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Haufe Group SE Launches Greenfield SAP S/4HANA on AWS

2021

Haufe Group SE created a greenfield SAP S/4HANA deployment on AWS and cut deployment times for development environments by 50 percent, significantly increasing flexibility. The group is a provider of digital workplace solutions and services. It is running critical SAP S/4HANA systems on a combination of Amazon EC2 instances with AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA to backup systems to Amazon S3.

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When you know a system is going to see lots of development in the coming years, AWS is the right option because it allows you to make changes easily and scale quickly.”

Andreas Plaul
Head of ICT Services, Haufe Group SE

Haufe Group SE, headquartered in Freiburg, Germany, has evolved from a successful publishing business into a provider of digital and web-based solutions. The company saw high-speed internet enabling new business models, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), and the increasing application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enhancing decision-making. It realized continued success depended on using technology to detect new opportunities and develop products quickly to satisfy customer needs. What’s more, the company had to be agile at all levels, adjusting internal business and accounting processes as new products evolved to allow the group to flourish.  

Making Flexibility a Priority

To become more agile, the group looked to overhaul its current SAP system. The SAP ECC solution with an Oracle database was highly customized, and the 20-year-old legacy code was time-consuming for developers to change. Adjusting existing processes in SAP to new requirements regularly took months. Moreover, the existing on-premises hardware wasn’t certified to run an SAP HANA in-memory database, which Haufe Group SE planned to adopt. Says Steffen Pietsch, head of business applications at Haufe Group SE, “We wanted a vanilla SAP environment as digital core that would give us the needed flexibility to make changes rapidly.”

Finding the Answer in Cloud

Haufe Group SE chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) over an on-premises option. Andreas Plaul, head of ICT services at Haufe Group SE, explains why the decision was taken, “When you know a system is going to see lots of development in the coming years, AWS is the right option because it allows you to make changes easily and scale quickly.” Haufe Group SE was already skilled in AWS, using it to deliver services to customers. Plus, it could leverage the in-house expertise of Haufe-Lexware, an AWS ISV Partner, to lead the SAP migration. Plaul adds, “AWS also gives you support from the get-go. We knew the AWS team would be behind us all the way on an SAP migration.”

Baking in Scalability and Security

To ensure its SAP systems scaled easily, the Haufe team applied Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to run applications and the SAP HANA database. What’s more, it used the AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA to backup systems to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for a secure and fast backup and restore process. In addition, AWS CloudFormation allowed the team to launch other SAP environments on AWS, such as SAP BW, quickly and easily. 

For peace of mind, the team took advantage of AWS security services such as Amazon GuardDuty to check for malicious activity and Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring across all the AWS environments. Says Pietsch, “With AWS CloudFormation, we created ready-to-go templates to save days on launching SAP environments on AWS and help our development teams to work more effectively.”

Haufe Group SE successfully migrated the first parts of its SAP landscape to AWS, starting with SAP BW in 2020. This move included migrating the database from Oracle to SAP HANA and shrinking the database size from nearly 1.5 terabytes to less than 300 gigabytes. Additionally, the company set up a new S/4HANA landscape on AWS and went live with its first legal entity. The migration work of the remaining SAP ECC to S/4HANA is expected to be completed by 2025, when more than 1,000 employees will be using the latest SAP software. 

Gaining Business Agility with Faster Deployment Times

By running SAP on AWS, Haufe Group SE has cut deployment times for development environments by 50 percent. Pietsch makes it clear when he says, “Our agility on AWS is far higher than on-premises. The group is in constant need of additional project systems for temporary use, and with SAP on AWS, we can launch development environments fast.”

Plaul adds, “SAP on AWS isn’t like SAP on-premises where you have to keep hardware just in case you require more capacity. You can quickly scale the SAP on AWS infrastructure in line with the business need.”

The Foundation for Continued Success

Looking ahead, Haufe Group SE expects even greater returns as SAP S/4HANA on AWS is rolled out across the organization. Collaboration between SAP and AWS means the number of cloud-native applications is growing, with SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, for example, now running on AWS. The combination of SAP S/4HANA and other solutions will give Haufe Group SE the possibilities to integrate technology such as AI and ML to improve processes and decision-making down the line. Plaul concludes, “We are at the start of a journey to ensure Haufe Group SE never stops coming up with the solutions to our customers’ challenges.”


About Haufe Group SE

Haufe Group SE, with its brands Haufe, Haufe Akademie, and Haufe-Lexware, is one of Germany's leading providers of digital workplace solutions. From the core areas of a successful publishing business, Haufe Group SE has developed into a specialist for digital and web-based services. In 2020, Haufe Group SE reported revenues of €393 million ($469 million). The group of companies, headquartered in Freiburg, Germany, employs around 2,000 people in Germany and abroad.

Benefits of AWS

  • Increased agility and ability to scale quickly
  • 50% reduction in deployment times for new SAP environments 
  • Strong support from AWS from the beginning and throughout the SAP migration

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

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AWS Backint Agent

AWS Backint Agent for SAP HANA is an SAP-certified backup and restore solution for SAP HANA workloads running on Amazon EC2 instances. AWS Backint Agent backs up your SAP HANA database to Amazon S3 and restores it using SAP management tools, such as SAP HANA Cockpit, SAP HANA Studio, or SQL commands.

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AWS Cloud​Formation

AWS CloudFormation gives you an easy way to model a collection of related AWS and third-party resources, provision them quickly and consistently, and manage them throughout their lifecycles, by treating infrastructure as code.

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Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch provides you with data and actionable insights to monitor your applications, respond to system-wide performance changes, optimize resource utilization, and get a unified view of operational health.

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