Kellogg’s is a global food manufacturing company based in Battle Creek, Michigan, with products made in 18 countries and distributed in more than 180 countries. The company is known for its cereal, as well as convenience foods such as cookies, crackers, and frozen waffles.
For 3,000 employees at Kellogg’s in Europe, the company’s SAP applications are an essential part of business. Each day, workers in numerous departments use the SAP BW, SAP ECC, and SAP SCM modules to track transactions throughout Europe. “SAP is the backbone for all our supply chain, finance, logistics, and manufacturing transaction processing,” says Ramesh Kollepara, IT director for Kellogg’s Europe. “It is critical to our business in Europe.”
To support the company’s 2020 growth plan, however, Kellogg’s needed to upgrade its on-premises SAP systems from older hardware. “As part of the growth initiative, we must have a modern, reliable, and scalable platform,” says Kollepara. “We could not deliver that using the hardware we had. As a result, our existing infrastructure presented a risk to the business.” Specifically, the organization’s outdated hardware caused SAP application performance issues, and logistics and financial reports were taking too long to complete. “We wanted to focus on value-add technology, not on fixing performance problems.”
Kellogg’s Europe chose to migrate its SAP modules to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to solve its challenges. “We have a philosophy here of going cloud first when it comes to technology,” says Lesley Salmon, chief information officer and vice president for IT at Kellogg’s Europe. “We compared internal and cloud solutions, considering cost to implement, future strategy fit, and flexibility moving forward.” Kollepara adds, “We found that AWS gives us the most reliability, flexibility, and scalability.”
To migrate its SAP environment to AWS in a short time frame, Kellogg’s received assistance from Wipro, a global IT services and consulting company and a Premier Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN). Wipro worked closely with Kellogg’s to migrate SAP BW, SAP ECC, and SAP SCM modules to AWS in 30 hours—less than the allotted 48 hours. Kollepara says, “We needed to finish the entire migration in one weekend, and we made that happen comfortably.” In fact, Kellogg’s won an SAP Quality Award for a timely, problem-free migration.
The company now runs its SAP environment on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) memory-optimized X1 instances, which run on the latest Intel® Xeon® processors, and it uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets for backing up and archiving SAP application data.
Since migrating its SAP applications to the AWS Cloud, Kellogg’s Europe has seen significant improvements in overall system performance. “Some of our SAP logistics and finance reports are executing up to 60 percent faster on AWS,” says Kollepara. “That means our SAP users are more productive and they can report results to the business faster.”
The organization has seen dramatic improvements in batch processing jobs, with some jobs completing 90 percent faster than before and an average batch job execution improvement of 45 percent. “Many of these tasks would take all night to finish in our on-premises environment, because of the limitations of our hardware,” states Kollepara. “When some SAP users came into the office in the morning, they had to wait up to two hours for the tasks to finish, because the applications ran very slowly and impacted their productivity. The migration to AWS has eliminated this problem.”
Because of the improvements in SAP performance, Kellogg’s has reduced system downtime from weekly to once a month, so applications are more available. The European IT team also has the business agility it needs to keep pace with the demands of the business. “One way we’re expanding our business is through mergers and acquisitions, and we can enable that expansion because we are no longer restricted by our infrastructure,” says Kollepara. “As an example, we acquired a company several years ago and it took a long time to procure hardware to bring that company’s functionality to SAP. Now, using AWS, we could get a new company up and running on SAP in a few weeks.” Salmon adds, “Wherever we do business in the world, I’m confident AWS will scale to meet our requirements.”
With more agility and a more scalable and reliable SAP environment, Kellogg’s Europe can contribute to the organization’s plans. “As a result of the migration, we can fully support the company’s 2020 growth plan,” says Salmon. “Because of our AWS infrastructure and all-around digitization, we have real-time access to information and we can provide our business with insights that can drive action and turn IT into a true value add, whether that’s around cost savings or growth initiatives.”
Learn more about running your SAP applications on AWS.