SXiQ delivered a historically significant technology transition under extreme time pressure, with minimal business disruption and without missing any deadlines.
Operating for over 100 years, Bega Cheese Limited (Bega Cheese) is a leading Australian dairy and food company, with an ambition of being The Great Australian Food Company. Bega has manufacturing sites across Australia and has been focussed on bringing great Australian brands back into Australian ownership.
In late 2020 Bega Cheese transformed the Australian food market through their acquisition of Lion’s Dairy and Drinks (LD&D) business, expanding their branded foods portfolio, manufacturing and distribution infrastructure.
The acquisition required the technology transition to be completed within a 12-month window. Bega required the acquired Lion Dairy and Drinks applications, data and processes to be transitioned into their existing or expanded infrastructure. Furthermore, the acquisition principles were based on an application and data separation, with core infrastructure remaining with the seller.
This project presented both challenge and opportunity – given the integration was to occur whilst both Bega Cheese and the LD&D business were fully operational and required minimal business disruption. Complexities included replacing remote site hosting infrastructure, transition of core business processes and systems, deploying new cloud infrastructure, and the migration of previously Lion hosted desktop and cloud-based applications to the Bega Cheese network. On the other hand, a number of opportunities presented for the LD&D business to modernise a number of core-platforms.
SXiQ have been entrusted by some of Australia’s largest & best-known brands to deliver their most complex & critical cloud migration and modernisation programs; under extreme time pressure, with significant business demands and market exposure which can have significant impact on market position and share price.
SXiQ was chosen as Bega’s partner for the migration project because of:
- Our deep expertise and technical leadership in providing the strategy on how applications, sites and users would be migrated.
- Our flexible delivery model was able to adjust and pivot as business requirements changed and ensured a smooth and timely migration.
- Our strength in cloud and datacentre technology.
SXiQ, together with the Bega Cheese IT team, developed a plan which was underpinned by some core principles to ensure the migrated and integrated systems, performed equal to or better than the state they were in prior to the acquisition, these principles included:
- Minimal business disruption to customers, suppliers and the team
- Cloud-first, avoid building long-term tech-debt
- Move to end-state as quickly as possible, where possible
- Take a phased approach, removing the shock of ‘big bang’
- Drive cost-efficiency to help the acquisition case realise synergy benefits
From the moment SXiQ was selected, the clock was ticking with the risks and pressure to deliver high.
SXiQ partnered with Bega Cheese on end-state design, migration planning and ultimately execution for significant parts the program, with the scope encompassing:
- Migration of mission-critical applications, databases and their associated backups
- Modernisation of numerous applications, delivering improved system performance and security compliance
- Implementation of a prod and non-prod AWS accounts and Landing Zone to house all LD&D workloads, which also included the implementation of a continuous integration and continuous deployment toolset and workflow built on Cloud Formation, Ansible, Jenkins and GitHub
- The migration of remote site systems from 31 physical sites across almost every state and territory in Australia, which included 13 production sites
- Integration of mission critical applications and users into Bega Cheese’s core security and identity platforms
- Cloud cost optimisation strategies to ensure intelligent and efficient consumption of cloud resources to support the newly acquired business
- Uplifting the cloud ops team to ensure Bega Cheese IT incorporates true DevSecOps into its core capability supporting this new platform
A project of this scale, complexity and duration required strong governance so both Bega Cheese and SXiQ immediately mobilised a joint Integration Management Office (IMO) with both leadership, architecture and project teams. The IMO and project teams proactively ensured transparent, efficient and closely integrated delivery of the program, amid the fast-moving BAU landscapes. In parallel, delivering timely, meticulously coordinated organisational change and communication ensured the successful wave-by-wave activation of systems. This also meant employees were well supported in an emerging One Bega culture, so team members were aware, prepared and assisted through the changes, resulting in positive experiences.
With deep analysis, strategic thinking, and detailed planning, this partnership led to the successful infrastructure migration and the transition of 31 physical sites performing production, distribution and administration duties, ensuring minimal disruption to the business operations of both the LD&D and the Bega Cheese businesses, within the required completion time of 12-months.
SXiQ, with Bega Cheese IT brought to life a historically significant technology transition, and in doing so was a key partner supporting the uplift of core offerings to the market. This has created a significantly improved position to enable highly automated cloud platforms for the Bega Cheese business which will accelerate innovation cycles, grow a cloud DevSecOps operating model for Bega Cheese IT and deliver rapid results with better outcomes. Simultaneously, this further aligns and enhances the overall Bega Cheese cyber security posture and ongoing cybersecurity capability.
By uplifting infrastructure, cloud management tooling and practices, SXiQ has enhanced management of Bega Cheese’s cloud assets, improving consistency, security and reducing time to deploy cloud infrastructure in the future.
Key success metrics
Key success metrics from this project include:
- 31 production sites across Australia.
- 180 applications.
- 1,400 end users.
- 25% application performance improvement
- 2 x support effect system availability improvement
- 80% reduction in system deployment time
“SXiQ’s reach, speed and agility, combined with its unique experience in large complex M&A’s was a game-changer. Their experience meant we could confidently commit timelines to the market and meet them.”