Systems integrator Tata Consultancy Services has been tapped by retail giant Woolworths Group to migrate its SAP environment to Microsoft Azure.
The migration involved some 20 SAP applications, 75 terabytes of data, 135 database servers and 435 application servers. This covered Woolworths’ supermarkets, Metro stores, Big W outlets across Australia, its Countdown supermarkets in New Zealand and supply chain arm Primary Connect, as well as the company’s corporate finance and other enterprise support teams.
The move to Azure came as Woolworths sought to improve its agility, resiliency and to be more responsive to customer needs, as well as improving operational resiliency while reducing technology risk.
The project started in early 2020, and was completed within eight months. Some of the applications migrated included Woolworths’ SAP ECC ERP and SAP Customer Activity Repository (CAR) on HANA.
“The success of the program was our number one goal, and we knew how important it was to team up with Microsoft and bring our full contextual knowledge of SAP, cloud migration and modernisation to power this large transformation,” TCS ANZ business unit head of retail Ganesa Vaikuntam said.
Across TCS, Woolworths, SAP and Microsoft, the migration had a combined team of some 200 people, including some undisclosed partners.
In addition to the lift-and-shift work, Woolworths also upgraded its operating system and database to eliminate technical obsolescence and reduce operational risk. SAP also used its Near Zero Downtime service to trim outages down from potentially “a few” days to 17 hours.
Woolworths also redesigned its disaster recovery capability to help streamline operations and improve the customer experience.
Woolworths Group technology director for enterprise systems Laurence Bennett said the company’s level of stability “has been impressive” since the migration.
“Since the Production cutover in October our daily, weekly and month-end processes have been completing successfully and in some instances pleasing performance improvements. We have also experienced great uptime and performance stability through the peak Christmas trading period. It has been a fantastic achievement,” Bennett said.
“As per any undertaking of this magnitude, there were challenges which needed to be overcome.
“The business case for the migration was understood and supported by our Group Executive team, and we purposefully engaged senior global sponsors within TCS, Microsoft and SAP.”