Jump to Content
Infrastructure Modernization

The Home Depot Canada migrates SAP to Google Cloud, improves efficiency and meets customer demand

April 10, 2023
Nijel Jones

Google Retail TAM

Bala Arunachalam

Home Depot Technology Director, Systems Engineering and Operations

The Home Depot Canada (THD) runs stores, distribution, and online operations for the Canadian market. THD Canada’s end-to-end business backend functions run on SAP ERP, so it is critical to ensure that those systems are always available and running optimally. 

Previously, THD Canada was relying on an on-prem system to run their SAP workloads which led to challenges with latency, high maintenance costs, and extended timelines to innovate on the edge. During the initial phases of the pandemic, retailers realized that they needed to serve customers at curbside for delivery and pickup. Numerous edge applications were developed in short time frames, and Home Depot Canada realized that a distributed cloud architecture would help improve system availability and performance. 

The learnings that came from COVID accelerated THD Canada’s plans to move their SAP workloads to the cloud to increase efficiency and meet customer demand, and they chose to partner with Google Cloud for the project.  Since the focus of this migration would be SAP workloads, SAP was on board to create a three-way strategic partnership between THD, Google Cloud  and SAP. As a Premium Support customer, THD Canada reached out to their Technical Account Management team to help lead the support services of cutover from a networking and data migration perspective. Their knowledge of THD’s systems and environments enabled insightful technical guidance to ensure THD’s migration was a success. The key objectives were first to upgrade their THD Canada’s existing SAP platform from ECC platform to S4 HANA, and to migrate their large data sets and workloads to run on Google Cloud. 

After the decision to migrate had been made, there were still significant hurdles to overcome. THD Canada’s existing database was in terabytes, which meant that both data management and migration would be a challenge. Additionally, the operating data flow rate required roughly 48 hours of business downtime to conduct the conversion, proving to be inefficient.

To help overcome these issues, an engineering team from Google Professional Services Organization (PSO) was brought in to review THD Canada’s existing Cloud Foundation setup and network configurations. The Google PSO team was able to streamline the migration process, including helping THD fine tune their network to improve latency and increase the data flow rate. After these adjustments, the data flow rate hit a peak rate, cutting the migration time to well within the acceptable range end to end. This meant that instead of shutting down critical business applications for two days, they were able to conduct the migration over the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. THD Canada shut legacy on-prem systems down on Sunday night, and by Tuesday morning, processes were up and running on Google Cloud. By upgrading from SAP ECC on DB2 to S4 HANA and then running their SAP workloads on Google Cloud with a reduced DB footprint!

“The Google Professional Services Organization (PSO) team brings top-notch, world class Google engineers who have extensive SAP on Google Cloud experience. Google came to the table and worked side by side with us to make the program successful.” — Bala Arunachalam, Technology Director (Systems Engineering and Operations)

By partnering with Google Cloud, THD Canada was able to increase the speed of their SAP migration, while also cutting operating costs and streamlining business processes. Moving away from an outdated on-prem legacy system also helped reduce internal siloes, allowing multiple teams to function as one full-stack team and collaborate side by side. This has helped reduce time to market for new applications that are built on cloud. With SAP workloads running on virtual machines, THD can also quickly and easily make enhancements to their retail functions through distributed cloud architecture and deliver superior customer experiences. 

To learn more about how you can engage business innovation and cloud education services, visit:

Posted in