Biotech research and development firm, Trajan Scientific and Medical, has embarked on what head of IT, James Orgill, says is a major “reinvention of the network”.
The goal he tells CIO Australia is to get the speed and flexibility required to support immense change and growth at the Melbourne-based company.
His vision is to bring breakthrough medical and scientific solutions to the world, and make a positive impact on human wellbeing, he says.
Currently, the firm is opening up labs across the country and the world, acquiring innovative companies along the way. Its goal is to acquire one new entity each year, which will result in a doubling of sales in the next three years.
What started as CEO Stephen Tomisich’s vision to bring science closer to people and help impact human well-being, has blossomed into a global business with offices across Asia, Europe and the US.
“The privately-owned company has grown rapidly since its inception in 2011 through financial investments and business acquisitions, global infrastructure and resource capabilities,” Orgill says.
To meet the growing demands on the network. Trajan deployed a Riverbed network in order to achieve greater business agility - specifically in the integration of new branches following a series of high-profile acquisitions.
Since transforming its network, Orgill says Trajan has been able to achieve the agility it needs to deliver on its aggressive multi-year growth strategy.
For example, he says the company has been able to get 10 new locations up and running across four continents in 15 days. It can report more than 50 per cent cost-savings and a 60 per cent reduction in run-rate to integrate new sites.
Orgill - who’s the former head of IT and CIO of Snooze and has a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry - says he’s excited to have crossed into completely new territory and now working in the biotech realm at the global laboratory device manufacturer.
But Orgill says when he first joined the company last June the infrastructure was very much hub and spoke.
“It was quite clear early on that changes were needed on the technology front to be able to move the business forward,” he says.
“The challenges that we face through the growth period is around being agile and speed-to-market. We traditionally haven’t invested into technology over the journey and it’s really caught up with us and left us vulnerable to not being able to react to this rapid growth.”
In particular, he says the outdated technology was causing the company to miss deadlines and targets.
At the time he joined, he says company executives were open to embark on his suggested digital transformation journey, recognising the firm had network and infrastructure limitations, as well as system application limitations.
“Originally, the network was based around head office in Ringwood in Melbourne, but out of that office, we were servicing the UK, Malaysia, Japan and the US. Those satellite sites were coming in for everything including ERP, mail and file.
“If there was ever an outage in Ringwood, whether it be unforeseen power outages or internet outages, that would have a massive impact on the whole global operations because we are a 24/6 trading entity.”
Part of the digital transformation strategy also involved moving “whatever was possible out of the hub and spoke” and venturing down the path of Office 365 in order to move communications and document management to the cloud.
“But we still had an issue: If we were to rapidly expand through acquisition or a new venture, it would take us six to eight weeks to provision internet connection to connect that site back to Greenwood.”
“By moving to Riverbed we were able to reduce the lead time to move into these new acquisitions and new ventures. We are able to source multiple local links and connect up the site within a matter of days, not months, which is what it used to take us.
“The ability to be able to respond quicker enabled us to extend our ERP network to those other remote locations a lot faster.”
Essentially, he says the souped up technology now gives the company a proactive management tool, rather than a reactive model, as well as seamless integration across sites.
“We actually have insight into the network, allowing us to make sure it's running as efficiently as possible, and to understand where our bottlenecks are. It lets us address them before there are any issues happening at the site.
“We can now connect up the sites, have multiple levels of redundancy and not be reliant on Ringwood for the majority of the services.”
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.