Lotte migrates its on-premises virtual desktop environment to VMware Cloud on AWS, supporting 2,500 desktops
Lotte is a well-known confectionery manufacturer producing an extensive range of products under the slogan “Sweetheart of Your Mouth.” Having used a virtual desktop environment (VDI) since 2011, the company decided to migrate its environment to VMware Cloud on AWS when upgrading from Windows 7 to 10. Lotte extended its environment to provide 2,500 virtual desktops in total and plans to build a digital transformation (DX) platform running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its core business systems as part of cloud-first approach.
Operating desktops on VMware Cloud on AWS feels exactly the same for users as an on-premises environment and enabled us to transit to remote working easily. With our cloud-first approach, we want to use AWS whenever we build a new system.”
Senior Manager, ICT Strategic Division, Lotte Co., Ltd.
Continuous effort to deliver new value and innovations
Lotte added chocolate and ice cream to its lineup in the 1960s and 1970s, and also produced favorites such as Yukimi Daifuku ice cream and Koala's March cookies in the 1980s. In 1997, it introduced Xylitol gum, which promoted dental health. Lotte called this innovative approach "Lotte-novation," which continues till today.
In 2018, Lotte merged its confectionery and ice cream manufacturing, supply, and reseller divisions to accelerate decision-making and respond rapidly to changing consumer needs.
“We currently distribute our products in supermarkets, convenience stores, and drugstores. However, we don’t believe this model will be enough for continuous growth in the future, so we need to further ʻLotte-novation’ to expand our business,” says Hisaaki Ogata, Senior Manager of ICT Strategic Division. “We’ve implemented DX to eliminate barriers between departments, encourage free and open communication, and optimize our business across while reflecting the intentions of our executives. True DX is more than just digitization or IT-based optimization: you must also engage in digitalization—improving business activities leveraging digital technology. To achieve this, our ICT Strategic Division deploys and uses new technologies based on our business plans while also promoting initiatives to improve the IT literacy of our staff members and managers.”
When Ogata took up his current role in 2016, the department was called “Information Systems Division.” However, it changed its name to reflect the broader goals of supporting both existing systems and unifying business and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), expanding digital infrastructure supporting business growth.
Migrating virtual desktops to an AWS environment seamlessly
Lotte has been strengthening its IT governance, business continuity, and business agility since 2011, building an on-premises VDI environment with VMware Horizon for around 2,500 virtual desktops.
“The great thing about VMware Horizon is that we can connect and use our desktops from anywhere without having to keep apps and data on our client devices. This eliminates the hassle of setting up groupware to use another computer for remote access on a business trip. It’s also a reliable solution from a security perspective,” says Ogata.
With the company's current cloud-first approach, it aims to own as few IT assets as possible. When the companies merged in 2018, the core systems and groupware moved from on-premises to the cloud. With the upgrade to Windows 10 and maintenance warranties for hardware ending in 2021, Lotte implemented VMware Cloud on AWS, which lets customers deploy and operate VMware environments on AWS.
“Our desktops required better specs to run smoothly with Windows 10, but we didn't want to upgrade and increase our on-premises IT assets just for that. We decided to use VMware Cloud on AWS because it offered the agility and flexibility of the cloud, with a proven track record, and this made migration easy,” says Ogata.
The migration project began in October 2019 after final proposals from DXC Technology Japan, VMware, and AWS Japan. Lotte started transitioning to the new environment in March 2020. Four months later, the company migrated around 1,000 computers to a 22-node VDI environment running on VMware Cloud on AWS bare metal instances.
According to Ogata, “Based on our use of existing hardware assets, we’ll initially operate a hybrid environment and add another 20 nodes between spring and summer of 2021 to migrate all 2,500 machines to the same VDI environment.”
Stability is equivalent to on-premises environment, with added cost reduction
“We’re currently running our VMware Cloud on AWS VDI environment alongside our on-premises environment; there aren’t any differences between them,” says Ogata. “The user experience is virtually unchanged, and everyone's finding it easy to use. Connecting to other AWS resources is simple too. Even though we migrated while the government's COVID-19 state of emergency declaration was in effect, transitioning our employees to remote working went smoothly.”
Lotte is also migrating its supply chain management systems, product information systems, and information management tools used by sales reps to AWS as part of its cloud-first approach.
Ogata explains, “We’re making AWS our first choice whenever we build a new system. We haven’t had any performance problems with systems built on AWS so far. We can optimize costs with Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances that receive discounts based on set lengths of use and by turning instances on or off hourly.”
Expanding digital transformation and incorporating production lines
Lotte next plans to use a variety of AWS services to boost business. “We want to deepen our understanding of the cloud and create a platform that enables us to immediately proceed with proof-of-concept experiments without relying on external technology vendors when we think of business ideas. We’re focusing on IoT, machine learning, and data analysis,” says Ogata.
Since amalgamating its sales and manufacturing arms under a common roof, Lotte has been expanding its use of digital technology not only in product planning and sales, but also in production and distribution. The company currently uses an AWS input support system to manage factory production performance and traceability.
“With the input support system, we use handheld terminals at production sites to scan finished products; this data is stored on AWS and connects to core systems for procedures such as shipping management,” says Ogata. “In the future, we’ll expand our focus beyond IT and incorporate operational technology for manufacturing lines. We’re envisioning smart factories that use IoT to automatically acquire data for linking with core systems and for analysis. It's exciting to think about how we can use AWS services in various situations.”
To learn more, visit VMware Cloud on AWS.
Established in 1948, Lotte is a manufacturer and supplier of confectionary, ice cream, health food, general merchandise, and others.
Benefits of AWS
- Retained existing VMware Horizon environment
- Operate and manage a VDI environment identical to the existing environment
- Optimize costs with Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances
AWS Services Used
VMware Cloud on AWS
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