AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog

SAP in the Cloud — Part One

I am fortunate enough to regularly speak with executives at some of the world’s largest organizations about how they’re using the cloud to transform their business. One of the most frequent topics of discussion is around how to effectively run SAP on AWS. Needless to say, I am very excited to introduce a mini-series on the trends we’re seeing with SAP deployments on AWS from Fernando Castillo, the Global Head of AWS’ SAP Business.

(This is the first of many guest posts to come on the AWS Enterprise Blog. If you’ve got some ideas that you think would be helpful to technology professionals navigating their Journey to the cloud, I’d love to hear about it!)



Why is SAP so important for enterprises? For over 40 years, SAP has helped companies run their businesses — managing finances, logistics, production planning, and many other critical processes. During this time, the company has become the industry leader in helping companies centrally manage and optimize resources while providing visibility to decision makers on the current performance of their organization.

Many enterprises are turning to the cloud, and AWS in particular, to run their SAP environment. Why? Because by leveraging the cloud, SAP customers liberate themselves from rigid architectures that previously haven’t let them innovate or scale with their business. They are gaining the agility to start new projects faster, creating higher availability and disaster-recovery solutions that would otherwise be cost prohibitive and unfeasible, and doing so at a lower price.

Here are four steps to guide you through your SAP Landscapes Journey to the cloud.

First, realize that running SAP on AWS is becoming the new normal, many enterprises are doing it, and you’re not alone. Regardless of whether the cloud is already part of an organization’s IT strategy or still in the works, many customers have already implemented SAP on AWS. Take a look at some of those customers and the benefits they have gained here.

Second, understand the cloud isn’t difficult, it’s just different. As with any technology, there’s a learning curve. Also realize that the cloud is not a static entity like your data center. It continues to become more featureful. In 2015 AWS released 722 new features and services, which gives enterprises ample opportunity to continually optimize their SAP environments.

Third, think about your SAP Landscape and identify the areas you would like to improve or solutions you want to add but can’t today. We see a number of customers that want to improve their disaster-recovery plans, others who want to avoid yet another hardware refresh, and still others looking to take advantage of the latest SAP HANA solutions.

Finally, find the right expertise to help you in this journey. Consider how you might leverage new or existing partners. Brooks Brothers, for example, have implemented SAP on AWS on their own. Other companies, like Seaco, have found partners to be useful entities, as is the case in their relationship with Lemongrass, one of our SAP on AWS partners. However you prefer to proceed, know that you can find the right level of expertise from AWS and the partner ecosystem. A list of our SAP partners can be found here.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll dive into the following three themes:

1. How companies are implementing new SAP environments in the cloud. In this upcoming post, we take a deeper look at Brook Brothers, a 138-year-old retail brand that began their Journey to the cloud by implementing their CRM on SAP HANA on AWS.

2. How companies are migrating existing SAP environments to the cloud. This upcoming post will explore a couple examples of organizations who are migrating their existing SAP Landscapes to AWS. We will expand on the Seaco example, and explore how the biggest container-leasing company in the world leverages AWS to run SAP. We will also share a few other examples and trends that highlight the speed at which enterprises are migrating their SAP Landscapes to AWS.

3. How companies optimize their SAP environments in the cloud. In this upcoming post, we’ll look at what happens after you’re running your SAP environment on AWS. We will touch on the continuous optimization process SAP customers use to optimize their environment and costs using automation and on-demand infrastructure as their business experiences peaks and valleys.

We’d love to hear what other topics that you’d like to see covered as part of this series. Let us know!

Fernando Castillo

Stephen Orban

Stephen Orban

Stephen is the GM (General Manager) of a new AWS service under development, and author of the book “Ahead in the Cloud: Best Practices for Navigating the Future of Enterprise IT” Stephen spent his first three-and-a-half years with Amazon as the Global Head of Enterprise Strategy, where he oversaw AWS’s enterprise go-to-market strategy, invented and built AWS’s Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), and helped executives from hundreds of the world’s largest companies envision, develop, and mature their IT operating model using the cloud. Stephen authored Ahead in the Cloud so customers might benefit from many of the best practices Stephen observed working with customers in this role. Prior to joining AWS, Stephen was the CIO of Dow Jones, where he introduced modern software development methodologies and reduced costs while implementing a cloud-first strategy. These transformational changes accelerated product development cycles and increased productivity across all lines of business, including The Wall Street Journal,, Dow Jones Newswires, and Factiva. Stephen also spent 11 years at Bloomberg LP, holding a variety of leadership positions across their equity and messaging platforms, before founding Bloomberg Sports in 2008, where he served as CTO. Stephen earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from State University of New York College at Fredonia.