The pace of change for enterprise customers is increasing every day. New demands from customers, suppliers, and executive leadership creates friction with traditional operating models for IT. Keeping up with growing demand for compute resources to optimize workload efficiency and scale is a never-ending job. On premises systems are designed to be non-elastic; the ability to scale workloads to meet the optimal need of n tier architecture design is virtually impossible to manage for an in-house data center. Coupled with the growing demand for scalable infrastructure, organizations are spending valuable time focused on managing aging and obsolete hardware. Instead of the enterprise being focused on the increased demand for new value-added solutions to drive business value, many organizations are focused on maintaining systems infrastructure. Moving from a maintenance operating mode to an outcome driven mode is difficult when facing long lead times for compute resources, support for legacy hardware, and legacy systems.
Pacific Steel & Recycling is an industry leader in scrap recycling, commercial recycling, consumer recycling, E-Recycling, and steel manufacturing. Pacific Steel and Recycling, a 100% employee-owned organization headquartered in Great Falls, Montana, has over 46 branch offices in Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Montana and Alberta, Canada. Pacific Steel & Recycling was built on a strong foundation, centered around its’ customers – reaching out to them, identifying their needs, and offering the very best in service and quality. By following that philosophy, Pacific Steel and Recycling has been in business for more than 120 years. Being a 100% Employee-owned business enables Pacific to be relentlessly focused on the ultimate in customer satisfaction.
Pacific Steel and Recycling, a longtime customer and user of Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, needed to upgrade their existing application and tools code line for EnterpriseOne. The upgrade from EnterpriseOne 9.0 to 9.2 would require Pacific to procure new hardware to run in their on-premises data center. Pacific took a unique approach to their upgrade process. Instead of simply utilizing the existing functionality of EnterpriseOne, Pacific’s CIO Kenneth Hess had three key initiatives for the upgrade lifecycle: agility, innovation, and cost-effective solutions.
AutoDeploy, an AWS and Oracle partner, had been discussing the benefits of cloud scale technology with Pacific. After an extensive assessment phase for the ERP upgrade, Pacific made the decision to use Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) as its technology platform. Using AutoDeploy’s 3 click AllInOne AMI on the AWS Marketplace, Pacific was able to provision the latest tools release for EnterpriseOne in minutes starting the upgrade journey for the EnterpriseOne ERP solution used to manage multiple lines of business within Pacific.
Pacific’s upgrade of EnterpriseOne running on AWS was a huge success for both IT and the business. Running EnterpriseOne on AWS has increased infrastructure reliability, improved system performance, enabled an agile and scalable infrastructure that supports internal business users, and deliver compelling outcomes for customers. Compute resources and services can be provisioned in minutes instead of days, enabling Pacific to be able to rapidly respond to end user needs. During the first weeks of the COVID pandemic, Pacific was able to deliver Workspaces to their distributed workforce, dimension a disaster recovery (“DR”) model that is fault tolerant and easy to manage, turn off their data center that used to run EnterpriseOne, and migrate their remaining on-premise servers to AWS.
Most businesses running their ERP on-premises are hesitant to move their workloads to the Cloud. Pacific has realized new business outcomes, reduced their time and management cost of legacy hardware, and delivered value added drivers to business users. “If you can move your ERP to the cloud, you can move any workload to the Cloud. The benefits of AWS are worth exploring for EnterpriseOne customers,” said Kenneth Hess, CIO of Pacific Steel & Recycling. “With technology like AWS, it didn’t make sense to try to maintain on premise hardware any longer. AutoDeploy has been a trusted partner helping us migrate our EnterpriseOne workloads to AWS. Working with AutoDeploy and utilizing AWS has been a key driver for our IT organization. AutoDeploy and AWS both embrace a customer first mentality that aligns to Pacific’s customer centered mission.”
Utilizing EnterpriseOne running on AWS has created a seamless end to end infrastructure landscape, enabled new modes of interacting with EnterpriseOne as a REST based platform, and created a transparent cost model that IT can manage and control in real time. Pacific’s IT is no longer focused on maintenance of hardware and supporting aging technology solutions, facilitating an outcome-based mentality that creates new opportunities for a company that is driven to focus on customers and employee-owners. Pacific’s IT thinks about what is best for customers and employee-owners. It is critical that systems architecture and design enable the whole of the technology portfolio to be the best fit for Pacific. As Kenneth Hess stated, “in working with AutoDeploy and AWS, for the first time in my career as an executive in the technology space, I am confident that we are on pace with the accelerating technology curve.”
Example Services of Pacific Steel & Recycling’s Amazon Web Services technology portfolio:
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
Elastic Load Balancing
Amazon Relational Database Service
Amazon EC2 Container Registry (ECR)
AWS Key Management Service
AWS Direct Connect