Neos IT migrates Oracle Siebel application to OCI, increasing security, flexibility and availability for the German Equestrian Federation

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Siebel Cloud Migration: Neos IT migrates Oracle Siebel application to OCI, increasing security, flexibility and availability for the German Equestrian Federation.

From “small horseshoes” to pedigrees dating back to the early 20th century, the German Equestrian Federation (Fédération Equestre Nationale, or FN for short) maintains a tremendous amount of data. From its headquarters in Warendorf, the sports association manages all data relating to breeders, athletes and, last but not least, almost 4 million horses. For many years, this data was managed via the Oracle Siebel application in various Oracle databases. To migrate this application from a local service provider to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), the FN worked together with Neos IT Services GmbH. The Munich-based company specialises in building custom digital platforms for all industries.

Flexible hosting environment for smooth data exchange

The Siebel application contains the central database which the FN not only uses for its day-to-day operations, but also to maintain and retrieve statistics. For example, all breeding association data from across Germany is consolidated in this database. “Data exchange” is the key word here. “We started with electronic data processing in 1976,” says Florian Giesecke-Uellner, Head of IT at the FN. “Our database includes almost 4 million animals with pedigrees dating back to the early 1900s.”

Until the migration to the cloud, the FN worked with an on-premises hosting model, a kind of “private cloud” approach. Since this model no longer worked for application development, switching to a more flexible hosting environment was necessary. The next logical step was to move to the cloud. A good interaction between the Oracle Cloud and the Oracle Siebel application was a basic requirement; the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers the ideal solution.

For the FN, it was important that the "hosting" and "operation" components interact seamlessly lock in the target cloud solution. The association was looking for a service provider that did not require these two components to be manually coordinated. “Neos IT is an ideal partner with great references“, Giesecke-Uellner said. “We considered a few other competitors as well as different scenarios – for example with our own staff – but in the end we quickly agreed that Neos IT is the best choice.”

The cooperation went smoothly from the beginning. Giesecke-Uellner had extremely precise requirements for what the new environment had to be able to do, what had to be structured, who should have access to what, etc. This proved to be an advantage for the provider entrusted with the implementation, as discovered by Christian Pecher, Oracle Division Pre-Sales at Neos IT. “Our room for manoeuvre is limited, but I know exactly what it should look like in the end. This makes the implementation process a whole lot easier.”

Clear cost structure and transparency

The client's precise specifications were an essential advantage, also in terms of costs. Fluctuating, unexpected or even exploding costs were excluded from the outset. “When planning such a migration, there are, of course, fundamental considerations, especially with regard to the budget,” says Felix Denner, Cloud Sales Executive at Neos IT. The transparent cost structure also includes the entire management of the cloud, which Neos IT is taking over for the FN.

In addition to migrating the Oracle Siebel application to the OCI, the project also included upgrading the Oracle database, moving the existing Samba file system to a highly available distributed file system (DFS), and a free SFTP solution offered by Oracle to replace the previous WebDAV document sharing system. “The new solution is extremely efficient,” says Pecher. “We were able to map the environment in the cloud in a structure similar to FN's existing one. We also added a few components to make it much more secure.” For this purpose, an OCI upstream WAF (web application firewall) was connected upstream. In addition, Neos IT built security lists in the Oracle Cloud, which, among other things, specify which components can communicate with each other.

Faster, more secure, and accessible everywhere

For the FN, a lot has changed for the better since the migration. The correction of minor errors or the realisation of expansion wishes no longer requires a lengthy decision-making and implementation process. This is a tremendous advantage, as it allows an agile approach. “Ideas and suggestions for improvement can now be implemented in just under two hours,” says Giesecke-Uellner. “Often this is done with little effort and the users are happy.”

In addition, the application is now faster, more secure, and can be used anywhere in the world. This last point creates a lot of flexibility, especially as people are increasingly working from home, even within the FN. In addition to the security of the data, the new solution also increases the operational reliability or accessibility of the application. “Events in our sport mainly take place on weekends and evenings,” says Giesecke-Uellner. “I need something that is also available outside of operating hours.”

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