Industry:

Manufacturing

Location:

Cowick, East Yorkshire, UK

Croda International plc is a major global manufacturer in the specialty chemicals market, competing against a host of large and small players to supply a variety of ingredients for personal care and beauty products, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, lubricants and much more.

As the Cowick, UK-based company has expanded by strategic acquisitions across multiple regions, Croda differentiates itself by introducing innovative, sustainable and high-performance ingredients to the market.

To expand upon those corporate goals across global operations, Croda International developed a plan to invest further in the company’s SAP ERP system and digital transformation program. One of the crucial first steps for Croda International was modernizing the company’s IT estate.

“As SAP is a core application for our business, we developed a strategy for moving to the public cloud in anticipation of a major upgrade to SAP S/4HANA.” 

Neil Stamp Cloud Services Manager, Croda International

Choosing the best-fit public cloud environment

 

The plan was to take full advantage of the on-demand capabilities of the public cloud and increase IT agility in responding to the business.

“As SAP is a core application for our business, we developed a strategy for moving to the public cloud in anticipation of a major upgrade to SAP S/4HANA,” says Neil Stamp, cloud services manager, Croda International. “This modernization plan will support operations, sales and the global executive dashboards of business performance.”

The company’s SAP financial, manufacturing and executive reporting functions have been supported by DXC Technology since 2012. Through its managed cloud services, DXC provides the virtual private cloud (VPC) hosting environment, platform and O/S support, and SAP support including SAP basis and third-line applications support for maintenance and development. So, it was a natural next step to work with DXC and jointly evaluate Microsoft Azure as the best-fit public cloud environment.

Platform as a Service for SAP

 

To run these mission-critical SAP applications, DXC recommended deploying DXC Platform as a Service for SAP on Azure as the first step in a low-risk, phased approach to upgrade to SAP HANA and S/4.

By hosting SAP as a platform as a service on Azure, DXC provides a full-stack, managed platform with improved performance, on-demand capacity and guaranteed high-availability SLAs for both business applications and infrastructure. In addition, non-SAP applications were migrated to Azure, and DXC manages the Azure subscriptions as Azure Cloud Service Provider.

To accelerate the migration and ensure that the Azure environment was agile, trusted and cost-effective, DXC’s Azure professionals architected the landing zone in an existing Azure tenant cloud operated by Croda International, ensuring future flexibility and easier API integration with third-party applications through Palo Alto Networks’ firewalls. DXC accelerated the project by taking advantage of existing Azure ExpressRoute connections and bringing in a multidisciplinary team of Azure experts across multiple regions.

The migration to Azure was managed by both onshore and offshore teams with a deep understanding of Croda’s business, and SAP configurations and interfaces. The Azure environments were sized using Turbonomic assessment tools.

Value delivered

106 workloads
Completed a low-risk, low-impact migration in just 12 weeks
Improved business analytics
Improved performance, availability and connectivity

According to Stamp, the Azure reference architecture approach minimized project, operational and performance risks. The migration also enabled Croda to invest in an environment with high-availability clustering in availability sets for SAP Enterprise Central Component (ECC) and other services to improve infrastructure and application SLAs. In addition, Windows OS upgrades and some database changes were made during the re-platforming.

“Since SAP is the business-critical application for Croda, it is always essential that we give the best service in this area.”

Neil Stamp Cloud Services Manager, Croda International

Once the high- and lower-level designs were approved, DXC migrated 106 workloads to Azure in just 12 weeks. This included the full support stack of sandbox, development, quality assurance, pre-production and production environments, and covered the SAP modules of ECC, Business Information Warehouse (BW); Environment, Health and Safety (EHS); Governance, Risk Management and Compliance (GRC); Solution Manager (SolMan) and others.

“Since SAP is the business-critical application for Croda, it is always essential that we give the best service in this area,” says Stamp. “We have been through a few of these migrations now, and I can say this is the best so far.”

“With this managed cloud service, we’re able to focus on other parts of the business as we modernize  around our digital core.”

Neil Stamp Cloud Services Manager, Croda International

Working hand-in-hand

 

DXC and Croda worked hand-in-hand on this rapid implementation — with DXC handling migrating and unit testing, and Croda handling user-acceptance testing and sign-off. Collaborative change management and execution of cutover activities were essential to minimize business downtime, and this was aided by DXC’s intimate knowledge of Croda and years of successful project and change activities.

The project even bolsters the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 company’s sustainability goals by reducing its carbon footprint for IT infrastructure. Supporting its brand message of “Smart Science to Improve Lives,” Croda is committed to becoming climate-, land- and people-positive by 2030.

Since the migration, DXC has continued to work with Croda on the next steps for investment in the SAP platform and has been engaged to undertake the migration of SAP ECC and BW from Oracle to HANA in the Azure environment, making use of the DXC-smartShift partnership to reduce coding effort and risk, and to ensure HANA compatibility.

“With this managed cloud service, we’re able to focus on other parts of the business as we modernize around our digital core,” Stamp says.

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