Swiss transport company Aare Seeland mobil AG is committed to delivering excellent customer service. To meet its customer service vision, it invests in modern facilities, new vehicles, and a reliable information system to ensure that its customers travel in comfort. But the company’s on-premises infrastructure was holding it back. Aare Seeland mobil AG needed to modernize its infrastructure to support its ambitious plans for transport. So the company turned to AWS Partner SoftwareONE to plan and pilot a migration of its data and local applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS), paving the way for a cloud strategy that could save 30 percent in costs.
Aare Seeland mobil AG Decides to Migrate to AWS for Flexibility and Scalability
Aare Seeland mobil AG is a major Swiss transport company—every year, 6.5 million people rely on its trains and buses to travel across the country. The company is committed to getting its customers from A to B on time, but also to giving them a great customer experience. To that end, it invests in modern vehicles and facilities and in customer-centric services like reliable information systems that give accurate arrival and departure times.
While Aare Seeland mobil AG had a forward-looking customer service charter, its on premises infrastructure was holding it back. Operating on a 5-year investment cycle, the company had a decision to make: Reinvest in new hardware? Or shift its workloads to the cloud?
The company chose to migrate to AWS to gain the flexibility and scalability it needed, and to reduce the costs of its aging on-premises equipment. Aare Seeland mobil AG needed a guide for its migration, so it turned to experienced AWS Partner SoftwareONE.
"Investing in more on-premises hardware now would mean investing again in new storage in another 2 years—then again in 3 more years, and so on. This migration allows us to plan a flexible cloud strategy for our company."
- Nadine Wickord, Head of Technology Systems, Aare Seeland mobilAG
30% Cost Reductions Projected by AWS Optimization and Licensing Assessment
Aare Seeland mobil AG wanted to reduce the high investment costs for on-premises infrastructure. An initial business case was built using AWS Optimization and Licensing Assessment (AWS OLA), a program that assesses and optimizes current on-premises and cloud environments, based on actual resource use, third-party licensing, and application dependencies.
Supported with expert analysis from SoftwareONE, this process measured Aare Seeland mobil AG’s systems usage and identified idle instances where costs could be saved. SoftwareONE also used AWS Migration Evaluator to discover overprovisioned on-premises hardware and to suggest AWS services that could meet or exceed those requirements at a lower cost. This analysis also projected the cost estimate and overall savings of running on premises workloads on AWS for Aare Seeland mobil AG’s migration.
SoftwareONE analysis found that 30 percent of costs could be saved. “SoftwareONE guided us on our first steps into a cost-effective and digital future,” says Nadine Wickord, Aare Seeland mobil AG’s head of technology systems. “The cost savings and the migration plan were compelling.”
Constant Network Maximizes Transport Reliability
System outages on its on-premises servers could prevent some transport network features from operating. For example, hardware issues could cause Aare Seeland mobil AG’s stop on-demand service to fail—meaning that train drivers would have to stop at every station rather than only at those selected by passengers. Alternatively, the company’s customer information system could malfunction, leaving customers unable to access departure and arrival times.
SoftwareONE and Aare Seeland mobil AG decided to run a pilot liftand shift migration and move part of the company’s on-premises data and some applications to AWS. Aare Seeland mobil AG was already using AWS Landing Zone, a service that automates the setup and configuration of an environment for running secure and scalable workloads. This helped make the pilot migration a seamless process.
SoftwareONE migrated Aare Seeland mobil AG’s data and applications to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which offers a secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload. This created a reliable environment that could scale according to demand. By connecting its on-premises servers with AWS, Aare Seeland mobil AG has faster reaction times in the event of a hardware failure.
SoftwareONE used AWS Application Migration Service (AWS MGN) to allow Aare Seeland mobil AG to quickly realize the benefits of migrating applications to AWS with minimal downtime. This service allowed Aare Seeland mobil AG’s workloads running on physical and virtual infrastructure to run natively on AWS. Using AWS MGN, data and applications were up and running quickly after migration, reducing network disruption.
A More Tailored and Secure Usage Distribution
SoftwareONE helped the company build an environment tailored to its flexible usage demands using AWS Organizations, which helps you centrally manage and govern environments as you grow and scale AWS resources. “We had some decisions to make about what Aare Seeland mobil AG needed,” says SoftwareONE AWS senior consultant Thomas Ahrens. “It was a very collaborative team process of weighing up each service often literally on a whiteboard—to work out which would be the perfect fit for this migration.”
SoftwareONE created an AWS Landing Zone master account and interconnected subaccounts using AWS Transit Gateway, which connected Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPCs) and on-premises networks through a central hub.
Aare Seeland mobil AG also used AWS Directory Service to serve as the user repository for on-premises, two-way domain trusts. This makes it possible to create local user or group permissions for managing the AWS account structure. “Previously, we couldn’t see which specific departments were using our IT services,” says Wickord. “But thanks to SoftwareONE’s help in setting up AWS Organizations, we can distinguish between whether, say, the train or bus department is using our IT resources. That way, we can assign costs to different departments more accurately, which helps for budgeting and planning.”
Finally, to secure the system, SoftwareONE set up AWS Single Sign-On (AWS SSO), to create or connect workforce identities in AWS once and manage access centrally across the organization. This allows Aare Seeland mobil AG to centrally and securely manage access to its multiple AWS accounts or applications.
Laying the Groundwork for a Sustainable Cloud Strategy
The pilot has been a success and helped build a roadmap for future modernization. The pilot migration has allowed Aare Seeland mobil AG to flexibly adjust its ongoing infrastructure demands. New resources and capabilities can be added quickly and scaled with the touch of a button.
Next on its roadmap are plans to migrate the company’s backups to AWS to protect them from ransomware. “Investing in more on-premises hardware now would mean investing again in new storage in another 2 years—then again in 3 more years, and so on,” says Wickord. “This migration allows us to plan a flexible cloud strategy for our company.”
About Aare Seeland mobil AG
Aare Seeland mobil AG is a major Swiss transport company. Every year, the company transports 6.5 million people by train and bus across Switzerland.
SoftwareONE moves workloads to the cloud to providebusinesses with greater flexibility, efficiency, productivity, scalability, and lower costs when compared to traditional IT infrastructures.
Published August 2022