A small computer consultancy in Reading could have nabbed the biggest ever SAP migration to Amazon Web Services project in Europe.

Lemongrass Consulting, which is said to turn over around £3 million a year, was chosen by Seaco to migrate its SAP estate to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Seaco has one of the largest sea container fleets in the world and now runs its entire IT estate on Amazon.

A big cloud computing coup for a small consultancy in Reading. © iStock/Peshkova
A big cloud computing coup for a small consultancy in Reading. © iStock/Peshkova

Its global AWS-hosted SAP landscape now includes ERP, CRM, Business Warehouse, Enterprise Portal, Business Intelligence, Gateway, Content Server and Solution Manager. In addition, all management tools and applications previously hosted in a traditional data centre have been migrated to AWS.

Seaco says it will be able to reduce costs by 50 percent as a result. Kate Hanaghan, an analyst at TechMarketView, said: “This project caught our eye for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this is a significantly sized implementation carried out not by a Capgemini or an Accenture, for instance, but by a UK-based consulting firm turning over only around £3 million.”

But, she added, a “definite trend has emerged” whereby small UK consultancies – such as Lemongrass, Smart421 and Cloudreach – have established themselves as key AWS implementation partners “taking on some of the most progressive public cloud projects”.

Hanaghan said: “We are of the view that the Lemongrass/Seaco deal is certainly amongst the largest SAP production migrations to AWS in Europe. Indeed, it could even be the largest.”

AWS does not disclose how many enterprises have put full production SAP workloads into its cloud, although AWS has previously cited three European deployments, including News Corporation, News International and the University of Amsterdam.

Hanaghan said: “This is certainly something of a coup for Lemongrass and a fantastic reference customer. The question is, how many other enterprises are ready to make the same leap as Seaco? The answer is that there are many that are very interested in doing so, but only a relatively small number that will be likely to make the commitment this year.”

While Accenture missed out on the Seaco project, it does have other major cloud migrations on the go. Earlier this week, it announced that it is enabling global mining company Rio Tinto to move its core IT systems into the cloud. The Rio programme includes the modernisation of the company’s existing ERP and information management platforms, consolidating and hosting these applications in the public cloud.