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Organizations of all sizes have an opportunity to optimize cost savings and increase agility by migrating their SAP workloads to Microsoft Azure. Your SAP estate is mission-critical, and together with our partners, we excel at streamlining migration to an enterprise-grade cloud platform you can trust.


Azure runs some of the largest SAP production landscapes in the world, including customers such as Walgreens Boots Alliance, Daimler, and Carlsberg. Microsoft itself has been an SAP customer for nearly three decades. We have migrated our SAP estate to Azure, and our IT organization shares best practices on migrating to Azure so customers can capitalize on these learnings. After helping customers deploy thousands of SAP instances to Azure, we are pleased to offer a well-defined migration journey, available at the SAP on Azure migration center.



1. Discover: Evaluate your current SAP estate, define goals, and align key stakeholders


Whether you are planning a simple migration or embarking on a complex SAP transformation, the first step is to take inventory and catalog your current SAP estate. Document all your SAP and non-SAP solutions. In addition, analyze your current infrastructure configuration. This includes “right-sizing” of compute, storage, and networking requirements based on current usage and estimated growth patterns. During this exercise, rationalize what workloads need to be refreshed, renewed, and/or replaced based on your business requirements. Then, define goals for the capabilities you would like to unlock with Azure.


People: Determine your key stakeholders and empower IT staff with the necessary training to anticipate and advance technical changes. This will help align teams and set expectations. It can also help in developing an action plan with assigned resources and commitments.


Partners: Most organizations choose to work with an experienced System Integrator (SI) from our partner ecosystem for proven expertise with both SAP and Azure. Engage your partners early to help understand your current IT landscapes, prioritize what you want to build, and envision the migration process to ultimately achieve your transformation goals in the cloud.


2. Prepare: Build the blueprint for your unique migration journey that will respond to rapidly evolving business needs


Together, SAP, Microsoft, and our partners offer best practices and planning materials to map your existing ecosystem to the desired future state.


Architecture and Design: Start with an Architecture and Design planning session with your SAP-certified partner and Microsoft account team. Using the information from the Discovery phase, we can evaluate and map to the powerful capabilities of Azure.


Azure provides virtual machines and HANA large instances that are optimized for deploying SAP landscapes. We also offer tools to establish security, high availability, disaster recovery and backup plans. If your organization needs specific customizations, such as custom code, governance, and compliance, we can add those elements to your ecosystem to manage them going forward. As you build your business case, consider the total cost savings that can be realized by optimizing the scale, size, and snooze options available in Azure.


To streamline this process, leverage our reference architectures for proven practices to help you deploy and run your SAP landscapes. Additionally, with the Embrace initiative, SAP and Microsoft are committed to supporting your migration to Azure and planning your upgrade to S/4HANA.

When it comes to the launch timeline, it is important to understand the groups of SAP applications that should be deployed together and the appropriate sequences for migration. Many organizations choose low-risk applications to deploy first, to help establish understanding of system interdependencies. This can also help you learn how to patch and manage production systems. Set aside time for testing, training, and sufficient IT change management communication updates, to maximize business readiness.


Once you have a solid understanding of how Azure resources are to be deployed, and have built benchmarks to measure success, you are ready for the next step.


3. Migrate: Launch your migration strategy and go live


Realize: It is time to bring your plans to life. You may consider starting with a pilot, to test initial migration processes. Ensure your planned configuration accounts for all your desired capabilities. Throughout this phase it is critical to anticipate any relevant planned downtimes and communicate technology changes to the business.


Deploy: As you start the migration process, you can leverage our open source SAP deployment automation framework with Terraform and Ansible. These components automate deployment of your SAP landscape based on SAP on Azure reference architectures and best practices recommended by SAP and Microsoft. Use these services to streamline your migration as you consider all the elements of your new environment.


Think long-term about your overall SAP estate. Reference the SAP virtual machine deployment guide. Check your backup and recovery capabilities. Then conduct the orchestra of cutover for compute, storage, network, and access controls for the SAP landscapes you want to take to the cloud.


4. Run: Focus on running SAP on Azure and optimize for security and performance


After you have deployed your SAP workloads in Azure, you can optimize landscapes for new technological advances and continuously cut costs as new updates are shared. Azure offers several services to help you secure your SAP estate and give you visibility across all your applications.


Protect your data with Azure Backup for HANA and ensure it is well managed with Azure Monitor for SAP solutions, which collects real-time telemetry across your new configuration. To optimize your SAP Basis operations, evaluate SAP Landscape Manager (LaMa) and use the SAP LaMa Azure Connector to relocate, copy, clone, and refresh SAP systems. Azure security services will help you establish a secure environment, so you can run mission-critical apps and data with confidence. While you are continuously gaining feedback on your ecosystem, you can optimize performance by actively receiving reports on availability and cost management. In addition to these Azure services, we also support choices for third-party applications, and create integration experiences to match your unique preferences.


5. Innovate: Maximize immediate business insights and be future-ready


This is an exciting area for customers as they begin to break down silos and create new user experiences to add tremendous business value.


After migration, you can integrate your SAP and non-SAP data through an extensive portfolio of Azure and SAP data services. This allows you to create real-time dashboard views of current operations, use data analytics to understand trends and gain predictive insights, and use data visualization tools to communicate across the organization and enable powerful business outcomes.


Customers who shift their SAP workloads to Azure can access a robust repository of built-in process integration apps and APIs. For example, you can integrate SAP Cloud Platform Identity Authentication with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) single-sign on (SSO), to manage data access across multiple sources from a central location. This central location can contain automated tools to help you manage workflows, with real-time visibility into your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).


The developers in your organization will appreciate the ability to tap into more than 100 cloud services in Azure to innovate with new capabilities in the cloud. You can also enhance productivity and collaboration, with integration to Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Power Apps, and Microsoft Power BI, as well as first-class integration with SAP solutions like SuccessFactors, Ariba, and Fieldglass.


Ready to start your SAP migration journey to Azure?


Visit the new SAP on Azure migration center where you will find all the resources you need to streamline the migration of your SAP landscape to Azure and begin to realize the benefits of cloud transformation.


Register for our upcoming webinar series on October 13, 2020 to hear directly from Microsoft experts and ask your questions during the Q&A.

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

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