Alliance Group(MIS100 2009)

2008 ranking: Unlisted
  • CIO Staff (Unknown Publication)
  • 23 July, 2009 22:00

Senior IS executive: Kevin McCrone, CIO Reports to: John McGrath, CFO

Size of IS shop: 10

PCs: 600

Mobile PCs: 30

Terminals: 60

Hand-held devices: 10

Total screens: 700

Industry: Manufacturing

PC environment: Windows XP, HP

Server environment: Unisys, HP, Windows, Novell, Linux

DBMS: Unisys, SQL

Address: SBIS Building, 51 Don Street, Invercargill


Key IS projects this year: Virtualisation; disaster recovery solutions; image data capture.

Maintaining and improving profitability and returns to farmer shareholders is a key driver for exporter and meat processor Alliance Group, a co-operative, wholly owned and supplied by 5500 farmers. CIO Kevin McCrone says IT systems help provide more information to customers and continue to help reduce operating overheads.

In 2008, the IT team embarked upon ICT projects including software and server virtualisation, wireless infrastructure and business continuity and disaster recovery systems. In October, Alliance Group expanded its 30-year relationship with Unisys and was the first organisation in the world to install an Unisys ES7000 Model 7405R Enterprise Server. Under the terms of the agreement, Unisys has supplied and installed two ES7405R servers and two EMC CX3 SAN’s, enabling the company to consolidate and virtualise its server environment.

The new servers are used to replicate the Microsoft applications hosted at Alliance Group’s corporate office, to its disaster recovery site via EMC’s RecoverPoint, CX3 Storage and VMware software solutions. This will help create business continuity for the company’s Microsoft Windows and Novell Netware environments, says McCrone. “The Unisys ES7000 Model 7405R servers will support mission critical applications, including our email, file and printer servers, along with web servers that manage customer access to company information.”

This year, virtualisation technologies and business continuity systems will continue to be extended and developed, along with new investment in mobile technologies and e-business channels. McCrone says the largest ICT projects are the new release of a desktop presentation client and field force mobilisation using mobile cellular technologies and devices.