Fender’s CIO Talks Tuning Up SAP with a Migration to AWS

Maria J. Danford

A increase in organization pushed worldwide guitar maker Fender to take into account extra efficient techniques to use its SAP methods.

Migration from business-controlled compute methods to the public cloud can be obstacle. Even though Fender already embraced the cloud for other aspects of its functions, there was some reluctance to make its SAP options component of that equation. An uptick in desire for guitars in the midst of the pandemic led the business to rethink that tactic.

Michael Spandau, CIO of Fender, spoke with InformationWeek about the requirements that led the guitar maker to do the job with Lemongrass to run SAP on AWS.

How did functions run at Fender and what drove the changes you sought?

In phrases of cloud computing, we were being a person of the earliest cloud adopters. When AWS started off to get set up, we started off to use their compute systems. Several yrs in the past, we started off offloading output servers into their atmosphere. We have a incredibly longstanding connection with the AWS people.

We have a cloud-initial method we’re incredibly comfy with cloud. But when it came to SAP, it’s seriously our crown jewels. We run logistics. We run finance. We run production. We run HR. We run everything on SAP. We’re a worldwide business — about three,000 employees — and everything hinges off this procedure. We were being incredibly unwilling in shifting that certain procedure, which was working in a colocation facility into the AWS cloud.

What has modified? Because the pandemic, we have observed incredibly considerable organization progress. Because the pandemic, 60 million new players in the US on your own picked the guitar for the initial time. Our SAP systems experienced a tricky time just keeping up with the organization needs. We experienced to do some thing.

MichaelSpandau_Fender.jpg
Michael Spandau, Fender

The two options were being re-system or migrate them into the AWS atmosphere. We found Lemongrass they experienced incredibly deep technical expertise. They confident me and my teams that we ought to be capable to do this. We labored on this task for roughly 12 months. Around a a few-working day weekend, we migrated all of our SAP hundreds into the AWS cloud. We upgraded the systems. We migrated to SAP HANA. We switched the functioning systems.

The end result was incredibly considerable effectiveness enhancements. Particular experiences, organization intelligence experiences that would run 10, 20, 30 moreover minutes would run [in] subseconds. It seriously experienced a incredibly constructive influence, specially on our people, employees and executives applying organization intelligence. A ton of experiences like MRP, normal systems that run lengthy times are just working a lot a lot quicker.

It is seriously a blend of the AWS infrastructure on a person facet and the HANA database on the other facet.

We have considering the fact that then resized the output procedure. We started off off with incredibly substantial situations that AWS features. We were being capable to, in a stairstep tactic, decrease that dimensions. These are incredibly elegant, incredibly realistic applications to deal with utilization and squander and, pretty frankly, expend.

What were being some of the prior considerations about producing the migration of SAP methods to the cloud?

Hesitancies were being many things. One was safety. Availability and steadiness of the cloud. Just the technical know-how to do the migration. We were being working on a fairly dated variation of SAP. Doing the migration in an suitable timeframe was the huge obstacle and Lemongrass was the only business that confident us they knew how to do that.

You can’t get an SAP procedure down for a 7 days or two or a few. It is just not attainable. The business stops functioning. It could be accomplished in a short window of time. Lemongrass was the initial business we felt strongly they knew how to do this.

I experienced little doubt that when we were being in the AWS atmosphere things would significantly make improvements to. We were being incredibly mindful of all the applications that AWS features. The linchpin of hesitation was this incredibly limited window we experienced readily available. My guess is a ton of other companies battle with that.

What is the scope and scale of Fender’s procedure?

Fender runs on SAP — we use it for production. We use it for our worldwide supply chain. We have offices in Europe. We have offices in Japan and Australia. We have offices in Mexico and Latin The us. They all rely on SAP and SAP operating. It is a solitary instance it’s not a multi-instance detail. Anyone interacts with and functions with the procedure. From a fiscal standpoint, it’s crucial. Invoicing, audited cash, all depends on SAP.

Had been there any surprises along the way to migration? What else does this open up the doorway to?

It will help us with just the operational piece of these SAP situations. For instance, we just obtained a new business, PreSonus. They’re working on an Oracle ERP procedure. We have options to migrate them about to SAP. We practically are copying a sandbox so they can start having employed to the procedure. It is some thing that we would have a seriously tricky time setting up with our greater atmosphere with AWS.

That can be accomplished within a working day. Which is how impressive these applications are.

The other component that I am seeking ahead to — SAP is a regulations-primarily based procedure. What I’m seeking ahead to is doing the job with AWS, getting this enormous total of intelligence, of transactional facts we have in the SAP procedure and applying that dataset with Amazon’s AI and machine learning algorithms to present insight that we just can’t do these days with the traditional applications we have readily available.

Had been there any tradeoffs that experienced to be made in the migration?

The only downside would be a considerable Amazon outage. I consider a person of the [recent] outages seriously impacted the SAP situations. Acquiring mentioned that, we experienced a couple of outages in our have atmosphere. But there we experienced extra regulate. Other than that, there have been only benefits. We use reserved situations to deal with the expense. Purely from a pricing standpoint, it’s a incredibly beautiful answer.

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