Reseller News

Revera on the outer as LIC opts for Azure

Microsoft, ETP and Umbrellar deliver large cloud migration
Wayne McNee (LIC)

Wayne McNee (LIC)

Livestock Improvement Corporation has deployed Microsoft's Azure to modernise its back-end infrastructure in a project delivered by Umbrellar and Emerging Technology Partners (ETP).

Now merged with and called CCL, Revera, which used to provide hosting services for the company, appears to be the biggest loser in the changes. 

A farmer-owned cooperative, LIC had been a long-term customer of Revera's since it sold its data centre to the Spark-owned company in 2008 in what was described in the fashion of the time as a "utility computing" deal.

Revera was referred to as LIC's "previous technology provider of more than ten years" in a case study published yesterday, which said:

"Their products were fit for purpose, but as LIC’s demands as an agri-tech business grew, so did the demands on their service provider. It was time to move to a modern platform, one managed by a cloud service expert."

Revera has been asked for comment. Reseller News understands LIC also remains a significant AWS user.

LIC chief executive Wayne McNee said being in the cloud is essential to keep abreast of the latest technological innovations.

“Our move to the cloud boosts our digital transformation agenda by making available the development, deployment and infrastructure management tools only available in a cloud environment.”

With 183 servers, and more than 120 terabytes of data from three different data centres, supporting 20 applications including legacy genomics software described as the "crown jewels" of the New Zealand dairy industry, LIC needed what it described as "state of the art providers" to host and manage its IT systems.

The cost and complexity of managing such infrastructure made the move to a public cloud platform and modern service management the obvious next step, said McNee.

“The infrastructure is critical to our business. It supports our products, services and data that our customers rely on for the day to day running of their farming businesses.

“We also have staff that are increasingly leveraging platform services such as BI/analytics, AI and high-performance compute.

“What we had in place was working but we needed to modernise our back end systems to improve performance speeds and open up new opportunities for future development.”

McNee said LIC set Microsoft a challenge.

As a minimum, they needed to meet the same service levels as the incumbent, increase the security profile of LIC's technology stack, move every service including systems that had grown organically for decades, and complete the migration in less than six months.

Microsoft assembled the expertise required for the analysis and migration, and then identified an operational service provider.

Together with LIC, a consortium was formed by Microsoft with Emerging Technology Partners providing the engineering to plan and execute the changes.

Umbrellar, a Microsoft Azure and Azure Stack partner, was tasked to manage the cloud service platform for LIC.

“We are really proud of the work we did with LIC,” said Neil Cresswell, CEO of ETP.

“So many organisations in the throes of transformation are not only trying to keep up with the present, the really smart ones are looking to keep up with the future. And the work we did with LIC is a strong example of that."

ETP said it started with an analysis of LIC’s data estate and then evolved their applications so that their system was future-proofed.

"We designed a future state architecture, built a detailed five-year total cost of ownership, including a fixed price cost of change, then delivered all of that to LIC and Umbrellar on time, on budget and as scoped.”

Umbrellar deployed a Modern CloudServices Management framework around LIC’s complex needs.

“The target state for LIC was a full infrastructure rehost of their applications to Microsoft Azure," said Umbrellar’s head of cloud, Dave Howden.

"We crafted a Modern Cloud Services Management partnership that not only supported LIC through its transition to the Microsoft Cloud, but endures as their Cloud Managed Services delivery partner supporting them as they continue on their digital journey.”

Reseller News understand The Instillery and HCL Technologies also remain long-term technology services and systems support partners to LIC.

“We are very proud of the partnership with LIC, ETP and Umbrellar to bring agility to LIC’s business, enabling them to leverage the core Azure platform to help them move faster and open up new opportunities and markets," said Microsoft NZ’s enterprise director Vanessa Sorenson.