To Accelerate Growth and Improve Synergy, Suntory Group Develops Global IT Infrastructure Roadmap, Migrates Mission-Critical Systems Across Five Regions to AWS, Starting With Headquarters
Suntory Group is a global leader in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage industry that carries out its business in a wide variety of fields. It adheres to the corporate philosophy “In harmony with people and nature." With the aim of creating synergy with acquired overseas companies, Suntory Group launched an integrated global IT infrastructure project and adopted Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the infrastructure for mission-critical systems across the five locations of Japan, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the US. Suntory Group started the migration project in March 2019 in Japan, where the company is headquartered, completing this first phase in July 2020. Using the Japanese project as a model, the migration of mission-critical systems for Suntory Group's overseas locations is ongoing.
New systems built from cloud-native architecture are increasing, and this also contributes to the acceleration of our digital transformation."
Senior General Manager, BPR & IT Planning Department, Group Strategy Planning, Finance and Accounting Division, Suntory Holdings Limited
AWS is not simply about infrastructure but also about changing how people think about IT, and we are fulfilling a new role of leading the entire group."
Director, Senior General Manager, IT Infrastructure Service Department, Suntory System Technology Limited
Integrating and Standardizing Independently-Operated IT Infrastructure Across Five Regions
Built on the spirit of bold ambition (“Yatte Minahare”), a value passed down since it was founded in 1899, Suntory Group strives forward, with its vision aimed at “Growing for Good.” Suntory Group is a global leader in consumer packaged goods, producing and distributing a uniquely diverse portfolio of beverages, premium spirits, beer and wine, and wellness products throughout the world. In 2009, it became a stock holding company. The company’s active movement towards global expansion—including the 2014 acquisition of Beam, Inc., a leading producer of premium spirits in the US—made building a global IT infrastructure a critical issue.
Suntory Group’s original infrastructure was unique to each region and business systems were similarly developed and operated independently by each group company. The disparate systems slowed decision making and posed other threats to efficiency and growth. Sensing a crisis, the CIOs of each company discussed measures to streamline and ultimately decided to integrate the five distinct, regional systems into one cohesive system on the cloud. “By standardizing our infrastructure and systems, we aim to accelerate processes post-merger or acquisition and improve overall group synergy,” explains Takumi Jogo, senior general manager of the BPR & IT Planning Department, Group Strategy Planning, Finance and Accounting Division for Suntory Holdings Limited.
Using the AWS Cloud Discovery Workshop to Create a Migration Roadmap
After discussions amongst the CIOs for each Suntory Group company, the Group decided to adopt Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the cloud service provider for creating its common global infrastructure. The Japan headquarters had already adopted AWS and wanted to expand this know-how. Tomoki Koyama, general manager of the IT Infrastructure Service Department for Suntory System Technology Limited (SST), who managed the infrastructure integration in Japan, notes: “In Japan, we expanded from a B2C campaign site to a small-scale business system and enterprise system. We chose AWS because its managed services reduce operational burden and a lot of documentation is available to the public, making it easy to resolve issues by ourselves should they arise.”
When the Japanese team began migrating its mission-critical systems to AWS in September 2016, it held an AWS Cloud Discovery Workshop to determine and organize the project steps into a roadmap. Yoshihiko Kato, senior general manager of STT’s IT Infrastructure Service Department, reflects on that workshop: “We discussed in depth the effective architectures and how to progress the project with the AWS lead for 3 days. Following these discussions, we tried building small-scale business systems and confirmed that they were sufficiently effective, then determined that they should also be applied to a common global infrastructure.”
Established Japanese Migration Model to be Developed Globally by 2022
The construction of a common global infrastructure started in April 2018 and is referred to as the “Global IT Infrastructure Integration Project (Suntory Island2: SI2).” “At the global detailed design phase, the Japanese SST team already possessing AWS know-how was joined by IT departments from each overseas company to form one global team. An AWS Professional Services team also participated at this stage and provided advice relating to global governance,” says Jogo.
To limit the migration’s impact on the flow of business, the team chose to transfer its existing system as-is to AWS. Then, it was decided to apply the established Japanese model globally. The Japanese project started in April 2019, and migration of the whole system was complete by July 2020. “To gain an understanding of architecture within our company, we developed AWS subject matter experts within SST. The ten personnel instilled with deep knowledge of AWS drove the project forward,” explains Koyama.
Suntory Group’s total AWS migration continues across the four regions of Europe, Asia, the US, and Oceania and is expected to be completed by 2022. “Once common governance overseas is established, each company is able to create instances arbitrarily under their own authority. New systems built from cloud-native architecture are increasing, and this also contributes to the acceleration of our digital transformation,” says Jogo.
Reducing Infrastructure TCO by 25%, Transforming Company Culture
In Japan, where the migration to AWS is complete, Suntory Group has realized an approximately 25 percent reduction in infrastructure total cost of ownership (TCO), including server installation location, air conditioning costs, software licenses, and operational and labor costs. In addition, using various AWS services has helped changed the mindset of employees. “Making full use of AWS not only accelerates the speed of app development and promotes a reduction in the burden of maintenance, but it also strengthens security measures and improves business visualization and has heightened the sense of crisis within the entire group that if we do not continue to evolve then we will not survive. AWS is not simply about infrastructure but also about changing how people think about IT, and we are fulfilling a new role of leading the entire group,” says Kato.
Lead by the CIO of each country, awareness of SI2 has increased within the Group, and the project is even being observed by management as a project that typifies the slogan “ONE SUNTORY."
Considering an AWS Data Lake to Analyze Consumer Goods and Customer Data
The Group’s long-term plan is to continue with a vision of establishing a network connecting all Suntory Group locations and integrating all operations. For its architecture, shifting to a serverless model with microservices will contribute to accelerate time-to-market for Suntory Group. Tackling the automation of deployment and management of infrastructure operations using code is also being considered to improve developmental and operational efficiency. The Group has implemented an AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) aimed at SI2 and beyond.
In preparation for the increased use of analytics for consumer goods data and customer data, the concept of building of a data lake is also being considered by Suntory Group, with discussions with its AWS Professional Services team ongoing. “To allow Japan to drive the Group’s IT strategy in the future, we look forward to receiving advice on roadmap creation for keeping one step ahead, to support in the development of globally-active digital personnel, and also to the provision of a learning environment that allows us to catch-up on new AWS services to further improve operational efficiency and more,” says Kato.
About Suntory Holdings Limited
About Suntory System Technology Limited
Benefits of AWS
- Reduced infrastructure TCO by 25% in Japan region
- Building new systems using cloud-native infrastructure contributes to DX promotion
- Migration project driven by AWS subject matter experts developed within the company
- Studying automation of deployment and code management to improve developmental and operational efficiencies
- Studying the introduction of a data lake to analyze consumer goods data and customer data
AWS Services Used
AWS Professional Services
The AWS Professional Services organization is a global team of experts that can help you realize your desired business outcomes when using the AWS Cloud.
AWS Professional Services created the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (AWS CAF) to help organizations develop and execute efficient and effective plans for their cloud adoption journey.