Genetic Technologies

What: Managed IT Support

When: 2018 - Ongoing

Planting the seeds for business growth

The back story

GenTech Seeds Pty Limited (GTS) and Genetic Technologies Limited (GTL) produces and distributes Pioneer® brand hybrid maize seed to Australian and New Zealand farmers and growers for grain and silage use.

While GTS and GTL distribute their products through third-party merchants, their sales representatives work directly with end customers ‘in the field’ to help them achieve optimal results with Pioneer® brand products. Sales representatives use cloud-based operating systems like Salesforce, Microsoft Office and Exchange to help them work effectively and efficiently from rural destinations. The company is currently developing customised applications to further support their sales teams.

GTS and GTL use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations ERP system for financial and production management in their administrative offices located in Toowoomba (QLD) and Auckland and in their production plants in Narromine (NSW) and Gisborne.

 

Business challenge

In 2016, GTL’s holding company, Philip Yates Family Holdings Limited, acquired Pioneer Australia Seeds under the newly formed business GTS. While both entities trade separately, significant crossover occurs at an information technology level. Total employee numbers have doubled with employees spread nationally across New Zealand and Australia.

The acquisition required GTS and GTL to start on a journey of digital transformation and enhance productivity across functions to meet respective growth targets. A managed support model was required that would allow the respective teams to focus on more innovative pursuits. GTS and GTL partnered with Origin IT to advise, guide, manage and implement IT solutions that would help them achieve their goals and take the business into the future.

Solution

The logical starting point was to transition to Origin’s managed IT support service. The service gives GTS and GTL staff 24/7 access to Origin’s support team for troubleshooting assistance. Endpoints, networks and computers are continuously and proactively monitored for prevention and resolution of IT issues. Should an incident occur, GTS and GTL have access to a team of Origin engineers who manage and resolve any issues within a pre-agreed timeframe. GTS and GTL also benefit from level one and two application support.

As part of the onboarding process, an Origin engineer was deployed to Australian and New Zealand sites to document the IT environment and identify areas for improvement. The following tactical solutions were implemented:

  • Remediation of the document routing agent
  • Replacement of a legacy uninterruptible power supply
  • Security measures such as advanced message shield and ESET software
  • Rationalisation of GTL’s virtual servers
  • Migration of WAN and internet connectivity

 

Results

Managed IT support together with the suite of tactical solutions has resulted in increased uptime, greater operational efficiencies and enhanced productivity for GTS and GTL.  Today, GTS and GTL’s in-house teams have the ability, and the confidence, to shift their attention from day-to-day operational jobs and onto more fruitful and innovative work.

Origin and GTS / GTL are in the process of finalising a technology roadmap to align short and long term technology goals with their wider business strategy. It includes a trajectory for full mobilisation of the entire sales team, additional measures to drive operational efficiencies and support innovation, and transition to a hybrid cloud model. Origin has also recently completed a cybersecurity review of the business to ensure security is front of mind as GTS and GTL focuses on their digital transformation journey ahead.