Quality and precision counts in providing products that help run the world’s essential machinery. A global manufacturing leader is relying on secure, technology modernisation in the cloud to rapidly respond to market changes.
Leading a highly competitive global market
Running secure IT systems that deliver operational efficiency while protecting intellectual property is an important business imperative for this European manufacturer of industrial products such as ball bearings, seals and lubrication systems.
The company’s products support everything from agricultural machines to construction equipment, as well as keep crucial transportation vehicles such as subway trains moving. As a leading innovator in the field, the company places a strong emphasis on maintaining quality and precision in development, design, and manufacturing processes, while maintaining a robust sustainability program. The company is constantly fending off competitors that offer low‑cost, lower-quality products. With the goal of improving its ability to respond faster to market changes, the company sought to digitise and transform key business assets. Challenged to improve its IT security posture and streamline key business applications, the manufacturer opted to migrate essential resources to a more flexible and cost-effective multicloud environment.
"DXC has been providing a wide range of IT services to the manufacturer for more than 20 years. Building on this long‑term relationship, DXC supported two recent business transformation programs, the consolidation of disparate security assets into a cloud-native environment, and the conversion of business‑critical applications to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud."
Choosing the right cloud
With much of the company’s assets including property, plants and equipment deployed in manufacturing and operations, increasing automation and digitisation was a primary goal. To simplify operations throughout the company’s more than 100 manufacturing units, a multicloud environment could provide improved efficiencies in areas such as transportation, event and warehouse management, sales analytics and supply chain logistics. Enhancing its security posture to defend against cyberattacks and protect IP was also a key business aim.
DXC has been providing a wide range of IT services to the manufacturer for more than 20 years. Building on this long-term relationship, DXC supported two recent business transformation programs, the consolidation of disparate security assets into a cloud‑native environment, and the conversion of business-critical applications to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. In doing so, DXC applied its Cloud Right™ approach that helps companies maximise their investments by making the right investments at the right time on the right platforms.
In this case, moving to a multicloud environment made sense. As the company runs primarily Microsoft, it was logical to migrate resources to the Microsoft Azure cloud, while some parts of the business preferred to move their resources to AWS. In addition, DXC is providing a virtual private cloud to host some of the company’s IT assets. With the Cloud Right approach, the company was able to identify case-by-case which modernisation path is optimal for maximising value and achieving its business objectives.
Moving to a multicloud environment is also playing an important role in supporting the company’s expanding sustainability efforts. By increasing the flexibility of its manufacturing capabilities, the manufacturer is able to improve its ability to produce machine parts that can run cleaner, longer and safely. More efficient operations is helping the company reach goals for lower carbon and greenhouse gas emissions while supporting its aim to produce products that increase efficiency in running systems such as wind farms and water treatment facilities.
Improving security visibility
In a complex environment with fragmented security tools, the manufacturer needed simplification and consolidation onto a single console that would provide increased visibility, and in turn, better protection of its IP and data. DXC helped the company centralise its security landscape by implementing IT security services such as security information and event management (SIEM) monitoring, remote access management and Internet gateway protection. With manufacturing spread out across multiple locations and a complex supply chain, it was essential to improve the management of such a complex security environment. Aiming for the goal of zero-trust security, DXC helped the manufacturer update security governance and revamp its security services and systems. DXC facilitated the move of more than 750 managed applications and security-related assets to more than 250 Azure and AWS servers.
In making the move to a cloud-native environment, DXC is supporting the implementation of Microsoft Sentinel, which has transformed an environment with multiple disparate tools into a unified, well-monitored cyber security service. Also, because the manufacturer operates with more than 40,000 onsite and offsite users, the company benefitted from DXC’s global partnership with Microsoft and expertise in maximising the value of Microsoft Office 365 E5 licensing with its advanced security capabilities.
The move to a consolidated cloud‑native security posture is providing the manufacturer with better control and visibility of its security landscape. For example, vulnerability, compliance and proactive patch management is now taking place across more than 2,000 servers.
DXC was especially proactive in providing the company with immediate protection against the Log4j vulnerability, considered as one of the most severe enterprise security threats to date. When Log4j was first discovered in December 2021, enterprises worldwide were challenged to identify the presence of the vulnerability and quickly take action. Among several vendors working with the manufacturer, DXC proved to be the most responsive. DXC professionals installed Azure Arc to track vulnerabilities across both cloud and on-premises servers and worked throughout the year-end holidays to patch some 2,000 servers. This incident underscored the need for the company to consolidate its fragmented security landscape, which DXC is helping to do.
Making the S/4HANA cloud conversion
Another area that the company has seen improvements is business applications. Many key SAP components are tied to the manufacturing process, including sales, logistics, transportation and event management. The company wanted to move its existing on-premises ERP Central Component (ECC) and Master Data Governance (MDG) systems to S/4HANA in the cloud to transform business processes without causing significant business disruptions. Timing was crucial, as the ECC transformation phase had to be completed in 10 months, and the MDG move in just 7 months to meet the company’s aggressive deadline.
DXC helped the company quickly adopt the mandatory changes required for the S/4HANA conversion in areas such as testing, development, quality control and educating users about the transition.
DXC engaged key stakeholders in fact-based discussions regarding the transition and key project and maintenance resources were retrofitted into the S/4HANA landscape. In addition, DXC transformed the integration platform to the SAP Ariba Cloud Integration Gateway to make the conversion quick and scalable.
"With manufacturing spread out across multiple locations and a complex supply chain, it was essential to improve the management of such a complex security environment. Aiming for the goal of zero-trust security, DXC helped the manufacturer update security governance and revamp its security services and systems."
DXC’s implementation of automated processes, such as automated regression testing, was essential to the success of the S/4HANA conversion. Leveraging Micro Focus Unified Functional Testing (UFT) software, DXC developed more than 250 automated testing scripts. DXC coordinated multiple iterations of S/4HANA conversions and multiple dry runs and ensured that agile processes were being adhered to.
Moving the applications to S/4HANA in the cloud is providing increased flexibility and scalability, as well as cost savings. In addition to simplifying manufacturing operations, the move to S/4HANA is providing increased collaboration and an improved user experience for employees.
Improved data analytics are supporting key business decisions and enhanced scheduling capabilities for shop floor operations. By making operations run smoother and improving functionality, the S/4HANA cloud conversion is giving the company the ability to respond faster to market changes.