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Off into the cloud

Vitesco Technologies migrates the Windchill PLM system to AWS

The Windchill PLM system is critical for business activity

Server room with cloud floating in the room.

To achieve this, Vitesco Technologies is pursuing a clear strategy which focuses on sustainability, embodies the company values, and loves the brand: “Passionate, cooperative and ground-breaking.” Up to now, Vitesco Technologies was a division of Continental AG. Continental decided to bundle the expertise for drive technology into a separate company and opted for a spin-off. The new company subsequently had to stand on its own two feet. This also affected the IT systems which contribute significantly towards the company’s value creation. As a strategic IT partner, T-Systems supported Vitesco Technologies in setting up its IT landscape. In addition to the management and operation of the SAP systems, this also included the operation and further development of the system for product lifecycle management (PLM), Windmill.

Customer benefits

By taking the step into the AWS cloud, not only does Vitesco Technologies get its own PLM system off to a good start, it is also in a position to scale this up at any time with the development of the business. There is no need for the company to invest in infrastructure. The system’s architecture creates a good user experience for the developers with minimal latency. Tried-and-tested migration processes enabled a smooth transfer of the system into the AWS cloud – the developers were able to work with Windchill without interruption. T-Systems supports the entire value creation process at Vitesco Technologies – from development to production. Not only does Vitesco Technologies benefit from experience in the operation of PLM systems, but also from profound SAP expertise. The additional operation of SAP systems guarantees continuous integration and solid cooperation of the central systems.

T-Systems is our comprehensive system partner for all matters concerning PLM: migration into the AWS cloud, operation, application management, further development, connection to other systems.

Thomas Buck, Senior Vice President Information Technology, Vitesco Technologies

The challenge

More than 3,700 employees at over 20 locations around the world are using the central system. The Windchill system by PTC is a highly individualized system that supports the complete development process at Vitesco Technologies. It needs to be available at all locations. Since the start of its business activity, the company has been using the existing Continental AG system. But, due to the legal requirements for the spin-off, this had to change: Vitesco Technologies needed their own PLM system. The company wants to operate this in the AWS cloud. There are several reasons for this strategy: First, the new company wants to largely avoid investing in their own infrastructures and purchase their IT as a service. Second, the system needs to be available at short notice. Third, Vitesco Technologies wants to have the option to scale up the system, so they can quickly respond to future business developments. For the migration, operation, and further development of the system, Vitesco Technologies was searching for an experienced partner who could contribute AWS cloud expertise, who has experience in the operation of PLM systems, and is able to provide well-grounded support in an automotive environment.

The solution

For the journey to an in-house PLM system in the public cloud, Vitesco Technologies and T-Systems agreed a step-by-step process. Vitesco Technologies first of all received a 1:1 copy of the on-premises system in place at Continental in order to adopt its business activity. The second step involved the project team cleaning the database. The database only contains the data relevant for Vitesco Technologies. It still covers millions of components and descriptive documentation. For installations of this magnitude, PTC only certifies one database provider: Oracle. As a result of the existing experience of Vitesco Technologies and the support for Oracle databases, the system was migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Vitesco Technologies makes the infrastructure capacities available via its own AWS account. T-Systems provides the complete managed service as well as the AWS resources plus the PLM systems operated by AWS. A lift & shift approach is implemented for the transfer of the system. The failsafe PLM system is provided in two availability zones from one European AWS region.

Full business infrastructure

As the system sometimes needs to provide very large files (including CAD), Vitesco Technologies development units in North America, Europe, and Asia each receive their own (regional) vault systems in the cloud for speedy data access. This increases user friendliness. Not only does T-Systems take on the operation of the complete system, but also the application management. This includes service desk (with tickets and SLAs), maintenance, monitoring, optimization, release, management, and tuning of the system as well as backup. But T-Systems also contributes development services for continuous customizing or further development of the PLM system. The additional end-to-end responsibility for the SAP systems also enables T-Systems to guarantee a smooth integration of the PLM system into the SAP systems to transfer the requirements to production.

All information at a glance

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