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Pharmaceutical Supplies Manufacturer

Accelerating and simplifying a critical transformation

A leading pharmaceutical supplies manufacturing company operates state-of-the-art manufacturing plants that produce soft gelatin capsules, sterile injection products and a wide range of other preparations in liquid and solid form. The company manufactures for its own brands and on order for other domestic and international companies.

Business challenge

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and systems that evolved over decades were limiting the efficiency and potential scale of manufacturing operations. High costs of maintaining infrastructure and the challenges of retaining staff with the right skill sets to update the software made it necessary for the company to prioritize a large-scale transformation. The CFO’s team was pushing for a solution that would deliver more consistently predictable operational expenses.

Transformation

The pharmaceutical supplies manufacturer decided to shift from updating hardware and software on premises to running SAP applications on a cloud platform. Implementing SAP S/4HANA would enable the manufacturer to increasingly drive efficiencies across its operations through the built-in machine learning capabilities. Using AWS for SAP Solutions, and deploying in two Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions, would provide modernized infrastructure at scale with greater availability (95%).

Results

Streamlined SAP S/4HANA implementation and management

Achieved 100% shift from variable capital expenses to predictable operational costs

Refocused internal resources on business innovation rather than system maintenance

Solution

Since the pharmaceutical supplies manufacturer lacked the internal skills necessary for the IT transformation, they chose service providers to implement an end-to-end solution that would map the existing resource management logic into SAP; scope and provision the necessary resources in AWS; and actively provide service reliability engineering (SRE) to maintain the new SAP S/4HANA solution going forward.

The supplies manufacturer engaged Kyndryl to scope, implement, provision and manage the resources needed to run the manufacturer’s ERP requirements in SAP S/4HANA on AWS. Kyndryl worked with a third-party that shifted the business logic of the existing ERP application into an SAP environment.

Accelerating transformation

Aside from the time needed to provide infrastructure specifications based on the software transformation vendor’s work, Kyndryl architected and implemented the SAP S/4HANA solution for the pharmaceutical manufacturer in six months. That included setting up and going live with three interrelated environments — development, testing and production — in one region as well as  a disaster recovery site with full capabilities in different region.

Securing the mission critical workloads

The manufacturer connects to S/4HANA workloads in AWS from four offices through VPN and secured tunnels (IPsec) with more bandwidth than currently needed. Kyndryl monitors  and manages the workloads through a virtual private cloud (VPC) in two AWS regions.

For permissioned access to critical systems and software, Kyndryl established an identity and access management (IAM) security group. For network traffic, Kyndryl established and maintains access control lists (ACL) at subnet levels. Access requires multi-factor authentication in keeping with best practices for both pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies.

Data security complies with both SAP and local country requirements. Data is encrypted both in transit and at rest. Operating systems of all servers adhere to a hardening protocol. For backups, the solution uses the default back-up policy in AWS for SAP Solutions:

  • Production: file system is backed up incrementally every day based on an initial full backup. Database is backed up twice weekly, with logs archived three times daily.
  • Non-production: file system is backed up incrementally every day based on an initial full backup. Database is backed up twice weekly, with logs archived three times daily.

Critical transformation simplified

The pharmaceutical supplies manufacturer successfully simplified the migration from the legacy ERP system by relying on Kyndryl’s expertise to architect, deploy and manage a turnkey SAP S/4HANA solution that includes:

  • Managed AWS IaaS
  • Managed operating system
  • Managed SAP basis software
  • Managed HANA database
  • Security
  • Governance

Through this solution, the manufacturer’s finance department achieved its goal of quickly and  fully transitioning the ERP system to an operational expense model in half a fiscal year. They can now reliably predict IT costs as the business scales.

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