Tidewater Uses Amazon AppStream 2.0 to Deliver Vital Applications Worldwide


A crucial question during mergers and acquisitions is how to quickly and seamlessly extend one company's core business applications to users throughout the newly formed company. This question arose during planning for the 2018 merger of Tidewater and GulfMark Offshore, two leading providers of services for the offshore oil and gas industry.

After the merger, the expanded company, which would operate under the name Tidewater, planned to adopt GulfMark’s existing SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) system across the enterprise. The SAP BPC user base would quadruple, including many new seats in global locations, and everyone would need immediate and reliable access.

Providing that access would have been difficult if the merger had occurred just six months earlier. Back then, GulfMark SAP BPC users had only two options for accessing the application. One was to run it on locally installed virtual machines (VMs); the other was to log in remotely through a legacy Citrix application-virtualization environment. Neither option was ideal. The local VMs were resource-intensive and slowed other applications to a crawl. And the Citrix solution caused extended lag times by running the SAP BPC front end too far from its back end.

Fortunately, there was a third option.

Extending SAP BPC Worldwide with Amazon AppStream 2.0

By the time the merger occurred in late 2018, GulfMark was able to provide access to SAP BPC with almost zero latency from any online computer worldwide by updating users’ Active Directory credentials. That's because GulfMark, an extensive user of Amazon Web Services (AWS), was by then delivering SAP BPC through Amazon AppStream 2.0, a fully managed application streaming service.

"When our CIO said we had to start planning how to extend SAP BPC to new users after the merger, it was great to be able to tell him how easy it would be with Amazon AppStream 2.0," says Kevin Adams, who helped build GulfMark’s AWS cloud infrastructure and is now the global IT infrastructure manager for Tidewater. "What could have been a big headache without AppStream 2.0 turned out to be something we barely had to think about."

GulfMark worked with SynchroNet, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner, to plan for and execute merging the two companies’ IT systems. After evaluating how business, IT, user, organizational, security, and business-continuity requirements would evolve through the merger, SynchroNet helped implement a new cloud infrastructure based on the AWS Well-Architected Framework. The partner also assisted with additional tuning based on end-user tests and user-experience evaluations. “SynchroNet’s expertise with Amazon AppStream 2.0 accelerated the time-to-value of the merger by providing Tidewater with immediate, highly secure access to internal GulfMark systems,” says Adams. “SynchroNet’s extensive AWS experience and customer focus really came through.”

By using AppStream 2.0, the expanded Tidewater organization can provide access to SAP BPC worldwide with almost no latency, not only for that quadrupled user base but also for a virtually unlimited number of additional global users. "With AppStream 2.0, we've moved the SAP BPC front end and back end closer together, so our global users are reporting much better performance," says Adams. "We can even extend SAP BPC to locations where distance once made it unusably slow. It is such a relief to be able to deliver SAP BPC over AppStream 2.0 instead of having to install 40-GB VMs all around the world."

To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/appstream2.

About Tidewater

Tidewater owns and operates the largest fleet of offshore support vessels in the world. The company has more than 60 years of experience supporting offshore gas and oil exploration and production around the globe.

Benefits of AWS

  • Easily extended core legacy application to worldwide users after merger
  • Improved user experience on legacy application
  • Avoided having to install 40-GB VMs in locations worldwide

AWS Services Used

Amazon AppStream 2.0

Amazon AppStream 2.0 is a fully managed application streaming service. You centrally manage your desktop applications on AppStream 2.0 and securely deliver them to any computer. You can easily scale to any number of users across the globe without acquiring, provisioning, and operating hardware or infrastructure.

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