I’ve been writing content and following news in the IT industry for almost a decade; one bit of conventional wisdom that has remained quite constant in that time is that a mix of on-premises and cloud solutions hold the greatest appeal for enterprises. PostNL must have missed that memo; it went full cloud in a short period of time, and it is reaping the rewards that come to smart, courageous investors.

What Do You Mean by “Full Cloud?”

In 2012, IT leaders at the large parcel-delivery company, based out of the Netherlands, announced their intention to go full cloud. And not just in some visionary future, but by 2015.

Then they went ahead and did it. The organization moved all of its infrastructure to either platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions from Amazon and Microsoft, and then closed its data centers. Since then, PostNL has aggressively embraced software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions wherever it can. Once its cloud migration is finished, only the company’s sorting-center operations will remain on-premises (though management of those sorting centers is already done from the cloud).

ERP Was a Great Candidate for Cloud Migration

One of PostNL’s more dramatic migrations was to move its entire on-premises enterprise-resource-planning (ERP) solution to SAP Business ByDesign. This on-demand SAP cloud service, based on SAP HANA, delivers functionality for financials, human resources, sales, procurement, customer service, supply-chain management, and other management tasks—all in the highly scalable and flexible models that have made cloud computing an essential part of business strategy.

Maybe PostNL’s bold all-cloud move should not be surprising; after all, the cloud has an increasingly firm foothold in businesses today. In 2016, 17 percent of enterprises have more than 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) in the public cloud, a 130 percent increase compared to 2015, according to the “RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report.”

That year-over-year increase in adoption might accelerate if businesses know about PostNL’s results:

  • 25 percent reduction in software costs
  • Five separate accounting systems consolidated into one
  • Six production SAP environments consolidated into one
  • A 66 percent reduction in the number of interfaces in the environment

These gains might become even larger as PostNL moves to the final phases of its ongoing cloud migration.

Plenty of Headroom for Future Growth

Using PostNL’s business needs as a baseline, SAP and Intel engineers tested the performance of SAP Business ByDesign and SAP hybris on the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family. The goal was to process up to 200,000 invoice lines per hour (10,000 invoices containing 20 lines each), with application-server CPU utilization capped at 77 percent.

  • The current environment of the SAP data center, which included previous-generation Intel Xeon processors, hit that goal at 57 percent utilization.
  • The new environment, featuring the Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family, processed 200,000 invoice lines at just 21 percent CPU utilization—that’s less than half the energy for the same amount of work.


See How PostNL Did It

To see more details about how PostNL planned and executed its successful cloud migration, read the full Intel and SAP case study which is coming soon.

Need to create a case study for your company or a customer? Contact Prowess Consulting.

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