Chance Veasey, SVP of the SAP Line of Business at Velocity Technology Solutions, shares his analysis of AWS re:Invent's major announcements.
AWS re:Invent stimulated the thinking of over 65,000 attendees in Las Vegas, but its reach and impact will be much greater. With exciting developments bringing AWS capabilities closer to the customer (see more here on Outpost and Local Zones), enhancements in processing and performance (not marginal enhancements, but 40% or more!), and continued innovations in Machine Learning (ML), the challenge facing enterprises is to adapt and innovate at a pace that keeps up with the market.
For those exploring cloud options in the SAP community at re:Invent, the discussions were wide-ranging, from how to combine Artificial Intelligence (AI) with SAP, to getting the value out of a corporate investment in building a data lake. But there’s more here just below the surface that is important to understand organizations using SAP and considering moving to the cloud.
After transitioning from the Army to the corporate world, I learned early on that competition is good, as it provides focus - competition raises the level of performance and the entire market benefits. It is our view that the new partnership announced earlier this year between Microsoft and SAP is providing the right focus within AWS on the SAP market. Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do.
SAP workloads have been running on AWS since 2008. There’s a long-standing partnership between the organizations that originated in 2011. Already a member of the Embrace program and working within the HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) program, we anticipate AWS will continue to lead from the front as the public cloud provider of choice for SAP workloads. From the early indications, the competition from Microsoft has been an end of year stimulus that will further entrench AWS as the customer-preferred and dominate cloud provider for SAP workloads.
Next, AWS innovations that include bare metal systems to handle big workloads on HANA will remove performance and viability concerns from large enterprise customers. The two new systems announced by AWS at re:Invent will use the EC2 High Memory instances AWS launched last year. The machines feature eight Intel Corp. central processing units, with a combined 448 processing cores.
Memory allocation will be the primary difference between the two machines - one will be capable of 18TB of memory, while the second is larger with 24TB. For those that have been concerned about moving to the cloud because of the performance impact of operating large databases on AWS, these systems remove that concern for at least 99.5% of the market.
In Andy Jassy’s discussion on the AWS Partner Network at reInvent, he mentioned that AWS is adding 50 new partners to the ecosystem per day. Let that sink in! That is an amazing number of new partners and points to the success that AWS is having. It also subtly points to the need for customers in the ecosystem to be more aware of the credentialing and accreditation of the partners they choose to work with. Enterprise customers will want to know whether their perspective partners are at the Select, Advanced, or Premier Tier and what the differences in those tiers mean for them.
The competency badges from AWS are important as well; I’ve never worked in an ecosystem where the credentialing and accreditation were so well-earned and meaningful. The market should be aware that the badges from AWS are relevant and informative as they make both partnering and buying decisions.
As a sports fan, I welcomed a question from a customer using a sports analogy. He asked whether the market was in the fourth quarter of cloud migrations or the first quarter...or somewhere in between. We are still early in my opinion...maybe at the beginning of the second quarter. The teams know what is working and the adjustments that need to be made.
With a lot of organizations still defining their cloud strategy for their future applications and their legacy applications, Velocity Technology Solutions certainly knows many of the adjustments that need to be made. The first adjustment is that the market needs to recognize that customers must adopt cloud first before they can transform. Many providers in the ecosystem view migration projects as significant revenue opportunities. These big complex projects often have cost overruns and rarely finish on schedule, resulting in delayed digital transformations.
Velocity Technology Solutions takes a different approach. With so many organizations needing to adopt the cloud and so many successfully completed migrations under our belt, we have automated and streamlined the steps necessary to migrate as-is to AWS. By doing so, we remove not only the risk and stress associated with the migration, but we also offer SAP migrations with minimal upfront cost. A lot of our migration activities are our investment in our customers and their future. Velocity Technology Solutions accelerates the journey to the cloud for those organizations with complex workloads, such as SAP, so they can freely focus on the modernization and digitization of their business.
Now, certainly not all migrations are created equally. At AWS re:Invent we were fortunate that our customer Change Healthcare presented how we led them through an SAP and Oracle migration to AWS (a total of 185 systems) in less than 12 months. Large scale complexity still needs a human touch and Velocity Technology Solutions provides that with experienced project management, senior BASIS administrator, functional consultant, and DevOps resources.
As AWS innovates, so does Velocity Technology Solutions. We increasingly use ML within our cloud application management platform to optimize the end user experience. We are upgrading our customer experience with an updated roll out of our ITIL platform. And our innovation platform now offers features that CSOs and CIOs can use to assess risk and make more informed decisions on their security patching profile. Nearly every weekend we are bringing complex workloads live on AWS. We would appreciate the opportunity to accelerate your cloud journey.