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Daimler AG with SAP on Azure

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Daimler AG is transforming its business and is also relying on the Microsoft cloud. The existing procurement system, which is used to manage 400,000 suppliers worldwide, was replaced by a software-as-a-service solution based on Microsoft Azure.

The new system, which includes SAP and the ICM platform from Icertis, can be updated daily and reduces costs by 50 percent compared to the previous system - and thanks to the excellent cooperation between ISV Icertis, GSI Infosys and the Microsoft account Team up and running in just three months. Speed ​​is a key issue at Daimler AG in Stuttgart. It is not so much a question of the speed of cars, trucks and vans, but of increasing the company's speed of innovation in order to survive in today's competitive landscape. An essential measure for this is the digital transformation of business processes and the relocation of central company systems to the Azure Cloud in order to achieve scalability, agility and cost reductions. As a first step, the existing procurement system should be migrated to the cloud. The system developed in the 1990s manages and interacts with more than 400,000 suppliers worldwide. However, it was a cumbersome complex that made updates and upgrades difficult and included many manual, paper-based steps.

Transparent, uniform contract management

First of all, a new standard purchasing system had to be set up in order to make all procurement processes more transparent and uniform. Since contract management comes first, Dr. Stephan Stathel, Operations Manager for the new procurement system and head of the Build2Run team at Daimler AG, prioritized this part of the solution and made it the cornerstone of the new, higher-level procurement system NPS (New Procurement System). The choice fell on the Icertis Contract Management (ICM) platform from Icertis. Seattle-based Independent Software Vendor (ISV) is the leading provider of cloud-based contract management for large companies. Icertis hosts the Azure-based ICM solution using a SaaS model and several Azure services, including Azure Virtual Machines, Azure SQL Database, Azure Active Directory and Azure Machine Learning Services. "Azure offers a plethora of rapidly evolving services, including powerful security services that help protect confidential data stored in contracts," said Samir Bodas, co-founder and CEO of Icertis. Daimler also opted for the Icertis solution because it is easy to use, covers all phases of the order placement and procurement process and can be seamlessly integrated into third-party systems.

Azure as the system basis

In order to equip the new NPS procurement system with additional functionalities, Daimler decided to use various SAP products such as SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), SAP HANA database software with a later upgrade to S / 4HANA and SAP Fiori. All of these SAP units are actually run under the Linux operating system and, like the ICM solution from Icertis, are now operated on Azure at Daimler. Infosys Technologies LTD was responsible for this. The Global System Integrator (GSI) and Microsoft partner set up the entire Azure environment, installed the SAP applications and connected the SAP environment with both Icertis and the old procurement system until it was shut down and the other SAP system landscape at Daimler . The solution is completed by Azure Virtual Machines, Azure Monitoring Services, Azure VPN Gateway, Azure Service Bus and Azure Site Recovery.

Implementation on Azure: architecture at a glance.

Quick, easy and economical

With the new procurement system on Azure, Daimler was able to migrate an important operational system not only technically perfect, but also very quickly. "In order to tackle a project of this magnitude, the acquisition of the necessary hardware alone would have taken up to twelve months," explains Dr. Stathel. “With Azure, it took twelve weeks to set up all the hardware, which meant that development could start much earlier. We went live with NPS in just three months, which is unprecedented for Daimler standards to date. ”Equally important is the ability to keep NPS up-to-date and up-to-date by hosting it on Azure. And thanks to Azure, Daimler now also has the necessary scalability to cover NPS peak usage times and organic business growth. "If we need more performance, storage space or other resources, we can provide them within 30 minutes," says Dr. Stathel on. “Thanks to Azure, cloud agility is a reality and a big plus in our striving for more speed.” In addition, Daimler is also saving money with Azure. It is estimated that the company's hardware costs have decreased by about 40 percent and the NPS administration costs are only half. "The NPS project was Daimler's first application of its size and complexity in the cloud and has inspired other teams to also consider Azure for their projects," concludes Dr. Stathel. "We have shown that you can also host large, complex corporate systems on Azure - everything is available that you need." The excellent collaboration between Icertis, Infosys and the Microsoft account team contributed significantly to the success of the project. The groundbreaking project was therefore also the focus of a subsequent GTM event in Frankfurt, where further SAP on Azure leads could be generated.