Applegreen is implementing a major IT transformation programme with cloud computing specialist Auxilion.

The cloud-based investment of £435,000 has facilitated the move from legacy IT systems across more than 200 global sites and will support the company’s expansion internationally. 

Applegreen, which reported revenues of €1.17bn in 2016, has grown from 64 sites at the end of 2009, to 243 forecourt sites across the UK, Ireland and the US by the end of 2016.

“Exceptional growth rates had placed strains on our existing on-premise technology. The need to rapidly incorporate new sites and scale seamlessly with maximum reliability led to a major review of our IT infrastructure in 2015,” commented Vincent Nolan, group head of information technology at Applegreen.

“It is business critical to ensure resilience, stability and scalability when your operations run on a 24/7 basis. Implementing such a major transformation programme without downtime is like trying to change the tyres on a Ferrari without a pit stop.” 

Working with cloud specialist Auxilion, which operates support centres in Sheffield and Dublin, Applegreen decided to implement a Microsoft Azure cloud computing solution which fits the three major requirements - resilience, stability and scalability.

“In addition to meeting the key project requirements, the Azure cloud solution is an Opex rather than Capex model, so it also frees up valuable capital to help Applegreen fund future expansion,” commented Paul Schmitz, chief sales officer, Auxilion. “New sites can be now be added quickly and seamlessly and updates managed centrally with the elimination of costly downtime and upfront investment.” 

As a cloud computing approach is dependent on a reliable internet and telecommunications network, the first phase of the programme was to consolidate the previous eight telecom providers to one which was implemented by Three.

Auxilion has worked in partnership with Applegreen to manage the implementation of IT projects on the Microsoft Azure platform. These include the replacement of in-house, end-of-life Exchange mail servers with cloud-based Microsoft Office 365; extending the life of a legacy ERP system by moving from 32 to 64-bit processing; implementing a fully managed firewall service; introduction of a new store management suite incorporating EPOS; hosting a new payroll system and 24/7 server management and monitoring.

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