Pierogies might just be the ultimate comfort food. But when Mrs. T’s Pierogies — the leading manufacturer of frozen pierogies in the US — learned it needed to transition its existing on-premises SAP ECC to S/4HANA, the company sought a little comfort for itself.
Founded in 1952, Mrs. T’s Pierogies now produces more than 650 million pierogies a year. Moving that many pierogies requires a powerful ERP system — and an equally powerful IT infrastructure on which to run it. Mrs. T’s realized that the SAP-mandated transition of its ERP solution to SAP S/4HANA was an opportunity to move its SAP systems to Google Cloud and gain real-time analytics capabilities for faster sales forecasting, more effective trade promotions, and more sophisticated planning.
From necessity to opportunity
Mrs. T’s successfully ran its SAP ECC solution on its own on-premises servers for years. But after SAP decided to sunset the product, Mrs. T’s realized that it faced multiple challenges, including:
Migrating its SAP ECC 6.0 system from an on-premises leagcy OS to a cloud-based Linux environment
Moving data from its SAP DB2 database to HANA
Transitioning from ECC to SAP S/4HANA
That complex transition needed to take place with little or no downtime, since nearly all of the company’s invoices, warehouse movements, and transfer orders used the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) protocol. Missing even a few hours of EDI transactions would put significant revenue at stake. Adding to the challenge: Some Mrs. T’s customers would not accept an invoice past five days, which left little room for error. Mrs. T’s chose Rackspace Technology, a longtime Google Cloud partner, to oversee the move.
Mrs. T’s could have chosen to run S/4HANA on its legacy hardware but saw migration to Google Cloud as an opportunity to improve key aspects of its business, in particular data analytics. Historically, sales planning and forecasting involved time-consuming manual processes. But the speed, availability, and scalability of Google Cloud meant that Mrs. T’s could take advantage of S/4HANA’s embedded analytics capabilities. Migrating could also open the door to leveraging Google Cloud’s native integration of SAP data to power Google tools such as BigQuery, Google Cloud AI Building Blocks, and more.
The move to Google Cloud also gave Mrs. T’s an opportunity to update its disaster recovery process. Previously, the company backed up to tape. So, if its SAP systems went down, a member of the IT department would have to drive the most recent tape backups an hour to its cold site, where the disaster recovery partner would load the SAP backup tape, boot the system up, switch network connections to that site, and cross their fingers. Not only would downtime be significant, but restored data would be limited to the periodic tape backup.
“Everything just worked”
Once Mrs. T’s decided to migrate to Google Cloud, the company worked with Rackspace Technology to implement the system. The first phase focused on moving the SAP production environment from on-premises infrastructure to Google Cloud and updating its database to HANA, which took place over 12 weeks. The switchover occurred over a weekend and was all but invisible to users. “We came in on Monday and everything just worked,” recalls Timothy Coyle, Director of Information Systems & Technology. In a second four-month phase, the company transitioned from EEC to S/4.
The move to Google Cloud paid dividends immediately. Batch transactions occurred twice as fast and on-screen end-user transactions rendered instantly. The upgrade also gave the finance team access to embedded analytics and monitoring for the first time. With everything now in the cloud, disaster recovery could be dynamic and nearly instantaneous, with a worst-case scenario of just 5 to 10 minutes of downtime.
“Mrs. T’s needed a skilled and experienced partner that could move its SAP environment to Google Cloud with no negative impacts to its business. We knew this migration was a key initiative in Mrs. T’s digital transformation journey,” says Chuck Britton, Google Partner Development Manager at Rackspace. “We also knew that running SAP on Google Cloud would give the business the fast and flexible analytical capabilities it needed for its SAP data.”
From ideation to production, Mrs. T’s migrated from its legacy on-premises infrastructure to a modern SAP S/4HANA solution on Google Cloud in only seven months, with minimal downtime and zero disruptions. Now that the migration is complete, Mrs. T’s has a flexible, highly scalable environment to run the SAP applications and data that fuel the business. Says Coyle, “Our strategic intent for IT is to make processes simpler, people more productive, and infrastructure more secure. This project fits right square in the middle of that strategic philosophy.”
Learn more about ways in which Google Cloud can transform your SAP experience and about Rackspace Google Cloud solutions for SAP customers.