Background – Hermes
Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, provides flexible and affordable delivery options to home, work, neighbour, safe place, ParcelShops or Lockers, giving customers control whether sending, receiving or returning parcels. The company delivers more than 390 million parcels each year alongside 80% of the UK’s top retailers including Next, ASOS, John Lewis and Boohoo, with a mission to be the UK’s carrier of choice. Hermes operates a network of over 18,000 self-employed couriers and more than 5,000 ParcelShops nationwide.
Objectives for the Migration Project
Hermes had been running much of their IT services for several years from the company European Data Centre in Hamburg. For business and costs reasons the decision was made to move these services to the Cloud and manage them from the UK.
The overall objective was to have as seamless a transition as possible, to minimise downtime to these Business critical services during the move and to reduce impact to the users and IT development staff once the application had been re-platformed. In addition, it was hoped that the move to later technology, than currently being used, would deliver faster transaction throughput, and that work conducted as part of the transition to update and restructure some of the database would also deliver a more responsive and efficient system.
Timescales were manageable, but had to take into account the target date set for the shutdown of Hamburg Data Centre, where the existing on-premise databases were hosted. The migration also had to work around the highly sensitive year end processing, where system changes would be frozen for two months to not impact service during this high volume period.
Tom King, Hermes IT Programme Manager – “At this stage of the project we had a clear idea of what we wanted to achieve from the migration. There was a solid business case. We knew there would be a lot to do, and the need to develop sound plans. We were looking for a partner who could help us de-risk the migration”.
Triton Consulting were already providing services to the Hermes DB2 platform in the form of consultancy and 24×7 production support. Triton were asked to help scope the tasks and timescales for the database move, and subsequently were engaged as part of the Hermes project team to help deliver the DB2 migration.
The migration, from planning to delivery of the working service in the Cloud, took some 8 months from the initial scoping to final checking and housekeeping on the working Cloud system.
The applications and the DB2 database were live and running on the Monday morning as planned. Since then measurements have shown the new platform to be delivering improved service levels, including significant reductions to batch processing.
The overall objectives of moving out of the Hamburg Data Centre, little impact on Users and IT staff, running on later technology, reducing the costs – were all met. A successful project.