Size of IS shop: 150
Mobile PCs: 4050
Hand-held devices: 1000
Total screens: 10,700
PC environment: Dell; Windows XP, Vista (pilot)
Server environment: IBM, HP, Sun, Microsoft, HP
DBMS: Oracle, SQL, Progress
Address: 9 Princes Street, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Security (IAM, Secure computing, network segregation); infrastructure resolution (move from full outsource to multisource and buy back assets); WAN optimisation; virtualisation; COE upgrade.
Fonterra’s current focus is to drive ongoing improvements in efficiency and quality in its core New Zealand business, along with delivering a competitive milk price and improving returns from consumer businesses. Alongside this is the need to manage current market volatility to the advantage of the organisation, including globalisation of the Fonterra sourcing and supply chain.
It seeks to be the market leader in global dairy trading and has differing business targets according to different geographic sectors, while continuing to grow its operations offshore.
CIO Chris Barendregt says Fonterra is a young company that has made several mergers and acquisitions in recent years, resulting in a spread of separate management and business systems — particularly those under the ERP umbrella. Because development of deeper partnerships with major customers through supply chain integration and dairy solutions is a core business goal, getting ERP right is business critical.
“We currently have a big focus on ERP systems and the rationalisation of ERP footprints,” says Barendregt.
Other areas of ICT focus for Fonterra this year include business intelligence solutions able to deliver improved access to global information for decision making, and those able to support global sourcing of product.
He says Fonterra’s ICT budget is “locked down and keeping things running”. Some ICT projects have been deferred as a result of tightening budgets, but will not be cancelled. Significant ICT projects for 2009 include ERP system changes, various information security projects including identity management and network segregation and a service management toolset and layer. Fonterra is also committed to extending investments in virtualisation and also unified communications technologies where possible. Cellular-based mobile technologies are also increasingly important to the organisation and Barendregt says Fonterra is soon to go to market for a total mobile business solution.
A focus on improved knowledge management systems is being aided by the process of finalising information management policies and standards, and looking at the underlying architecture required to support such standards. The goal: Data de-duplication and easier access to business information and intelligence.
Fonterra is keeping an open mind towards the benefits of utility computing and management of applications in the cloud. The company currently runs its Australian transport management system through a Software-as-a-Service bureau, and is similarly updating and accessing recruitment systems and information through SaaS solutions provided by Future Step.
Fonterra has traditionally outsourced many of its core IT functions, however in 2008 the organisation changed its outsourcing arrangements in the ITO space. This saw Fonterra shift from a sole relationship with long-term outsource provider EDS to multiple relationships with outsource partners including EDS. As a result, Barendregt says Fonterra’s relationship with EDS is the best it has ever been. Among other changes, Fonterra re-purchased its technology assets from EDS and established direct relationships with outsource providers Gen-i and AT&T — both previously indirect providers via EDS.
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