Enabling RS Components to compete more effectively in the cloud

RS Components successfully migrated one of Europe’s largest SAP ERP systems to AWS

At a glance

Atos and Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnered to accelerate RS Components’ large-scale SAP upgrade and migration to AWS cloud. Now the company has essential agility to deliver on its strategic ambitions, innovate at pace and drive value from data.

Outcomes

Working with Atos and AWS, RS Components completed a fast, smooth migration, despite the challenges of COVID-19. As a result, RS Components now has:

  • Greater agility
  • More financial transparency and control
  • An updated SAP platform
  • Significantly improved security posture
  • Increased compliance and simplified operations

Business never sleeps

RS Components is a global omnichannel solution partner for companies involved in designing, building and maintaining industrial equipment and facilities. Operating in 32 countries, it serves more than one million customers with a catalog of 500,000+ products and 2,500 supplier brands.

Trading through multiple channels, RS Components is dedicated to offering its customers an unrivaled choice of product technologies, solving problems with innovative solutions and delivering a world-class customer experience. To do so requires a flexible, agile and cost-efficient technology infrastructure that is available 24/7.

Even a moment of downtime can mean that customers are unable to procure products and services that are critical to keeping their businesses running.

New future-proof foundations

The company had a large, costly and aging on-premises environment, encompassing a combination of virtual and physical servers and traditional storage. To future-proof its business and deliver its 2025 strategy, the company needed to update its SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) applications, replace Oracle databases with HANA, and update its security posture. The company also wanted to move to cloud to gain the cost efficiency, flexibility and agility to stay competitive.

As an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner with deep SAP experience, Atos was engaged to design and deliver the migration, in partnership with RS Components and AWS, together with partners Tata Consultancy Services and SNP.

Threading the needle

For any global business, taking a mission-critical SAP landscape offline for maintenance or upgrades can have serious impacts. In this case, RS Components had to migrate several terabytes of data to AWS, replace the operating system and database layers, encrypt all interfaces, and upgrade the SAP applications.

RS Components needed a way to implement all the required changes within a single, short outage window to avoid business disruption. Atos and AWS worked together to develop a plan to upgrade SAP, migrate Oracle to HANA, and migrate on-premises SAP to AWS and AWS management services. Making matters more complicated, it all had to be achieved remotely due to the global pandemic.

Overcoming complexity

The team’s approach made it possible to achieve a significant amount of change with minimal downtime — and at low risk.

A traditional migration and upgrade approach directly from on-premises to AWS wasn’t possible due to the large volume of data, the number of systems to upgrade, and the limited bandwidth available via AWS Direct Connect. To determine the best migration strategy, Atos devised a proof of concept to test all aspects of implementation. The team’s final migration approach used the following principles:

  • Execute as much of the upgrade as possible without downtime on the on-premises systems
  • Where required, replicate systems in AWS to bridge any downtime while migrating data from on-premises to AWS
  • Migrate development and testing systems in advance to build confidence in the process and conduct full regression testing, given the scale of change happening during the outage
  • Hold dress rehearsals to resolve issues and refine the timing
  • Use newly-built systems in AWS as the target to avoid migrating technical debt

Downtime was minimized by ensuring that the initial phase of the migration could be completed with the systems online (and therefore still able to take orders). The second phase could be executed side-by-side in AWS on very large machines to minimize the time taken.

Getting a move on

Working with Atos and AWS, RS Components completed a fast, smooth migration, despite the challenges of COVID-19. As a result, RS Components now has:

  • Greater agility. Atos provided the ability to alter capacity requirements and spin up new environments, including increasing ECC system memory from six up to nine terabytes at a fraction of the time and risk associated with an on-premises upgrade.
  • More financial transparency and control. Using the range of tools within AWS, RS Components can better monitor, manage and plan infrastructure spend, predict demand spikes and ramp-up capacity on demand.
  • An updated SAP platform. RS Components can focus on operational excellence, with built-in capabilities that were not previously accessible, along with the significant performance improvements that HANA offers — all while paving the way for S4/HANA.
  • Significantly improved security posture. Atos delivered interface encryption, alignment to CIS (Center for Internet Security) security standards and benchmarks, and successfully performed a security audit with an IT health check.
  • Increased compliance and simplified operations. RS Components is now positioned to embrace the digital transformation unlocked by the migration and upgrades. The ability to spin up new systems to accommodate development projects in parallel is a big plus.

May 2019

Project start

June 2019

Design phase

August 2019

Delivery phase start

July 2020

Dress rehearsal

Spetember 2020

Go live

October 2020

Early life support

Why Atos for SAP and AWS

With a 35-year history of successfully delivering SAP solutions, Atos is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner holding both the AWS Migration Delivery and AWS Mainframe Migration competencies. Atos is also a member of the AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) and AWS Well-Architected Partner Programs. This combination of experience enables Atos to quickly deliver large, complex SAP upgrades and AWS migrations that maximize value, minimize risk and provide a robust, future-proof digital foundation as technological and business landscapes evolve.

Atos AWS Partnership

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