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Case study

The challenge

As part of an IT modernization initiative, Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers, wanted to migrate its SAP S/4HANA running in a hosted private cloud environment to a hyperscale public cloud based on Microsoft Azure. The goal was to enable higher levels of efficiency, minimize operating costs and optimize capital investment. With this move, the Swiss Re team also expected to achieve greater agility to develop prototypes, as well as evaluate new features for its enterprise applications.

One of the biggest technical challenges was that the existing SAP applications in the private cloud were not built with high availability. This low availability resulted in reduced infrastructure resiliency and a greater number of application component failures.

Our approach 

Cognizant, a long-time Swiss Re partner, functioned as the systems integrator on this project. Our team carefully crafted a plan to migrate the company’s distributed SAP applications to Microsoft Azure. During the course of the project, the team built numerous automated processes on top of SAP S/4HANA. We leveraged DevOps to create an industry-first, one-click SAP disaster recovery (DR) solution to improve resiliency, reduce manual errors and speed recovery time. The team also achieved wider IT process automation, as 95% of the infrastructure build was automated.

Cognizant partnered with SUSE, a multinational, open-source and enterprise software developer, to design a clustering architecture based on the company’s SUSE Linux Enterprise HA Extensions. The redesigned high-availability architecture ensures the external application programming interfaces will continue to work without any modifications to the service endpoints after migration.

Microsoft Azure cloud modernizes IT infrastructure

Swiss Re’s migration to Microsoft Azure is one of the insurance industry’s largest projects to date. It helped the company boost efficiency, improve core SAP application availability, minimize operating costs and optimize capital investment. The Swiss Re IT team can now monitor the entire DR process from a central portal. The program also increases the team’s agility to develop prototypes and evaluate new enterprise application features.

The migration project has now entered a cloud managed services phase, with Cognizant supporting the new cloud environment. Swiss Re’s modernized IT infrastructure—the result of Cognizant’s robust partnership with Swiss Re, SUSE, SAP and Microsoft—will enable the company to fulfill its long-term growth strategy. 


one-click SAP DR solution improves resiliency


infrastructure build automation enables consistent, repeatable and faster deployment


transition of SAP applications with a high-availability architecture


virtual servers migrated to Microsoft Azure