C2C Monthly Recap: June 2022
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Browse articles, resources, and the latest product updates.
You have options if you want to reduce the time to value for SAP deployments on GCP. Google Cloud solutions such as BigQuery, CloudSQL, AutoML, and Spanner—among others—are available to onboard and will accelerate insights on SAP data. Mike Eacrett, a senior product manager at Google Cloud, and Chai Pydimukkala, Google Cloud Head of Product Management, recently joined C2C for a technical session for SAP architects, data integrators, and data engineers to cover important options for SAP deployments on GCP. The session provided an overview of available solutions, technical requirements, and customer use cases. Watch the video below to see the live presentations, and use the following timestamps to navigate to the segments most relevant to you:(1:50) Mike Eacrett Introduction and Reference Architecture (3:20) BigQuery Connector for SAP: SAP Data Integration (4:25) BigQuery Connector for SAP: Highlights & Value (7:30) BigQuery Connector for SAP: Solution Overview (10:30) BigQuery Connector for SAP: How does it work? (14:35) Data Type Mapping Overview (17:40) Supported Software Requirements (19:55) Chai Pydimukkala Introduction and Cloud Data Fusion (23:15) Cloud Data Fusion Key Capabilities and Personas (31:25) SAP Table Batch Source (34:50) SAP SLT Replication Plugin (36:45) SAP ODP Plugin (38:45) SAP OData Plugin Extra Credit:
Results of the 2022 ASUG Pulse of the SAP Customer Research among Google Cloud Platform users identified key insights for organizations in 2022, including top focus areas and challenges experienced when migrating SAP instances to cloud. View image as a full-scale PDF here. Extra Credit:
The Google Cloud SAP Executive Council covered the latest strategy and solution updates and roadmap items for Google Cloud’s SAP business. Both expert Google speakers and current customers provided their insights. Watch a full recording of the Asia, EMEA, and Japan event below to learn from the best in Google Cloud and SAP, and use the following timestamps to navigate to the main segments of the program: (0:00) - Welcome from Steve Wainwright, EMEA SAP Director (5:00) - Introduction to C2C Community from Geoff Scott, Chief Community Champion (12:10) - SAP Business Update from Edy Sardilli, Global Partnerships & Business Development (28:14) - Data Cloud Update from Miguel de Luna, Senior Product Manager Data Analytics (1:00:00) - Solution Engineering Update from Abdul Razack, Vice President, Solution Engineering (1:22:04) - Cortex Innovation Update from Alison Hettrick, Head of SAP Strategy & Architecture
The Google Cloud SAP Executive Council covered the latest strategy and solution updates and roadmap items for Google Cloud’s SAP business. Both expert Google speakers and current customers provided their insights. Watch a full recording of the Americas event below to learn from the best in Google Cloud and SAP, and use the following timestamps to navigate to the main segments of the program: (2:00) - Session Starts/Welcome from Edy Sardilli, Global Partnerships & Business Development (9:40) - Introduction to C2C Community from Geoff Scott, Chief Community Champion (21:15) - SAP Business Update from Snehanshu Shah, Managing Director, SAP Solution Engineering (37:29) - Cortex Innovation Update from Alison Hettrick, Head of SAP Strategy & Architecture (56:35) - Solution Engineering Update from Abdul Razack, Vice President, Solution Engineering (1:19:05) - Data Cloud Update from Bruno Aziza, Head of Data & Analytics (1:50:00) - Customer Presentation from Calvin Leong, VP of Information Technology, DistributionNOW (2:08:00) - Customer Presentation from Roberto Oikawa, CTO and CIO, Casa dos Ventos Energias
With migration to the cloud continuing across the public and private sectors at an accelerating rate, stories of successful migration projects are becoming especially timely and valuable. Organizations considering migration want to hear from organizations that have executed the process successfully. As these stories emerge with increasing frequency, sharing them within and among communities like C2C becomes not only natural but necessary.As we initially reported this October, NextGen Healthcare recently partnered with Managecore to simultaneously migrate their SAP applications from a private to a public cloud infrastructure and upgrade to the SAP HANA database. This was an ambitious migration project, and given the regulations around NextGen’s personally identifiable data, failure was not an option. Despite these unique considerations, the team completed the project in under six months. On October 28, 2021, C2C’s David Wascom connected with Karen Bollinger of NextGen Healthcare and Frank Powell of Managecore for a virtual C2C Navigator event exploring the background and the details of this successful project.The conversation began the way a migration process itself begins: the team established customer goals. When Wascom asked what customers typically want from a migration, Powell offered three main goals common to organizations considering migration: greater stability, lower fees and personnel costs, and “time to innovate and do new things for their organization.”After wrapping up this high-level overview, Wascom asked Bollinger and Powell for a more detailed description of the migration process. Bollinger outlined the main phases of the migration period, from moving the infrastructure from cloud to cloud, to updating the landscape to the latest service pack, to moving everything into the HANA database. Powell stressed the importance of the preliminary phase of the migration, including testing and defining SAP strategy.The discussion became most lively when Wascom asked Powell and Bollinger about their data security strategy. As a healthcare provider, NextGen is beholden to HIPAA and attendant ethical and legal considerations concerning data security. “Security is on everyone’s mind, even on-prem,” said Powell. Bollinger was equally unequivocal, if not more so. “I have no choice,” she said. “I’m in healthcare.”What does it take to migrate a massive quantity of sensitive data successfully and securely? According to Bollinger, it takes a trusted partner. “What I was looking for was a partner,” she said. “A third-party partner that we could have these conversations with.” The sentiment resonated with Wascom, who added, “The fact that you were able to work towards a common goal is a hugely powerful story.” Powell agreed wholeheartedly. For him, partnership is not just a goal, it’s a requirement. “As a service provider, our goals have to align with our customers,” he said. “If they don’t, then right from the get-go, we have failed.”When Wascom asked Bollinger and Powell for final reflections and advice for other executives considering migrating their own organizations, both responded positively and succinctly. The biggest takeaway for Bollinger? “It can be done.” Powell was similarly encouraging. “Talk to someone who’s been successful at it,” he said. “Use those as your reference points.” The reason for this, in his words, was just as simple: “We’re dealing with some pretty amazing technology.”C2C brings people like Bollinger and Powell together to demonstrate the potential of cloud technology for organizations seeking solutions and success. How is your organization hosting its software and data? Have you considered a migration to the cloud, or to a different cloud infrastructure? Would you like to hear from other organizations where similar projects have been successful? Reach out and let us know what you’re thinking, and we’ll incorporate your thoughts as we plan future discussions and events. Extra Credit:
Managecore, a Foundational Gold Partner of C2C and Premier Google Cloud Partner, recently collaborated with NextGen Healthcare to migrate SAP to host on Google Cloud. In less than six months, Managecore supported moving NextGen’s SAP workloads in addition to upgrading to the latest version of HANA Here to discuss the project on the C2C virtual stage were panelists from each company:Karen Bollinger — Vice President Business Applications, NextGen Healthcare Frank Powell — President/Partner, Managecore Key Discussion Points:An introduction to NextGen Healthcare and the problems they were trying to solve by introducing an hyperscaler to their SAP environment and partnering with Managecore Using managed services from Google Cloud to open up new agile business opportunities and improved performance, confidence, stability, and availability Considerations for security and HIPAA compliance when migrating a healthcare company’s SAP data workloads to a new cloud environmentWatch the entire conversation here:
Migrating SAP applications to the cloud can be a complicated, time-consuming undertaking. The road to a successful cloud migration project and a stable cloud environment is often filled with twists, turns, and hurdles. Yet, there are steps your organization can take to ensure success. Earlier this year, NextGen Healthcare migrated from a private cloud landscape to a public cloud landscape with Google Cloud while also upgrading to the SAP HANA database in the same project. “This project is not as simple as moving to a different location,” said Karen Bollinger, Vice President of Business Applications at NextGen Healthcare.To ensure a successful migration project, the healthcare technology organization partnered with Managecore, a technical managed services company focused on SAP. Bollinger emphasized that collaboration was one of the keys to the project’s success and set NextGen Healthcare up with a stable cloud landscape and laid a foundation for future growth on Google Cloud.“If done properly, the promise of the cloud can truly be achieved,” he said. “You just need the right team.” The Need for a Change Before beginning this project, NextGen Healthcare had been leveraging SAP for about a decade. The company was running several SAP solutions, including SAP ECC, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, SAP Financial Accounting, and SAP Controlling. NextGen Healthcare already had an existing partnership with Managecore when Bollinger approached the organization to assist with doing some security-focused work on NextGen Healthcare’s SAP landscape.The conversations between the two organizations evolved into how NextGen Healthcare would transition to Google Cloud. NextGen Healthcare had been thinking about moving its SAP landscapes from another hyperscaler. Bollinger noted that NextGen Healthcare hoped to work with a managed service provider that offered increased transparency and more flexibility with their cloud environments. Making the Transition In addition to migrating to Google Cloud, Managecore also updated NextGen Healthcare’s SAP database, implementing SAP HANA in under six months.“When we are moving organizations to the cloud, we are always trying to get the biggest bang for our buck,” Powell said.This led NextGen Healthcare to see a significant improvement in the stability of its SAP landscape, better up times, and overall improved performance. Managecore also helped NextGen Healthcare decrease its monthly hosting costs and gave the organization a foundation to improve its SAP landscape in the future.“The world is their oyster,” Powell said. “NextGen Healthcare is in a perfect position, from a technology standpoint, to take advantage of the Google Cloud Platform.”Bollinger noted that this transition has NextGen Healthcare in a position to migrate from SAP ECC 6 to SAP S/4HANA, giving them both the ability and the agility to tackle that project in the future. Keys to Success According to Bollinger, one of the keys to this project’s success was having Managecore as a partner.“You need a great partner,” she said, emphasizing that organizations need to collaborate with partners that have both expertise and experience. Powell highlighted the caliber of the team working on this migration, noting that successful teams need to know how to “tune” SAP applications to run in Google Cloud efficiently. Both Bollinger and Powell emphasized that this was a collaborative effort and that the project’s success is due to the expertise and partnership among the project’s team. Learn More About Success in Google Cloud While many organizations are migrating their SAP workloads to Google Cloud, some are still showing trepidation about tackling such an expansive and complex project.“If you haven’t thought about moving to the cloud or you aren’t convinced, talk to someone who has been successful with one of these projects,” Powell said.Both Bollinger and Powell will be sitting down on Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. CT for a C2C Navigators webcast focused on this project. They will be going into further depth about the ins and outs of their success, and they’ll be able to help attendees figure out how to complete a successful and fast migration. They’ll also discuss how the two organizations have worked together to ensure this success continues after the go-live—interested in digging deeper into this story? Register here and save your spot! Extra Credit: Looking to connect with your peers or expand your network? Join the SAP on GCP Community here on C2C.
Dan Stuart, SVP of IT Services at Southwire Company, joined C2C on the virtual stage. Stuart shared how the 71-year-old manufacturing company set the bar in its industry by moving the mission-critical SAP ECC workload environment to Google Cloud.Key discussion points:What business problem were you trying to solve by moving to the cloud, and what aspects of cloud infrastructure are most important to you? How did you determine the right way to approach these challenges, and why was Google Cloud the solution to that? With the advent of cloud and Southwire’s move, how do you equip your team with cloud-related tools and skills? In what ways do you see Southwire Company taking advantage of other Google Cloud offerings in data, analytics, AI, ML, or industry-specific solutions for manufacturing? Having completed the project in July 2020 and now about a year post-migration, what has been the biggest payoff?Watch the entire conversation here: Want to learn more? Join us on May 26 for a technical overview with the Southwire team.
Transforming a global manufacturing powerhouse, like Southwire, to a cloud provider is a significant decision. But with 30 years of experience in IT and manufacturing to pull from, Dan Stuart knew the right questions to ask to drive the right decision for Southwire as it navigated a cyberattack, refreshed its hardware, and was in growth mode. As a result, in July 2020, Southwire migrated its SAP environment to Google Cloud Platform, setting a benchmark in the industry for successfully moving an entrenched manufacturing business to the cloud. “Southwire is building a foundation for growth and innovation with the cloud, beginning with the migration of its core SAP business systems and services to Google Cloud,” said Rob Enslin, President at Google Cloud. “We’re proud that Southwire has selected Google Cloud to power its digital transformation.”But how was that decision made? Weren’t there concerns about the business, and more importantly, how secure is it? C2C sat down with Stuart, the senior vice president of IT services at Southwire.“So, I was looking at security, scalability, and modernization of our whole industry, which needed to be fast, flexible, and agile,” Stuart recounted. “But I also wanted to replace our current data centers and move into a more standard Cloud Platform cloud environment, and Google was the right one for us.”A bright brick backyard offset Stuart’s tall frame and created a perfect yellow hue surrounding him, perhaps the light or his proud disposition; Stuart’s confidence in the decision beamed through the Google Meet window. After all, the decision was tough and occurred at an even more challenging time for Southwire, but it proved to be profoundly beneficial, especially when it came to security. “When it comes to security, and you look at the competition out there, Google surpasses,” Stuart said. “From the encryption piece of it, right up and down to their security monitoring, they know what they’re doing.” Google Cloud truly does take security seriously. Their data centers are built with custom-designed servers that run their own operating systems for security and performance. With more than 500 security engineers, Google also has the best minds focused on thwarting risks and is focused on continuous improvement. “As we all know, security just keeps getting more complicated and complicated, and having a partner like Google that you know will stay on top of their game is exactly what we needed,” Stuart said. Completing the Migration To complete the migration, Southwire ran through four major cycles of testing, which occurred over more than ten weeks and involved more than 4,000 scripts. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they did the entire operation remotely via conference calls and Microsoft® Teams.The move to Google Cloud will ensure that Southwire remains up to date on the latest supported systems, improves security protocols, and provides a solid foundation for future upgrades, tools, and services to benefit both the organization and its customers.“By moving the SAP environment to Google Cloud, this creates a secure, flexible and scalable environment for Southwire to embark on new projects that move the company forward in areas of strategy important to the long-term growth of the company,” Stuart said. Making the Decision Beyond Google Cloud Platform’s reputation, there were a handful of critical decisions and lessons learned. Among them, which will be shared in more detail in the upcoming Navigator, Stuart said the ability to have a fast and seamless migration was the most important. As they prepared to migrate, the Google Cloud Platform move wasn’t the only major IT project happening. They updated the enhancement pack, the process orchestrator, updated to BW/4HANA. “We didn’t miss a production beat,” Stuart said with emphasis. “We kept on track of our outages at our manufacturing shops, and everything went seamless. Google brought the support; they put the people that needed to be there on this team from the beginning, middle, and at the end.” The 71-year-old manufacturing business just made history. Despite not having any Google experience, they were able to make it happen, and it’s been proven to be a wise decision. Google provided training, education, and a strong governance program, too. But, setting up a governance program earlier in the process is one lesson Stuart can offer others making a lift and shift like this, “Make sure you got the governance in place, make sure you got the right architects helping you build your bill of materials for your deployment of Google and get that training and education upfront for your associates,” Stuart said. “It'll make them more relaxed at knowing what Google's doing, why they're doing it, and what they can expect, and it's helped set the expectations.” Join Us! Stuart sits down with Chief Customer Officer Sean Chinkski for a C2C Navigators discussion on May 18. Register below and bring your questions; Stuart will be answering them live.
Kicking off its Rockstar Conversations series, C2C welcomed Lori Mitchell-Keller to the virtual stage to discuss everything from her new role at Google Cloud to her and her team’s initiatives around industry strategy, as well as her work in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space.Mitchell-Keller stepped into the role of global head of industry solutions at Google Cloud only four months ago but has had more than 25 years of experience in the technology ecosystem. She most recently spent 13 years at SAP, where she oversaw 20 industries such as financial services, health care, retail, among others. She is a powerhouse who is passionate about serving customers and meeting them where they’re at. “It’s really great to be part of a culture that’s not only interested in how the company is doing, but also how society is doing.”Watch the whole interview below:
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