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How Brennan IT managed Aurizon's services during a pandemic

How Brennan IT managed Aurizon's services during a pandemic

Brennan IT went through thousands of applications to assemble a dedicated Aurizon team

Dave Stevens (Brennan IT)

Dave Stevens (Brennan IT)

Credit: IDG

When managed services provider Brennan IT secured a $20 million multi-year project with rail freight operator Aurizon earlier this year, it went through thousands of job applicants to assemble the best fit team for the project. 

On a yearly basis, Aurizon transports more than 250 million tons of Australian commodities across the country, employing more than 4,000 staff, spanning about 50 locations. 

In 2019, Aurizon made the decision to look at how they could transform their outsourced managed IT services as part of a strategic plan to enable greater innovation and increased flexibility.

After securing the contract in early 2020, Brennan IT assembled a core team of experienced staff and began recruiting to build a dedicated Aurizon support team containing about 40 staff within their own business.

Besides facing the challenges around a global pandemic, Brennan IT undertook the process to review more than 4,000 applicants, conducted 700 technical tests and completed 200 interviews in order to bring the best possible team together.  

With these foundations in place, Brennan IT worked closely with Aurizon’s internal IT team and their incumbent to refine the plan to ensure this large-scale managed services transition would happen seamlessly, in stages, with minimal risk and business disruption. 

As they embarked on the planning process, Brennan IT quickly had to pivot their approach to the transition to cope with COVID-related restrictions, which meant almost everything originally planned — face-to-face shadowing, onsite workshops — had to be worked on and delivered remotely.

A large-scale migration is no easy task, yet Brennan IT delivered all services on time, with a significant number being delivered up to eight weeks earlier than originally planned and with no significant interruption to Aurizon’s operations or people, all during a global pandemic.

Brennan IT managing director Dave Stevens believes the success of the Aurizon relationship comes down to the fact that both organisations have a similar approach and ethos when it comes to valuing culture, people, service, and ongoing innovation.

“We provide a wide range of managed services and support to Aurizon’s users and have formed a trusted working partnership that is set to last well into the future,” Stevens said.

“This partnership comes off the back of several large enterprise wins for us — with clients such as HammondCare, Ingham’s, Wellways, Mycar, Audi VW and McDonald’s — and further illustrates what the enterprise market has been telling us, they want an MSP that is nimble, flexible and can provide great service at scale. It is clear they are looking for change and we are perfectly positioned to help.”

As a result, Brennan IT is providing ongoing managed IT services to Aurizon — supporting more than 4,000 users, 160 meeting rooms, 1,000 servers, and 1,000 network devices around the clock.

The next phase will involve maximising Aurizon’s continuous enhancement capabilities via a dedicated team which includes people on-site at Aurizon’s head office in Brisbane, as well as various regional locations.   

During FY20, Brennan IT’s net profit grew 59 per cent, while revenue increased 3 per cent from the previous year, driven by securing numerous managed service contract deals in the enterprise space including Aurizon and Hammond Care, worth more than $55 million.

Brennan IT also underwent a couple of structural changes following the departure of CEO Stephen Sims and original founder Dave Stevens stepping back in as a managing director. Nick Sone also joined the company as its sales and marketing director.


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