We’re expecting to save at least $650,000 over the next three years in hardware-related expenditure thanks to AWS.”
Fazley Rabbi Head of Digital Transformation Program, Pacific Inter-Link Group
  • PIL Group needed a highly agile infrastructure to run its mission-critical SAP business applications
  • The business runs its SAP systems on AWS
  • Reduced TCO for its SAP environment by 70%
  • Expects to save at least $650,000 over the next three years in hardware-related expenditure
  • Reduced SAP administration workload by 300%

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Pacific Inter-Link Group (PIL Group) promotes the export of various commodities and services from Malaysia and Southeast Asia to other parts of the world. The organization is one of the largest providers of palm oil and its derivatives across the globe. It also owns a number of well-known Southeast Asian brands including soaps, dairy products, detergents, and packaged foods.

PIL Group wanted to digitally transform its business as the company hoped to phase out all paper-based processes and increase employee mobility through greater data access. On top of this, PIL Group wanted IT to deliver business intelligence (BI) and be ready to support Internet of Things (IoT)–based solutions down the line. At the core of its transformation program was a move from on-premises to cloud-based IT. The expense of managing three SAP landscapes and four separate on-premises data centers was too high, capital costs and operational costs were limiting, and the company felt its infrastructure was using up funds that could have been used to drive BI and IoT initiatives.

The cloud soon proved its worth. PIL Group successfully moved to Microsoft Office 365 and ran a small number of applications on Microsoft Azure. Then PIL Group looked to migrate its mission-critical SAP business applications to the cloud. The most important thing was for the company to select a cloud platform that had a proven ability to support such a crucial solution. Fazley Rabbi, head of the digital transformation program at PIL Group, says, “Our plans were to reduce the TCO for our SAP infrastructure as well as increase agility and speed. We would be able to manage and develop the platform much faster with a single cloud solution. The first step on this journey though was to find the right cloud service for SAP.”

PIL Group had discussions with other possible providers, including Microsoft, IBM, and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, but decided in favor of Amazon Web Services (AWS). PIL Group chose AWS in large part because the AWS platform is certified by SAP for running many of its solutions. “The AWS SAP team in the United States gave us a lot of confidence in an AWS solution,” says Fazley. “The team members were really committed to the project from the start, which gave us a lot of assurance.”

PIL Group worked closely with AWS Consulting Partner BlazeClan and AWS Professional Services, as well as members of the AWS SAP team to ensure the infrastructure met best practices. Fazley and his team also engaged their SAP Partner, Brightree, for support on the design. “We knew that if we got the design right, the migration to the cloud would be smooth and we were right,” says Fazley. “All the design work really paid off.” PIL Group went live with SAP on AWS in six months, compared with a projected 18-month go-live had they used other providers.

PIL Group now runs SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise on AWS in the Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region, taking advantage of multiple Availability Zones for a highly available solution. The SAP system runs on Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) instances that sit securely inside Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) environments. Backups of the SAP environment are taken daily and weekly and stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets in both the Singapore and Sydney AWS Regions.

PIL Group is now running all its SAP systems on AWS and has decommissioned the on-premises infrastructure that once supported the SAP environment. In addition, 95 percent of all PIL applications and IT resources are running in the cloud. Says Fazley, “We’ve reduced the TCO for our SAP environment by 70 percent as a result of the migration to AWS. We’re expecting to save at least $650,000 over the next three years in hardware-related expenditure thanks to AWS.” Part of the savings stems from the elimination of overhead costs, such as tape backups. “We’re removing all of our tape-backup systems and now use Amazon S3 as our main backup data repository,” adds Fazley.

The savings will be used to drive strategic IT projects around technologies such as business-process management and IoT. For Fazley, AWS enables PIL Group to focus on the future, ensuring the company is ready to adopt the kind of solutions that will help improve decision making and performance. PIL Group had previously outsourced innovation projects to third party developers. “We are already training our IT personnel to support the adoption of business-process management and IoT,” Fazley says.

The SAP administration workload has shrunk considerably with the switch to AWS. “When we ran SAP environments in each of our three data centers, there was a lot of work because every time we made a change to one environment, we had to make the same change to the other two,” says Fazley. “Now we make just one change to the SAP environment on AWS, and that’s it. There is 300 percent less work to do.” The reduction in workload frees up time for IT staff to work on digitally transforming the business and improving data access for employees. “Since our SAP migration to AWS, administrators are spending much less time on routine management,” Fazley says. “I look around, and they’re not sitting at their desks working through everyday IT issues. They’re working on innovation projects and extending our usage of AWS services.”

BlazeClan

  • A Premier Partner of the AWS Partner Network (APN). BlazeClan provides cloud consulting solutions and managed services on the AWS Cloud, with a focus on startups, ISVs, and enterprises.
  • For more information about how BlazeClan can help your company build and manage your AWS environment, see BlazeClan’s listing in the AWS Partner Directory.


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