Aspen Pharmacare

Aspen Pharmacare
With a 160-year history, Aspen is a global specialty and branded multinational pharmaceutical company with a presence in both emerging and developed markets. The company has approximately 71 established offices in over 50 countries, operates 23 manufacturing facilities across 15 sites and holds international manufacturing approvals from some of the most stringent global regulatory agencies in the world.

Delivering More Value With the Help of the Cloud

“We chose the right partner in Lemongrass for our migration from SAP HEC to AWS. Their team was equally as passionate about what we were trying to achieve as we were. Their significant expertise on SAP in the Cloud enabled us to gain the added agility and efficiency we needed to accomplish our mission of maximizing the value we create for our business and our diverse stakeholders.”
Amanda Strydom
Head: Digital Technology Service Build and Implementation

For reasons of both efficiency and consistency of service, Aspen Pharmacare delivers strategic global services and functions through the Head Office located in Durban, South Africa. At its heart, Aspen’s Group Digital Technology capability includes a substantial, complex and mature SAP estate hosted by SAP on SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC). Aspen Pharmacare was experiencing high costs, inflexibility, low levels of automation and the lack of key capabilities with HEC. In addition, Aspen’s customer needs, and the business’ circumstances, continued to evolve requiring increased IT agility to keep pace. They also sought new avenues for aggressive cost optimization and management to maximize their value-for-spend, while maintaining the security and compliance necessary to support GxP workload requirements.

The decision to change cloud providers posed a challenge, as Aspen Pharmacare needed to exit HEC before their contract renewal date, a mere 5 months away. Aspen selected AWS to solve their platform flexibility and lack of automation issues. AWS supports more security standards and compliance certifications than any other provider, including PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, GDPR, FIPS 140-2, and NIST 800-171, which would satisfy compliance requirements for virtually every regulatory agency around the globe.

Having decided to migrate to AWS within the demanding timeframe, Aspen needed an effective migration and managed services partner that could agree on contracts, mobilize a team and deliver a low-risk migration, in a validated environment, at speed.

Lemongrass, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, was selected for their extensive experience in migrating and managing SAP systems on AWS. Lemongrass’s unique approach to rapid SAP HEC migrations avoids many of the normal issues of exiting a HEC datacenter. During the selection process, Lemongrass was able to accurately model the future run costs of Aspen’s SAP systems giving the confidence that substantial cost savings were achievable. Lemongrass was the only partner with the proven experience migrating in extremely tight and high-pressure timelines and will manage Aspen’s SAP systems post-migration.

Lemongrass started the project within days of receiving customer approval. Working backward from Aspen’s aggressive deadline for exiting HEC, a robust migration program was developed; the program supported the systematic migration of all environments and implemented a seamless transition for the provisioning of ongoing support and maintenance services for five business sectors across multiple countries. The team had to consider and accommodate Aspen’s other strategic priorities, re-planning in-flight when necessary to support these priorities within the agreed timeline.

The in-scope SAP estate supported key business and manufacturing units in South Africa, Dubai, Australia and Mauritius and consisted of the following SAP products: SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Business Intelligence, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Solution Manager, Adobe Document Services, Vendor Invoice Management, OpenText Archive Server, SAP Data Services and SAP Optimizer. File servers and Integration Brokers were also migrated.

Lemongrass utilized their proprietary SAP on AWS Automation Platform, the Lemongrass Cloud Platform (LCP), to deliver the automation required for a fast and error-free migration. This automation removed manual errors and ensured that there was a repeatable and reliable process for both the build and the ongoing operation of the SAP landscape. With these automation tools, processes were optimized, and the workload was reduced considerably which aligned with Aspen’s aspirations. These high levels of automation also simplified the validation processes demanded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Working with Lemongrass, Aspen Pharmacare increased the flexibility, security, reliability and cost transparency of their SAP systems. Lemongrass successfully completed all migrations ahead of schedule, allowing Aspen to complete their exit from HEC. In addition, significant re-platforming of operating systems and services was done to further streamline the landscape and introduce longer-term efficiencies. All systems are now stable and under management by Lemongrass. By offering a more flexible landscape, Aspen can leverage increased agility by easily creating new environments to support new business initiatives.

Published: November 3rd, 2021

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