Breaking Barriers: The Voyage of a F50 Organization Towards 25% Operational Savings with Movate and Microsoft Azure

Movate and Microsoft Azure

In the realm of global Consumer Goods industry, where competition is fierce and innovation is necessary for survival, even industry giants encounter challenges that demand transformative solutions. This is the story of an F50 global Consumer Goods company, whose aspirations were hindered by escalating Cloud infrastructure costs, underutilized Microsoft licenses, and need for application modernization. Movate has partnered with Microsoft to steer this customer towards a future brimming with efficiency, agility, and boundless possibilities.

Customer’s Pain Points and Expectations:

The landscape was riddled with obstacles familiar to conglomerates of this stature. Our client, a household name in the consumer goods domain, faced mounting challenges as follows:

  • Exponentially Mounting IT Infrastructure Costs: Customer landscape includes 400 applications and brand websites on multiple cloud Hyperscalers, and in VMware based private cloud. However, this expansive setup led to surging Cloud and IT infrastructure expenses. They lacked right observability tools and visibility to control spending across their intricate cloud environment.
  • The Unwieldy complexity of Fragmented Technology Landscape: The organization utilized a mix of proprietary services and both relational and non-relational databases. The reliance on Hyperscaler-specific tech stacks further compounded complexity, making efficient IT environment management a challenge.
  • High Data Transfer Cost: Data transfers between different cloud providers incurred significant fees, increasing operational expenses and complicating budget planning. The need for data transfer was unavoidable due to components of their applications distributed across various cloud Hyperscalers. 
  • Outdated Monolithic Applications: The client relied on legacy systems that limited their scalability and innovation. Modernizing these applications without disrupting ongoing operations was imperative.
  • Untapped potential of existing Microsoft Licenses: The client had a substantial pool of underutilized Microsoft licenses. They aimed to optimize these licenses to reduce costs and enhance productivity.
  • Inefficient search engine: Customer had an open-source search engine, which struggled to meet demands and presented infrastructure management challenges. Urgent migration to a managed open-source search engine was necessary.

Despite these formidable challenges, the organization had high expectations for their transformation. They envisioned a seamless journey marked by cost optimization, application modernization, and alignment with their existing Microsoft software tech stack.

Movate’s Solution and Accelerators: Navigating Complexity with Precision

The scope of work encompassed a comprehensive transformation journey, tailored to their unique requirements.

  • Assessment & Discovery: Movate’s migration specialists conducted a comprehensive assessment of the customer’s existing Cloud and IT infrastructure landscape, including over 400 applications and brand websites hosted across various cloud providers. The primary goal was to pinpoint cost inefficiencies and streamline operations. We leveraged tools like New Relic, Dynatrace, and the SALT open-source platform for collecting system information across cloud Hyperscalers. To overcome connectivity issues with SALT Minion modules, we deployed our proprietary Ansible-based solution, “Movate Vegeta,” which accelerated the discovery process.
    • Outcome: The “Assessment and Discovery” phase yielded significant insights. Among the 406 applications/brand websites assessed:
      • 28 brands had been discontinued years ago and were immediately de-scoped.
      • 203 applications could be migrated as-is using a Lift-and-Shift migration approach.
      • Remaining 175 brand websites requires a re-platforming or re-architecture approach.

This phase set the stage for a targeted and efficient migration strategy.

  • Infra Design & Planning Phase: Maximizing the potential of existing Microsoft licenses was a key objective in this phase. We collaborated closely with the client to pinpoint opportunities for licenses optimization, aiming to reduce costs and enhance productivity. Movate’s cloud migration specialists strategized to transition from Hyperscaler-specific services to more versatile and cost-effective solutions. Key examples include:
StrategyTools UsedDescription
Transitioning from Hyperscaler-specific ServicesMovate Vegeta (Proprietary Tool for Discovery)To streamline the technology landscape, we shifted from Hyperscaler-specific services to more versatile and cost-effective solutions.
Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC)TerraformTo remain cloud agnostic, we choose Terraform over Azure Resource Manager (ARM) Templates.
App ModernizationDocker / KubernetesEmbraced Kubernetes-based containerization for the 175 brand websites identified for re-platforming or re-architecture.
Database Engine Selection Selected Azure Managed PostgreSQL to replace the proprietary and commercial-grade enterprise relational DB engine for the backend of the 175 brand applications.
Data Transfer Cost OptimizationpgProfiler, DataCleaner, SQL Power Data ProfilerUtilized Data Profiler Tools to categorize and prioritize data for transfer. Worked closely with application owners and the app DEV team to archive, delete, or consolidate redundant or obsolete data.

Following a comprehensive assessment, applications were categorized by their criticality, business impact, and technical debt. Using this categorization, Movate had developed a priority-based modernization roadmap, starting with high-impact, low-complexity applications.

Migrating VMs from other Hyperscalers and VMWare based private cloud was a Herculean task. We utilized Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for lifting and shifting VMs from other Hyperscaler to Azure, while Azure VMware Solution (AVS) was chosen for migrating VMWare-based VMs into Azure.  This approach proved effective for most of the private and public cloud VMs except for a specific set of vSphere Virtual Machines. These VMs were used for transactional record managements and had integration with on-premises Hardware Security Modules (HSMs). Additionally, those VMs utilized physical serial ports to establish communications with downstream systems. Because of these unique hardware dependencies, the Movate migration team opted to manually recreate these VMs in Azure, ensuring identical configurations and dependencies.   

For applications marked for re-platforming or re-architecture, we harnessed the power of Kubernetes-based containerization. This approach not only improved scalability but also heightened agility, enabling swift updates without disrupting core operations. 

On the data front, we initiated the process with data profiling to understand data structure, quality, and volumes. We encountered both homogeneous and heterogeneous database migration scenarios, with Azure Database Migration Service expediting seamless migration. However, a few of the applications stored redundant data in both relation and non-relations databases, introduced as part of a quick enhancement but causing maintenance challenges over time. As part of application modernization, the Movate’s migration team employed robust ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes to eliminate data duplication and consolidate databases into a single source of truth. This approach not only minimized data transfer costs but also ensured data integrity and minimum downtime.

Customer’s Financial and Business Benefits:

The results spoke volumes. The synergy between Azure’s prowess and Movate’s expertise delivered:

  • 24.7% reduction in operational expenses (OpEx).
  • Microsoft extended their support on this migration by
    • Funding part of migration cost
    • Extending benefits of Azure Hybrid licensing and Azure Services Usages 
  • Azure’s per-minute VM pricing model proved to be a flexible alternative to the legacy’s per-hour charges, leading to substantial cost optimization.
  • Access to Azure’s versatile PaaS capabilities.
  • Lower latency and faster response times due to application consolidation with Hyperscaler.
  • Azure Data Lake as the single data source across the organization.

The following diagram outline how the organization achieved close to 25% operational cost savings. In some areas, the organization gained significantly whereas some Azure charges overruled the legacy.

Movate and Microsoft Azure: savings breakdown

The inflation in the SSD storage cost was due to the requirement of managed SSD storage with high IOPS and throughputs to support I/O intensive workloads. Azure Premium SSD were used to support this use case.

Value Additions:

Following the migration, the Movate team conducted an Azure Well Architected Review (WAR), achieving remarkable results. The infrastructure received a score of 83/100, a testament to the exceptional quality of our work and adherence to Azure WAR standards.

Movate and Microsoft Azure: overall results

Lesson Learnt:

  • Embrace re-platforming and re-architecting: While lift-and-shift is suitable for many use cases, especially in multi-cloud or hybrid environments with legacy applications, a modernization-first approach often yields faster results.
  • Data Profiling is Crucial: Thorough data profiling is crucial as it determines the downtime window during cutover. Understanding data structure, quality, and volume prepares you for unexpected challenges. After encountering issues in the first application migration, the Movate migration team implemented data profiling and cleansing as a standard practice for all future migrations. This resulted in smoother, more predictable migrations with minimal operational impact and enhanced customer experience.


In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, this narrative stands as a testament to transformation. The Fortune 50 consumer goods company’s seamless migration to Azure exemplifies the power of collaboration, innovation, and strategic vision. What does this journey mean for your enterprise? How can you leverage Movate’s expertise to redefine your cloud strategy, unlock efficiency, and chart a path to success and innovation?

As the cloud and technology landscape advances, the global consumer goods titan’s journey invites businesses of all sizes to reflect, reimagine, and embark on their own transformative journeys. Let the Fortune 50 leader’s story serve as the spark for your own transformational odyssey, with Movate as your trusted guide.

About the Author

Pallab, a Senior Director, and Enterprise Solution Architect, drives cloud initiatives and practices at Movate. With over 16 years of experience spanning diverse domains and global locations, he’s a proficient Multi-Cloud Specialist. Across major cloud Hyperscalers, Pallab excels in orchestrating successful migrations of 25+ workloads. His expertise extends to security, Bigdata, IoT, and Edge Computing. Notably, he’s masterminded over 10 cutting-edge use cases in Data Analytics, AI/ML, IoT, and Edge Computing, solidifying his reputation as a trailblazer in the tech landscape.