Blog Post - Nils Kijkuit , Apr 11 2019

Moving your Intershop Commerce Suite to the Cloud without missing a beat!

Moving your Intershop Commerce Suite to the Cloud without missing a beat!

Intershop has made a commitment to be a Cloud company. Intershop's long-term approach is to migrate Intershop Commerce customers to Intershop Commerce-as-a-Service (CaaS), running on Microsoft's Azure Public Cloud.

As a legacy-to-cloud migration may seem daunting - particularly when there are so many moving parts - we want to provide the information you need to mitigate the potential risks and pitfalls and leverage the benefits of such a move.

What's in the Cloud?

Intershop CaaS is the perfect combination of a leading commerce solution, highly professional services, and Azure Public Cloud. Intershop CaaS eliminates the hassle and stress of managing and operating your own ecommerce environment. It is the perfect fit for all companies wanting to achieve success in ecommerce quickly, and who want agility, low-risk and focus on business success rather than underlying IT.

Intershop leverages the Cloud's low total cost of ownership, rapid onboarding and on-demand environments.

When done right, moving your Intershop Commerce platform into the Cloud will:

  • improve business agility and business innovation
  • generate quick go-to-market for new initiatives, channels and/or a global roll-out
  • grow and scale as your business grows (tying future investment to business growth)
  • simplify maintenance and support
  • Easily integrate via Synaptic REST APIs
  • Use off-the-shelf integrations with PSPs, Microsoft Dynamics 365, etc.

Upgrading and moving to the Cloud without missing a beat

Wunderman Thompson Commerce have developed a unique methodology that allows you to upgrade from any legacy Intershop version to the current CaaS version in 90-180 days.

Wunderman Thompson Commerce cites 3 migration strategies:

  • AS-IS; where we migrate your features whilst maintaining identical functionality
  • Hybrid; where we migrate existing features, improve them, and implement new features
  • Scratch development; where we rebuild the entire solution providing you with a new and improved platform

All these strategies are based on continuous integration principles where we integrate ongoing development on your live site with the new Cloud environment. We will make sure that new features of your legacy version will be integrated smoothly with your brand spanking new Intershop CaaS platform. After all, you can't stop innovating!

When transitioning to the Intershop Commerce Cloud, there will be specific features you can take advantage of. During the process, you can add new commerce features, taking time to identify those that are most applicable to your business. With our extensive knowledge on ecommerce, Intershop and Public Cloud, we can speed up this process and help you discover those features which can make your business grow.

Wunderman Thompson Commerce Upgrade Methodology

The migration involves five major steps, which we'll outline here.

Step 1 - Prepare

This step will make sure you optimise your chances for a smooth migration. Make sure the pre-requisites are in place, prepare your own organisation, and define when the migration will be a success. Wunderman Thompson Commerce can lead the way, and, with a thorough assessment, we will help you to:

  • Define a timeline for transitioning
  • Set up the organisation to manage such a project without compromising your existing roadmap and delivery schedule
  • Benchmark your current and new environment, identifying the migration success criteria, and the metrics and KPIs to support this
  • Define the best strategy for you (as-is, hybrid, scratch)

Step 2 - Application migration

While the majority of your features will easily migrate, work will have to be done to make sure you retain or improve some features. Based on the defined strategy, Wunderman Thompson Commerce will port your current platform to the new CaaS solution and implement any changes that went live on the current platform in the meantime.

Step 3 - Data migration

The next step will be migrating your data to the Cloud. Migrating data is frankly a complex process. The sheer size of the data and new data schema will provide many challenges. Making a playbook where this process runs smoothly during go-live in the smallest amount of time might be the biggest challenge the project will face. Working closely with an experienced partner with expertise in this field - such as Wunderman Thompson Commerce - will naturally minimise both the complexity and risk of the programme.

Step 4 - Interfaces

Your Intershop solution isn't a standalone platform. Moving, migrating and testing all these interfaces can be a challenging task. Apart from challenges on the Intershop site, you will have other teams involved. Possible legacy platforms might not be able to migrate or test that easily. Our interface experts will guide you in the process, migrate existing interfaces, and facilitate a smooth transition.

Step 5 - Testing

Testing your site will be an essential step. This is a significant effort and includes functional testing and site load testing. In tandem, you should also consider transitioning to automated testing. The new Intershop Commerce Cloud architecture is conducive to automated testing - this is a key benefit of moving to the Cloud.

Mitigating Project Risk

Of course, all significant projects come with certain risk. Here are some ways to mitigate risk and ensure a successful project:

  • Firstly, define what success looks like - and ensure all parties agree on this
  • Make sure knowledge and documentation of your current platform is available
  • Plan upgrade/migration related activities into your existing platform roadmap. We can help develop a workable strategy for scheduling code updates/features releases within the larger cloud migration plan
  • Plan for active involvement from your team, ensuring stakeholders have the bandwidth to meet deadlines and keep the project timeline on track
  • Ensure and dedicate enough resources for a complete and extensive test plan

Project Duration

Specific needs and dependencies will dictate the projected timeline for your organisation. However, the typical duration of the platform upgrade and CaaS migration typically averages between 90 and 180 days - this is elapsed time, not dedicated effort by your team or us. The overall timeline will depend on the time your team can dedicate and its involvement in the project. More involvement and shorter review turnarounds can condense the timeline.

Ultimately, the time spent will be well worth it, enabling your company to:

  • focus on your business
  • avoid speculating on capacity - instead, grow as your business grows
  • innovate using the latest Intershop features and innovation from one of the Public Cloud Leaders, Azure
  • have a single point of contact via Wunderman Thompson Commerce while using all the features of the public cloud

When broken down into separate steps, and guided by a trusted partner, migration to the Intershop Commerce Cloud will be far less daunting, and in the end, you will reap the rewards of operating your ecommerce transactions in a secure, scalable and innovative environment.