SMT & Volvo
An ambitious IT transition programme, part of a large demerger from one of the world’s leading construction equipment manufacturer, designed and delivered within a critical 12 month migration period.
SMT UK (Services, Machinery & Trucks Ltd) are the long-term distribution and servicing partner of Volvo Construction Equipment, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, utility equipment and road equipment products.
Following SMT’s acquisition of Volvo’s Construction Equipment GB Dealership in August 2017, they set about demerging the entire business operations from Volvo, taking complete ownership of all IT and operational systems. The speed of decoupling the companies was of paramount importance, and an agreed term of 12 months was fixed – set by SMT’s CEO as part of their business strategy as it was critical to give them the agility and freedom necessary to grow the business following purchase.
Merger and Acquisitions specialists
To facilitate the swift demerger from Volvo, SMT sought an IT service provider with extensive merger and acquisition experience. With involvement in a wider IT programme within SMT covering business applications and technology operating models, plus clear demonstration of M&A IT migration experience including many in 2017 alone, Panoptics were invited to lead the project.
As with any demerger, the complexity of the task and the timeframe necessary to build new systems and decouple old are only truly understood following thorough analysis of what is currently in place and a detailed understanding of where the demerged entity wishes to get to. This work fell perfectly into Panoptics specialisms, where our technical resources not only delivered a consultancy lead to shape and define SMT’s future IT strategy but also delivered everything inbetween to make that strategy a reality.
Furthermore, at the start of the project the 12 month fixed timeframe for completion, had already been reduced to 9 months, following the comprehensive tender process. Additionally, within this period it was also determined that a traditional transition approach was not a satisfactory solution for both parties (SMT and Volvo) involved. With the inability to utilise standard transition methodologies, Panoptics then went about designing a complete, bespoke transition approach to ensure both SMT and Volvo were happy & supported throughout the process and delighted with the outcome.
Mark Brookbanks, Panoptics Director & Lead Programme Consultant comments “SMT’s purchase of Volvo’s Construction Equipment arm in the UK proved a significant challenge from a technology perspective from the outset. Whilst we knew existing IT systems were closely integrated and complex, we also had to consider implications of any proposed solution on both parties, so as to ensure the smooth transition from one to the other. Without our proven experience in the merger and demerger space, as well as a dedicated transition consultant to define SMT’s IT strategy following the demerger, there would have been great risk, in our opinion, that the project could have not met one or both parties objectives. Through a combination of experience, tried and tested knowledge, the right technology choices, the correct service design and right level of support, we are confident that the project has been a great success and will see SMT strive into the future with an IT environment that is befitting of such an ambitious, forward thinking organisation.”
Working extremely closely with both Volvo and SMT teams around the world, Panoptics approach to the project delivered tight governance and reporting throughout. Following the design of a custom transition approach and consideration of each stakeholders requirements and expectations, Panoptics managed the risk, keeping each entities focus on the project and maintaining the necessary energy to see it through to completion.
Following months of planning, design and migration preparations, the physical delivery and deployment of a completely new IT operating environment was achieved within a 48 hour period. Working in 24/7 shifts over the course of a bank holiday weekend, to ensure minimal disruption to SMT’s workforce and operations, Panoptics deployed the IT environment seamlessly.
The program included both wireless and WAN deployed simultaneously to 10 remote sites across the UK, along with a number of key applications both on-premise and in the cloud – leveraging Panoptics Enterprise partnerships with a range of technologies, including VMware, Microsoft, Duo Security, Veeam and Cisco. Importantly, a key part of the design was to use the right technology to facilitate SMT’s IT strategy, and not just move services to the cloud without purpose, therefore any move to cloud technologies was only enacted if the business case justified it. To complete the transition, over 500 company devices from 9 locations were built, migrated and tested over the course of the weekend, for live use on return to business on Monday.
With an expectation that the new systems would take time to bed in following deployment, SMT have been overwhelmed by the effortless adoption by its staff and the resulting performance improvements across its environment. Stunned by the outcome of the project as well as the phenomenal amount of work completed within such a short time period, SMT’s new IT infrastructure is now running faster and performing better than ever.
Providing 3 months early life support, to ensure the systems are optimally aligned to the business and meeting all agreed SLA’s, Panoptics support desk received a minimal amount of tickets and incidents, proving that the right approach and technologies were deployed.
Satisfied that they now have a brand new “IT engine” that will support their future plans, SMT are now in a technologically advanced position to fulfil their business objectives.