Global footwear giant K-SWISS improves security and operations while reducing cost with cloud2021-08-02T12:17:02-05:00

Project Description


With a data center located in an earthquake zone prone to brush fires, K-SWISS IT leadership sought to modernize their underlying infrastructure to support the growing global business as well as position the company for a digital transformation to SAP S/4HANA.

“I’ve been around SAP since 2005 – Protera is a very reliable partner and AWS is a solid platform to run SAP on.”

-Bob Sobel, Director of IT Infrastructure

Founded in Los Angeles, K-SWISS has been designing and manufacturing tennis shoes since 1966 and has since evolved into a global portfolio of lifestyle brands.

K-SWISS was running an older SAP application on premise that required a hardware, OS and database refresh. After migrating to a private cloud environment, IT leadership at K-SWISS saw increasing, unstable operating costs and deteriorating service from their cloud provider.

Bob Sobel, Director of IT Infrastructure at K-SWISS sought to migrate their SAP systems to a more agile platform at a fixed cost and work with a certified SAP partner for ongoing management. Additionally, after K-SWISS was recently acquired by a company headquartered in China, the integration of global systems was critical.

“Our former private cloud services provider was not transparent about run cost and we had suffered through some outages,” explains Sobel. “It was imperative we migrate to an SAP-certified cloud and work with an SAP-certified managed services partner, and we found that in AWS and Protera.”

A Seamless Migration for K-SWISS

Within 48 hours, using information directly from K-SWISS’ existing source environment, Protera was able to provide an automated assessment of the target environment on AWS using Protera FlexBridge, the company’s SAP-certified self-service operations platform for SAP+ related applications on cloud. The assessment included:

• A list of remediation items required to be resolved prior to the transformation
• Target architecture of the SAP footprint on AWS
• Complete project timeline and the cost

This identified major changes to the end state technical solution, including recommendations to upgrade to supported versions of OS, SAP and DB, as well as the ability to load balance with higher performance at a lower cost. “It’s important that you select the right platform and an SAP certified partner who knows your systems,” said Sobel.

The project scope increased from migrating only SAP ECC to including Business Warehouse, XI and Master Data Management. Despite the significant additions, K-SWISS systems went live on AWS ahead of the scheduled go live date. Protera provided the K-SWISS team with rehearsal systems and test environments early on to continue with projects in flight during the migration process so as not to impact other IT led projects.

Additionally, K-SWISS selected Protera for ongoing management of their SAP systems on AWS. “I haven’t had to worry about security compliance patches, maintenance, or SAP Basis support. Protera handles it all and honors our change control processes.”

Global Integration and a Growth-Ready Platform

Now live on AWS, and after recently being acquired by a company headquartered in Beijing, China, K-SWISS faced another challenge – to integrate global systems across a hybrid model. K-SWISS’ parent company chose to migrate their SAP S/4HANA systems on AWS, with Protera supporting the global network.

“All of our global systems needed to talk to one another. This challenge was solved with Protera and AWS, leveraging all AWS networking technology to connect the systems,” said Sobel.

The migration and management solution provided by Protera and AWS serves as a model for future acquisitions by K-SWISS’ parent company, supporting inorganic growth with agility, greater visibility and reduced cost.

“Running SAP on AWS offers us a global networking reach, with the ability to start another system with a couple of clicks,” says Sobel. “Protera has provided K-SWISS with an agile, growth ready platform that offers us an accurate centralized service with proactive monitoring and optimization.”

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