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Make the move to AWS with the Migration Acceleration Programme

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Ron VermeulenGlobal Product Manager
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Companies migrate to the cloud for many different reasons. Maybe they need to shut down an aging data centre. Or maybe they’re looking for new capabilities that are too expensive or too difficult to build and maintain in-house. Whatever the reason, they have another question to answer before they can start planning a migration:

Which cloud service is right for their needs?

Here at SoftwareOne, we’re vendor neutral. But we work closely with all three of the biggest hyperscalers – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure – so we have a deep understanding of the unique advantages, funding support and other programmes each can offer you. In this blog post, I’d like to talk about what you can expect if you’ve decided to migrate to AWS.

Getting started with the Migration Acceleration Programme

AWS has a proven methodology for helping organisations move to the cloud – the Migration Acceleration Program (MAP). This breaks the journey down into three stages:

  1. Assess,
  2. Mobilise, and
  3. Migrate and Modernise.

As an AWS partner, we know how to guide you through each of these stages and make your migration as effective and cost-efficient as possible.

The goal of the Assess stage is to build a detailed business case for migration. We work with you to define the business drivers, hiring and training costs, decommissioning costs, tooling costs and sunk costs to create an accurate picture of your total cost of ownership (TCO) over a period of up to 5 years. Key to this stage is the Optimisation and Licensing Assessment (OLA).

What you learn from an Optimisation and Licensing Assessment (OLA)

The goal of the OLA is to build an initial business case for migration, including a high-level picture of what the TCO will be if you move your existing workloads to AWS. We start with a 30-day, light-touch, automated discovery process to understand what your current on-premises environment and Microsoft licensing position looks like.

Using this information, we will provide you with a high-level assessment of the TCO on AWS and recommendations for how to use your existing licenses. The TCO information will help you understand whether you qualify for one of the two MAP funding programs: MAP Lite or MAP Large.

For customers with 100+ servers, the OLA is paid for through AWS funding and is completed at no cost to your organization.

Deciding which R is right for you

Next comes the Mobilise phase, where the outcome is a complete plan for the move to AWS, including how to build the fundamental landing zone for migration. This involves establishing priorities for each of your on-premises applications based on which of the 10 so-called Rs applies best.

Is the application a candidate for simple rehosting – a lift and shift where it’s migrated directly to the cloud with minor changes? Or is replatforming a better option, either a replatform (auto) that’s an automated migration or a replatform with some code changes to adjust applications for cloud infrastructure? Other Rs that might apply include refactor (migration with significant changes), relicense, retain or retire.

Choosing the right R is critical for a successful migration. For example, a lift and shift doesn’t necessarily bring all the values of cloud – and can end up being more expensive, depending on what your initial infrastructure looks like. And while rehost and relocate – are relatively simple to complete quickly, replatform and refactor require more effort. SoftwareOne can evaluate your application landscape and carefully consider all 7 Rs, including relicense, to bring applications to the best target model aligned to your needs.

7 migration strategies

In the Mobilise phase too, AWS offers help with funding, covering up to 50% of the costs involved, either as an immediate discount or as a credit on future AWS consumption.

Depending on the size of the workloads you end up migrating, you might also qualify for further AWS consumption discounts of 15% (MAP Lite) or 25% (MAP Large). After migration, you can expect to see significant efficiency improvements in infrastructure management by adding more and more automation, which will also help to reduce your costs going forward.

How one organisation made the move to AWS

A publisher and science research organisation we worked with had long relied on on-premises data centres, but – over time – that infrastructure ended up accumulating a lot of technical debt: out-of-date operating systems, code and hardware, along with several support contracts approaching end of life. This made it increasingly difficult to meet user expectations for digital services and innovation.

Working with our team, this organisation decided to migrate to AWS and created a Cloud Center of Excellence to optimize the move. At the same time, our team built a landing zone for the move to AWS and developed solutions to accelerate the organization’s pipelines for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD).

Using the AWS MAP programme, our team then created an in-depth business case for migration, along with a plan to manage business changes throughout the move. Together, the organization adopted a “migration factory” philosophy to ensure that multiple projects could be successfully delivered within aggressive timelines without business disruption. The move took place in two phases, with corporate workloads being moved first, followed by publishing workloads.

Since completing the migration, the organization’s IT maintenance demands are significantly lower than before. This has not only helped to reduce operational costs – the average saving on infrastructure costs by migrating to AWS is 31% – but freed up time for the organisation’s IT team to focus on innovating and optimising services. Our team continues to support the business by monitoring and managing its workloads to ensure they are compliant, secure and continually improving.

A journey of ongoing optimisation

That’s one key benefit of migrating to AWS using the MAP with SoftwareOne’s guidance: the opportunity for ongoing improvement.

SoftwareOne’s roots lie in licensing optimisation: we have extensive experience in making sure you don’t pay more than necessary while also keeping applications up to date and effective. What’s more, we have wide expertise in many other areas as well: automation and server-less workloads, managed services, application modernisation, FinOps – which optimizes cloud expenses and consumption – and more. We’re also unique in our ability to execute all 7 Rs – few other organizations can do that.

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Get cloud guidance from the pros. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our cloud experts.

Talk to a cloud expert

Get cloud guidance from the pros. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our cloud experts.


A man in a blue suit smiling for the camera.

Ron Vermeulen
Global Product Manager

 Cloud Services