Spanish Retailer Set for Growth with SAP in the Cloud

Fund Grube worked with AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner 3Hold Technologies to build a flexible, scalable environment based on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud subnets.

A Retail Success Story

Fund Grube is a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion retailer. It was founded in 1983 with one store on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria and has since expanded to 30 locations across the Canary Islands. The company recently opened a store on Majorca in the Balearic Islands and plans further expansion to cater to the growing numbers of tourists that visit Spain each year. Today, Fund Grube employs 500 people and has annual revenues of around €150 million ($167 million).

To support growth and help it act on market opportunities as they arise, the business requires scalable, adaptable systems. So when the hardware in Fund Grube’s existing SAP environment came to the end of its service life, the firm looked for a new hosting infrastructure that would provide the flexibility it needed for the next phase of growth. 

Big Ambitions Mean Big Changes

Fund Grube uses SAP to run its core business processes, including warehouse management, enterprise resource planning, and point-of-sale management. It worked with Barcelona-based AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner 3Hold Technologies to evaluate and modernize its business systems.

Moving SAP to the cloud was a priority. Not only was the old hosting environment out of date, but SAP is encouraging customers to move to the cloud, and Fund Grube wanted to be ahead of the curve. 

No Need for a Separate Disaster Recovery Cluster

Together, Fund Grube and 3Hold looked at various cloud providers, and Amazon Web Services came out on top. Begoña Beotegui, chief information officer at Fund Grube says, “We knew that 3Hold had the expertise to build us a flexible SAP environment using AWS. And we liked the fact that AWS would give us a built-in disaster recovery solution from day one with its multiple Availability Zones.”

Migrating SAP to AWS took around three months and involved moving eight core business systems from Windows on VMware-based, bare-metal environments to Windows-based ones in the cloud using the AWS Server Migration Service (AWS SMS). The AWS environment comprises Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances inside Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) subnets. “The first migration was a fairly simple lift and shift,” says Juan Vargas, chief sales and marketing officer at 3Hold. “Using AWS SMS, we took snapshots of Fund Grube’s SAP environment and used them to reduce downtime from days to a few hours by resynchronizing the snapshot.” 

New SAP System Gives Green Light for Expansion

After the success of the initial migration, 3Hold and Fund Grube moved the retailer’s e-commerce application to AWS. Now, they’re working on further improvements, with a planned migration from SAP ERP to SAP HANA by the end of 2019.


According to Beotegui, the most significant benefit of moving to the cloud is the flexibility Fund Grube has gained. “We can change the size of our compute instances on the fly to accommodate our business needs,” she says. “Shoppers get a better experience because we don’t have fixed servers that get overloaded with traffic.”


Fund Grube now has the tools at its disposal for growth. “If Fund Grube were to acquire another company or open new stores anywhere in the world, we can quickly spin up the infrastructure to support it using AWS,” says Juan Vargas.

“Shoppers get a better experience because we don’t have fixed servers that get overloaded with traffic.” 

- Begoña Beotegui, Chief Information Officer, Fund Grube

In-House Team Is Free to Innovate

Hosting SAP in the cloud removes several headaches for the small IT team at Fund Grube. “We don’t have to worry about database management, license management, or disaster recovery,” says Beotegui.

Having an experienced APN Partner like 3Hold to manage the migration as well as Fund Grube’s AWS environment means the internal team has more time to spend on other projects. “We’re working on a large-scale upgrade of our point-of-sale systems,” says Beotegui. “We wouldn’t have been able to do this if we’d looked after the SAP migration in-house.”

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About Fund Grube

Fund Grube is a beauty, lifestyle, and fashion retailer with more than 30 stores in Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. Founded in 1983, Fund Grube now employs 500 people and has annual revenues of around €150 million ($167 million). 

Challenge

Rehost the company’s e-commerce platform as well as its core business processes running on SAP to provide flexibility for the next phase of business growth. 

Solution

The company worked with APN Advanced Consulting Partner 3Hold Technologies to build a flexible, scalable environment using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud subnets. 

Benefit

  • Improved experience for shoppers
  • No need for a separate disaster recovery site
  • Better ability to absorb newly acquired companies
     

About 3Hold Technologies

3Hold Technologies is an APN Advanced Consulting Partner based in Barcelona and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. It specializes in cloud solutions, SAP consulting and technology services, and managed services.