Cross-channel rail operator Eurostar has put its entire storage strategy into the cloud. The rail network which travels underneath the English Channel has moved its storage, shared drives, file transfer and content management onto the Box platform, CIO Antoine de Kerviler told this title's CIO 100.
"From a technical point of view this means no more backups, one system to manage and replacing all shadow cloud sharing," the CIO said. "From a business point of view Box facilitates collaboration and sharing, access from anywhere with any device, including BYOD, provide a single version of the truth and enable search in all enterprise content."
Since joining Eurostar in December 2013 de Kerviler has been increasing the level of cloud computing within Eurostar, he says the "elasticity and on-demand, pay-per-use and immediate availability" is key to the transport organisation.
"We're creating a data reservoir to store all of our data - raw and processed, structured and unstructured. This allows Eurostar to scale up and down according to the user needs, and allows us to benefit from scalable systems to run transformation and processing of the raw data. Data is then accessed by named users using tools such as cloud BI, Tableau, so dashboards are accessible by anyone who needs access to the information."
The move to cloud has changed the structure of de Kerviler's team as he has hired data scientist and data stewards, "two roles which did not exist in our organisation" as vendors such as Box take care of the infrastructure.
This has also enabled the CIO to restructure his organisation: "The whole IS sales team (e-commerce and mobile management, testers, developers, Devops) is now co-located with the sales and marketing team (UI, UX, SEO, traffic generation and analytics), sharing the same budget, managed in partnership with the commercial director. All stories and tasks are prioritised together whether they're technical or user oriented stories jointly with the commercial team," de Kerviler said.
The Eurostar CIO says Box has been instrumental in tackling shadow IT:
"Shadow IT is a good thing as it extends our R&D department. IS is trying to offer corporate solutions that beat the shadow IT ones on performance, features and explain to users that the corporate solutions offers more benefits, for example replacing Dropbox and personal accounts with Box," he said.
Eurostar is already a major user of SalesForce as a cloud tool, as well as traditional applications from Oracle and Microsoft and networking from Australian firm Telstra.
Eurostar has an IT budget of £15 million for opex, which is 2% of revenue for the firm that offers rail from Central London to Brussels and Paris.
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