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Borregaard

Migrating Borregaard’s IT environment with Visolit 

When the corona virus pandemic swept over the world, Visolit, in collaboration with Borregaard, had to find innovative and effective solutions to meet the challenges the virus brought with it. One of these solutions was HoloLens from Microsoft, which enabled Visolit's team to guide local resources overseas, to all of Borregaard's locations worldwide. 

Borregaard has a complex environment with many suppliers. As Borregaard’s strategic IT partner, Visolit has now taken responsibility for all IT-related issues, which allows Borregaard to have only one speaking partner in the IT operations area. Borregaard was able to successfully transition to a cloud-based data center and client management, whose delivery included the transition from a traditional client management and on-premises data center to a cloud-based data center and client management through Intune.

“We ran a transaction project where we changed our supplier to Visolit,” says Monica Løken, Project Manager at Borregaard. “The project consisted of moving the solutions to a new supplier in order to upgrade our infrastructure and to be able to make greater use of cloud solutions.” 

About the project

Borregaard has one of the world's most advanced and sustainable biorefineries and succeeds in a rapidly evolving industry due to its high pace of innovation and global presence. With sales offices in 15 countries outside the Nordic region, the company is present on all continents, except Australia.

Borregaard is currently on a digitalization journey with several initiatives that concerns cloud solutions. It is therefore natural to initiate projects of moving more of its operations to the cloud platform Azure.

At the beginning of 2020, Borregaard and Visolit made an agreement concerning the operations of Borregaard’s IT environment. The project started in February 2020 and the first phase was approved in August. During this period, Visolit migrated the entire IT environment from Tieto Every (a data center in Finland) and an on-premises environment at Borregaard in Norway, to Visolit's data center.  

High demands on uptime  

Borregaard has high demands on uptime of critical systems since the factory in Norway runs 24/7/365. Even the locations outside Norway start workdays at 03:00 and end them at 23:00.

In the second phase of the project, a new network was to be rolled out all over the world. This phase began in August and ended in December.

One of the partial deliveries was the strategic optimization of Borregaard's cloud solution through Visolit Cloud Aviator, which has achieved an actual cost reduction of 50% and a transition from ongoing to fixed capacity. In addition, the project has led to better management and control of consumption, security and updating. 

With new and modern solutions, Borregaard has better insight into its needs and future development opportunities. Through strategic optimization of the solution, Visolit has halved Borregaard's costs for Microsoft Cloud. 

“Thanks to good collaboration between customer and supplier, we have made a total analysis of the cloud environment and made a systematic, structured plan,” says Erik Undenäs, Manager Project Office Hybrid Cloud Operation at Visolit. 

All project milestones delivered 

 
Løken says the project has involved a demanding schedule, oversight of many resources and tight deadlines.  

“Despite this, the project has delivered on all milestones throughout the project. We are very pleased. We have focused on delivery within each milestone. In agreeing on all parts of the delivery, we have taken the measures necessary to reach the finish line.” 

In addition to a tight timeline, the delivery has also been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“During a period of time, COVID-19 has affected the world, therefore the transaction had to be completed using digital tools such as HoloLens,” says Løken.

“The biggest challenge in the project was, without a doubt, COVID-19,” says Undenäs. “Despite the pandemic, Visolit delivered according to the plan and hasn’t missed a single milestone. Furthermore, all resources at Borregaard, including global offices, have contributed to the implementation.” 

Deployment of clients and new network with HoloLens 

2020 was an unusual and special year, with many travel restrictions. Initially, the plan for Visolit consultants was to travel to each location to implement the rollout of clients and networks, as this expertise was not available at every location. Furthermore would Borregaard also carry out an inventory at each location. 

When COVID-19 hit the Nordics, all project participants were forced to improvise. The rollout was therefore carried out with the help of local staff, HoloLens and local IT suppliers, which led to project participants reversing the implementation of network assignments. 

“We established a team to support the locations at all times when local staff were rolling out new clients and replaced their network equipment,” says Undenäs.  

HoloLens is a Microsoft product that is fully integrated with Microsoft Teams and greatly simplifies the work of those whose job it is to provide support. They can see exactly the same thing as the person using HoloLens.  

“HoloLens has greatly simplified the work for the support team. They have had the opportunity to support and guide local resources in a very good way,” says Undenäs. 

Løken adds: “We have now become familiar with this technology and use it in our factories to perform the same type of assignments, both in project and maintenance assignments.”

Visolit is also experiencing a greater demand for such solutions from other customers.  

Strategic and future-oriented migration of servers 

In order to satisfy Borregaard's high demands for uptime, the migration was carried out across six different occasions when the systems were grouped to have a minimal impact on the business. The longest service window was six hours. 

All server migrations were performed with tools specially adapted to synchronize all data to the new platform in advance to keep the downtime as short as possible. Some systems were upgraded in connection with the migration. In these cases, the new system was set up in advance only to migrate data, and not the entire server.  

Successful establishment of a new service desk

The establishment and transition to service desk was carried out in line with Visolit's methodology, which is based on information gathering, workshops and getting to know the customer. Visolit has templates to secure necessary information gathering. The information then was reviewed in workshops to agree on and prioritize the importance of the information.

A Knowledge Base was then created for the service desk to be prepared for the most common questions and errors, before starting up. Prior to the start, training was carried out for all service desk agents, who would respond to calls from customers. To further deepen the relationship and understanding of the customer, personal meetings were arranged where Booregard introduced themselves.

“Borregaard is very satisfied with the service desk and their expertise and knowledge. Users are also very happy to have a service desk in Norwegian,” says Løken.  

Governance 

Visolit has a government model to secure alignment between service manager and customer. Adjustments to the framework are made in dialogue with the customer. Workshops are carried out to ensure that everyone understands the model, its purpose and various customer forums. Further it includes training in Visolit's system and information on how to access reports.  
 

Solution-oriented project participants

Over the course of the project, all participants were solution-oriented. Both Visolit and Borregaard embraced the new work tools, methods and used them to deliver a good result.

“We challenged our own organization in this project,” concludes Undenäs. “I would especially like to highlight how we quickly built up our own competence during the project. Communication has been the key to success.” 

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