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Kubota transitions core and critical systems to Microsoft Azure


Microsoft has announced that Kubota ANZ, an Australian heavy equipment manufacturer and supplier, is transitioning core and mission-critical applications such as SAP to Microsoft Azure. 

This establishes a highly scalable and agile digital foundation to support the company’s significant growth plans and accelerate opportunities for innovation. It will establish a more resilient and responsive platform to serve its 186 dealerships across Australia and New Zealand. 

For over 40 years, Kubota has been Australia and New Zealand’s leading supplier of agriculture, construction and power equipment. Until recently, many of its digital platforms were hosted centrally by its parent, Kubota Japan, on-premises. However, Kubota ANZ’s significant growth ambitions prompted it to transition core applications, starting with its SAP ERP system, to Azure. 

This has allowed it to scale rapidly and access a broad array of cloud-based tools and services to accelerate innovation efforts. 

Kubota has enhanced IT governance to ensure any changes or updates to systems align with the organisation’s strategic goals. 

Working with specialist SAP and cloud consulting business, Zag – now part of Accenture – Kubota completed the SAP system migration from Japan and transitioned to a local cloud instance in just five months. Zag also supported Kubota’s disaster recovery upgrade and technical re-platforming. 

“It’s been a very smooth and successful transition,” Kubota ANZ head of Enterprise IT Daniel Lodder said. 

“Having come from a couple of organisations where I’ve worked on Azure migrations, this is by far one of the biggest and most complex.” 

With critical SAP applications hosted in local instances of Azure, data sovereignty is addressed and the ANZ IT team can now more directly support staff and add value to operations. This includes enhancements and alternations to core SAP systems based on local needs. 

Additionally, the transition of SAP to Azure lays the groundwork for a planned upgrade to SAP S/4HANA in the medium term. 

The digital modernisation allows Kubota ANZ to be nimble when responding to the needs of Kubota dealers, which is critically important to maintain distributor loyalty in a fiercely competed sector. 

We’ve been able to simplify our IT service delivery with just having a workload in Azure,” Kubota ANZ IT service delivery manager Jonathon Bonicci said. 

“From a cost perspective, we’ve been able to realise a significant amount there. We’re in the process of upskilling our team to have their own Azure certifications so we can spin up Virtual Machines (VM), complete our own optimisations, and extend and manage our platform. 

We intend to leverage a lot of other functionality from Azure and the Microsoft stack. Azure is going to be at the heart of how Kubota operates.” 

Simplifying workloads and scaling up to meet the changing needs of local dealers is important for Kubota ANZ to stay ahead of the curve in a competitive landscape, Zag part of Accenture CEO and Accenture NZ head of Technology Nick Mulcahy said. 

“The migration of its large SAP workload from Japan into Azure in Australia was completed 100 per cent remotely, from the initial kick-off meeting right through to project completion,” he said. 

“It’s exciting to see Kubota leap towards becoming a more agile and autonomous enterprise by transitioning to Microsoft’s innovative cloud technology.” 

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