to migrate all automation to the cloud
now managed by one employee
for a recent system upgrade
A global energy services company runs millions of critical business processes every month in its SAP ERP, ranging from supply chain management to finance to HR. With more than 40,000 employees in 70 countries, the company is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.
The company first deployed Redwood’s on-premises solution for workload automation and scheduling in 2009. This replaced Tivoli Maestro job management software, which the company had found to be cumbersome, high maintenance, and not user friendly. In addition, support fees had increased significantly after Maestro was acquired by IBM.
Redwood’s solution was much more user friendly. That in itself was a dramatic improvement from what we were using before and kept us from having to hand-hold during testing.” The company’s automation team lead and Redwood Administrator.
Redwood provided the company’s automation team with the flexibility to build custom schedules without having to use awkward workarounds. Its ease of use also allowed application support teams to handle their own testing during QA, freeing the automation team to stay lean and agile.
In 2019, the energy services company announced an initiative to move all infrastructure to the cloud, eliminating the cost of both its primary and backup data centers and associated maintenance. The company’s goal was to complete the migration within three years, starting with moving its automation to the cloud.
Redwood’s cloud-native RunMyJobs solution met and exceeded the company’s requirements. Already an advocate of Redwood based on his experience with its capabilities and service, the automation team lead at this energy services company said, “I have known Redwood for a long time and like them, and I like their support. When they asked my opinion I said, ‘Stick with Redwood.’”
Beyond helping the company meet its overall cloud initiatives, the move from on-premises automation to Redwood’s cloud automation would also significantly reduce costs by eliminating nearly a quarter of a million dollars for server hardware, management, and support.
Like flipping a switch
During implementation, a Redwood Professional Services consultant helped the company migrate the entire on-premises system to Redwood in the cloud. The company’s automation team lead had limited time to support the project but was able to rely on Redwood’s implementation expert. “The consultant would ask me what I needed, and I’d tell him. The next thing I knew, it was done.”
The Redwood consultant who worked on this implementation was top notch. Moving from on-premises to Redwood’s cloud solution was the closest and most true version of a ‘lift and shift’ I have seen in my 25 years in IT. We were able to seamlessly turn off on-premises and flip over to the cloud with minimal, if any, impact to our customers. It just doesn’t get any better.” The company’s automation team lead
Even while running 3 million jobs per month, the company was able to migrate all its automation to the cloud — from development to QA to live in production — in under three months.
In moving its business process automation to Redwood’s cloud solution, the energy services company saved time, saved money, reduced downtime, and became more efficient.
Trimming processes and cutting costs
After migration to the cloud, Redwood Professional Services also helped the company reduce the number of jobs needed to accomplish its process goals by identifying processes that could be combined or eliminated. The automation team also decreased execution count by taking advantage of Redwood’s event-driven architecture. By only triggering when required inputs, such as an uploaded file, are available, the need for frequent polling is eliminated.
The company cut the number of monthly executions by a third, from 3 million to 2 million, significantly improving efficiency and reducing complexity. “With the help of Redwood, we were able to optimize workflows,” said the automation team lead. In addition to the savings from streamlining, with Redwood’s usage-based model, “we are only paying for what we need,” he said. “So, there’s definitely a cost benefit.”
Shortening security access audits from days to hours
Previously, the automation team needed several days each quarter for mandatory user access audits. With Redwood, instead of manually adding and removing access for employees, security access is automated. When someone is added or removed from the security group, permissions are updated immediately. Quarterly audits now take a matter of hours instead of days, and permission access is more secure.
Virtually eliminating upgrade downtime
Downtime for system upgrades is also virtually eliminated with Redwood in the cloud. “I can remember the days when a 6-to-12-hour outage for upgrading a system was typical. But when you’re a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a week company, every outage counts,” said the automation team lead. “Now I don’t spend any time doing upgrades. That’s all handled by Redwood.” Describing a recent upgrade, he said, “It took two to five minutes, including a restart of the system. It wasn’t even noticeable.”
Seamlessly supporting a hybrid environment
Redwood’s automation was the first system the company moved to the cloud, which has proven helpful as other systems are migrated. Redwood can seamlessly support automation in a hybrid of cloud and on-premises environments in one system. This means the Redwood Administrator can automate every application from the same pane of glass, whether the application is still on-premises or running in the cloud. During migration, the application support team also has access to a Redwood test environment, allowing them to connect to their cloud-hosted applications and do testing in the same system that will ultimately run live processes after migration. “We can all be on the same page at the same time, and there are no surprises when we get to production,” said the automation team lead.
Freeing IT staff for business-critical tasks
Process automation for the entire business is now run by one full-time person and a few part-time contractors brought in on an ad hoc basis. Through ease-of-use features and complete elimination of maintenance with Redwood’s cloud implementation, the automation team lead can focus on the company’s strategic cloud migration initiatives. “We are running two million jobs a month, and it’s smooth as silk,” he said.
We can all be on the same page at the same time, and there are no surprises when we get to production.” The company’s automation team lead
For the automation team lead, one of Redwood’s biggest advantages is its Professional Services and Support teams. “I’m really big on Redwood’s support and implementation teams because I’ve seen them in action and they’re top notch,” he said. “I can put in a ticket day or night and, within a reasonable amount of time, I’m going to hear back and I’m going to get my problem solved. When we had a company mandate to write all our jobs with SFTP after years of using JFTP, it was totally new for us. A Redwood consultant helped with that too. You don’t know how valuable that level of service is until you need it and it’s not there. You can’t put a price on that.”