Burberry Digitizes Luxury Retail with Evergreen SAP and Serverless Ecommerce on AWS

Executive Summary

Burberry is a luxury fashion brand founded in 1856. The company transformed its SAP systems with AWS and AWS Premier Tier Services Partner Capgemini, reducing operational costs by 30 percent and increasing agility for maximum uptime during sales peaks. Separately, its digital team overhauled Burberry’s global ecommerce platform and rebuilt it on AWS with AWS Premier Tier Services Partner EPAM. The new estate is a holistic, omnichannel customer experience that can be localized to best serve its customers’ needs in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

Bringing Luxury to Customers Worldwide

Founded in 1856, Burberry is a global luxury brand with a rich British heritage. The company operates over 400 stores, including concessions, around the world.

Sales channels in high-fashion retail are increasing and customers expect a more personalized level of service by default. Like many enterprises, Burberry runs its operations on SAP and uses it to provide data insights. But the company’s existing third-party infrastructure lacked the stability and flexibility to realize the full potential of the digital transformation it needed to reach its business goals.

It needed greater scalability to deal with seasonal and sales event peaks in traffic, and struggled with essential upgrades and migrations. In addition, its legacy SAP system lacked the real-time cost transparency and control the company needed to become a data-driven enterprise.

Burberry migrated its SAP operation to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2020 with support from AWS Premier Tier Services Partner Capgemini. “The initial decision to move from on-premises to cloud meant navigating delivery challenges and operational risk,” says John Armstrong, vice president of business service platforms at Burberry. “We needed to be sure we partnered our teams with professional service providers who would deliver.”

With SAP running on AWS, its business-critical functions are now highly responsive, resilient, and secure. Using AWS, the company has refined its data strategies and expanded its global operations.


Running SAP on AWS, we can turn off our cloud resources almost instantaneously once peak activity is complete. Previously this was a manual process with long lead times. Now we are on AWS this can be performed in minutes.”

Mark Messenger
SAP Infrastructure and Security Manager at Burberry

Transforming the SAP Landscape in the Cloud

Burberry solved its SAP issues by engaging AWS and Capgemini to conduct a SAP migration. “Capgemini managed our applications so it was a logical decision to have them manage the whole stack,” says Mark Messenger, SAP infrastructure and security manager at Burberry.

In 8 months, Burberry migrated 14 SAP systems and 186 servers. “All our SAP workloads are now on AWS,” says Messenger.

Today, the increase in speed and agility of Burberry’s new infrastructure and system provisioning means IT project teams can accelerate project deliveries, bringing improved processes and an enhanced customer experience to end users sooner than previously possible. “Whether projects, provisioning systems, automated testing, or system refreshes, we’ve had good user feedback,” says Messenger. “No one thinks about infrastructure, that’s good for us. And for the wider company, availability is much better and we’re much more stable.”

LONDON- March, 2018: Exterior of the Burberry Store on Bond Street- a high end British fashion label

Reducing Costs by 30% and Gaining Complete Visibility Across the IT Stack

After migrating to SAP on AWS, powered by Intel, Burberry saw a reduction in operational expenditure of 30 percent. “We have a great relationship with AWS. They listen to our challenges, bring innovations that can help, and bring us cost savings,” says Messenger. The team built a custom dashboard on AWS Lambda, which lets teams run code without thinking about servers or clusters, for complete visibility into all systems and AWS services.

To help maximize uptimes, Burberry deployed Amazon CloudWatch, which lets businesses monitor the performance of applications. In addition, it implemented Capgemini’s Cloud Platform Automation for SAP to reduce the time and costs of managing and maintaining the SAP on AWS systems.

Proactively managing its SAP environments with Amazon CloudWatch means Burberry’s IT team can make subtle changes to prevent incidents. “Our SAP landscape is more reliable than ever,” says Messenger. Unplanned downtime has fallen to near zero, with zero data loss in the event of an incident.

The ongoing challenge for Burberry, until migrating to AWS, was having the flexibility to handle increased order data when sales peak during the year, typically London Fashion Week and across the entire period from Thanksgiving until Chinese New Year. “We increase our application servers by 50 percent in that period,” says Messenger. “Running SAP on AWS, we can turn off our cloud resources almost instantaneously once peak activity is complete. Previously this was a manual process with long lead times. Now we are on AWS this can be performed in minutes.”


The elasticity of AWS services is critical in making sure things run smoothly. We don’t have to temper our campaigns. The sky is the limit.”

Peter Goggin
Vice President of Digital, Marketing and Customer Technology at Burberry

Accelerating Customer Centric, Business Wide Transformation

For Burberry, another big transformation recently undertaken is the overhaul of the front- and back-end of its digital technology estate. The company wanted to empower local teams across Europe and Asia to create a holistic, localized customer experience and drive sales.

To do this, Burberry’s ecommerce team needed to shift from its legacy architecture to something more agile, reliable, and available. Working with AWS Premier Tier Services Partner EPAM it opted for a composable architecture using a ‘MACH’ approach—microservices-based API-first, cloud-native and headless architecture—built using AWS services, including AWS Lambda.

Its new ecommerce estate includes core features—roughly 80 percent of its platform—that can be deployed quickly in key regions. Joining up all the crucial elements of the customer experience across retail stores, its app, and website, has given a 360-degree view of each customer’s activity, many of whom are global travelers and might interact with the brand in a number of countries. “Having this information cohesively and in real time is super important, and lets us get closer to the customer,” says Peter Goggin, vice president of digital, marketing, and customer technology at Burberry.

Financial Impact of Incidents Down 75%

Standardizing core features across regions has freed up time for local DevOps teams to customize Burberry’s platform to best serve the needs of its local customers, rather than building its entire offering from the ground up and duplicating services that already exist elsewhere in the business. “The effect of working with shared central capabilities is that the regional team has a laser-sharp focus on product development that is built on cultural awareness and local intelligence,” says Goggin.

“For example, we now know which payment methods and customer behaviors are most popular. This allows us to develop creative, targeted solutions that best suit the needs of those customers. The flexibility afforded by using AWS really helps us achieve this.”

Reliability has improved too. “Since going serverless on AWS, the overall financial impact of any incident was down 75 percent year on year,” says Goggin. “We’re 3 times faster to resolve incidents and 4 times faster to detect.”

Going serverless and adopting a robust performance monitoring strategy has helped Burberry be prepared for unexpected spikes in web traffic, store visits, and app usage. The IT stack must be prepared for a product drop to scale quick and fast at any point. “The elasticity of AWS services is critical in making sure things run smoothly,” says Goggin. “We don’t have to temper our campaigns to accommodate our technology. The sky is the limit.”


About Burberry

Founded in 1856 Burberry, a modern British luxury brand with a rich history and heritage The brand produces luxury goods that marry the finest craftsmanship and design with a commitment to quality.

AWS Services Used


  • 30% reduction in operational costs
  • 75% reduction in financial impact of downtime
  • 3x faster to resolve incidents
  • 4x faster to detect incidents

About AWS Partners Capgemini & EPAM

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, engineering, technology, and digital transformation services. The group’s expertise includes cloud, digital, and platform deployments. Capgemini partners with companies to transform and manage their business by unlocking the value of technology. With a multicultural team of 265,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini has 8,700 people trained on AWS and over 2,300 certified AWS professionals.

EPAM can help reimagine business through a digital lens. EPAM's software engineering heritage combined with a strategic business and innovation consulting, design thinking, and physical-digital capabilities provide real business value to customers through human-centric innovation.

Published June 2023