Historically, Accenture ran its core financial processing on a single global instance of SAP Business Suite on Microsoft SQL in an on-premise data center. Ultimately, our goal was to migrate that instance to SAP S/4HANA to support business process flexibility and to run in the cloud for growth and flexibility. The end result offered us an opportunity to deliver value to the business by enabling a strong foundation for new digital capabilities via SAP S/4HANA running on Microsoft Azure. In this way, we could gain the flexibility to address future business requirements and be able to respond with agility to a dynamic business environment.
The technology migration took place in four main phases:
Moving to SAP HANA
We began with the migration of our Finance system from SAP Business Suite on Microsoft SQL to SAP Business Suite on HANA. The team went live with SAP Business Suite on HANA in production as planned and without business disruption, delivering the scale, agility and performance benefits expected.
During this time, we implemented SAP HANA as a data mart in the public cloud as an analytics platform. We integrated it with our SAP Business Suite on HANA and existing SAP Business Warehouse (BW) platform. The aim was to take advantage of the new ability to access real-time data and deliver analytics capabilities that were previously not possible, starting with the finance domain.
SAP BW migration to SAP HANA
During this phase, we migrated Accenture’s BW system from Microsoft SQL to SAP HANA for analytics capabilities. SAP BW is a mission-critical system that supports statutory and management financial reporting, consolidations and business forecasting. We chose to migrate our first major production SAP application to the public cloud, Microsoft Azure, to achieve greater scalability and environment efficiency.
Breaking new ground at the time, a collaborative effort among Accenture, Microsoft and SAP enabled the team to successfully transition SAP BW from Microsoft SQL Server to SAP HANA and from on-premise to Microsoft Azure as a single, six-month project, achieving the expected performance, size and systems stability improvements. The positive results of these implementations onto Microsoft Azure led us to move other supporting SAP applications to Microsoft Azure, including SAP Fiori® and SAP Solution Manager.