5 Pro Tips for Choosing a Partner to Migrate and Automate SAP operations on Google Cloud

5 pro tips for choosing a partner for SAP on Google Cloud

Cloud automation is not a new topic, but enterprise interest continues to rise as companies look to realize greater agility and efficiency in their operations. With the current state of the global economy and a hyper-competitive business environment, organizations that successfully implement automation throughout their operations will have a sizable advantage over those that do not.

For enterprises running SAP, there’s much to gain from automating mission-critical SAP operations in the Cloud. Things that weren’t practical on-premises can be done at the click of a button. Repeatable operational tasks are taken off task lists, giving teams more time to focus on tasks that provide more value to the business. Data quality is improved, human error is reduced, and a high level of consistency is introduced into the way SAP operations are managed in the Cloud.

The result is greater levels of agility and operational efficiency, which are prerequisites to harnessing Cloud-native capabilities for innovation.

Google Cloud enables innovation with its data analytics, smart analytics, AI, machine learning, and data integration capabilities. By automating SAP operations on Google Cloud, enterprises are better equipped to leverage their SAP data in innovative ways, while running their SAP applications more reliably, securely, and cost-effectively. These benefits are not guaranteed, hence why organizations are partnering with implementation partners who have SAP on Cloud expertise and robust automation capabilities.

It goes without saying that successfully automating SAP operations on Google Cloud is heavily dependent on the strength of the implementation partner your company chooses. But what should you expect from your partner when migrating, automating, and operating SAP on Google Cloud? Having the right picture of what to expect can make all the difference between having an underwhelming on-premises-like experience in the Cloud and operating with greater agility, efficiency, and innovative capacity.

To that end, here are some best practices and considerations you should keep top of mind when choosing a partner to migrate and automate SAP operations on Google Cloud.

1. Look Before You Leap: SAP on Google Cloud Assessment

“Look before you leap” is a well-known proverb that speaks to the importance of considering dangers and consequences before acting. For many organizations failing to realize the full benefits of running SAP on Google Cloud, the root of the problem isn’t a lack of preparation or vision. The problem is an inability to accurately identify and address the threats they face on their Cloud journey.

Conducting an assessment is always recommended before embarking on a Cloud journey. A comprehensive assessment from an experienced service provider will give you a detailed report of your current application infrastructure and architecture and provide a roadmap to help you realize your target operating experience on Google Cloud while addressing identified risks along the way.

Although it would be ideal for companies to get everything right from assessment to execution, the reality is that some companies currently running SAP on Google Cloud are not as agile as they thought they would be. Lemongrass recently worked with an enterprise customer that found itself in such a position. The company’s SAP on Cloud operations wasn’t as agile as expected and they struggled to leverage cloud-native tools. In this scenario, we conducted an Assessment to address the company’s operational efficiency, performance, security, cost, and innovative capacity in the cloud.

Whether your company hasn’t moved to Google Cloud yet, or it hasn’t achieved its desired outcomes in terms of agility and cloud-native capabilities, conducting an assessment with an experienced provider is the first step to successfully navigating the situation.

2. Show, Don’t Tell: Migration Automation

It’s in a service provider’s best interest to promote the superiority of its SAP on Cloud automation capabilities and it’s in your organization’s best interest to have their claims validated. If a provider claims they can automate SAP operations on Google Cloud and help enterprises harness cloud-native capabilities, they must be able to demonstrate their automation capabilities at the migration level. Having a proven migration methodology and a successful migration track record is important as well, but that should be a given.

Lemongrass uses SAP standard tools and methodologies orchestrated by our Lemongrass Cloud Platform (a governance, monitoring, and automation solution) to reduce technical downtime during migration by over 80% and has the track record to support that metric.

The more thorough you are in having providers validate their automation capabilities for migrations, the higher your odds of executing a seamless migration.

3. Looking Under the Hood: The Automation Engine

Partners with SAP on Cloud automation capabilities have an engine that drives their automation and other operating functionalities. That engine is their automation platform. How powerful it is will determine the performance of your organization’s SAP systems on Google Cloud and your level of operational efficiency. That being the case, you need to “look under the hood” of each potential partner’s automation engine to see how far it can take you on your SAP on Google Cloud transformation journey.

Figuring this out goes back to knowing how you want to operate in the Cloud. For example, how much visibility do you need across the system, finance, and security levels of your SAP on Google Cloud environment? How much downtime will be acceptable when making technical changes in your Cloud environment?

The more specific your answers are to these kinds of questions, the better you will be able to evaluate each provider’s automation platform. Demos are also useful when it comes to test-driving a provider’s automation engine, but it is important that you don’t passively sit in the passenger seat during the process. Challenge them on how they would approach your specific goals. 

4. The Devil is in the Details:  Don’t Forget About Operate

According to the Pareto principle, 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes (vital details). When it comes to SAP on Cloud implementations, you typically find that approximately 80% of the initial engagement is centered around the migration phase while the operate or managed services phase occupies the remaining 20%.

Fully evaluating and planning your SAP migration to Google Cloud is important, but it is also important to realize that 80% of the consequences of running on Google Cloud—good or bad—will come from the Operate phase. That being the case, you need a partner who will help you direct the appropriate amount of energy and focus on the operation of your SAP systems on Google Cloud. This involves planning for new skills, post-migration support, the implementation of cloud-like ways of working, business case accountability, and financial management just to name a few things.

And considering the project does not stop after go-live, you should ensure that your partner has a process for tracking KPIs (FinOps, Agility improvements, Performance management etc.), looking for improvements, and monitoring Google Cloud for the latest innovations. It may seem like a lot but remember that the devil is in the details.

5. The Final Piece of the Puzzle: Harnessing SAP and Non-SAP Data to Innovate on Google Cloud

Automation is essential to optimize SAP on Google Cloud operations, but it is only a means to an end. And that end is innovation. Google Cloud offers an unprecedented opportunity for enterprises to leverage native solutions like Google Cloud Cortex Framework and BigQuery to unlock insights, innovate, and ultimately derive better business outcomes from their SAP and non-SAP data.

Ensuring your partner has a tailor-made solution for harnessing SAP and non-SAP data on Google Cloud is paramount if leveraging Google Cloud native capabilities to drive innovation is your goal. It is also a good way to test their level of expertise. At Lemongrass, we have an agile data service offering called SAP Analytics Accelerators which enables critical SAP data to be accessed, enriched, and harnessed by Google Cloud native services. The development of this solution wouldn’t have been possible without a marriage of SAP and Google Cloud expertise.

SAP on Google Cloud can free businesses to work smarter, move faster, and do more with less compared to legacy systems but having the right implementation partner to deliver the automation and innovation that underpins a successful SAP migration can make all the difference. As you evaluate implementation partners for your SAP on Google journey keep this and the previous points we covered in mind.

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