Innovation Driver, BORAL Australia takes to the Cloud with AWS And Versent
BORAL Australia has long been recognised as a leader in the construction materials industry along with its quality, innovative, products and services.
With the emergence of rapid development, IoT along with other technologies ready to disrupt the construction industry, BORAL began their journey by moving from waterfall to a completely agile way of working. BORAL needed a platform that could unlock innovation at pace, scale and security; and at a level well beyond that of a heavily outsourced data centre solution.
An AWS premier consulting partner, with Managed Services, Migration, Security and DevOps competencies, Versent was recommended by AWS as the ideal partner to help BORAL on their cloud migration journey.
We are all about outcomes here at Boral, we chose Versent for its wealth of experience and ability to execute a rapid cloud migration at scale, along with the experience to balance speed against cost and qualityGarran Jones, General Manager Technical Foundation, BORAL.
1) SUPPLY CHAIN
The BORAL business is sensitive to outages, with loss of operations having a significant impact on their business and the customers they serve. These business continuity requirements combined with the distributed nature of BORAL’s operations (often in remote locations) provided unique challenges to the team.
BORAL operates a highly integrated supply chain serviced by one of the largest logistics operations in Australia. This environment demands crucial consideration of integration and resiliency both throughout the migration process as well as through to the architecture into AWS.
Working in small groups and developing a detailed understanding of workloads and its use was the key to successfully planning and executing migrations to date.
2) HIGHLY COUPLED AND ENGINEERED
The scale combined with the interconnectedness of the environment and technical debt accrued over many years, presented a unique challenge to the migration team.
The BORAL technical environment includes a number of existing legacy technologies (i.e. AIX, multicast IP and more). In collaboration with BORAL and AWS, Versent developed detailed migration plans for each legacy component, performing tech spikes to validate approaches. The Versent migration team was able to rehost, re-platform, refactor, retire or replace stacks, while balancing BORAL’s goals, priorities and strategic intent for each workload.
To enable cloud migration and new development in the cloud, Versent established an Enterprise Native Cloud (ENC). The ENC delivered foundational architectural and automation capabilities while providing a significant security compliance uplift (CIS and NIST). This solution was established in partnership with BORAL’s technology team and is now managed by the newly minted BORAL Cloud Centre of Excellence team.
Combining technical discovery with SME/stakeholder interviews and expert analysis, Versent delivered its bespoke Yellow Brick Road (YBR) discovery and analysis for BORAL. The YBR included detailed migration plans, an adjustable model for total cost ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) analysis, architectural standards and a strategic roadmap for the next 18 months. The YBR also provided key elements of BORAL’s Cloud Migration business case and underpinned the entire cloud migration project.
Versent has migrated over 350 workloads to date, which represents 40% of BORAL’s physical footprint, and that’s just the beginning. As workloads are migrated, they benefit from a significant uplift in security posture (measured under both CIS and NIST Cloud) and return full ownership of the technology environment to BORAL. In short, BORAL is completely in the driver’s seat and set up to operate safely at speed with on-going advice from the Versent Managed Services team.
Unit price compared to the previous managed service is lower in AWS, and the ability to turn off non-production workloads when not required has reduced the cost of operating the large interconnected supply chain eco-system significantly.
Returning ownership of technical systems to BORAL has allowed for optimisation and innovation.
Apart from the initial cost reduction of moving from physical infrastructure under a managed service, BORAL and Versent have unlocked further savings by migrating away from products with customer hostile pricing and turning off servers except where their service is required.
Following the move to AWS, BORAL can provision a new server on the same day it is required. Previously, this took months with significantly higher labour costs. By engaging Versent’s Managed Services these servers are monitored 24x7x365 the moment they are created through automated new service detection, with no human intervention from BORAL required.
BORAL’s innovation agenda includes a significant IoT, Big Data and analytics investment with applications from safety through to modernisation and innovation of the supply chain.
Faced with a significant upgrade of our on-premise payroll system BORAL took the opportunity to re-platform, migrate and upgrade on our way to Cloud. The Versent team were great to work with and we completed all tasks within eight weeks and reduced payroll processing times by over 50%. Life before cloud is all but a distant memory.Paul Pantazes, Solution Engineer Payroll Systems People Lifecycle, BORAL.
Moving to AWS is an ongoing journey for BORAL. Ensuring that the entire business, not just the tech teams, understand the benefits of moving to AWS is paramount. The team can now make smart choices that deliver more value for the business in a shorter time frame.Garran Jones, General Manager Technical Foundation, BORAL.