“The guys at CodeBlue were superb. I just can’t speak highly enough about the quality of the job they’ve done for us.”
Operations Manager, EasiYo Products.
Prior to the CodeBlue Cloud transition, EasiYo’s day to day operations were plagued by network outages. Communications between EasiYo’s plant and head office in Albany and branch offices in the UK and Australia were slow, unreliable and rapidly becoming a major impediment to the business.
EasiYo’s operations manager Sandra Sweetman says moving to a cloud computing model was clearly the way forward.
“We had a fairly antiquated system. We were faced with a major upgrade of our servers and desktop systems. We decided that burying our head in the sand was not an option and that it was better to move sooner rather than later to a cloud-based IT model.”
Providing an IT platform to support global growth was also a key driver towards the cloud, Sweetman says. “It’s not primarily about saving money. It’s about laying the right foundations for a system which can grow along with us, without soaking up management time. We’re investing in an IT infrastructure which we want to be able to take completely for granted, delivering fast, seamless and secure computing and which ‘just works’.”
“It’s not primarily about saving money. It’s about laying the right foundations for a system which can grow along with us, without soaking up management time. We’re investing in an IT infrastructure which we want to be able to take completely for granted, delivering fast, seamless and secure computing and which ‘just works’.”
Managing growth is a key issue for EasiYo – already the largest premium homemade yoghurt company in the world, with annual sales of over $35 million, more than 1 million sachets of yoghurt manufactured per month and more than 1.3 million yoghurt makers in homes globally. EasiYo chief executive Paul O’Brien says exports are rapidly reaching a tipping point: “Success in the UK encouraged us to launch in Italy recently and our recent growth in China and Korea has prompted interest from Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand. We have a natural competitive advantage because of our premium dairy products, coupled with an emerging middle class in developed countries seeking food which is high in protein and calcium and low in carbohydrates, fats and sugar.”
Already, around 75 percent of EasiYo’s production is exported. In February 2010, West Coast based dairy processor Westland Milk Products completed a 100 percent acquisition of EasiYo. This has provided the backing to enable collaborative ventures in exporting, research and development and supply chain initiatives.
CodeBlue’s general manager Ian Funnell says the EasiYo cloud transition was straightforward from a technical perspective. A virtual private network (VPN) was installed to link the Auckland head office with the branch offi ces in the UK and Australia. New Cisco routers were installed at each site. EasiYo’s existing servers were replaced with servers in the CodeBlue Cloud, retaining a single on-premise server for handling very large graphics and video files used to support EasiYo’s global marketing. Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online was implemented to replace onsite servers in Australia and UK. Business applications including Greentree, MYOB Exo Payroll, and a VOIP phone system run on CodeBlue’s Cloud servers – all providing seamless email, document storage and application access from anywhere across the new EasiYo global cloud network. The solution has guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime and full, automated backup and disaster recovery. A CodeBlue managed services contract covers proactive systems monitoring and support, with strategic reviews built in to ensure the system evolves with EasiYo’s business and continues to deliver best value into the future.
Sandra Sweetman says the project has fully delivered on what was promised: “The guys at CodeBlue were superb. I am not an IT expert and the CodeBlue people were really good at explaining things in business English that we could all understand. I just can’t speak highly enough about the quality of the job they’ve done for us.
“We’ve achieved a faster, highly reliable system with better security, including password protection, and full visibility of the business.”
“We’ve achieved a faster, highly reliable system with better security, including password protection, and full visibility of the business. Visibility is really important. Growth means new people in the business and it’s very important to maintain oversight and ensure that new staff are following the ethical standards on which our business is based.
“All in all, moving to the cloud has been a good decision for the business. I can’t say it was easy. Any major change means people have to adapt to new ways of doing things. One thing goes wrong and the cloud takes the blame. But we’ve worked through the issues and now it’s business as usual – just without any IT problems,” Sandra Sweetman says.