Customer Stories / Life Sciences

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Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany Speeds Up Data and Analytics Solution Delivery with Highly Automated Custom Environments on AWS

Learn how Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is empowering faster insights with a holistic data analytics ecosystem on AWS.

1–2 Days

to create customized data and analytics environments versus weeks 


security and compliance


cost efficiencies


access to advanced data and analytics capabilities


For the past 355 years, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has built powerful solutions across its life sciences, healthcare, and electronics businesses to drive progress and improve customers’ and patients’ lives. To help its three business sectors make better data-driven decisions, the company sought to unify its data and analytics silos and democratize access to standardized tools and processes.

Toward this, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany built a secure and highly automated platform for data and analytics using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a part of a wider ecosystem to accelerate time to data insights. Now, its data teams create custom analytics environments on demand, connected to the company network, that meet security and compliance standards and provide access to common analytics tools.

“We are building a vibrant and ever-evolving data and analytics ecosystem at our company,” says Walid Mehanna, Group Data Officer at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “AWS services are a fantastic addition to our tech stack and give us flexibility to build what we need to deliver value to our customers and patients.”

Merck Headquarters

Opportunity | Using AWS Services to Build a Connected Analytics Platform  

With over 60,000 employees across 66 countries, the three business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany help find solutions to some of today’s toughest challenges. The company’s data and analytics ecosystem is organized in a hub-hub-spoke model. Its central data office provides the ecosystem, operating model, and data governance solutions to the business sectors. “We have many teams that are working on innovative data science solutions,” says Florian Mohnert, product owner for the AWS-based data and analytics platform in the data office at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “Previously, there was a lack of central governance and analytics technologies, which made it difficult for teams to move quickly.”

Without a centralized infrastructure, data was siloed in multiple systems across the organization. Teams spent weeks provisioning secure, compliant infrastructure to run analytics workloads. Completing data science tasks required manual effort, prolonging the time it took to deploy solutions for teams’ business sectors. To accelerate implementation timelines, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany needed a platform to reduce this manual effort, streamline access to analytics models and tools, and provide teams with more time to focus on innovative, value-generating tasks.

In mid-2021, the data office started building its platform on AWS, using its powerful analytics offerings. The teams worked closely alongside the AWS account and solutions architect teams as well as AWS Professional Services, a global team of experts that helps businesses reach their desired outcomes on AWS. “Having the right people, mindset, and capabilities from the beginning is crucial,” says Kamal Saade, architecture capability lead in the data office at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “AWS Professional Services provided significant support and helped us choose the right services for future success.”


We are building a vibrant and ever-evolving data & analytics ecosystem at our company. AWS is a fantastic addition to our tech stack that gives us great flexibility to build whatever we need to deliver value to our customers and patients."

Walid Mehanna
Group Data Officer, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Solution | Creating Data and Analytics Environments in 1–2 Days Instead of Weeks  

On AWS, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany enjoys a more unified architecture and advanced capabilities. Importantly, it has streamlined tools and processes for data science teams, providing them with coherent offerings to accelerate their work. Before, teams had to follow long, manual, error-prone processes to provision their required cloud infrastructure. Now, they can provision AWS accounts with custom infrastructure automatically within 1–2 days. This capability is powered by AWS CloudFormation, which speeds up cloud provisioning with infrastructure as code, and AWS Lambda, a serverless, event-driven compute service. Since the first iteration’s launch in April 2022, the platform has seen widespread adoption. “We gained a lot of trust in the platform,” says Mohnert. “We get so many requests and see so much interest across the whole company.”
To govern its platform running across different geographical regions, the company uses AWS Control Tower, a service that simplifies AWS experiences by orchestrating multiple AWS services while maintaining the security and compliance needs of its organization. The company facilitates compliance for its data and analytics ecosystem using this solution and Amazon CloudWatch, which it uses to observe and monitor AWS resources and applications. To form its data hub and centralize information from disparate data sources, it uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), object storage built to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere. Now, data can be accessed and shared securely across the ecosystem.
When employees access the platform, they find preconfigured, self-service tooling for data and analytics workloads. They spin up lab environments for fast data experimentation using Amazon SageMaker, which helps developers build, train, and deploy machine learning models for nearly any use case, and a range of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) CPU/GPU instances, which provide secure and resizable compute capacity for nearly any workload. To host container-based, user-facing applications, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany uses AWS Fargate, a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine, which has reduced its compute costs and improved its agility.
The multinational company also needed the platform to meet strict regional regulations and compliance guidelines. For example, certain data cannot leave its country of origin. To validate that its AWS environment met critical regulations, the data office adopted RapidIQ, an automated compliance solution from the AWS Marketplace. “With the support of AWS Professional Services, we built a core infrastructure that is GxP-qualified, while also being fast and agile,” says Mohnert. “AWS has the tools in place for us to protect our data, and RapidIQ helps us facilitate GxP compliance across the entire platform.”
On AWS, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is empowering employees to generate value through data. Data and analytics teams now have the right infrastructure, data science tools, and offerings to meet the demands of their business. With advanced analytics capabilities available in one place, they can take advantage of the cloud to deliver exciting new solutions and improve cohesion among different data science workflows. “On AWS, we’re working with capabilities that we couldn’t use before,” says Saade. “This project has opened the door for us in terms of technology.”

Outcome | Expanding Advanced Data and Analytics Capabilities on AWS  

With its AWS-powered platform, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has advanced its analytics capabilities. It can now handle workloads with natural-language processing, scientific computing, and more. The data office team envisions that all 60,000 employees will interact with the platform or the solutions it powers before 2030.
“At our core, we are an innovation company,” says Saade. “We’re making things that people haven’t made before. Using our data and analytics platform on AWS, we can innovate, progress, and get ahead of our competition.”

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare, and electronics. More than 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference in millions of people’s lives every day.

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 500 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.

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AWS SageMaker

Amazon SageMaker helps you build, train, and deploy machine learning (ML) models for any use case with fully managed infrastructure, tools, and workflows.

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AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is a serverless, pay-as-you-go compute engine that lets you focus on building applications without managing servers.

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Amazon Control Tower

AWS Control Tower simplifies AWS experiences by orchestrating multiple AWS services on your behalf while maintaining the security and compliance needs of your organization.

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