Moving to a cloud-based IT model has resolved major network outage problems for EasiYo Products, winner of the 2011 Export New Zealand “Exporter of the Year” award.
Communications between EasiYo’s plant and head office in Albany and its branch offices in the UK and Australia were slow, unreliable and becoming a major impediment to the business, says operations manager Sandra Sweetman.
Moving to a cloud computing model was clearly the way forward, she says.
“We had a fairly antiquated system. We were facing 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,” she says.
Providing an IT platform to support global growth was also an important driver. “It’s not about saving money,” she says. “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 IT infrastructure that we want to be able to take completely for granted, delivering fast, seamless and secure computing which ‘just works’.”
EasiYo chose CodeBlue for the implementation.
A virtual private network was installed to link the Auckland head office with the branch offices in the UK and Australia. New Cisco routers were installed at each site, and the existing servers were replaced with servers in the CodeBlue cloud. A single on-premise server was retained for handling very large graphics and video file used to support EasiYo’s global marketing.
Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online was implemented to replace the branch servers. The solution includes business applications from Greentree, MYOB Exo Payroll, and a VoIP phone system. The system has guaranteed 99.9 percent uptime and fully automated backup and disaster recovery.
A CodeBlue managed services contract covers systems monitoring and support, with strategic reviews built in to ensure the system evolves with the business.
EasiYo is the world’s largest premium homemade yogurt company, with annual sales of more than $35 million, more than 1.3 million yogurt makers in homes globally, and more than 1 million sachets of yogurt manufactured each month. The company recently launched into Italy and, based on recent growth in China and Korea, is considering Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand. Around 75 percent of production is exported.
In 2010, Westland Milk Products completed a 100 percent acquisition of EasiYo.
Chief executive Paul O’Brien says the company has a natural competitive advantage because of its premium dairy products, coupled with an emerging middle class in developing countries seeking food that is high in protein and calcium and low in carbohydrates, fats and sugars.
He says the “nutraceutical” market is an area of major export focus into the future with many interesting growth opportunities to yogurt in probiotics, omega 3, folates, weight loss, energy, heart disease, gut health and the immune system.