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Over the past two hundred years, adhering to the principle of excelsior, relying on the sagacity of seeing the opportunities ahead, Swire Group has grown into a highly diversified business group with business interests covering real estate, aviation, beverage and food chain, ocean services, trade and industrial. The subordinate enterprise Swire Coca-Cola owns the exclusive selling right to manufacture, promote and distribute Coca-Cola products in 11 provinces in mainland China and Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and a wide range of western United States with a franchise region covering population of 728 million.

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We have closed the data center located at Hangzhou, and all the application programs have been transferred to AWS to reduce the infrastructure cost. At the same time, dependable services are provided through AWS.

Calvin Ho

Group Manager of Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Service & IT Operations, Swire Coca-Cola


With AWS for one-time and comprehensive cloud access, we can expand the direct service objects of IT systems from tens of thousands of business representatives to millions of customers, and even to hundreds of millions of consumers to realize digital transformation.

Ke Li

Manager, Cloud Service & IT Operations, Swire Coca-Cola

 

Application background

Swire Coca-Cola is a company highly based on IT technology for business operations, with a set of complete IT system covering production, sales, logistics, financing, data analysis, manpower management, IT system management and other links including SAP system, leading end operation system, Data Warehousing, supply chain management system, sales tracking system, vending machine system and so on, making extensive use of mobile applications.

Throughout the business region, more than 10,000 marketing representatives visit and inspect end customers every day. IT system is their very important weapon. They use the hand-held terminal to connect IT system to complete daily business including ordering, inventory and price, display, inspection and the intelligent management of hundreds of thousands of market facilities based on IoT. Before the delivery team goes out for delivery, the IT system will provide a full range of IT services from the aspects of intelligent voice sorting of warehouse products, loading order of goods, and optimal route planning for driving to unify management and improve efficiency.

In view of the high attention to the IT system, Swire Coca-Cola has built a strong data center infrastructure over the years. There are three data centers equipped with minicomputers, X86 servers, high-end storage, network security and management equipment, and a impeccable redundancy and disaster preparedness architecture. More than 600 servers and hundreds of systems provide business support. Many solutions of many different companies including IBM、Oracle、SAP、Avaya、Cisco、Microsoft were used.

With the advent of mobile and digital wave, digital transformation has become the strategic direction of Swire Coca-Cola. In the digital age, the reach of IT system has expanded from within the company to millions of customers and even hundreds of millions of consumers. The business type and number of users that IT system needs to support shall increases exponentially, and requires to rapidly adjust the resource to respond to market changes. This requires a stronger and more flexible IT architecture that supports rapid innovation, especially considering promoting, low season, peak season and other factors, the IT architecture is required to have a very powerful expansibility, elasticity, and flexibility. The ability of the traditional IT architecture is not up to the task, and Swire Coca-Cola decides to be on the cloud.

Closing Legacy Data Centers

After confirming digital transformation based on cloud computing, Swire Coca-Cola makes a very enterprising decision: implementing the overall cloud migration strategy, transferring and operating all the data center business system including SAP, CRM and in AWS, and completely closing 3 production centers including offline production and disaster recovery.

CIO Dominic Wheeler from Swire Coca-Cola believes that the reason for not taking the hybrid cloud route and closing the data center and going to the cloud all at once is because this can completely remove the traditional IT burden and allow the team to be reborn under a new IT model. Work with business departments to accelerate the pace of IT application innovation, fully embrace digital transformation, and strengthen the company's business advantages. Therefore, on the occasion of the rent computer room expiration for Swire Coca-Cola, he supports Swire Coca-Cola to close the data center and go to the cloud all at once , and his ideas obtain the backing of the business and the company's leadership.

The decision of comprehensively going to the cloud is very enterprising of Swire Coca-Cola, and the execution process is more excelsior, rigorous and pragmatic. In the process of implementing, Swire Coca-Cola has designed a migration plan that has almost no impact on the business, ensures that the functions and performance of each system on the cloud are enhanced and improved through perfect project management and design, giving practical confidence to other departments. It is a big challenge for such an enormous IT system to close the data center and comprehensively go to the cloud. After several rounds of investigation, Swire Coca-Cola believes AWS can undertake this important task and help the IT team of Swire Coca-Cola to carry out the grand digital transformation project.

Calvin Ho, group manager of enterprise architecture, cloud service & operations at Swire Coca-Cola commented, “AWS is an internationally outstanding cloud computing service provider with advanced technology, diversified services, and guidance for the future, which can meet the operating requirements under the complex enterprise application environment. At the same time, AWS has a very pragmatic and customer-oriented corporate culture. It is goal-oriented and invests resources to solve problems and promote the completion of goals with quick response and high efficient. ”

Going All-In on AWS

Swire Coca-Cola deploys in AWS. The entire project was set up at the end of 2017, and began to implement in early 2018. All system switching was officially completed in November 2018. The original data center was cleaned up in March 2019, the data center was successfully closed and comprehensively go to the cloud all.

The entire migration process was simplified and carried out in stages according to the previous plan. The first was network planning and testing. When self-building a data center, Swire Coca-Cola had a complete network topology design and network security settings throughout the business region. After moving to the cloud, the security settings should be kept unchanged, and only after the test was valid could the application be migrated. Only after several rounds of testing could the application be migrated according to the plan. First migrated the application loosely coupled with the core SAP system, such as development testing, big data analysis systems, etc. The migration plan was verified using this process; finally migrated the core SAP system. The two online and offline systems were in parallel in the process of migration, and all system switching were completed until November 2018.

In the face of achievements, all memories are happy, including a variety of difficulties that the two teams of Swire Coca-Cola and AWS have overcome.

Taking the cloud on SAP system as an example, the original data center of Swire Coca-Cola ran a complete SAP system, using the traditional cluster technology to deploy HA high availability architecture, and disaster preparedness synchronization and switching function based on storage layer replication. After going to the cloud, all these functions had to be realized on cloud, however, there were no services and concepts on the cloud that correspond to traditional technology solutions. The two teams had put a lot of thought into this and discussed a lot of workarounds. Aiming at the workarounds, relying on the extensive and distinguished ecological system of AWS, taking full advantage of the resources and assistance of local and global teams, searching for the suitable tools and referring to the overseas experience, after several rounds of program testing and stress testing, the AWS team worked out the final technological plan, and the migrated system also improved in terms of performance.

Swire Coca-Cola introduced a number of third-party tools in its move to the cloud, such as SIOS HA, Veritas HA, F5, CheckPoint, Veritas NBU, CPM, CloudEndure and so on, which is a huge challenge for a migration project of this size. The performances of some tools were found less stable after testing, and needed to help the migration tool developer to do software debugging; the scale of the developers for some tools was very small and there was no team in China, which needed to be customized according to the need of Swire Coca-Cola.

In a word, under the full coordination of AWS professional service team, salespersons, solution architects, and enterprise support services team, this difficult task was completed successfully.

Benefits

Ke Li, manager of cloud service & IT pperations for Swire Coca-Cola, concluded that using AWS to comprehensively go to the cloud, in addition to the improvement of the application system performance, the benefits to Swire Coca-Cola mainly include the following three aspects:

The first is to respond quickly to business needs. In the mode of self-built data center, it usually takes several months from project establishment, approval, equipment selection, arrival of goods, installation and deployment to prepare software and hardware resources for the application.

The second is to use new technology to drive business. After going to the cloud, the rapid application of the new technology has been accelerated. Things like in-memory databases, serverless architectures, IoT, and AI can be quickly deployed using AWS services to provide more powerful impetus for business development.

The third is to reduce the operational complexity of the underlying architecture, and can flexibly expand and distribute resources according to the differences and changes of the low season and peak season.

Swire Coca-Cola's business systems mainly operate in the AWS China (Beijing) Region operated by Sinnet. Figure 1 is a schematic diagram for the system architecture of Swire Coca-Cola. Applications using AWS Cloud services includeAmazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), Amazon VPC Flow Log, Amazon Redshift, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway,Amazon Elasticsearch Service, etc. With the opening of the AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region, business of Swire Coca-Cola in Taiwan and Hong Kong is also ready for subsequent deployment in AWS Hong Kong.

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Figure 1 Diagram for AWS - Based System Architecture of Swire Coca-Cola

The data center and the migration of application system is just the beginning. In the next step, Swire Coca-Cola will adhere to a comprehensive digital transformation strategy. The focus of the future is to gradually optimize the architecture of traditional applications, better adapting to the efficient, fast and flexible requirements of the digital age. At the same time, the team is tempered, the development thinking and operation mode is transformed, so that IT has more time to focus on the business and better support the company's business development.

More Information

To learn more about AWS retail/FMCG industry innovative transformation solutions, please visit Application of AWS in the Retail Industry.

To learn how to establish business application program in the cloud (such as Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle), please visit Business Apps.