Case Study Migration of an ERP to the Cloud

Case Study Migration of an ERP to the Cloud

Cloud Migration as a service

Table of Contents

Case Study Migration of an ERP to the Cloud

A Swedish retail corporation decided to organize its information processing through a Europe-wide ERP system due to business growth. This project mainly involved replacing old point of sale (POS) software in Sweden, Norway, and Finland with new ones, while also expanding this enterprise solution to other regions.

We began this venture two years ago, pouring over plans and pouring money into it. In spring of 2022, when all our systems went live, we could tell that this was going to be a make-or-break moment for the company if we wanted any chance at success as a modern business in the digital age.

Pre-migration IT infrastructure

Prior local server-based point of sale systems were used in the stores of the retail Company. Each store had one or more checkout stations comprising computer(s), screen(s), software application(s), digital payment platform (DPP), receipt printer(s) and item scanner(s) all connected to an on premise POS server. Moreover,  the organization leveraged  the CRM system for storage and retrieval of customer data through their POS terminals.

Business Goals and Needs

The organization moved to cloud technology because they needed an ERP system that would enable them to grow their business, reduce the cost of running multiple stores as well as make sales, products and pricing uniform across all outlets. This was also aimed at increasing elasticity while promoting customer focused interactions. In addition, the company was using outdated DPP software which needed replacement thus installing the same vendor’s cloud based POS solution.
The main driving force behind this move was having an omni channel Software-as-a-Service application supporting front office back office requirements where some business processes needed public access while others should remain private.

Solution Decided

The best approach here was using Software from Service (SaaS) provider. After evaluating different offerings, the organization settled for a commerce suite offered by one those vendors who hosts their solution over internet making it accessible through browsers without any installations required except internet connectivity . The vendor provided following applications as part of his package:

      1. Point Of Sale (POS) Application: At checkout points in stores.

      1. Daily Administration Application: Installed on PCs at each store for running the show when it comes to general operations management such us receipts printing , opening shifts/closing them etc.

      1. Back End Administration Application: Designed mainly for supervisors who will use them in creating logins or resetting passwords where necessary among other staff related activities like assigning roles according responsibilities held by workers sited within given branch etcetera

    Deployment and Installation

    They engaged a third party company which specialized in cloud based retail deployment projects so that they could assist with deployment, customization, troubleshooting & acting as liaison between themselves and the SAAS provider. Each outlet also had to outsource for another service provider who would do new hardware and software installations at their premises .  

    Responsibility and Security

    The ERP system was implemented as an IaaS, so the company had to handle infrastructure security, as well as updates and patches. For commerce, the cloud application adopted SaaS, which meant that most of the responsibilities were on the provider under the shared responsibility model. The organization focused on Identity and Access Management (IAM) besides implementing the least privilege principle for user access. Services level agreements (SLAs) were used to define responsibilities and obligations with the cloud service provider.

    Migration Phase Summary

    Preparation and Initial Testing:

    Requirement Specification and Design Solution: Done per country before rollout.

    Initial Testing: Took five weeks with three phases; these included:

    • system testing
    • System Integration Testing (SIT),
    • User Acceptance Testing (UAT),
    • Penetration Tests,
    • Bug fixes.

    These tests were repeated iteratively over 11 weeks alongside preparations for rollout.

    Support System:

    Design: Stores were to contact Service Desk for technical help while Super Users (Store Managers) were to handle operational questions.
    Deployment Team: Established to manage cloud application-related incidents in the first few weeks of operation.
    Incident Handling: Service desk or system owner reported incidents through the incident report system to the deployment team.
    Extended Support Hours: Service desk staffing was extended into evenings and weekends, and day shift personnel were increased.

    Training and Manuals:

    Materials: Manuals as well as training materials such as demonstration videos and test cases were placed in the intranet and shared online storage.

    Training: Store managers were given a demonstration by the system owner and required to train their employees. This was done approximately one week prior to go-live with access granted within UAT environment.

    Go-Live and Rollout:

    Initial Installation: In March 2022, the cloud application was installed in two test-pilot stores per market.

    Monitoring: It took about four weeks to monitor the test pilots and additional pilot stores before wider distribution.

    Rollout Schedule: March through June 2022 saw 15 – 20 stores being installed every week.

    Installation Protocol: A technician would contact the stores a day before, open them and install the first check-out point. An approval email was sent to the service desk after performing test protocol Back-end as well as daily administration applications were pre-installed on store office workstations.


    Support & technical challenges in the Post-Migration Phase

    The Number of Support Calls and Tickets increased: A significant number of support calls and tickets were created.

    Organisational & project management challenges

    There were also a number of challenges during the process of migrating to cloud which could be attributed to organisational or project management related issues. One such challenge was project management staff and expertise due to a long hiatus during the covid-19 pandemic.
    There was also a decision to execute the cloud migration project using agile methodology, which was the first time this methodology was used by the organization in a project.
    Additionally, there was a high level of complexity due to several large projects of dependence being executed parallelly, such as implementation of an ERP system, new CRM system, new DPP and new application for commerce.
    All of the challenges were recognized by the project management as
    contributing factors for delay of the migration phase of the cloud migration process. It was also recognized by the project management that more emphasis should have been on the as-is phase and that specification of requirements should have started earlier in the process and not simultaneously as designing the solution.


    • The migration process aligned well with established frameworks, especially in steps like requirement specification and maintenance. However, the organization did not compare cloud providers and placed less focus on data security and risk management. 
    • Challenges included interoperability, project complexity due to multiple integrations and concurrent projects, increased support needs post-deployment, and troubleshooting limitations with third-party providers. 
    • Success factors were related to effective project management and cloud acceptance, evidenced by well-planned support and deployment, adequate training, and user support. 

    The study contributes by affirming that established frameworks are representative of real-world cloud migration processes and can guide organizations. It also highlights the importance of recognizing potential challenges and success factors when planning for cloud migration.


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