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Case Study

Global Manufacturing Leader: Legacy Data Warehouse Cloud Migration

The challenge

The CIO/IT Director of this manufacturing client was on a mission to save his company. The organization had already begun migrating their legacy data warehouse to the cloud, but their maturity was low. Despite being in business for fifty years, the organization lacked the people, processes, and technology to provide remote data access for customers. To further complicate matters, every acquisition (5-10 per year) required an initial integration process to determine how the acquired company's data is structured and how it will fit into the common structure—a time-intensive process. But before they would be able to provide customers remote access to machine data via an IoT Customer Dashboard Portal, the client would need to adopt a long-term cloud migration plan to repair the damage done by the band-aid solution they hastily implemented during the pandemic.  

The benefits were clear. The problem was getting buy-in from the Business. Recent constraints made the budget issue an even bigger hurdle. The client was struggling to find the best strategy for communicating the cloud challenges to company leadership in a way that would address their inevitable budget concerns and resistance to change.  

The cost of a lift and shift would be exorbitant. A purpose-built cloud solution would be less expensive while providing better machine data and more efficient, optimized processes for customers. But, so much needed to be ironed out—from strategy to cloud implementation and testing. It would take weeks of ideation just to produce an actionable cloud implementation roadmap and project plan. Additionally, ensuring ample support and security would mean training or expanding their existing IT team.  

The problems seemed insurmountable. There was only one viable solution: partnering with a third-party expert to ensure success by helping them face all the cloud migration challenges at every step of the process. So, they reached out to their trusted vendor, Seabeck Systems, for help.

The priorities

The manufacturing industry remains hamstrung by decades-old legacy processes for determining the status of machines, scheduling maintenance, and ordering parts and supplies. Today's customers are still required to check machines and enter the data into a CRM system manually. This is drastically out of sync with customer expectations, but supporting a modern, digital IoT Dashboard that enables remote access to machine data first requires migrating your legacy data warehouse to the cloud. For many, this is an overwhelming, deal-breaking task.  

What's more, even gaining buy-in from company leadership is likely to be an issue. Some DBAs may assert migrating your legacy data warehouse to the cloud is not possible without spending hundreds of thousands for an off-the-shelf solution. Well, it is possible. It can be done. And we've done it. Time and time again.  

Our Enterprise solution acts a bridge for organizations looking to preserve their on-premises investment and data warehouse while enabling all the benefits of data in the cloud (but avoiding the high costs of lift and shift). Our Data Warehouse Cloud Migration Accelerator gets you there.  

You're in the manufacturing business—not the business of data warehouse migration or custom digital dashboard development. That's what Seabeck is for. Stop wasting time and effort. Let Seabeck Systems help you get started migrating and modernizing your legacy data warehouse to support and deliver the white-label Digital Customer IoT Dashboard Portal your customers need and expect. Elevate your data in the cloud to enable remote IoT access, analytics, and much more—all while reducing costs, accelerating outcomes, and eliminating human error.  

Our Data Warehouse Cloud Migration Accelerator ensures success from start to finish—and beyond. First, we'll eliminate project risk by assessing your processes, tools, and technology to identify issues and roadblocks before you become more heavily invested. And finally, we'll enable self-reliance and success moving forward by training your team on all the amazing capabilities of the new solution and by providing support, maintenance, and enhancements.

It's your call. Your DBAs can spend hundreds of hours studying tutorials to learn how to setup a simulator and determine if there's a way for sequel server BCP to create a parquet file. Or they can learn more about our Data Warehouse Cloud Migration Accelerator and see just how easy it will be to get things moving.

Due to sensitive and confidential information, we can’t share the client’s name, but we can talk about the challenges and outcomes of the project.
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The action

Acting as equal parts technology mentor, coach, partner, and IT Managed Services vendor, Seabeck Systems helped the client successfully migrate to the cloud and demonstrate the value of a modern IoT Customer Dashboard Portal as a POC. First, we provided guidance and helped validate the cost/value balance to company leadership. We described the criticality of meeting today's customer expectations: a digital solution that enables remote access to machine data is table stakes. Any company that fails to let manufacturing customers visualize machine-status, schedule maintenance and downtime, and order replacement parts and supplies remotely will lose business to competitors more vigilant about updating their technology to reflect modern standards.  

Seabeck Systems helped the client migrate their legacy data warehouse to the cloud to support a more efficient process for building customer portals, avoiding the high costs of a lift and shift by using flat files in blob storage. Among countless other benefits, the cloud migration made it possible to accurately predict the remaining lifespan hours of manufacturing parts and machines by constantly recalculating based on actual usage moving forward.  

Our working IoT Customer Dashboard Portal POC allowed the client to demonstrate all the solution's benefits first-hand to DBAs and the Business from end to end. To better visualize the value, our consultants logged into the client's SQL server and connected to their VM to demonstrate how the cloud migration would enable remote job-scheduling and to simulate an IoT device sending telemetry data about temperature, oil, pressure, etc.  

The Benefits

When migrating to the cloud, affordable storage is a key business value. Despite that cloud storage is notoriously expensive (a lift and shift is always cost-prohibitive), our portal sends telemetry data to the IoT Hub (a single record each minute) and writes it to blob storage for just $5/TB. We convert the client's legacy data warehouse structure from a database format into flat files (using parquet compression) via Data Factory (an Azure tool).  

Internally, the data warehouse provides a record of each sale connected to an inventory record that includes the machine's serial number, bill of materials (every nut, bolt, and washer). Our portal combines Line of Business data (accounting data: invoice, serial number, customer record, sales history) with Machine Telemetry data (product-lifecycle data) to produce more meaningful, actionable insights by automatically generating lists of needed parts. Without connecting these two data flows, a worthwhile analysis is impossible. Blob storage and other modern tools allow this data to be combined regardless of where it lives (in the cloud, on-premises, or hybrid) without requiring much preformatting.  

Our tools: SQL on-demand and Apache Spark save countless work hours by allowing any database operation (create, read, update, delete) to be performed on thousands (TBs) of files, eliminating the need for a common data structure. This accelerates time-to-analysis while drastically reducing effort by allowing analysts to work directly with the files. No longer does the client have to wait for data to be conformed into the data warehouse (this is particularly powerful for BI and performance management, since answering one question sets up the next questions). Lastly, the client avoids all the hardware, infrastructure, training, support, and monthly patching costs incurred by spinning up a cluster for a couple months—and then turning it off because they won't need it again anytime soon.  

In the end, Seabeck System's legacy data warehouse cloud migration and POC solution accelerates the client's value-output for their customers, boosts productivity by enabling lifespan-tracking for predictive maintenance and downtime, streamlines the replenishing of supplies and other processes, and eliminates human error—all while dramatically reducing costs.


Seabeck Systems' Data Warehouse Cloud Migration Accelerator provides a bridge for organizations looking to preserve their on-premises investment and data warehouse and avoid the expense of a lift and shift while enabling all the benefits of data in the cloud. This Enterprise accelerator establishes the foundation for your Digital IoT Customer Dashboard Portal by developing a plan for migrating your legacy data warehouse to the cloud to help you win executive buy-in before becoming more deeply invested in a 'real-deal' solution.

Reach out to Seabeck Systems for help migrating your legacy data warehouse to the cloud as an incremental step to developing a Digital IoT Customer Dashboard Portal and leveraging the following benefits: 

  • Combined Line of Business data with IoT Device Telemetry data for more valuable, actionable insights (e.g., predicting annual sale of spare parts).
  • Dramatically reduced effort by eliminating the need for a common data structure, allowing analysts to work directly with files.
  • Accelerated time-to-analysis by letting any database operation be performed on TBs of files.
  • Minimized human error and waste by automatically generating needed parts and supplies lists.
  • Downtime and maintenance management via predictive lifespan-tracking.
  • Reduced costs by avoiding lift and shift while providing all the benefits of the cloud.

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