Principal Product Marketing Manager
Today we have guest author – Navita Sood – Marketing Director, Cloud Business Group
Once you have decided you want to move to cloud, the next step is deciding if you want to lift and shift your existing workloads to cloud or move to a SaaS application. You can also extend your application with SaaS and then use PaaS offerings to replicate your customizations in cloud. The choice depends on your environment, your business needs, external factors impacting your business, how much you want to invest and how much you are willing to disrupt. It’s important to do a thorough analysis to optimize your ROI. Also, it’s important you involve all the stakeholders in taking this decision because cloud impacts everyone from IT to business. Lastly, once you choose your path, it’s important you lay out a detailed execution plan with your vendor or implementation partner to make your move successful.
Recently I moderated a panel discussion at Collaborate user group, where I invited three customers to talk about their unique paths to cloud and how they implemented them. It was interesting to see how different reasons influenced their choice and impacted their business outcomes. On the panel I had Ravi Gade, Sr. Director of Enterprise Applications in Calix, Vivek Puri, Manager – Database, Middleware & Engineered Systems at Sherwin Williams and Arvind, Chief Solution Architect at Astute Business Solutions.
Calix moved their E-Business Suite workloads to SaaS, Sherwin Williams is lifting and shifting their E-Business Suite workloads to Oracle cloud @ customer and Astute moved their PeopleSoft application from AWS to Oracle cloud. Although the three are in different stages of their cloud journey, they have already started experiencing the benefits guaranteed by cloud.
Calix was undergoing a major business transformation. They were moving from hardware business to software. They wanted a cloud solution that would support their transition. Although their applications were highly customized, they decided anything that wasn’t critical for their business they wouldn’t migrate that to cloud. Instead they preferred to standardize their applications for ease of maintenance. Hence, they opted to move to SaaS. Three things that helped them be successful in their journey were:
- Involving the business from day one
- Working with Oracle’s cloud business group in the transformation
- Leveraging Oracle’s cloud integration services to integrate their on premise and cloud applications
Since their transition 2 years back, they have saved $2.5M per year with 40% ROI going from EBS to ERP cloud. These savings came from data center cost, application support cost and resources for application support. They rebuilt only a few critical customizations to their ERP cloud. They were up and running in cloud only in a few months and were able to break even in just 18 months. They saw their IT queue reduce from 500 tickets, 2 years ago to less than 20 tickets today.
One of the questions from the audience was on job cuts as an outcome of moving to cloud. Ravi was very frank in pointing out that since 2 years back, when they embarked on the journey to cloud, no one in Calix had lost their job. In fact their roles became more prominent as Calix improved its productivity and introduced new revenue models. Calix saw its DBA’s transform into data architects who were now investing more time doing tasks they enjoyed. All their employees underwent training on new cloud services that have also made them more valuable in the market.
Sherwin Williams, being more risk averse wanted to move to cloud very cautiously. They weren’t ready to move their applications and all their data to public cloud. They choose to migrate to Oracle cloud @ customer, to start their cloud journey when they were considering their upgrade. They started their move only 6 months back and were Oracle’s first Cloud @ customer users. In just 6 months they are seeing the following benefits:
- Cloud @ customer worked as a testing pad for them to start evaluating the benefits of cloud for their business. One of their biggest concerns was integration of on premises applications with the cloud, but the fact that everything was running homogeneously in no time helped all teams build more confidence in cloud.
- They had highly customized applications, with lots of engineered systems that they weren’t willing to part from. By doing a lift and shift they were able to move all those customizations as is to the cloud behind their own firewall without causing any disruptions or changes to the business processes
- They were able to future proof their business and move away from having to maintain those applications and underlying infrastructure.
- Financially, it is a very attractive proposition for them. They are using the same underlying hardware in the cloud, but now they only pay for 1/4th of the rack based on their requirements.
In future they are evaluating to move their EBS HR to HCM cloud, so their peripheral applications will be on SaaS and other business critical applications will be on cloud @ customer for now, until they gain more confidence in moving everything to cloud.
Astute on the other hand preferred lift and shift to minimize business disruptions and ensure the same experience for their business users, while still receiving all the benefits of Oracle cloud – around automation, performance, speed, agility and cost. They wanted to move away from the data center business 3-4 years back when they moved to AWS. Once Oracle cloud was available they were quick to migrate to Oracle cloud to run their Oracle applications on Oracle cloud. This enabled them to better serve their customers and provide the latest and greatest features available through PaaS and SaaS services. Rightsizing of their infrastructure helped them increase their utilization levels and save costs. Currently they are exploring adding chatbots to their PeopleSoft application to improve the experience of their customers.
There is no best approach to moving to cloud. Pick the most critical business problem you are facing today and see how cloud can solve it. Start your cloud journey from there and then build your custom path to cloud. All paths to cloud would lead to the same goal.
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