by Divina Paredes

Zespri completes world’s largest production SAP migration to Microsoft cloud

Nov 13, 20143 mins
CareersCloud Computing

Zespri International has migrated its global SAP platform and other applications to Microsoft Azure.

The move was the largest SAP migration to the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform, reports Datacom, the IT integrator and service partner in the project.

The migration was seamless, completed ahead of schedule, and allowed Zespri Asia, Zespri Europe, and Zespri New Zealand to work off those systems immediately post migration, according to Datacom.

Zespri’s global kiwifruit sales totalled NZ$1.35 billion in the past year, and it operates in 53 countries and multiple time zones. The kiwifruit industry is set for strong growth in coming years, aiming to increase export revenue to NZ$3 billion by 2025, which Zespri has factored into its IT planning.

“You can’t be an expert in everything, and we wanted to focus on our core product, kiwifruit, and let our partners Datacom and Microsoft manage our IT infrastructure so we can scale without constraints,” says Andrew Goodin, global manager of information systems, Zespri.

“We can bump up Azure performance in minutes by adding additional resources, which is not possible in the on-premises world. This means less friction and no interruption to our business operations.”

You can’t be an expert in everything, and we wanted to focus on our core product, kiwifruit, and let our partners manage our IT infrastructure so we can scale without constraints. Andrew Goodin, Zespri

“Datacom had the flexibility, technical knowledge, and can-do attitude to help us evaluate Azure and work toward our target of 100 per cent public cloud,” he adds.

The migration involved approximately 230 Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines running in the western US Azure data centre.

Having these workloads running outside of New Zealand provides the global reach that Zespri requires for their international workforce and distribution network.

Zespri workloads are georeplicated to other Azure data centres outside the US to further mitigate against disasters.

Datacom first set up a test environment in Azure to test the performance of SAP in the cloud with great results, clocking in a response time equal to or better than onshore.

The initial results were promising with a high degree of confidence that the SAP landscapes would run efficiently on Azure, perform appropriately, and continue to deliver value to the global business.

The key drivers towards the public cloud selection for this project were to improve scalability globally, reduce IT costs, insulate the business against the threat of natural disasters including earthquakes and tsunamis, increase unrealised SAP performance and to enable Zespri to focus on its core business.

“It’s a great example of how a collaborative partnership between Zespri, Datacom and Microsoft can deliver a world first,” says Scott Green, director of ITM at Datacom.

“We maintain that it is vital that customers need to pick their technology partner first, then work with them to select the right infrastructure platform to fit their strategic needs, rather than the other way around,” says Green.

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