The Finnish family business Transmeri Group, specializing in manufacturing, importing and wholesaling and the family-owned company ISLET Group specializing in technology consulting have started the S/4HANA innovation project at the beginning of May 2019. In the “Proof of Concept” (POC) -project Transmeri’s current SAP ERP system will be converted to SAP S/4HANA, SAP‘s latest ERP technology. The project is of particular interest since S/4HANA conversion is done on the Microsoft cloud platform Azure.
Transmeri and Islet do the innovation project among the first companies in Europe. In the POC project, Transmeri’s test environment is copied to Microsoft Azure, the system is converted according to the Universal Character Set (Unicode), after which the system is updated to S/4HANA.
“We wanted to provide our business with the experience of S/4HANA using our own processes and data and the opportunity to get to know S/4HANA in the forefront. In addition, I want to get a realistic understanding of Azure’s performance as a platform for SAP S/4HANA, thereby confirming that Azure could be one of our platform alternatives when converting to S/4HANA. Since S/4HANA requires more capacity from its platform than previous SAP ERP, the simulation of future maintenance costs and their optimization possibilities in the long run are also of interest in this project,” says Kimmo Koho, CIO at Transmeri Group.
Total of six weeks has been allocated to project execution, after which Transmeri will be able to access its production-like SAP S/4HANA environment. Transmeri’s project has started off fast. SAP HANA platform services provisioning to Microsoft Azure has been swift. Azure environment set-up, current test environment copy to Azure as well as unicode conversion and technical testing of the source environment were carried out within two weeks. Usually, some months may be required solely to provision the platform environment.
“ISLET’s POC approach is a quick and cost-effective starting point for S/4HANA. It enables a pragmatic way of testing S/4HANA conversion and provides a good basis for realistic schedule, cost and resource plans for a successful project. We at ISLET make sure that the implementation of S/4HANA and Azure takes place without significant workload on the customer’s own resources. At the moment preparatory measures for finance and logistics are underway and the system conversion will take place in the coming days,” says Jukka Penttinen Chief Business Officer at ISLET and Project Lead of Transmeri’s POC project.
SAP and Microsoft are also supporting the project. Companies have been working closely together in recent years to provide Microsoft Azure platform services for SAP S/4HANA. The POC project of Transmeri and ISLET is among the first in Europe to convert S/4HANA to Microsoft Azure.
NEW ENVIRONMENT CREATES NEW OPPORTUNITIES
“ISLET’s S/4HANA migration path offering provides a good opportunity to dispel any fears related to heavy S/4HANA upgrades. It allows SAP customers to see what S/4HANA looks like with their own processes and data. In addition, the topic is important and timely, as the official support for the current SAP ERP version ends at the end of 2025. With S/4HANA conversion, customers can move to the latest technology with a faster schedule and more agile project implementation,” says Arto Saarinen, Head of Channel from SAP Finland.
Operating SAP S/4HANA environment from Microsoft Azure in the form of a POC project enables organizations to do various things, such as testing the performance of Microsoft Azure as a platform for S/4HANA, utilizing a scalable public cloud service and enabling a rapid project launch. In addition, the number of test conversion cycles in the conversion of the production system to S/4HANA is reduced, so the POC project is also a step closer to the implementation project itself.
“Microsoft is a competitive and flexibly scalable option for S/4HANA platform services. I recommend that organizations planning to migrate to S/4HANA include Microsoft Azure as one of the platform alternatives. If the platform for SAP ERP is now in the so-called private cloud or in the client’s own datacenters, Azure brings considerable agility to the changing platform needs and enables various quick experiments on the SAP HANA database. Azure’s offering is outstandingly wide ranging from small virtual machines to the largest HANA large instance machines in the market offering also the most comprehensive SAP certification for different virtual machine configurations. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Islet in the Transmeri POC project,” says Jarkko Lainio, responsible for partner business development at Microsoft.
Transmeri is a Finnish family-owned company with a long tradition of importing, marketing and manufacturing daily consumer goods and cosmetics. Total turnover of Transmeri Group was 187.1 MEUR in 2016 and the company employs 534 people in total. The corporation includes importer and marketer Oy Transmeri Ab, contract manufacturer Transmeri Logistics as well as Banmark, Sultrade, Miraculous and Kaupmees.
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