Polyvision, a leading provider of CeramicSteel surfaces, needed an enterprise resource planning (ERP) overhaul after its divestiture from Steelcase. With a vision to streamline processes, optimize costs, modernize, and lay the foundation for future growth, Polyvision worked with AWS Partner Navisite to migrate its legacy SAP ECC system to SAP S/4HANA on AWS via RISE with SAP. This strategic move not only modernized its ERP, but also initiated a significant organizational transformation.
Divestiture and the Drive for Independence
Prioritizing operational efficiency has always been a key focus for Polyvision. Known for its commitment to quality, Polyvision wanted to spend minimal time on IT infrastructure and operations and more on its mission to produce and enhance aesthetic surfaces. However, the company’s on-premises ERP system—which was essential to manufacturing, sales, operations, and more—was monopolizing IT resources.
Divesting from its parent company created a deadline for Polyvision to reevaluate its technology landscape. A transition service agreement (TSA) between the two companies gave Polyvision 14 months to decide what to do with the data from the company’s legacy ERP, SAP ECC. This ticking clock was the push Polyvision needed to align its technology strategy with future business goals.
"Our ERP was functional but not user-friendly and was becoming increasingly difficult for us to manage on premises. The divestiture was a turning point for us, highlighting the immediate need to modernize our ERP infrastructure and gain efficiency, scalability, and the ability to handle increased data loads," said Jake Hutcherson, global IT manager at Polyvision.
This migration has done more than just update our tech stack; it's brought about a cultural shift. Our ERP provides more modern and efficient workflows that are transforming how we operate.”
Global IT Manager, Polyvision
Aligning with Navisite for a Seamless Migration in Seven Months
The limitations of its existing ERP and the impending deadline led Polyvision to seek out a cloud solution. Recognizing that this would be a massive undertaking, Polyvision chose to partner with AWS Premier Tier Services Partner Navisite because of its vast expertise in SAP migrations and its ongoing management services.
Navisite helped Polyvision identify SAP S/4HANA on AWS via RISE with SAP as the optimal choice. The cloud-based solution not only addressed the present inefficiencies, but also aligned with Polyvision's forward-looking strategy. Under Navisite’s guidance, the migration was completed in seven months—exceeding expectations. “Our number one priority was to minimize business disruption and optimize downtime for Polyvision,” said Alex Borovkov, director of client engagement and advisory at Navisite. “Thankfully, we achieved that, making it a non-event for the business.”
Eliminating the Need for Three New Hires
The migration to S/4HANA on AWS and RISE with SAP offered Polyvision the advantage of a fully managed cloud environment with a global reach to enhance its ERP’s performance and reliability. This reduced the need for three additional in-house hires to manage the IT infrastructure.
“If we had to run an equivalent of SAP S/4HANA on premises, I don’t know how we could maintain it without vastly increasing our headcount. It would require at least three more full-time employees,” said Hutcherson. “Even if we used a managed service provider, we would need dedicated in-house SAP folks to support the server's connectivity updates and storage.”
The scalability and flexibility of AWS have provided more opportunities for our future. No matter how our operations grow or change, I'm confident in our infrastructure's ability to support us."
Global IT Manager, Polyvision
Improving Remote Access to Mission-Critical Data
Since migrating to AWS, Polyvision no longer needs to use server-published applications to provide remote or international access to its mission-critical SAP data. Before, the IT team used numerous servers to provide network connectivity and run its SAP GUI application, which presented multiple challenges for the company.
Connectivity to SAP through published applications made it difficult to manage and to identify the source of issues—especially if a server went down completely. "Server-published applications require a lot of moving parts,” said Hutcherson. “If one of those parts had an issue, we had to identify it internally and then engage multiple IT teams to report and troubleshoot the issue. It was a headache.”
Charting a Course for Continued Innovation in Manufacturing
Polyvision now enjoys operational efficiency across its critical business processes, including sales tracking, manufacturing workflows, production and distribution scheduling, and financial forecasting. But moving to the cloud not only streamlined operations, it also marked a pivotal cultural shift. Embracing modern, intuitive workflows, Polyvision is better poised to tackle future global business demands and any unforeseen challenges.
With its foundational systems now on AWS, Polyvision is excited for the road ahead. “This step toward transitioning key processes to the cloud is just the beginning,” said Hutcherson. “There's so much potential for Polyvision to embrace cloud services in areas like Internet of Things (IoT) applications and automation. We’re excited about the possibilities.”
Navisite is proud to be using AWS services to help Polyvision stay at the forefront of CeramicSteel architectural panels and writable surfaces. “As we delve deeper into this partnership, we are focused on continual improvement and on maximizing efficiency, the user experience, and operations going forward,” said Borovkov.
Polyvision is a global leader in the innovation and manufacture of CeramicSteel for a variety of industries. Its products are used around the world for a wide range of installations, from whiteboard surfaces to cladding for public spaces.
AWS Services Used
- Migrated SAP ECC to S/4HANA on AWS via RISE with SAP in 7 months
- Saved 3 FTE by migrating to AWS
- Reduced overhead of maintaining anon-premises ERP
About AWS Partner Navisite
Navisite is a trusted digital transformation partner for growing and established global brands. Through its highly specialized teams, industry solutions, business process expertise, and application services, Navisite provides the capabilities and practical guidance customers need to modernize and support more agile, resilient, and expanding businesses. Its strategic advisory and transformation services advance innovation with comprehensive cloud, enterprise application, data management, intelligent automation, and cybersecurity solutions, empowering customers to navigate change and meet new demands at any point in their journey.
Published December 2023