First Technology National modernises Bidvest International Logistics storage infrastructure, reducing cost and risk of downtime

As a result, Bidvest International Logistics is now future-proofed against data growth and can leverage vastly improved performance.

Johannesburg, 14 Jan 2020
Morne Visser and Soon Broodryk.
Morne Visser and Soon Broodryk.

Bidvest International Logistics designs, implements and synchronises end-to-end supply chain solutions across the globe, including air, ocean, warehousing, road transport and customs broking in all major industries. Efficiency is core to Bidvest International Logistics' value proposition, and the company cannot afford for its underlying technology infrastructure to compromise its service levels. 

When the company's existing storage solution began to age, becoming cumbersome and expensive to maintain, it turned to its trusted partner, First Technology National, to deliver an innovative, high-performance solution.

Much of the work performed by Bidvest International Logistics is data-driven and transaction-based, and operations take place 24/7 because of the nature of the logistics sector. As a result, maximum uptime is crucial, and any downtime equates to lost productivity and a loss of revenue for both Bidvest International Logistics and its customers.

Moreover, the company is also required to comply with import and export legislation, and documentation must be submitted timeously.

“Due to the fact that we were struggling to support legacy technology, this introduced potential exposure,” explains Morne Visser, IT Operations and Infrastructure Manager at Bidvest International Logistics.

“First Technology National, our preferred hardware and infrastructure provider for the past decade, was the natural choice for an upgrade in order to mitigate this risk. They proposed a new hardware solution that would address all of our challenges and offer a number of additional benefits.”

The previous storage solution comprised a 25U rack of SATA hard drives. First Technology National provided a modern solution in the form of two storage arrays that featured twice the capacity of the previous solution with an All-Flash Array in a 4U form factor. Subsequently, Bidvest International Logistics is now future-proofed against data growth and can leverage vastly improved performance.

In order to minimise downtime, First Technology National performed a side-by-side implementation that only required 3.5 hours of downtime while the database was migrated. This was performed after hours to minimise the impact on business. A top team of engineers was involved to ensure that the project ran smoothly. Moreover, training was performed during the implementation to ensure skills transfer.

“While Bidvest International Logistics was originally looking to extend maintenance on their existing hardware, they looked to First Technology National for strategic advice, and we were able to prove the benefits of replacing the current storage infrastructure,” says Soon Broodryk, External Account Manager at First Technology National. 

“Not only did it make sense to replace the legacy storage devices, but it also provided peace of mind for the IT Team to ensure uptime. The new storage solution offers higher performance and improved processing speed, enhanced deduplication and compression ratios, all of which will stand them in good stead for future growth and expansion.” 

Additionally, Bidvest International Logistics is now able to take advantage of dedicated storage for its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, as well as general storage for all other applications and systems. The new storage arrays also significantly reduce the physical storage footprint, with a cost benefit implication, as it requires a smaller real estate footprint and less electricity.

“Our new storage solution has reduced our administrative efforts as well as downtime,”  says Visser. “Furthermore, it has improved our compliance with SA Revenue Service requirements and improved user productivity. The most significant benefit, however, is definitely the significant cost savings on maintenance.” 

Bidvest International Logistics benefits from 24/7/365 high priority support, a critical component for maximum uptime and the everyday running of its business.

Visser concludes: “First Technology National has provided Bidvest International Logistics with excellent support and after-sales service, which is also important for our business. They are a trusted adviser and strategic partner, and consistently offer the best solutions for our needs with an innovative design to keep our business up and running optimally.”


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