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Palmer Johnson Power Systems ERP Azure Migration

Business Situation

To increase data security and allow for future scalability, Palmer Johnson's CFO commissioned us to manage an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) migration project. Migrating to the cloud would drastically reduce the need for IT assets within Palmer Johnson’s facility and provide better performance and reliable backups with less maintenance time and without large upfront costs.

The company’s former hardware-based system required large annual or biannual expenses in order to increase storage space or improve performance and speed. For example, adding a 200 GB virtual machine to increase storage would cost at least $35,000 and result in unused bandwidth. Spikes of that magnitude complicated fiscal planning, rather than supporting an incremental, efficient purchase of additional space as needed.

“Working with the Core team on this project was a great experience from my end. Pleasant, talented, timely, caring, and organized. Hard qualities to find in an IT partner!”

CFO | Palmer Johnson Power Systems

Our Solution

We used Microsoft Azure to move on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, allowing for more predictable monthly expenses and external management of server storage, CPU, and memory. The project was completed in approximately two months, which included an expanded scope of additional discovery work. Our project team was able to run all of the work out of its own offices, eliminating the need for travel costs or unnecessary labor time lost in transit.

We deployed and implemented a backup system for six servers: four remote desktop servers, one SQL server, and one domain controller. With our solution, Palmer Johnson pays only for the additional amount of space needed on a server, rather than investing substantial overhead whenever an increase in capacity was necessary. If Palmer Johnson needs to deploy additional remote servers in the future, the process is user-friendly and cost-efficient. We provided Palmer Johnson with a remote desktop server image and the relevant training, including a step-by-step guide, to be completely self-sufficient any time in deploying remote servers.

All six servers were backed up to two different regions, which ensures data preservation, business continuity, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery. In the case of server failure, employees would lose only about five minutes of work time.

The Results

The multiple stages, each contingent on prior testing, were executed successfully under budget. Palmer Johnson’s CFO was pleased with the initial migration and requested that we use the remaining budget to migrate a file server, which was the last critical system running in the on-premises data center. Now, Palmer Johnson does not use any remote desktop servers or file servers in the data center. The company is operating almost 100% in the cloud from a back-end perspective. Front-end technology, in the form of individual employees’ devices, is the only IT physically located at the Palmer Johnson offices.

In addition to having a positive impact on fiscal planning, the ERP migration has resulted in quantifiable cost savings. We leveraged Azure Automation Services to implement an automation runbook, a scheduled script that shuts down three of the four remote desktop servers from 6 pm - 6 am Mondays through Fridays and on weekends, giving Palmer Johnson additional cost savings. Further costs savings were realized by Palmer Johnson as this migration reduces the amount of the time the organization’s IT team is required to maintain their on-premises environment.

Finally, the move to Azure has become a strategic enabler for Palmer Johnson’s growth through acquisition plans. Azure allows the organization to act nimbly and removes the need to acquire physical hardware when new businesses are acquired by Palmer Johnson.

Palmer Johnson’s CFO is enthusiastic about our technological acumen, speed, and dedication: “Working with the Core team on this project was a great experience from my end. Pleasant, talented, timely, caring, and organized. Hard qualities to find in an IT partner!”

About Palmer Johnson Power Systems

Palmer Johnson is a distributor of powertrain components for the off-highway industry.

Technologies Used

Azure Automation Services

Azure Backup

Azure Site Recovery

Azure Storage & Cold Storage

Azure Virtual Machines

Azure Virtual Networking