Etihad bumps SAP into SoftLayer

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Etihad bumps SAP into SoftLayer

Revamp falls under ten-year services deal.

Etihad Airways has rehomed its core SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment to run on IBM’s SoftLayer cloud.

Head of group enterprise architecture technology and innovation Takhliq Hanif told IBM's InterConnect conference in Las Vegas that the migration of core finance and human resources systems to the cloud had recently been completed.

The project sits broadly under a ten-year, $914 million (US$700 million) technology services deal Etihad struck with IBM in late 2015, which saw the airline shift “around 100” internal IT staff to the vendor.

Hanif said the airline had decided to be “cloud-first” and that had it used a mix of public and hybrid cloud environments to satisfy its overall goal.

This included shifting some workloads into IBM’s SoftLayer infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

“We’ve just completed a recent transformation program for SAP ERP [where] we worked with our IBM partners and team to move that into SoftLayer,” Hanif said.

“From an ERP perspective it was almost a decade ago when we started up the company that we put this [SAP] system in.

“We partnered with IBM to move the core HR and core finance environment into SoftLayer, [and we] came up with a migration strategy that was completed in around 4.5 months.”

Hanif said the airline held data such as passengers’ names, dates of birth and passport numbers in its ERP system, and as such security was paramount not just for storing the data but also for the process of rehoming it on IBM’s infrastructure.

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