Sloan Valve two-steps its ERP upgrade in hybrid cloud switch

CIO Tom Coleman is shifting Sloan’s ERP operations to SAP S/4 HANA in two stages to enable the commercial plumbing products manufacturer to better reap the benefits of business insights and the cloud.

Sloan Valve two-steps its ERP upgrade in hybrid cloud switch
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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrades are not for the faint of heart, but facilitating two such transitions in successive years while also outsourcing ERP in a hybrid cloud model is a bold undertaking. Sloan Valve CIO Tom Coleman is tackling these challenges to better position the plumbing products manufacturer for growth.  

112-year-old Sloan makes toilets, sinks, faucets, soap dispensers and other such equipment for restaurants, hospitals and other commercial enterprises. Recent growth has required Sloan to upgrade its computing infrastructure, but the company has elected not to expand its corporate data center, located in its Franklin Park, Ill., headquarters.

The hybrid cloud model will better enable Sloan to implement new financial software and connect it to critical business functions running in public clouds as SaaS applications, including applications for sales, customer relationship management (CRM), field services and other business processes, Coleman says. The move will also reduce Sloan's need to manage servers, databases, software upgrades, backup and redundancy systems and other resources required to support nine manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and China. Coleman also won't have to dip into his budget for new infrastructure to keep pace with the company's growth.

The cloud is an increasingly common destination for companies pivoting to support digital business needs. Businesses across every industry are offloading computing tasks to a variety of third-party hosts, often in combinations of public and private cloud systems. The hybrid cloud market could top $85 billion by 2019, according to MarketsandMarkets.

ERP, SaaS pave road for IT modernization

Sloan hired Coleman in 2000 to improve business processes for its SAP ERP implementation. During his tenure, Coleman has upgraded SAP several times to keep pace with newer versions. But Coleman, like many CIOs attracted to the advantages of renting software via the cloud, has adopted several SAP public cloud services, including SuccessFactors for human capital management, and Hybris cloud solutions for CRM and field service. A move to SAP's Hybris Commerce suite is also in the offing.

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