Manufacturers are juggling multiple priorities that may seem conflicting. They are not only finding creative ways to overcome fluctuating demand, supply disruption, and workforce shortages across their operations. But they are also innovating solutions that are critical to customers’ survival and future recovery.

As a leading manufacturer of gas springs and hydraulic vibration dampers, Stabilus GmbH is no stranger to this increasingly challenging reality. The urgency around innovation and accelerated delivery has become so high that the midsize company with production locations worldwide modernized its IT landscape using the hyperscaler Microsoft Azure with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

“Our decision to leverage Microsoft Azure with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud allows our business to upscale the IT landscape to meet the needs of peak scenarios and downscale it during idle times. Most importantly, this setup seamlessly supports the fluctuations of our innovation cycle,” reflected Matthias Zanger, director of IT at Stabilus.

Encouraging Flexibility and Curiosity with Digital Openness

Since its start in 1934, Stabilus has maintained a long-standing tradition of commitment to customer satisfaction, openness to turning opportunities into progress, delight in winning customer trust, and ethical approaches to long-term partnership and prosperity. This core vision has proven to be precisely what its customers need, earning the trust of industrial businesses worldwide.

To safeguard this reputation, Stabilus chose to upgrade a relatively unstable, high-maintenance, and on-premise infrastructure to the cloud. This decision led to the migration of existing SAP applications to SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, which standardizes the IT environment, minimizes the time and effort to manage it, and reduces the total cost of ownership significantly.

But these advantages were only the beginning of the potential of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. Stabilus quickly learned that running a hyperscaler, such as Microsoft Azure, with the service gave the business the technology support necessary to scale IT resources, as needed.

“For us, this migration is a significant step forward in our mission for dynamic progression and innovation,” Zanger said. “Microsoft Azure with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud enables us to create powerful solutions for our customers by combining application management with our engineering expertise and ingenuity. And it’s all available in a global and intelligent cloud environment that we trust.”

Kick-Starting the Journey to a Hyperscaler-Enabled Cloud

Gaining the full benefit of Microsoft Azure with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud required Stabilus to follow a well-mapped strategy.

“The scope of our project consisted of two waves. The first handled the upgrading and migration of our HR applications, enterprise portal, SAP BusinessObjects solutions, and text retrieval and extraction (TREX) capabilities. Then, we focused on our ERP and supply chain management software as well as the SAP Fiori design system,” shared Erhard Stannek, IT team lead of SAP cross-applications at Stabilus.

By first provisioning the system targeted for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, Stabilus underwent a structured and measurable migration with the assistance of the landscape strategy and architecture services available through SAP Advisory Services. The framework included sandboxing, development, quality assurance, testing, and production – taking the project from premigration tasks to uptime, downtime, and post migration.

“Using the database migration option of the Software Update Manager tool, SAP migration consultants helped us combine our upgrade and migrated database in one tool – SAP HANA,” mentioned Stannek. “We not only reduced downtime but, more importantly, finished the migration successfully.”

During all these activities, Stabilus did not experience any disruption, compared to a non-hyperscaler migration to SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. The target system was handed over to SAP, so the software landscape could be integrated into the cloud service, undergo user and regression tests, and ramp up.

“With two consultants from the Business Transformation Services group from SAP, we accessed a tremendous volume of valuable knowledge from highly experienced experts,” Stannek observed. “The well-established back-office unit allowed us to exchange information with SAP and leverage a migration framework based on the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework methodology to create and use our unique enterprise architecture.”

Optimizing the Landscape, Closing Gaps, and Reshaping the Future at Stabilus

For Stabilus, a migration to the cloud with a hyperscaler is setting its foundation for a digital landscape that is optimized, simplified, and seamless. Giving SAP the responsibility to maintain its technology operations allows the company’s IT team to concentrate more on strategic topics that can help move the business forward, explore the possibilities of enterprise content management, the Internet of Things (IoT), and a cloud platform.

Follow SAP Services and Support on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Verena Eitle and Thomas Dieter Hauschildt are business consultants for BTS IT Architecture Advisory at SAP Germany.