Since 1984, ANZCO Foods has been sending high-quality beef and lamb from Aotearoa to the world. It has grown to become New Zealand’s fifth-largest exporter: it sells to over 80 different nations, employs more than 3,000 people across six countries, and turns over around $1.7 billion annually.

ANZCO is a data-led business focused on exporting the highest-quality beef and lamb. From monitoring and tracking its exports, to plant efficiency, to meeting sustainability objectives – capturing and analysing data is an integral part of ANZCO’s ongoing success.

Hybrid cloud wins out over infrastructure-as-a-service

ANZCO had been running its data centre on an infrastructure-as-a-service model since 2013 and after nine years that solution was no longer fit for purpose. The ANZCO ICT team knew they needed to bring their systems up to date and they wanted a solution that would set them up for the future, so they began investigating their options.

“We cut down the available offerings to three: a like-for-like offering from our incumbent provider; another infrastructure-as-a-service offering, and Datacom’s Cloud X,” says Iain Boyd, Head of ICT at ANZCO. “Of the three, Cloud X was the best match for our requirement, while keeping the cost relatively neutral.”

Cloud X stood out because it’s a hybrid cloud environment, with automation capability and greater control. All at a similar price to their old system, and with the Datacom team providing outstanding support.

A quantum leap in speed

ANZCO began migrating to Cloud X in June 2022, and the gains were immediate. The first and most obvious advantage over the old system is the speed – it’s a quantum leap ahead.

“The team are very happy with the speed of the interface,” says Iain. “Once the migration is complete, we’re going to be feeling more empowered. The team will be able to continue to deliver for the ANZCO business, while having some breathing space to future proof our infrastructure platform. We’ll have more time to dig into commonly occurring problems and to focus on continuous service improvement.”

Part of the increase in speed comes from Cloud X itself, and part of it is because the new solution has removed a major pain point for the ANZCO team.

“It’s removed a lot of back-and-forth. On the old platform, when we wanted a new server, we would have to ask the supplier to build it, which would take about 24 hours. Then they would hand it over to us and we would start to configure it. Now we can literally build a new server in a couple of clicks; it’s ready to go immediately.”

An important boost in visibility

Taking back more control has been a major benefit of migrating to Cloud X. Because the ICT team now has access themselves, business agility has increased, and they’ve eliminated the ‘lost in translation’ errors that often arose during outsourcing.

In addition to that extra control, the team is particularly enjoying the improved visibility Cloud X provides.

“In a shared system you have no visibility under the shared servers. So, if another client on the shared platform does something that hogs resources, that creates issues – but it’s not easy to tell why it’s happening. Now with Cloud X we have our own private cloud, and we can see everything that’s happening.”

The Datacom and ANZCO teams have seamlessly migrated to Cloud X, working together in a genuine partnership.

“The Datacom team have been great. They pulled in the required resource from across Datacom to resolve any issues,” says Iain. “Now it’s up to us to make sure we’re using 100% of its capability.”

“Being able to spend time with the ANZCO team has been central to the success of this project. It’s enabled us to understand their unique objectives and challenges and then use these insights to deliver a solution that is valuable. Our collaborative approach is ongoing and we look forward to delivering more value to ANZCO’s people and their customers in the future,” says Datacom’s Cloud X Development Lead, Marcel Rafter.

Director of Datacom Cloud Ross Delaney says the other major benefit for ANZCO of the shift to Cloud X is that it has enabled seamless connectivity and integration into an AWS tenancy.

"It is critical for a business like ANZCO that it has scope to innovate and identify efficiencies, while still ensuring it can serve its customer and there are no impacts to the product supply chain. This was top of mind as we migrated their applications to Cloud X and ensured tight integration with ANZCO's existing AWS environment."

The Datacom and ANZCO teams integrated AWS storage and on-demand services with the hybrid cloud interoperability features on Cloud X.

"In complex IT environments you have to be prepared for issues to arise from time to time, and so with this approach we are able to offer a complete hybrid data protection solution that uses Datacom's sovereign Cloud X, as well as using AWS as an additional point of resiliency to bring daily operations back if we ever needed."

Sheep grazing over a scenic field

Doing more with the same dollars

The next step for the ANZCO team will be finding new ways to make the most of Cloud X.

“We’re only now starting to get into the automation capability and longer-term that will give us even more gains,” Iain says. “We’re looking at Cloud X Edge, which would allow us to roll out the same solution at our processing and manufacturing sites, not just in the data centre. If we can scale that, it will create huge efficiencies right across the business.”

Overall, the benefits of moving to the hybrid cloud have been enormous, set against surprisingly low costs, says Iain.

“This feels like good value for us – because it provides cost stability, and we can effectively do more with the same dollars. We’re very happy with Cloud X; I think it’s fundamental to our ability to continue to deliver at pace to the ANZCO Foods business.”

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