Fonterra Co-operative Group

Fonterra Co-operative Group

2007 ranking: 3

Senior IS executive: Chris Barendregt, chief information officer

Reports to: Greg James, director procurement, IS and business


Size of IS shop: 120

PCs: 5071

Mobile PCs: 3630

Terminals: 159

Hand-held devices:

(including Blackberrys) 955

Total screens: 9815

Industry: Manufacturing

PC environment: Windows XP, Dell

Server environment: Solaris, HP Unix, AIX, VMS, Windows 2003, Dell,

IBM, Compaq

DBMS: Oracle, SQL

Address: 9 Princes Street, Auckland


Key IS projects this year: ERIS, a global trade documentation project.

FONTERRA IS THE world’s largest dairy exporter and the fifth largest

dairy company in the world. It exports 95 per cent of the New Zealand

dairy production.

CIO Chris Barendregt, who joined Fonterra in April 2006 and was

appointed CIO in July last year, says Fonterra’s current business strategy

has four key components: Ensuring Fonterra remains one of the

lowest cost, sustainable dairy co-operatives in the world; building

trusting partnerships with customers by being a multi-origin supplier

and more valuable relationships through supply chain integration

and innovation; leveraging cow-to-consumer expertise using locally

produced milk in high growth markets where it is not practical to use

New Zealand milk; and ensuring Fonterra products are the first choice

of customers and consumers wherever the organisation is in business.

In the coming 12 months, Fonterra will embark on significant ICT

projects to support and facilitate its business goals. These include a

focus on application consolidation based around total cost of ownership

and risk, server virtualisation, service-oriented architecture

foundations, network services in the cloud, data security and data


“Where risk sits in the application portfolio, and where total cost of

ownership reduction options exist, we will look at the opportunity to

focus on the business process layer fi rst through a service-oriented

architecture approach,” says Barendregt.

The data security project includes a review of security governance,

policy and standards, as well as increasing internal awareness and

education around data security. On the data storage and archiving front,

Barendregt says Fonterra has historically gathered data from numerous

applications and has not always been able to archive that data. An

ongoing archiving project and a tiered and transparent storage solution

are resolving these needs.

He says Fonterra’s relationship with ICT vendors and supply partners

is “a mixed bag” with the ICT competency and technical expertise of

vendors rating well, but the ability to apply new technologies and

methodologies to Fonterra’s specific business environment sometimes

falling short. ICT vendors tend to be focused on a ‘business as usual’

operational approach to supply and development, Barendregt claims.

Fonterra continues to be a significant outsourcer, using HCL for

application development and maintenance. EDS is used for infrastructure

management across desktop, midrange, storage and network

solutions. This includes the fi rst-level help desk for all Fonterra employees.

Outsourcing lessens pressure on Fonterra to source the right ICT

staff and enables the Fonterra ICT team to spend more time focused

on the future, says Barendregt.

On the communications front, Barendregt says Fonterra is committed

to a gradual approach to “utopia” — a unified communications

solution with an IP platform integrated to deliver presence.

Fonterra’s global network is managed by EDS, with a number of

different providers, some directly contracted by Fonterra. Barendregt

says Fonterra is generally satisfied with the performance of providers

and third-party suppliers, but would like increased transparency

in pricing and pricing reporting and a greater focus on infrastructure

capacity and utilisation management.

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