Panasonic’s Migration to AWS For Accelerating Growth & Optimised Performance

Deepak Dhall | 10 Jan 2020 | Cloud Migration

Panasonic is a popular global brand that provides a wide range of solutions for spaces from home and offices to stores and other large commercial facilities. The company based in Japan specialises in appliances for multiple uses including life solutions in terms of electrical construction and housing materials, IoT connected solutions for B2B, innovative devices and appliances for the auto industry and a variety of products and services for the industrial sector. The company with a motto of “A Better Life, A Better World,” is constantly innovating and creating breakthrough technology and is a leader in R&D for Technology and Design.
Panasonic with nearly 300,000 employees, and a group of 582 businesses believes in changing the lives of people around the world through advanced technology and sustainable solutions. As a world-renowned brand, the company must persistently leverage new and upcoming technology as well as industry practices to retain the competitive edge. As their offerings face both B2B and B2C sectors, they are required to ensure the following:

At the point Umbrella Infocare and AWS engaged with Panasonic, they were looking for an ideal cloud solution that would help their IT infrastructure and applications meet these needs. They were extremely particular about finding the right tech partner to achieve their objectives and the complex nature of their requirement compelled them to insist on a proof of concept. They were sceptical about change and were unsure how their concerns would be addressed. While multiple groups within Panasonic had different tech requirements that Umbrella sifted through and identified apps that were cloud ready, the Mobility group’s challenges would positively benefit from an Amazon Web Services (AWS) solution. AWS clearly defined the advantages their solutions could bring for Panasonic offering a persuasive case for consideration.
They had an Artificial Intelligence (AI) aggregated platform and a built-in app for Panasonic mobile phones that collects and offers recommendations based on user behaviour. To establish that Umbrella Infocare had the capabilities they needed, a Pilot was executed that migrated a couple of sensitive applications to the cloud. The objective of the Pilot was to conduct a Cloud Migration Readiness (MRA) for more than 20 Panasonic applications; test migration of two applications and create a road map for migration with suggestions on prioritisation and categorisation of applications for cloud migration.

Challenge faced by Panasonic’s Mobility Group with Two Apps – The Pilot

Panasonic has an application that uses AI is programmed to analyse user behaviour based on time and location. The app offers suggestions to the user.
Another mobile app is a one-stop shop for user’s needs such as booking a cab, real time updates on weather, music on demand and so on.
Both apps were functioning on the same environment which was limiting their scalability and availability to a considerable extent. Umbrella analysed the existing setup and suggested decoupling the apps on the AWS environment. This would enable Panasonic to ensure higher availability, enable scalability and fix performance issues. As the architecture for both apps were different, Umbrella took the lift and shift approach for the first app and refactoring for the second.
Panasonic insisted on zero downtime to migrate the apps to AWS asking for detailed planning and testing scenarios. The migration also involved coordination of different Panasonic teams requiring very efficient and smooth program management.
As a result of the Pilot, Panasonic realised the benefits of AWS Cloud features for ease of setup, monitoring and manageability, efficacy of security, automation, backup and other critical functions.

Umbrella’s Solution for Panasonic

After the Pilot, Panasonic and Umbrella began focusing on the other applications that were AWS ready. They had three applications – one that manages a network of electronic displays for messages; another, which is a visual communication system; and an IoT application. It was clear that the functioning of all these apps would distinctly gain from AWS migration. Umbrella came up with a phased approach for migrating these three apps to AWS.
Panasonic had multiple environments for these applications such as Dev, UAT, Staging, PROD and a varied development stack including Linux operating systems with multiple flavours of databases including MySQL, MongoDB and MS SQL.

Technology & Approach Used:

Based on the learnings from the Pilot, Umbrella proposed migration with the re-platforming approach for the first app and refactoring for the other two. The use of RDS to host DB, autoscaling and ALB were recommended for migrating the app managing electronic displays. AWS managed services such as S3, CloudFront, Lambda, API Gateway, RDS and SES were used for refactoring. Some apps were migrated from a server-based environment using multiple AWS Services including AWS DynamoDB, ElastiCache, ElasticSearch, RDS Aurora and AWS CodeDeploy.

Result:

Umbrella was able to effectively work with Panasonic to overcome their reluctance and challenges through a comprehensive testing and Pilot approach and help them gain cost and resource saving benefits for multiple services including core apps like IoT that influenced productivity in internal, customer facing and B2B processes.
Problem Statement: As a globally popular brand, customer was facing challenges with high availability, scaling, adding new features and optimal performance. They were considering solutions for migrating some of their apps to the cloud.
Proposed Solution & Architecture: A Pilot was conducted to determine cloud readiness for more than 20 Panasonic apps and to demonstrate Umbrella’s AWS migration capabilities. It also acted as a road map for migration taking into account prioritisation and categorisation of applications for cloud migration. After the successful Pilot, other apps were migrated in a phased manner.

Outcomes of Project:
Customer Testimonial:

“We were initially very hesitant about how AWS solutions and Umbrella would help meet our goals. We were looking for a partner whose environment offers depth and breadth of AWS services. We also wanted a partner who had a wide range of solutions from DevOps and Containerization to Analytics. Umbrella matched these requirements and came to us with proactive suggestions consistently to improve our architecture and performance and reduce costs. We took our time and they worked with us patiently to assess which applications would benefit most from migrating to AWS cloud. The Pilot for the first two applications that were moved proved to us that they are efficient, make the effort to understand our challenges and adapt to the requirements we have. The migration they completed within the timeline and specifications we provided has definitely contributed to overall operational efficiency, availability and ability to bring in new features. Umbrella Managed Services has helped us reduce go to market time and has strengthened our security, which was a major concern.”

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