Fivetran > Case Studies > PostNL's Successful Cloud Migration and Integration with Fivetran

PostNL's Successful Cloud Migration and Integration with Fivetran

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Technology Category
  • Application Infrastructure & Middleware - Data Exchange & Integration
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Cloud Databases
Applicable Industries
  • Cement
  • E-Commerce
Applicable Functions
  • Logistics & Transportation
Use Cases
  • Construction Management
  • Infrastructure Inspection
  • Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
  • System Integration
About The Customer
PostNL is a leading mail, parcel, and e-commerce service provider operating in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. The company has over 10,000 employees and uses Oracle and SQL Server as its primary data sources. PostNL was an early adopter of cloud technology, leveraging Fivetran’s cloud capabilities to migrate its applications to the cloud and integrate these cloud systems on an ongoing basis. Prior to its cloud migration, PostNL had been using Fivetran for 15 years to support a massive, distributed track-and-trace application comprised of more than 250 databases. The company expanded its use of Fivetran to a variety of data integration use cases across the enterprise, giving it the confidence to move forward with its cloud migration.
The Challenge
PostNL, a mail, parcel, and e-commerce service provider in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, decided to migrate its IT operations to the cloud to maintain its competitive edge and reduce costs. The company aimed to decommission its on-premises data centers and move its applications, infrastructure, and IT management to the cloud. The applications ran on Oracle and SQL Server, and where possible, PostNL wanted to replace existing bespoke software with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). If a suitable SaaS replacement was not available, the company planned to implement the legacy and bespoke software on top of cloud-based infrastructure and platform services (IAAS and PAAS). PostNL initially chose the Microsoft Azure platform for these services and later added Amazon Web Services to avoid the risks of running its entire infrastructure onto a solution from a single vendor. The migration process, which took over two years, presented significant integration challenges. PostNL needed to move applications and data to the cloud, ensure the migrated applications continued communicating with the existing on-premises systems, and integrate various cloud environments.
The Solution
PostNL leveraged Fivetran’s cloud capabilities to simplify its migration process. Unlike many migration/integration solutions that are dependent on the application's location, Fivetran enabled PostNL to implement a “lift and shift” approach. With Fivetran installed on each data platform, PostNL could move each database to the cloud and then redefine its location in Fivetran without having to alter the application. This approach allowed for easy, incremental migration of applications to the cloud while maintaining existing integrations. The same approach was used whether migrating applications to the Azure cloud or adding services from other cloud platforms, such as Amazon’s EC2. Once applications were in the cloud, PostNL needed to integrate across cloud platforms. To address this challenge, PostNL deployed a cloud-based Fivetran integration service. Adopted in 2014, this service operates as a cloud integration hub for PostNL, connecting all of its cloud-based solutions.
Operational Impact
  • PostNL's migration to the cloud and the integration of its systems have been successful, thanks to Fivetran’s unique approach and capabilities. The company was able to migrate incrementally, rather than in one big bang, which reduced the risks and complexities associated with the process. The use of Fivetran’s centralized, easy-to-use management console greatly simplified the management of the replication processes. Administrators can administer, schedule, and control all jobs from one central location, improving and simplifying the control of replication and enhancing security. The company now uses Fivetran for more than 600 interfaces, ranging from one-to-one file transfer to complex data distribution scenarios. Use cases include synchronizing master data, replicating transaction data, loading data warehouses, and integrating into Salesforce and SharePoint online.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Reduced costs by replacing on-premises data centers with cloud infrastructure.
  • Successfully migrated applications, data, and IT infrastructure to the cloud.
  • Enabled real-time data integration to Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2.

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