this important topic.