Datacom New Zealand is pleased to announce the success of the world’s largest production SAP migration to the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform.

From the Mount Maunganui location in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty, local IT integrator and service partner Datacom, has successfully migrated Zespri International’s global SAP platform and other applications to Microsoft Azure.

The migration was seamless, completed ahead of schedule, and was so successful that Zespri Asia, Zespri Europe, and Zespri New Zealand could begin working off those systems immediately post migration.

Zespri’s global kiwifruit sales totalled NZ$1.35 billion in 2013/14 and it operates in 53 countries and multiple timezones. The kiwifruit industry is set for strong growth in coming years, aiming to increase export revenue to NZ$3 billion by 2025, which Zespri has factored in to its IT planning.

“Datacom had the flexibility, technical knowledge, and can-do attitude to help us evaluate Azure and work toward our target of 100 percent public cloud,” says Andrew Goodin, Global Manager of Information Systems for Zespri.
Datacom initially set up a test environment in Azure to test the performance of SAP in the cloud with great results, clocking in a response time equal to or better than onshore.

The initial results were promising with a high degree of confidence that the SAP landscapes would run efficiently on Azure, perform appropriately, and continue to deliver value to the global business.

The key drivers towards the public cloud selection for this project were to improve scalability globally, reduce IT costs, insulate the business against the threat of natural disasters including earthquakes and tsunamis, increase unrealised SAP performance and to enable Zespri to focus on its core business.

“You can’t be an expert in everything, and we wanted to focus on our core product, kiwifruit, and let our partners Datacom and Microsoft manage our IT infrastructure so we can scale without constraints,” Goodin says.

“We can bump up Azure performance in minutes by adding additional resources, which is not possible in the on-premises world. This means less friction and no interruption to our business operations, which provides Zespri with real value.”

Scott Green, Director of ITM Datacom says, “It’s a great example of how a collaborative partnership between Zespri, Datacom and Microsoft can deliver a world first.

“This is further proof of our approach to building customer centric solutions around individual client requirements. We have the ability to support the full spectrum of approaches, local virtual cloud solutions for secure high performance, through to geographically distributed hybrid solutions.  We maintain that it is vital that customers need to pick their technology partner first, then work with them to select the right infrastructure platform to fit their strategic needs, rather than the other way around,” Green says.

This public cloud service delivery was designed and implemented by a Datacom team in the Midland region.

David Duffy, General Manager of Datacom Midlands, says that matching Zespri’s needs with various cloud options found that Microsoft Azure was an ideal strategic business fit.

For Zespri, Datacom assessed this technology decision on cost, global reach, experience and alignment with software choices.

“We have a solid, longstanding partnership with Microsoft. While every customer has different needs, the Azure platform was a very good fit for Zespri – with a strong value proposition comprising software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) solutions,” says Duffy.

Key delivery facts:

  • The migration involved approximately 230 Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines running in the western US Azure data centre.
  • Having these workloads running outside of New Zealand provides the global reach that Zespri requires for their international workforce and distribution network.
  • Zespri workloads are georeplicated to other Azure data centres outside the US to further mitigate against disasters. 
  • Datacom assisted in the review of platforms, design and build of the network and platform on Azure, and the implementation of a comprehensive managed service offering to support the platform and Zespri users.
  • Datacom provides a range of managed cloud solutions for customers - from public cloud solutions such as Azure and AWS, in-country shared private cloud solutions, and integrated customer private cloud solutions.