Transitioning to the Cloud for Global Expansion

Our client, a global leader in fully integrated freight car systems for the heavy haul rail market, was planning to expand their global capabilities through a connected rail system. Differing data residency laws in other countries meant our client needed guidance on how to efficiently and cost-effectively bring this vision to life. From extensive cloud consulting to Azure services, and newly developed application infrastructure, the team worked to determine and implement the right solution. 

Global, Efficient Fleet Management

The connected rail product offers a system for global, efficient fleet management, including sensors on owned or leased rail cars. The technology tracks location, monitors temperature-sensitive cargo, and provides freight protection against theft. The 20,000 devices in North America resided in a traditional data center which didn’t support goals for a cost-effective way to expand operations, business, and capabilities globally. OST presented available solutions and Azure Cloud was chosen to meet the business’ goals. 

Getting Comfortable with The Cloud

Because the client was new to the cloud environment, they had significant hesitation making the transition, stating a comfort level of -3 at the beginning of the project. We provided extensive training until their comfort level reached an 8 or 9. OST was able to ensure a smooth transition by educating and consulting on the speed, quality, and security of cloud infrastructure. 

Out with the Old, in with the New

The team moved forward to create an environment which could easily scale for new global clients. Looking to redefine how the platform existed, OST recognized the need to modernize the one-year-old code base. Introducing infrastructure as code, the team now has the ability to provision environments around the world within hours and on demand. Scaling changes are automated through a build pipeline as opposed to the previous setup which involved extensive human interaction. Changes that would have previously taken days to implement are now completed within hours. 

Moving forward, OST will provide cloud managed services to the global Azure infrastructure for all the environments in both North America and Europe. As a close partner, OST is providing continuous integration and operational consulting along with coaching in agile business processes. With the implementation of dev ops processes, the business can add features and demands without additional support. 

Where Do You Begin?

Connected products can change everything, but it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Let’s discuss small moves that can make a big impact on your business.