Rémy Cointreau drives better customer experiences by deploying SAP on Google Cloud to enhance planning and business agility.

Google Cloud results

  • Improves SAP landscape agility to further strengthen position in luxury market
  • Accelerates decision-making by enabling business users to analyze live data
  • Met launch date while working remotely during a pandemic
  • Establishes a strong strategic partnership to put customers at the center of experiences

The world is changing fast, but it’s also true that excellence cannot be rushed. Rémy Cointreau has spent generations perfecting the unique flavors found in some of the highest-quality spirits on the market, including Cointreau liquor, Mount Gay rum, Rémy Martin cognac, and Louis XIII cognac. In the competitive world of liquors and spirits, Rémy Cointreau stands out for its quality and history. It’s not just about a beverage. It’s about an experience.

Rémy Cointreau understands firsthand the value of taking the long view. Its signature Louis XIII cognac, for instance, takes up to 100 years to achieve perfection. At the same time, the company recognizes that it is essential to be nimble in today’s business environment—putting pressure on a talented IT team to constantly balance the requirements of the past with the needs of the future.

One area where agility is critical is in planning and forecasting. To continue to grow its brands in the United States, Asia, and other markets, Rémy Cointreau needed to ensure it can always deliver the right quantity of products to the right locations when needed. If too little product ships, the company loses out on potential sales. And if too much stock sits on shelves, inventory costs rise and there are lost sales opportunities elsewhere.

Modernizing a legacy of success

Rémy Cointreau adopted SAP solutions to support business-critical processes including finance, manufacturing, and supply chain operations that connect multiple company systems and incorporate data going back decades. But as the company looked to evolve its business and better respond to new opportunities, CTO Sébastien Huet looked for opportunities to modernize the company’s IT infrastructure.

He talked to long-time technical partner oXya, which provided expert advice and managed services for the on-premises SAP deployment. With a deep understanding of the pain points of Rémy Cointreau’s SAP landscape, oXya was able to capture and translate the company’s business needs. For these reasons or in this specific context, oXya suggested that it was time to move to the cloud to achieve better performance, scalability, and data centricity. In Google Cloud, Rémy Cointreau found the flexibility, performance, and potential for innovation that the company needed.

“Just as it takes years to create a great cognac, we value partners who will be by our side for a long time,” says Huet. “The strategic alliance between Google Cloud and SAP made us confident they were the right choice for us as companies that combine innovation with smart partnerships.”

oXya led the SAP S/4HANA upgrade and migration to Google Cloud for SAP Business Warehouse and Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO), SAP’s supply chain planning tool. The cloud migration took about a year in total, with oXya using its strong understanding of Rémy Cointreau to provide end-to-end consulting around migration, from initial planning and advice around operating SAP in the cloud to delivery and implementation.

While oXya led the migration, the Google Cloud Professional Services (PSO) team performed an SAP Healthcheck which helped identify the areas for improvement. PSO delivered recommendations, suggested ways to improve efficiencies, and checked that the environment was being implemented according to best practices for SAP on Google Cloud.

Just before the planned go-live date to run SAP on Google Cloud, Rémy Cointreau faced a major challenge: an international pandemic. COVID-19 made it impossible for the Rémy Cointreau, Google Cloud, and oXya teams to finalize migration in person. Instead, team members had to push across the finish line while working remotely from around the world.

“I was worried that COVID-19 would delay our launch, but migration was fast, easy, and on schedule,” says Huet. “The technology played a part, but it also helped that we had two partners who we believed in. With oXya and Google Cloud, we have a true partnership with companies that understand us and our unique challenges.”

Improved manufacturing, service with business agility

The SAP and Google Cloud deployment is live in France, with similar deployments expected to launch soon globally. While the environment is still new, Rémy Cointreau already sees big steps towards greater agility with Google Cloud.

For instance, Google Cloud makes it much faster and easier to adjust the technical operating environment. If a team wants to start performing a new resource-heavy analysis, Rémy Cointreau can expand capacity to meet demands within minutes. The team can also roll back capacity so that it is only using the resources it needs.

“After going live with Google Cloud, we decided to upgrade memory to improve SAP performance,” says Huet. “Typically, this type of update would take five weeks. Now it’s five minutes.”

Business users also see improvements to speed by running SAP on Google Cloud. Teams can analyze live data in minutes instead of waiting days, leading to more accurate planning and faster decision-making. This has been particularly important as Rémy Cointreau deals with fast-changing consumer habits during the COVID-19 pandemic. With people staying at home, ecommerce sales doubled. Rémy Cointreau needed to adjust quickly to support direct-to-consumer sales, while preparing for an influx of commercial orders once bars and restaurants start opening again.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of agility,” says Huet. “Having the flexibility to make a decision even an hour earlier can mean the difference between whether or not a shipment makes it to China in time for a holiday.”

Partnering for the future

While Rémy Cointreau is already realizing the benefits of running SAP on Google Cloud, Huet views this as just the beginning. The company is now exploring how it can incorporate other Google Cloud solutions into its environment to further improve agility and use SAP data to better serve its customers.

Rémy Cointreau started a proof of concept using BigQuery to support traceability effort, which is particularly complex on a 100-year-old cognac. By connecting BigQuery to SAP, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and many other solutions, Rémy Cointreau wants to aggregate data more efficiently and perform traceability faster and more accurately.

“Google Cloud got the proof of concept for BigQuery running quickly,” says Huet. “It took a few days to decide exactly how we wanted to connect the data, but then the environment was online almost instantly. We are impressed with the speed at which we can get new technologies working in our environment.”

Huet adds, “Google Cloud is building for the future, and we want to be a part of it. With Google Cloud, SAP, and oXya as partners, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.”

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