Out from the shadows: How a subsidiary leveraged cloud to take control of its IT environment
FIELD SERVICE OFFICES
DAYS OF AZURE MIGRATION
By migrating their IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure, our turbine service industry client asserted control of its IT environment to turn it into a highly capable platform for remote and hybrid work.
This Canadian-based organization repairs and maintains industrial gas turbines for an international customer base. The company employs more than 250 staff in its main depot and field service offices located around the world.
As a small organization with larger parent firms, the customer was desperate to gain autonomy over its IT environment. The infrastructure was under the control of one of its parent companies, a much bigger operation with more than 70,000 staff, and managed by a third-party vendor.
The disconnect between the front-line staff of the small subsidiary, and IT support from its much larger parent, had a significant detrimental effect on their business operations.
Support tickets submitted to the helpdesk take weeks to be resolved, rather than hours or days. “There were times when staff would call into the help desk, and help desk staff wouldn't even know who they were,” said Daniel Krzesowski, a Calgary-based account executive for Compugen who worked on the project. Alterations were often executed without any prior notification - surprise updates and patches to the network resulted in the loss of access to applications including email, and data was often misplaced.
The Compugen team determined that the best way to give the organization the IT autonomy required would be to migrate to Microsoft’s Azure. The first step in this process was a comprehensive inventory of their data, tools and processes. This inventory helped the team identify specific needs and create a blueprint for the design of the IT architecture.
Once the inventory was complete, the team faced a major obstacle before they could migrate to the cloud: access to the customer’s data. Compugen’s team needed assistance from the parent company to properly locate all of the customer’s data and determine how best to remove it. This proved more difficult than anticipated given the remote relationship.
“Gaining access to that data took a lot of work and coordination, but once we had what we needed, we were able to execute the plan and migrate their data over a weekend,” Krzesowski explained.
All file services went to Office 365, while the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system was migrated to Azure.
Compugen consolidated many different technologies previously utilized by the company to become a 100% Microsoft platform, leveraging the benefits of cloud-based solutions such as Azure and Office 365.
“Now everything is seamless and much easier to manage,” Krzesowski said. “It’s always current and self-updates because it's run as a software-as-a-service. Everything has been consolidated, from multiple complicated technologies, to a unified environment that is easily managed through a single pane of glass.”
One of this project’s most important and immediate impacts was that their staff’s technology-related downtime was reduced significantly. With a locally-based service desk, and better communication, productivity and staff sentiment improved considerably. Team collaboration has also been enhanced through unencumbered, secure access to the company’s cloud-based data that is easily accessed when at the office, or remotely. This became particularly important when, immediately after the project was completed in early March 2020, the world was thrust into a new remote work reality.
The migration to Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 environments means that the company’s data and systems are more secure than ever before. The current security posture means that the organization is better positioned to include individuals working outside of the office as well as within. Previously, their security posture was focused on those inside the organization's walls. The Compugen team ensured that the new IT architecture was designed with a holistic view, allowing staff to work anywhere in the world without concerns about their data or security.
“The biggest story surrounding this cloud migration is that it allowed the customer to transition seamlessly to the ‘new normal’ without any issues,” Krzesowski said. “All 250 staff were able to stay productive, regardless of where they were working. This would not have been possible had they not shifted to this new model,” Krzesowski concluded.
Frustrated after years of having no control over their own IT environment, the customer partnered with Compugen to build and deploy a new cloud-based IT architecture that would transform their organization’s approach to work. By migrating their data and processes to Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 cloud environment, Compugen helped this organization achieve autonomy over their IT environment, enhance staff collaboration and enable a seamless shift to remote and hybrid work.