Local partners BNW Consulting and Kloud have taken robust packaging manufacturer, Pact Group, to the Microsoft Cloud in a transition to Office 365 and other services.
Since 2002, the company has made nearly 50 acquisitions and its legacy on-premise model has presented challenges for the standardisation of infrastructure platforms and applications when the company looked to integrate the acquired businesses.
Pact Group chief information officer, Michael Ross, said the company’s aggressive growth plans meant the business required significant scaling capability and integrated automated manufacturing.
“We needed to have elasticity in the compute space and in the platform to support that growth,” he added.
Most recently, Pact Group upgraded to the latest release of SAP with SQL 2014 to optimise the server architecture for hybrid Cloud deployment.
The company claimed the upgrade allowed the company to only require 25 per cent of the storage capacity needed to run the SAP system, which in turn, reduced the cost of storage for the new Azure-based SAP environments.
Additionally, Pact Group migrated its development and quality assurance SAP environments from the existing on-premises Datacentre to Microsoft Azure and build a new production disaster recovery (DR) environment in Azure using SQL AlwaysOn technology.
Ross said it was the hyper-scale ability of the Azure platform that allowed Pact Group greater elasticity in resource.
“Azure enables us to offset cost by scheduling shut down of workloads that are not required on a 24x7 basis. If we need infrastructure for tactical deployments, we can respond quickly with near unlimited capacity while we are managing an acquisition; then, when completed, we can switch it off. We pay just for what we use.”
Ross added that part of its investment in Microsoft included a transition to Office 365. He said Pact Group have rolled out the platform to more than 1,700 employees who are now using it to collaborate.
“Office 365 is part our overall vision to create a flexible and collaborative working environment as we onboard new businesses, and this has significant benefits for our workforce.”
According to the company, the next step is to gather more data via machine learning and Internet of Things sensors.
“Increasingly we’re focused on integrated automated manufacturing. This sees us integrating multiple data sources across our core platforms as well an ever increasing number of sensors and robots across our manufacturing lines. So we need to create an open network in order to consolidate these and when this occurs, analytics tools available in the cloud like Power BI will be extremely important.”
More to follow.