“Migrating to Azure is part of ATCO’s digital transformation journey to eliminate the task of managing infrastructure and enable more flexibility in the way we deliver services to our business and our customers.”
Chris Marshall, General Manager – Information Technology, ATCO

ATCO, a leading provider of integrated energy, housing, transportation, and infrastructure solutions, has been serving Australian businesses since 1961. With approximately 6,500 employees worldwide and assets of $22 billion, ATCO provides innovative, sustainable solutions in the sectors that are fundamental to global growth and prosperity: housing, real estate, energy, water, transportation, and agriculture.

ATCO is on a strategic journey to become a digital utility organisation, utilising cloud to deliver smarter, more innovative services for internal users and customers. To drive innovation across business units and to increase the ability to scale at speed based on growth demands, ATCO has chosen to undertake a significant migration from its co-location data centre service with IBM to Microsoft Azure cloud.

ATCO’s focus is to implement IT change using cloud technologies to improve relevant systems and processes. The impetus for change arose from two key business challenges:

  1. The strategic requirement to improve responsiveness and consistency of service;
  2. And to eliminate cyber security concerns and improve system performance, reliability, and availability.

ATCO have turned to IBM and IBM’s newly acquired cloud transformation business, SXiQ, to devise a strategy and detailed plan to vacate the existing infrastructure and data centre environment and migrate to Microsoft Azure cloud. To ensure success in this ambitious program of work, ATCO recognised the need for a trusted partner with deep experience in migrations out of complex data centres and a partner that could deliver long-term transformative change.

ATCO has a multi-year relationship with IBM and understand the importance of expert knowledge, excellent collaboration and communication to ensure successful delivery of service. IBM introduced SXiQ, an IBM Company, to deliver this extensive migration project for ATCO based on SXiQ’s experience delivering complex, mission critical cloud migration and modernisation programs for some of Australia’s largest & best-known brands. Wynand Fourie, Lead Client Partner at IBM said, “By leveraging SXiQ’s agility and expertise, IBM are able to deliver the best result for our customer and demonstrate our commitment to ATCO’s transformation goals.”

The IBM/ SXiQ team successfully demonstrated their understanding of the challenges complex data centre environments present, along with a proven track record in not just migrating and modernising, but in enabling the customer organisation to transform its own operating model from on-premise to cloud to better innovate and operate in the cloud.

Chris Marshall, General Manager – Information Technology at ATCO said IBM/ SXiQ was selected for this project based on:

  • The unique recommendation from IBM to provide ATCO with a partner (in SXiQ) that possesses start-up speed and agility with enterprise skills and scale – backed by IBM’s global capability;
  • SXiQ’s proven track record of migration and modernisation in a complex, mission-critical application and datacentre setting; and
  • The clear demonstration of how SXiQ would migrate ATCO’s critical systems to the cloud without impacting business operations.

John Hanna, CEO at SXiQ said “Our team successfully demonstrated a migration, modernisation and optimisation plan to ATCO which was highly transformative, highly automated and delivered the program with a maniacal focus on zero-business disruption. Our approach is based on proven repeatable, scalable tooling and methods.”

This extensive digital transformation project is expected to deliver a host of benefits for ATCO including:

  • Simplifying the IT support environment by reducing the complexity of managing IT assets across multiple locations, eliminating hardware management, and providing scalability and standardisation.
  • Improving backup reliability through automating backup services, ensuring that backups are performed regularly and consistently.
  • Cost flexibility and transparency through pay-as-you-go pricing, visibility into cloud usage and associated costs, reserved instances, resource optimisation, and cost control features.
  • Improved system availability from utilising the Azure cloud built-in redundancy and fault tolerance, high availability, scalability, disaster recovery, and extensive security controls.
  • Improving end user satisfaction by providing fast access to services, greater accessibility, improved reliability, and enhanced security features.
  • Improving cybersecurity posture through access to Azure’s enhanced security features including robust access controls, encryption, threat detection and response capabilities, regular updates and patching, disaster recovery and business continuity features, and compliance with industry standards and regulations.

“Migrating to Azure is part of ATCO’s digital transformation journey to eliminate the task of managing infrastructure and enable more flexibility in the way we deliver services to our business and our customers” says Marshall.

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