Bega Cheese's technology transition following Lion acquisition
Bega Cheese has partnered with SXiQ to deliver a technology migration as part of its acquisition of Lion’s Dairy & Drinks business back in late 2020. The acquisition has seen well-known brands such as Big M, Dare, Pura, Dairy Farmers, Farmers Union, Masters, Yoplait, Juice Brothers and Daily Juice come under the Australian dairy and food company’s wings.
As part of this deal, which cost Bega Cheese around $560 million, the technology was required to be transitioned within 12 months. Bega Cheese required the acquired Lion Dairy and Drinks applications, data and processes to be transitioned into its existing or expanded infrastructure. Furthermore, the acquisition principles were based on an application and data separation, with core infrastructure remaining with the seller.
For the Chief Information Officer of Bega Cheese, Zack Chisholm, 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, and the LD&D business was able to modernise a number of core-platforms.
SXiQ, which is owned by IBM, was approached as a key partner to support the migration and integration work for core applications. In addition, this partnership led to the successful infrastructure migration and 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, 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.
SXiQ partnered with Bega Cheese on end-state design, migration planning and ultimately execution for significant parts of 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 ensured transparent, efficient and closely integrated delivery of the program, amid the fast-moving BAU landscapes. In parallel, delivering timely, 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.
Fast forward 12 months with the entire scope delivered, SXiQ said the project is delivering improvements to application performance and systems availability.
SXiQ CEO John Hanna said, “Our experts executed deep analysis, strategic thinking and detailed planning to ensure the successful migration of Lion to Bega Cheese’s existing infrastructure.
“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.”
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