Diversified Agribusiness Leader Enterprise-class cloud at low cost

This independent philanthropic organisation has committed almost a billion dollars to a wide range of global initiatives such as cancer elimination and restoration of the oceans. A proudly Australian organisation, its programs are funded through the Group’s portfolio of businesses which span property, tourism, sport, retail, capital works, mining and agriculture sectors. It is a forwardthinking organisation that seeks to make its operations as efficient, effective and scalable as possible.

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The Group’s escalating growth and diversity highlighted the need for standardised business transactions, streamlined ‘factory floor’ processes, deeper insights into real-time data, and stronger security.

It became clear that the Group’s IT strategy needed to be revised in order to remediate the risk posed by aging systems, provide an enterprise-grade ERP to align processes across all entities and establish a strategic platform for growth.

Cloud offered many advantages in this scenario: a modern, flexible, cost effective and scalable platform to address its immediate requirements while creating a future-proof solution.

A review of the customer’s IT systems by estrat revealed a strong business case for an ambitious systems and infrastructure upgrade.

The project was soon launched with estrat retained to develop the high-level architecture and project scope. Completed over 12 months, the strategy included the establishment of a group ERP, replacement of the processing systems, and a wide-ranging upgrade of the IT and security infrastructure.

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estrat guided the client’s key stakeholders through a formal procurement process and the establishment of a project team which would ultimately deliver this critical program. Our remit then moved to the design of the infrastructure solution inclusive of cloud, enterprise computing, networking, and end-user services. This included the strategic use of AWS as the primary hosting platform.

AWS S3, EC2, VPC, ELB, IAM and CloudWatch were configured to create a highly available, scalable and secure foundation. End of life servers and appliances were migrated into the AWS environment using EC2 instances backed by EBS storage. Interfaces to on-premise ‘factory-floor’ applications, such as Emydex, were executed using APIs.

Data protection and disaster recovery services were enabled by a Veeam solution which duplicates backups to an AWS S3 bucket providing an alternative storage location. In the event of a disaster, services can be restored either to the AWS or on-premise platform instances.

The injection of AWS DirectConnect into the wide area network enhanced connectivity, bringing the organisation together as an enterprise for the first time. This, together with a sophisticated Palo Alto firewall solution, provided the capacity, security and resilience to match the Group’s stringent requirements.

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The AWS platform immediately proved its value as requirements for development and test environments came on stream. This allowed the teams in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand to mobilise quickly and progress rapidly.

The Group’s ‘cloud-first’ approach allows it to scale up or down quickly, achieve security compliance, and meet the performance requirements of the new ERP. The platform, which now hosts the customer’s Microsoft Navision ERP, as well as bespoke applications and services, continues to grow in functionality and scale as the client acquires new entities and embarks on ground-breaking projects in agribusiness, logistics and ocean research.

The new platform was implemented through the successful collaboration of many parties including IT staff, external security specialists, infrastructure partners, AWS and estrat. The eco-system provides world class compute, storage and disaster recovery capabilities at an affordable cost, and will allow the Group to scale to meet the demands of the rapidly growing business without significant investment in time and resources.

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What We Did

Strategy Implementation Cloud Transition Transformation

This was one of our most complex projects; a massive undertaking that touched almost all areas of the customer's business. We were able to deliver a solution that significantly reduced the risk of their legacy infrastructure and applications while building a platform to unify a growing enterprise.

STUART STAFFORD, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

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