Bell Food Group consolidates and harmonizes its IT
The larger the company, the more complex the IT infrastructure. This applies especially to international enterprises such as the Bell Food Group, who turned to Green to consolidate the IT landscape that had evolved over many years and to develop a new colocation solution.
As one of the leading European manufacturers of meat and convenience products, the Bell Food Group is reliant on trouble-free processes. Only then can the company guarantee the quality and sustainability of its products and ensure they are enjoyed by the customers. The company boasts many years of experience in the traditional butchery trade but has now also made a name for itself as an innovative producer of convenience food.
More than one hundred and fifty years after the foundation of the first Bell butchery, the Bell Food Group has grown into an international conglomerate, with 70 sites in 15 European countries. The company is thus reliant on a modern IT infrastructure. CIO Sven Friedli is well-aware of the great responsibility he bears and affirms that “The stability and productivity of the IT is absolutely key”.
Harmonization of a complex system landscape
Two data centers at the headquarters in Basel guaranteed the stability of the IT for many years. However, the Bell Food Group decided to follow a new data center strategy in order for the infrastructure to keep pace with the company’s growth and to meet the high standards required. A colocation site was to be chosen to supplement the in-house data centers as a precautionary measure. On the one hand, the company wanted to find a geo-redundant solution and, on the other hand, it was important to harmonize the complex, decentral infrastructure of the various locations.
Those in charge soon realized that the combination of on-premise and colocation data centers would be too complicated. “For the performance we wanted, we would have had to invest large sums in IT infrastructure and know-how,” explains the CIO. “But our core area of business is the food industry. That’s why we set out to find a certified data center partner who could guarantee professional operation and state-of-the-art infrastructure.” The colocation strategy facilitates foreseeable, low costs coupled with a high degree of availability.
High standards set for a professional provider
The IT managers demanded a suitable record of achievement and a high-performance infrastructure from their prospective partner, and requirements regarding the geographical position of the future colocation site also had to be met. The Bell Food Group wanted a geo-redundant solution that also facilitates synchronous mirroring of the data.
They chose the Green data centers which are an ideal distance away from Basel and are suitable for redundant solutions in various zones. The certified processes and services ensured that a flexible, future-proof solution could be achieved.
Within just four months, the teams from the Bell Food Group and Green put the plan into action – time pressure, data volume and availability were particular challenges for the partners. “The data centers are now a vital element of everything we do,” explains Friedli.
Increased sustainability, less wasted food
For the Bell Food Group, an excellent level of availability is not just a “nice to have”. On the contrary. The delivery and processing steps for perishable foods are time-sensitive and business-critical. From a commercial point of view, it is thus imperative that production and sales run efficiently. The company has also set itself ecological targets. Preventing food waste along the entire value chain is one of the Group’s main areas of focus.
Together with Green, the Bell Food Group now operates a redundant colocation solution with low latencies at three Green data centers. The advantages of this strategy are the standardized processes and reliable operation that they ensure. Furthermore, the locations are efficiently and securely networked. Jochen Stoll, head of the IT infrastructure team and overall project manager for the migration, explains, “The cooperation with Green reliably guarantees the productivity and stability of our IT.”
Outsourcing has paid off for the company. Other important factors are the high-performance infrastructure and certified processes that mean Green stands out as a modern data center platform. “With Green, we can also rely on good disaster recovery and robust access controls,” adds Jochen Stoll. Reliable, certified data security is just as important for a successful and dependable colocation partnership as fast connections and professional service.
- Consolidation and redesign of the system landscape
- Geo-redundant housing at three Green locations
- Data center connections to the Bell Food Group headquarters