Sending millions of items across the globe every year is an enormous challenge, but NZ Post knows how to deliver. Since 1987, NZ Post has been a positive force in Kiwi lives, delivering letters and packages to local companies and households and around the world.

In recent years the entire postal business has been undergoing a transformation – and that transformation is gathering momentum. International volumes of posted letters have fallen rapidly, while the number of parcels being sent has skyrocketed as ecommerce booms.

Building a business fit for the future

NZ Post is evolving from a traditional mail service to a global delivery network with ecommerce expertise; forecasts indicate the business will be processing 190 million parcels each year by 2033. As the business evolves, the team at NZ Post is making sure they’re prepared to meet changing customer demand and that they’re creating a supportive working environment for their own people.

“We’re really focused on building an environment that gives our people the tools they need to collaborate and succeed, and that can flex and adapt as our business evolves over time,” says NZ Post GM Data & Analytics Alberto Martin.

In 2019, NZ Post was already working with Datacom and using DCSG (Datacom Cloud Services for Government) as its platform of choice. Working together with Datacom, NZ Post undertook an analysis of its data infrastructure to come up with a plan that would take its operations into the future.

“It was the start of NZ Post’s modernisation journey,” says Adam Barnes, GM Cloud Platforms at Datacom. “The goal was to move them from DCSG and into the public cloud, and also to save them some money so they could reinvest that in even more modernisation.”

Making a plan for 200 applications

Together NZ Post and Datacom mapped out the four key service areas: public cloud, private cloud, Oracle-based middle layer, and legacy applications. Taken altogether, there were around 200 applications being used across the business. Working alongside the team at Amazon Web Services (AWS), the goal was to move as many NZ Post apps as possible to the AWS cloud.

The first step was a ‘lift and shift’ of the simpler applications, which provided cost savings and productivity improvements, and this was completed in just six months.

“Through the discovery and planning process, NZ Post grew their understanding of their full stack of applications," says Adam.

“We were able to help them decommission some apps and consolidate others. These were the quick wins, where we prioritised high-value changes and got them nailed. By migrating to AWS, they were able to reduce some annual costs, but we expect further savings and benefits when business critical applications are modernised in future phases.”

The NZ Post team says one valuable aspect of the project has been gaining insights into their existing applications.

“We enriched the understanding of our application landscape – of how all the applications interact and their dependencies, and that has all been documented in Confluence so it can be referred to when we need it,” says Alberto.

Attention is now turning to the more complex applications that span large chunks of the business and many processes. Those remaining big-ticket apps are part of the next stage of investment.

Another critical benefit of the shift is the added security it offers for all the data that NZ Post’s apps hold.

“Security is obviously an important priority for NZ Post, because we provide such a critical service for so many businesses and people, and we’re trusted with their information. At the outset of this migration project, we took our time to make sure we had the right network configuration, the right environment and security baseline in place,” says Alberto.

“Datacom also helped us bring the NZ Post security team on the journey with us, so everyone understood the aims of the project and what needed to be done to get there.”

One team approach for NZ Post, Datacom and AWS

Although the project is only a third of the way through, the project has run smoothly, thanks to a strong working relationship between NZ Post, AWS and Datacom. Adam describes it as “a one team approach”, with excellent governance structures in place that rapidly dealt with any roadblocks. Even though this project began right before the pandemic hit, the teams shifted to remote working and were able to keep delivering throughout lockdowns.

And, with the cloud migration well underway, NZ Post can cement its reputation for delivering excellence.

“Now they’re on the AWS platform, NZ Post can move faster and be more flexible,” Adam says. “The platform also has security at the forefront. Taken altogether, this migration is one of the keys to the company’s future resilience.”

Working with Datacom, Alberto says the NZ Post team has gone through the cloud strategy process and is now looking to refine the next steps in its cloud migration.

“We are maturing in the way we are using cloud, with more appetite for automation and cloud provisioning, and a good foundation to build on for the rest of the journey.”

“We’ve made significant progress and the end goal is to be fully operating in the cloud and reaping the benefits of a more resilient and scalable platform to deliver the best products for our customers, great experiences for our own team and to be able to innovate in the future.”

Delivering what NZ Post customers want

Working with AWS and Datacom will help NZ Post create faster and more cost-effective systems. Outstanding data infrastructure is an essential part of keeping the business at the forefront of the delivery sector. Gains made by streamlining processes can be passed onto NZ Post’s customers who place a high value on a fast, reliable service.

“Our expertise and high delivery performance is giving our business customers a distinct competitive advantage,” says David Walsh, NZ Post CEO.

“New technology is helping us manage those changing customer expectations by offering more choice, more convenience and more visibility. Continued investment in our network and technology is seeing us grow our capacity to match the growth in parcels and changes in consumer behaviour.”

Datacom is an AWS Managed Service Partner and accredited Migration Competency Partner, with extensive experience in migrating workloads to AWS across Australia and New Zealand. Datacom provides NZ Post’s cloud environment 24/7 support via Datacom’s Cloud Centre of Excellence (CCoE) team.

Datacom participates in the following AWS Programmes: Premier Tier Services, Select Tier Training, Authorised Training Partner, AWS Public Sector Partner, AWS Solution Provider Programme, AWS Public Sector Partner, AWS Solution Provider Programme, AWS Public Sector Solution Provider, APN Immersion Days, AWS Well-Architected Partner Programme.

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