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Aviatrix Blog

How Heineken Achieved Their Business-Critical Cloud Migration Goals Quickly and Securely

For those who may have missed the recent webinar with Henk Giesbertz, a seasoned cloud network consultant at Heineken International, and Aviatrix’s Vice President of Solutions Marketing Rod Stuhlmuller and Principal Solution Architect Dennis Hagens, we’ll do a quick webinar rewind, and recap some top highlights. You can listen to the full conversation on-demand here.  


Seeking a cloud-first strategy, one that embraced the integration of legacy cloud applications from all the operational companies and innovation in form of automation, Heineken moved from a fully managed service provider (MSP) model to Aviatrix in early 2019. With a dispersed landscape of companies Heineken works with around the world, including the value chain—customers, internal customers, consumers, suppliers, etc.— they needed seamless digital connections between the value chain operations as well as standardization in the applications, and connectivity. To give some perspective, Henk and his connectivity team are responsible for Heineken Global, which comprise 800-900 sites where they work on onboarding security and alongside other backbone teams. It’s a small team made up of 12-13, including Aviatrix’s Advanced Cloud Services and some support from MSPs. 


Rod opened the discussion noting that he’s big fan of referring to Heineken as the “best-connected brewer.” With all various connections that the network is making—from mobile phone apps, the brewery, distribution centers, sales, etc.—a lot of people don’t often think about a brewery connecting so many different groups to run the business. 


Discussion Highlights:  

Heineken has been using SAP for a long time in the data center but wanted to move the business-critical application into the cloud – for business agility and to be able to create and deploy applications faster and more efficiently. To do this, they needed to reduce both the complexity and staff required to deploy, operate, and troubleshoot in the multicloud network that the application required to support multiple global business units. 


Like many other similar teams, Heineken’s application and SAP teams expect apps to work like electricity in the cloud. The infrastructure teams thought they could work in the cloud native constructs. However, as Henk’s team knew, it’s not as simple as it sounds. The cloud can be easy for end users and developers, but that is not the case for Henk’s team as they must factor in the highest level of security, enterprise-grade controls, and visibility into the network given how critical uptime and performance is for these applications. In the cloud, it’s more complex especially as cloud service providers (CSPs) have different constructs, services, and methods used to construct cloud-based networks. 


Being a large global company, Heineken has had many acquisitions, which comes with various applications, local cloud implementations, etc. As Henk noted, everything starts out simple, but once you need data to connect, that is when enterprises like Heineken encounter challenges such as overlapping outlier networks and security. For these reasons, Heineken opted to use Aviatrix for the integration and onboarding of Heineken’s remote clouds, as well as the ability to cope with the overlapping outliers. The immediate connection delivers security, so he and his team are able see everything that is going on in the network. With Aviatrix, he noted, you can set up once for the integration and then have a default or a blueprint that can be used across any cloud—from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Microsoft Azure. With Aviatrix, the Heineken team gets immediate insights that they would have been unable to procure from CSP black boxes. 


For Heineken and many large enterprises, automation is key. Building Infrastructure as Code (IaC) helps drive faster deployment and response time to the applications teams. When Aviatrix started working with Heineken, they started at zero when it came to automation and IaC. Dennis noted that when Heineken completely implemented Aviatrix, it only took three hours and Heineken had full multicloud up and running. In the past, using various service providers, it would have taken weeks to months to sift through the complexity and get something simple set up. In the end, Aviatrix saves the Heineken team time and money as the speed of delivery is so much faster and automation takes away lot of the manual process burden. 


Learn more about how Aviatrix Intelligent Cloud Networking is helping Heineken and other large enterprises to deliver consistent networking, security, automation, and operational visibility that simplifies both initial deployments and ongoing day-two operations – maximizing SAP application uptime and minimizing SAP project costs by listening to the full, drill-down discussion here.   


If you’d like to talk to Aviatrix about streamlining your business-critical application migration, please drop us a line here.