back to article Vodafone to move SAP S/4HANA ERP system to Google Cloud

Vodafone has announced it is migrating its SAP S/4HANA ERP platform from an on-premises installation to Google Cloud. In a statement released today, the global telecoms provider, which boasts revenue of around €45.58 billion (c $44 billion), said it had been running on on-premises for 15 years, "during which time it has …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes, let's just hand it to them on a plate

    All that lovely jucy customer data, now available without any effort to a company known to be very careful when acquiring personal data and which has no links to the US, no siree.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Ah yes, let's just hand it to them on a plate

      I'd agree that loss of data sovereignty is a potentially catastrophic risk. But, thus far, there is not the slightest indication of Google doing anything with customer data on its compute engine. It doesn't really need to: the costs of getting the data back make it very much a one way bet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah yes, let's just hand it to them on a plate

      Google using their headline customers' customer's data would sink them reputationally and financially.

      These contracts are usually worth multi billion $, so do you really believe that the people doing these deals, along with the countless lawyers involved won't include hefty penalties for even minor cock ups?

      They will be making far more in profit from this than they would from your weird history of 'Google and M$ are shit haha'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ah yes, let's just hand it to them on a plate

        It's only a risk if you get caught.

        Getting caught is only a problem if you suffer consequences.

        Consequences only exist if you don't have leverage on practically everyone using the Net.

        Fines only matter if they're more than a mere rounding error on your balance sheet.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge

    Nice work if you can get it

    Sometime, these mega-projects read as though a bunch of techies are just building their CVs. First do the migration to on-prem. Then to cloud. All that lovely experience. Next up, move it all to a competing product.

    'Cos Agile.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice work if you can get it


      Seagull management. Someone in the C-Suite has managed to eye up Capex vs Opex and can hide the true cost in enough spreadsheets so it boosts his/her chances of another big bonus. This won't have been driven by the techies.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Frequency of updates

    Vodafone also said it would increase its release-cycle frequency for its SAP software from bi-annual rollouts to weekly ones, increasing agility and introducing features faster.

    Spoken like someone who has had little or no experience of enterprise software where change is (rightly in most contexts) viewed as the enemy.

    SAP is a beast and has pernicious licensing but its history in the enterprise means, that once you've spent all the millions customising it, it will generally do what you want and then keep doing it. Just don't try thinking you can change anything. I don't even need to say quickly, it doesn't exist in the SAP approved dictionary.

    However, the biggest problem with this is the idea that things might end up being cheaper. That's only ever going to happen if you figure out a way to get off SAP. Otherwise, any savings you may will soon be mopped up by new licensing conditions.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's always interesting to see telcos instead of becoming cloud powerhouses themselves...

    ... send everything to external supplier and reduce themselves more and more to SIM resellers and marketing departments. But hey, this is the company the previous CEO greatest achievement was to move offices inside London so management had more expensive restaurants and clubs nearby, His stint as Italian minister is over - do you want him back?

    A book seller could become the largest cloud provider - "mighty" telcos made so much money investing so little they keep on dreaming about making easy money with flashy ads promising the latest mobe - let see how long it will last.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's always interesting to see telcos instead of becoming cloud powerhouses themselves...

      Go see BT Cloud Computing…. which is a complete turd.

      Even EE - UK’s biggest mobile supplier and a BT Group business - junked it for AWS for their Retail EPoS solution.

  5. ducatis'r us

    They’re HUUUUUGE.

    300 mobile subscribers in 21 countries !

    1. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

      Re: They’re HUUUUUGE.

      Yeah they could run that on a 1-2-3 spreadsheet like it’s 1995. That’d save a bunch of money and hassle over using SAP!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They’re HUUUUUGE.

        Heck, they could have even managed this with the spreadsheet pack in a Psion Organiser II :).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They’re HUUUUUGE.

          Ah, sorry. Too old for most of you? Here is some help :)

          Mine STILL works.

    2. Jim Willsher

      Re: They’re HUUUUUGE.

      I was going to say the same. Yeah huge! All 300!

  6. andy 103
    IT Angle

    Can we get to the nitty-gritty behind these decisions?

    "The traditional on-prem, highly customised ERP solution, absolutely, positively has to give way to a more SaaS-based ERP solution," he said.

    "... perhaps the way you've operated ... five years ago is not the way you want to operate it today ... How your business is operating in a post-pandemic world, there could be a lot of opportunities" Scott said.

    So what - at a technology level - is different to running infrastructure on prem vs in the cloud that was vastly different 5 years ago? What does the post-pandemic world have to do with any of this?

    That stock response from Scott seems to be the kind of bullshit cloud vendors will have sold to him on the basis that "the cloud" is the answer to everything: costs less, is easier to maintain, it's more secure**.. and also has zero migration costs and risks. Anyone competent knows this is absolute nonsense. Moving services to the cloud does not result in automatic benefits, but cloud vendors seem keen to tell everyone otherwise.

    So please enlighten me as to what, other than the hardware not being on their premises and the pricing model, is actually any different to what they were doing 5 years ago?

    ** Re security: "hosting SAP on Google Cloud is a foundation for digital innovation and maintaining cybersecurity"

    Except it doesn't result in any cybersecurity benefits, lest we forget that GCP instances are unmanaged.

  7. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    Not Convinced

    Wondering what the actual business drivers is here. Not just because the C-heads have been shown the latest snake oil. If I was running something that business critical, I’d want hardware I can kick and people to fix it. Yes cloud is sold as resilient etc but I’d want to be shown inter-centre failover working first before even thinking about the merits of spending huge amounts of cash on it.

  8. OculusMentis

    Is cloud infrastructure really secure

    I’m not an expert here but is cloud infrastructure really a total panacea?

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Re: Is cloud infrastructure really secure

      Of course not. It's just someone else's servers.

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