Dole Europe Migrates from On-Site to Azure IaaS

Dole Industry Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage Challenge

Dole Europe GmbH realized it needed to start operating in the cloud, but while its European HQ is located in Hamburg, Germany, its entire datacenter was located in Sweden.

Solutions Cloud, Cloud Adoption & Migration, Public Cloud Platforms Cloud, Microsoft Azure

Our customer

Dole Europe is the European division of Dole Food, one of the world’s biggest providers of fresh fruit. Dole Europe imports a large range of fresh fruit from its own agricultural businesses in the Dole Food Company and from independent producers around the world. Dole Europe also provides retailers with innovative solutions for services and products. The Dole brand stands worldwide for highest product quality, innovation, research and development and a more sustainable and socially responsible production.

“The rapid results were all down to our business relationship, which is based on collaboration and cooperation – given the tight turnaround times, there's no way it could have worked otherwise.”
Dirk Umbach, IT Operations Manager, IT Operations Manager
Dole

The obstacles they faced

The fruit business has seen a huge transformation in recent years. What was previously a highly regulated trade in goods has increasingly become a free market. In order to save costs and gear itself more towards the future, Dole Europe GmbH decided to move the company into the Microsoft® Azure® cloud.

There was just one major challenge: Though its European headquarters were located in Hamburg, the company's entire data center was located on the premises of a service provider in Sweden. This resulted in complex workflows and high costs.

Dole

“From a business point of view, it's fantastic to see how much money we've saved by bringing in this new solution.”

Dirk Umbach, IT Operations Manager,, Dole Europe GmbH
Dole

How we helped

Dole commissioned the Hamburg-based company Bright Skies to migrate part of its own data center to the cloud. Bright Skies, a Rackspace Technology company, headed up the project and provided an entire service package right from the start, which included a Cloud Readiness Assessment, a feasibility study and budget plan, and technical workshops for defining the target architecture. The project's ambitious plan: to migrate 100% of the VMs to Azure.

From October to December 2017, Bright Skies transferred a total of 80 VMs to Azure – half of these via lift-and-shift. The remainder were built from scratch. "We were faced with an ambitious task, one that other solution providers had already struggled with," says Björn Klein, Bright Skies Project Manager. "On the customer side, we noticed that a lot of ERP systems with relatively old databases had accumulated over the years."

But the team pulled together and managed to find a solution, transferring all other services in full to the Azure cloud between 2018 and mid-2019. This was a Herculean task – after all, this project's monthly Azure consumption is in the five-figure range. In addition, the team was able to integrate a more cost-effective central firewall, as requested by the customer. And to save the customer any concerns over technical issues that may arise in the future, Bright Skies' Managed Services division will keep the new solution running smoothly.

What we achieved together

Overall, it just goes to show that even a project of this magnitude can be pulled off in a very short space of time if every employee gives 110%. The team managed particular challenges, such as the high number of transactions or outdated ERP systems, just as successfully as they managed the testing of systems during ongoing operations.

The customer was also extremely satisfied with the result. Umbach emphasized that all his discussions with Bright Skies felt like regular conversations among peers. The focus was not on selling products, but on finding a solution together.

Moving to the cloud means less hassle for the business, lower costs in terms of managing infrastructure, increased productivity and the ability to adapt IT resources to meet demand. This demonstrated that it's entirely possible to achieve the same great IT performance, even with fewer resources.

About Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is the multicloud solutions expert. We combine our expertise with the world’s leading technologies — across applications, data and security — to deliver end-to-end solutions. We have a proven record of advising customers based on their business challenges, designing solutions that scale, building and managing those solutions, and optimising returns into the future.

As a global, multicloud technology services pioneer, we deliver innovative cloud capabilities to help customers build new revenue streams, increase efficiency and create incredible experiences. Recognised as a best place to work, year after year, by Fortune, Forbes, Great Places to Work and Glassdoor, we attract and develop world-class talent to deliver the best expertise to our customers. Everything we do is underpinned by an obsession with our customers’ success — our Fanatical Experience™ — so they can work faster, smarter and stay ahead of what’s next.

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