SPIRIT/21 Helps Leadec Migrate to AWS in 6 Months and Optimize IT Costs

Executive Summary

After a business reorganization in 2016, Germany-based Leadec—which provides engineering, maintenance, and other services for factories—needed to move its IT estate from its parent company’s on-premises infrastructure into the cloud in just 6 months. Working with AWS Advanced Partner SPIRIT/21, Leadec completed that migration on time and within budget to transform into a more efficient, agile, and cloud-first organization.

Facing a Tight Deadline for Cloud-First Transformation

Based in Germany, Leadec provides specialized services across the factory lifecycle for the automotive and manufacturing industries. After it was sold by its parent company Voith Group in 2016, it had to quickly build a new and independent IT infrastructure and turned to AWS Partner SPIRIT/21 for assistance with its cloud journey. Working with SPIRIT/21, Leadec successfully transformed to a cloud-first approach in just 180 days, migrating its systems and data from multiple on-premises data centers onto Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Before engaging SPIRIT/21, Leadec wasn’t sure which cloud provider to use. Leadec just knew that it needed to transform fast. That meant deciding how to move business-critical workloads—then running on approximately 600 servers in seven data centers around the world—to the cloud without disrupting operations. Domenico Manzo, Leadec’s head of global IT operations and services, says his primary goals were increasing agility and staff productivity, reducing costs, improving security and resilience, adding modern digital capabilities and scalability, and making it easier for the company to acquire new businesses and expand globally.

Leadec was already well into its decision-making process when AWS suggested to SPIRIT/21 that it should meet with the company to discuss options for transformation. After meeting with the SPIRIT/21 team, Leadec considered its options and decided to migrate to AWS with SPIRIT/21’s help. Robert Renner, partner manager and cloud lead at SPIRIT/21, attributed that decision to the strong support that AWS could provide, especially for migrating Microsoft Windows workloads. Other deciding factors were SPIRIT/21’s AWS expertise, the level of trust that SPIRIT/21 had quickly built with Leadec, and the funding assistance that AWS was able to offer for migration.


Although the SPIRIT/21 colleagues were under great pressure, they managed to implement the migration together with us without any failures within the extremely aggressive schedule.”

Domenico Manzo
Head of Global IT Operations and Services, Leadec

Creative Migration Strategies to Tackle Multiple Activities at Once

Leadec was won over by SPIRIT/21’s agile transformation approach using AWS, and its use of open-source software for automation. “We didn’t focus on what the cloud is, what it could look like, and why cloud is cool,” Renner says. “We focused on what we can automate and on how our automation platform can help them achieve their timeline and help them with operations later.” Manzo confirms that Leadec chose AWS and SPIRIT/21 in part because it supported his company’s goal of automating as much as possible. “That was one of the most important things to me,” Manzo says. Another benefit was that AWS provided Leadec with funding through the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), which helps to accelerate cloud migration and modernization with an outcome-driven methodology, while making it possible for SPIRIT/21 to handle all the billing and financial management for the project.

With a deadline looming in just six months, it was vital to accelerate planning and migration processes as much as possible. SPIRIT/21 began by tackling multiple activities in parallel. It immediately began building an AWS landing zone from which to launch the migration program. At the same time, it started working to determine security and governance requirements and began interviewing application owners across Leadec’s organization to gather the information it needed to establish migration priorities. SPIRIT/21’s change manager also helped Leadec manage the cultural changes that a move to the cloud would require.

After 90 days of research, preparation, and building, SPIRIT/21 was ready to start the actual migration. It used a variety of different migration strategies to accelerate the project. Although many applications needed a lift and shift from on-premises servers into AWS, approximately 35% of them were candidates for a simple rebuild instead. In these cases, SPIRIT/21 simply configured servers on AWS and provided application owners at Leadec with the credentials those application owners needed to install software and transfer data themselves to AWS. “A good chunk of application owners said, ‘Yeah, that would be great,’” Renner says. “So, boom, a very quick and easy migration method. It’s kind of uncommon, but it really helped to keep up speed.” SPIRIT/21 managed other areas of the migration using AWS Snowball—which accelerates moving offline data or remote storage to the cloud—to transfer data from Leadec’s data center in Brazil. And by working within existing maintenance windows, SPIRIT/21 completed the migration without any unscheduled downtime.


We focused on what we can automate and on how our automation platform can help them achieve their timeline and help them with operations later.”

Robert Renner
Partner Manager and Cloud Lead, SPIRIT/21

A Data Center in the Cloud, with Half the Servers and Reduced Costs

Leadec met its deadline: “What they have now is a data center in the cloud, full stop,” says Renner. In the interest of speed, SPIRIT/21 didn’t focus on optimization during the project, but it still found many opportunities to right-size Leadec’s infrastructure in the cloud. As a result, the 600 on-premises servers it originally planned to move required only 300 servers in the cloud. That and other efficiencies have also helped to significantly reduce Leadec’s IT costs, and additional efficiencies introduced through improved work processes could save the company even more, Renner says.

Using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which offers secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload and is hosted in multiple AWS Regions and Availability Zones, Leadec has a more resilient infrastructure than it did with its on-premises data centers, which experienced occasional power outages or network interruptions. “They gained a lot of stability and performance,” says Renner.

Since completing the migration, SPIRIT/21 has seamlessly moved into the role of Leadec’s managed service provider for AWS services. And Leadec is exploring new AWS services such as Internet of Things services that it can use to support smart factories for its customers. “Although the SPIRIT/21 colleagues were under great pressure, they managed to implement the migration together with us without any failures within the extremely aggressive schedule,” says Manzo. “That was a great team effort. The flexible and collegial collaboration helped us a lot.”


About Leadec

Leadec, established in Germany in 1962, provides specialist services for factories across the entire manufacturing lifecycle, including engineering, installation, and facilities maintenance. It operated for many years as the industrial services division of the Voith Group, was sold to Triton in 2016, and now operates as an independent service company under Triton. Headquartered in Stuttgart, it has around 20,000 employees at more than 300 locations around the globe.

AWS Services Used


  • 6 months to migrate entire company from on-premises to AWS
  • Cost savings through more efficient IT
  • Increased stability and performance
  • Opportunities for new services such as IoT-enabled smart factories

About the AWS Partner SPIRIT/21

Based in Germany and founded in 1998, SPIRIT/21 is an AWS Advanced Partner that specializes in cloud software development, cloud managed services, automation, consulting, and best practices for small and medium-sized businesses and enterprise customers. In addition to numerous AWS certifications, the SPIRIT/21 team also provides expertise in SAP, Microsoft, and other technologies.

Published July 2023