Embracing the potential of the cloud has become an unavoidable requirement for success in today’s digital world, particularly as companies progressively migrate their applications to the cloud to fuel growth. Every organization’s path to the cloud is unique since there is no one-size-fits-all migration strategy. So it is important to understand that the benefits of cloud platforms are accompanied by significant challenges, such as the need to enhance availability and latency, efficiently scale the development process, and handle cloud security concerns. This is where the strategy for cloud migration comes into play.

As a result, while planning your organization’s cloud migration strategy, it’s a good idea to look at the high-level elements that you should consider as you contemplate a move to the cloud – From the benefits and the risks to the cloud service model and type that is right for your business. Take inspiration from Metro Retail Stores Group Inc, an essentials retailer, who successfully transitioned to cloud even in the middle of a pandemic. With all of these ideas and methods, I think you’ll be more prepared than ever to make the cloud work for your organisation.

Let’s begin with Metro’s Testimonial

Metro Retail Stores Group Inc is a leading operator of department stores and hypermarkets in the Visayas region of the Philippines. It is consistently expanding and its business comprises of multiple store modules such as department stores, supermarkets, and hypermarkets.

Cloud migration requires careful planning and execution. When asked ‘What triggered your decision to move to cloud?’ Sir Rex Jun Cabanilla, Chief Technology Officer, said, “We had to have this technology upgrade for hardware systems. So before doing that we were looking for alternatives other than moving to on-premises again. We approached specific vendors, we were impressed by the technology solutions by Aspire. They offered a safer migration approach compared to other vendors, we believe that this is a testament to the solid expertise (sic)”

Anticipation, Strategy, and Execution – Metro’s cloud transition story!

As their on-premise licenses were on the verge of expiry, Metro Retail Group saw an opportunity to move to the cloud. Before migration, they had to pay for a 5-yr sizing only to use 10% of their on-premise data centers in the first year. Migrating to a cloud-based data center became an absolute necessity in order to realise far-reaching business returns. Eventually, Metro switched from on-premises and started running their workloads on Amazon AWS.

Despite the transition to the AWS cloud, there was still some room for improvement. As part of their transition, they had chosen 23 tightly-coupled applications which predominantly covered Oracle Retail, custom applications, third-party applications that had to be migrated to AWS along with the modules of Oracle Finance applications.

Subsequent migration to a newer framework and deployment architecture had to be cloud-agnostic. Despite this level of planning though, performance issues associated with the on-premises data

center arose. Hence, Metro became keen to rise above their issues of scalability, size, security, and inflexibility and partnered with Aspire to simplify their workloads on AWS. “This is a large scale implementation project and like any large scale implementation project it wasn’t without its own challenges, but what made us overcome these challenges are the transparency and close cooperation between the Metro and Aspire teams. I commend Aspire leadership for nurturing and leading a competent and approachable team,” said Rex Jun Cabanilla.

Key Takeaways

Aspire Systems offered a suite of technical solutions that delivered significant cost savings without compromising efficiency and performance. We developed a roadmap of consistent milestones for Oracle E-business Suite and updated Oracle EBS. To ensure an error-free migration to the AWS cloud, we checked through three environments (SIT, UAT, and Dry Run) before migrating to PROD in AWS. Our solution helped Metro to

  • Migrate operating system and EBS applications to AWS system
  • Manage the traffic-related spikes
  • Ensure upgrades in the database, and WebLogic to maintain requirements for future upgrades
  • Implement ASM file system, which optimized the storage performance on AWS

Metro Retail Groups Inc. achieved massive reductions in IT spend just after months of go-live and have made cloud their superpower. “We have this sense of comforting assurance that complex transformation projects can be realized even in the midst of the pandemic,” said Sir Rex Jun Cabanilla, Chief Technology Officer. He concluded, “The success of the migration project is a promising start of the long term relationship between Metro and Aspire. So, we are working with them already in the deep formulation of the technical solution of the certain business areas.”

Perspective

While the challenges that come with cloud migration are significant, the right guidance, planning and tools can lead you to the cloud strategies and solutions that will work best for your organisation.

Abishek Balakumar