BP is a global energy company with wide reach across the world’s energy system. It provides customers with fuel for transport, energy for heat and light, lubricants to keep engines moving and the petrochemicals products used to make everyday items as diverse as paints, clothes and packaging. Each day, the company produces around 3.3 million barrels of oil equivalent. BP has total reserves of 17.81 billion barrels of oil equivalent and maintains operations in more than 70 countries. The company’s Upstream segment is responsible for oil and gas exploration, field development, and production, while its Downstream segment focuses on the refining and marketing of fuels, lubricants, and petrochemicals. The organization has 18,000 service stations and more than 74,000 employees worldwide.
BP’s Information & Technology Services (IT&S) organization manages many SAP applications used by thousands of employees globally. These applications are essential to the company’s day-to-day supply chain, order to cash, procurement, and finance activities.
As BP continues to focus on simplifying and modernizing its activities, the IT&S function has needed to make a step change in agility and flexibility to support business initiatives. “BP had previously invested in our data centers, but we were not fully utilizing the infrastructure we had and our ability to get a project up and running could take months” Fortune says. “We knew we needed to consider options that would give us more flexibility and allow us to be more responsive. Our strategy has evolved. We need the agility to be competitive when prices, policy, technology and customer preferences are changing – and that’s what we get with AWS”.
Why Amazon Web Services
BP selected AWS as its cloud technology provider for one of the company’s SAP applications running in its global Castrol Business as it was evidently able to meet the required objectives for flexibility, agility, and reliability.
BP had started the cloud journey for SAP workloads by initially implementing a SAP HANA–based ‘agile analytics’ reporting and insights system in AWS. The company uses the solution to deliver analytical dashboards to executives and provide financial data to the BP finance organization.
It was the success of that implementation that led to BP moving its first production ECC to AWS, and BP worked closely with AWS Enterprise Support teams to ensure a smooth migration. The solution utilizes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) R4 instances. The R4 instances are memory-optimized instances that can run large in-memory applications.
BP has seen significant savings in annual licensing, support and maintenance costs by running the lubricants ECC system on AWS, and will now progress the entire SAP landscape to the cloud in the next 18 months. In the Castrol example, BP maintained 11 physical servers, including database and application servers, to support the production instance, and those servers can now be decommissioned. In addition, the system was under-utilized when it was hosted in the on premise data center. On AWS, BP only pays for what it uses and can flex system size according to processing needs, which helps control costs much more efficiently.
Moving to AWS has also increased the performance of the lubricants ERP system, and in terms of average response times, the system is running around 40 percent faster on the AWS Cloud.
“BP needs the agility to be competitive when prices, policy, technology and customer preferences are changing - and that's what we get with AWS. Recently, we fully provisioned 220 virtual machines on AWS - from initial planning to app design layout, provisioning and production - in one week.”
Steve Fortune, Group CIO