When Endemol Shine switched to Amazon Cloud with its entire IT landscape, its SAP BPC application had to be moved to the cloud environment as well. The international TV production company operates worldwide, requiring 24 hours a day support for its financial processes. By outsourcing technical support in addition to functional and application support, the continuity of SAP BPC is guaranteed on Amazon.
Julia Heinemann (Swap Support) in conversation with Robert Michel (Endemol Shine)
“Our IT department wanted to change to Amazon Cloud,” says Robert Michel, Head of Accounting & Reporting at Endemol Shine, about the reason for moving SAP BPC to Amazon.
The international Endemol Shine has a partly Dutch background. Originating in Holland, Endemol was one of the largest global television producers and merged into the Endemol Shine Group in 2015. In July 2020, the entire group was taken over by Banijay. The new company is the world’s largest independent international content producer and distributor, with more than 120 production companies in 22 countries and more than 88,000 hours of original video content.
"Technical support also remains necessary around Amazon cloud, because we are still responsible for everything that happens on the server."
Robert Michel - Endemol Shine
Technical support on Amazon cloud
A widespread misunderstanding is that in the cloud, technical support is no longer required. Technical support remains necessary on Amazon Cloud, says Robert: “Ultimately, it is just a server, whether it is located at Amazon or with us. The advantage of switching to the cloud is that the hardware is regular and secure. But we are still responsible for everything that happens on the server.”
Switching to the cloud can even be the reason to outsource technical support. “In the cloud, you have to take several parties into account, including large companies such as Amazon. That makes it more complex,” says Julia Heinemann of Swap Support.
One point of contact for all types of SAP BPC support
Endemol Shine had already outsourced its functional and application support long before the switch to Amazon took place. “Our organization has been outsourcing parts of support to Swap Support for years,” says Robert. The reason for adding the outsourcing of technical support was the wish to facilitate users even better.
At the time, the company found itself in an extraordinary situation. Given the then intended sale of the company, investment decisions were temporarily postponed. “Our SAP BPC system has been in use for years now; it dates back to 2004. Most companies would have switched to a new tool, but we did not want to invest in a new system given the sale of the company. So, we wanted to get as much as possible out of our current system.”
By transferring functional, application, and technical support to one supplier, users have a single point of contact for all their SAP BPC questions. Read also the article: ‘Why companies outsource the 3 layers of management’.
24-hour continuity of financial processes in SAP BPC
In addition to facilitating users and wanting to get the most out of SAP BPC, there is another important reason for outsourcing technical support. “We are a global company and work in different time zones. As a result, we must be able to use SAP BPC 24 hours a day. So, the system must always be available,” says Robert.
The backup function has also been outsourced. This has several advantages. Firstly, the backups are continuously accessible. “Our IT department could also have done the backups, but because we need 24-hour continuity, it is better if Swap Support takes care of the backups. They can restore a backup in the middle of the night,” says Robert.
A second advantage is that the backups are readily available. “In Amazon Cloud, you still have to arrange the backups yourself. By outsourcing this part to Swap Support as well, the IT organization and myself are unburdened.”
Increase organizational controllability
Ensuring the continuity of the financial processes supports the strategy of the TV production company. “The organization’s steerability had to be increased. We see that the entire TV market is declining, causing advertisers to move to the internet and the market to shrink. Also, other broadcast channels are emerging, such as Netflix, with a completely different revenue model than the public broadcasters,” says Robert. “Thus, you have to be more careful with your cash and your means of production. To do that properly, you need to have timely information. That is why it was important to improve the information so that we can steer faster and take action where necessary.”
One advantage of Amazon Cloud is that you can temporarily increase the active users’ capacity at a peak. “You have to plan an increase in advance, but the temporary scalability is certainly a big plus,” says Julia.
Also, switching to the cloud ensures the standardization of the processes. Robert: “Before, we used local servers in Amsterdam, and the countries logged in to the Remote Desktop Server (RDS). Since everyone is on Amazon, we can all work the same way. The countries now all log in via appstream.”
"This frees up man-hours that we can use for other things; I can now deploy my team for the activities I want them to do."
Time for nicer things
Robert is enthusiastic about outsourcing support. “We see that it puts less of a burden on the IT department, but also on my financial team. This frees up man-hours that we can use for other things; I can now deploy my team for the activities I want them to do. For the team, this is also more fun than solving user questions.” The main result, however, is tranquility. “Outsourcing our support saves me from sleepless nights,” concludes Robert.
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