“On recommendation, we got the I.T. Team on board to initially manage our migration to Office 365. Their costings and process fitted our business needs, plus their friendly, family-centred orientation aligns well with our business values.”
“Their willingness to integrate into the business at both a personal and business level makes partnering with them a lot easier.”
IT Delivery Manager
Prior to the recent acquisition by logistics multinational, DB Schenker, SB Global Logistics was a 60-employee strong business with headquarters in Christchurch.
The company was established in 1990 and grew to become one of New Zealand’s top supply chain firms providing international freight forwarding and contract logistics. Because of its strong South Island foothold, the company was acquired by DB Schenker in 2017.
Transitioning their systems and culture from a local into a global corporation while maintaining business as usual has been quite an undertaking, as it would for any business.
With 65,000 employees and about 2,000 offices in 130 countries around the world, DB Schenker is the world’s second largest provider of integrated logistics services.
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Sector: Transportation and Logistics
Users/Seats: 60 staff (transitioning to DB Schenker system)
Services provided: Managed Services, Office 365 supply and support
SB Global Logistics first approached The I.T. Team when Microsoft Office 365 was introduced offering cost-effective hosted services and improved licencing. As administering and managing their Microsoft Exchange system on internal servers was more time-consuming, migration was a no brainer. However, their former IT provider didn’t have the expertise and recommended The I.T. Team for the task.
At that time, SB Global Logistics had two IT staff. When their network technician resigned, the company was left heavily reliant on the IT Delivery manager, and mitigating the business risk became a priority.
The next major challenge came after the acquisition by DB Schenker: transitioning the IT systems across while meeting the multinational’s strict requirements.
It took less than three months for The I.T. Team to migrate SB Global Logistics’ system to Office 365. They did it progressively and everything went well. As the relationship developed, the scope increased to provide critical incident support, external advice on best practice infrastructure, and IT support.
Connon Daly The I.T. Team General Manager explained, “It was initially a trial arrangement to have two of our staff onsite, but it’s been operating for three years now. We’re providing high quality skill from multiple resources to DB Schenker and we scale to their needs during projects and peak working periods.”
Reon Edwards DB Schenker NZ Director recalled, “When our IT Manager was away, there was significant risk to the business and we wanted to mitigate that so we wouldn’t be so reliant on him. We decided to increase The I.T. Team’s hours and bring two of their technical staff into our Christchurch office twice a week. It made them feel more part of the team and it was very beneficial for our staff.”
When the SB Global Logistics was acquired by DB Schenker, the IT demands changed considerably. To help them with the transition, The I.T. Team were tasked with migrating their onsite legacy systems to the DB Schenker system.
“It’s a big challenge moving to a global system. It’s also a huge culture change,” said DB Schenker NZ IT Delivery Manager Alex Smith. “The multinational systems are more rigid and, in most cases, the decisions and company directions are dictated from the Germany head office and regional head office in Singapore.”
Reon explained that, globally, DB Schenker have their own IT support network offshore in China and India. “The original strategy was to have our support desk offshore and none on the ground, but practically that doesn’t work. We still need local IT support to do the hands-on work. The model in Christchurch has been working well and has since been rolled out to our Auckland office, with a potential to roll it out to Australia too,” he added.
SB Global Logistics chose not to look elsewhere when they were recommended to engage The I.T. Team, as they were happy with the costings and process presented.
“We had some understanding of what would be involved with the move to Office 365, but probably not at a granular level. The I.T. Team were good in that they helped clarify the process and pitfalls,” said Alex.
“When our network technician left, we decided it was more economic to use them more than hire another staff member. By then, The I.T. Team proved that they fitted our business needs and worked in well as a partner. They also share our business values and morals. They have a friendly family-centred orientation with a willingness to integrate with our business at both a personal and professional level.
“They also helped us with an issue we had with a cryptolocker. On principle I refused to pay the ransom, as I knew we had good backup systems. Instead we restored and recovered everything we needed to.”
Alex is now one of approximately 95 IT staff for DB Schenker Australia and NZ and says that staff at The I.T. Team balance both technical and strategy capabilities well.
“The I.T. Team have always provided a good service. There’s still a lot of work to do to migrate our systems and they are the hands, eyes and ears of the DB Schenker staff in assisting us with this.”