Firm Streamlines Applications by Moving SAP to the Cloud
- Allow operations across the U.K. and Italy to operate as a single company
- Consolidate multiple IT infrastructures
- Migrate to private cloud services
- Consolidate to a single instance of SAP enterprise-systems platform and migrate it to the cloud
- Reduced overhead costs
- Faster speed to market
- New infrastructure in place for the future
Quick Consolidation into Single Company
Selex ES was formed in 2013 when its parent company, Italian aerospace and security firm Finmeccanica, combined three separate operations — SELEX Elsag, SELEX Galileo and SELEX Sistemi Integrati — into a single organization. The resulting company is an international leader in defense and cybersecurity systems, with operations in both the U.K. and Italy. The first challenge for Selex ES was to consolidate operations and run them as a single company.
Selex ES management also needed to move quickly and efficiently. Its mandate included reducing overhead, consolidating the product range and expanding into new geographies, especially Brazil and India. Given Selex ES’ 17,000 employees, long list of technologically advanced products and revenue in excess of €3.2 billion, that would be no small undertaking.
The IT challenges facing Selex ES’ leaders were no less daunting. These challenges included integrating multiple data and communications networks to support the new, international workforce; creating a single, integrated operating environment to help Selex ES take advantage of synergies across the three merged businesses; and establishing a systems platform that would combine low costs with both flexibility and speed. What’s more, these tasks had to be accomplished in just 6 months.
For support on this massive project, Selex ES turned to CSC. Selex ES management knew CSC could be relied upon and trusted, as former Selex ES businesses in the U.K. had relied on CSC since 2000 for help desk, desktop support, data center operations, network management and other services. “We share very openly,” says Dave Gibbons, Selex ES’ VP of information and communications technology (ICT) operations in the U.K., “and CSC provides significant strategic support for us.”
CSC’s solution featured a private cloud infrastructure that would empower Selex ES to consolidate its core enterprise systems into a single SAP instance. The private cloud, as proposed by CSC, would enable a cost-effective environment where resources could be ramped up and down according to the phase of the program, replace the existing SAP production infrastructure, and also enable Selex ES to stand up other computing and storage resources as needed, including a fleet of midrange servers.
At the heart of the solution was the preconfigured VCE Vblock platform that meant the facility would be up and running with the entire migration complete in a challenging timeframe of just 6 months. “We knew we needed to move quickly, and we needed it to be right,” Gibbons says. “CSC brought a very robust methodology that would enable us to move rapidly and with great confidence that we would achieve the timescales needed to support the business.”
Private Cloud Solution
The project moved ahead as planned. CSC implemented a private cloud for Selex ES and migrated to its single instance of SAP. Perhaps even more importantly, CSC also created an integrated infrastructure for Selex ES that can be used to act on new initiatives quickly and cost-efficiently. “Cloud is now a key part of our strategy,” Gibbons says. “We see it as very important. Cloud enables us to be more agile and to implement new facilities very quickly.”
For example, Gibbons says, Selex ES will soon use its private cloud as an infrastructure for consolidating more traditional systems, including midrange servers, thereby lowering the company’s expenses while raising its efficiencies. “In a marketplace that’s moving quickly, we need to be agile with the standup of new facilities,” he says. “The cloud environment is perfect for that.”
Lower costs are one early and important benefit from Selex ES’ new private cloud. The company operates in highly competitive markets, meaning it needs to offer its customers value for money, with products at the lowest prices possible. One way to do that and still earn a profit is by lowering internal operating expenses, which is exactly what Selex ES private cloud has achieved. “The private cloud environment is very flexible,” Gibbons says. “So we can ramp up and ramp down our various resources quickly — and control our costs”.
Operating as a Single Team
Key to the entire project has been an extremely close working relationship between CSC and Selex ES. “We operate as one team,” Gibbons says. “That’s true whether it’s a Selex ES employee or a CSC employee; we’re all part of the ICT team delivering into the business.”
He adds that CSC’s deep experience in both the public sector and the defense industry has also proven invaluable. “After 14 years of working together, we have built a synergistic relationship, rather than a commercial supplier arrangement, and that’s been very important to us.” Gibbons says, “CSC is heavily embedded in the defense markets in their own operations, so they’re able to bring us strategic direction and value-creating business insights, as well as world-class IT expertise and resources.”