We ship everything. Food, electronics, medicine, clothing. Even if you don’t recognize Maersk’s iconic white star logo, it’s likely Maersk ships some of the goods you purchase—the company holds 21% of market share in this space. The global economy depends on maritime transportation to grow and allow developing economies to prosper.
Moving roughly 90% of world goods, the shipping industry experiences steady growth. But the business environment has become increasingly complex and fluctuating in recent years. Strategies that once helped Maersk assume the position of a leader started showing cracks.
Maersk spearheaded container shipping. Every 15 minutes, a Maersk vessel ports somewhere around the world. Each process in that pipeline, from freight forwarding to port, vessel, and terminal operations, has one thing in common—data.
Locked in five separate data centers and spread across three continents, Maersk’s data was everywhere. Managing multiple servers that were processing tons of data, the IT departments couldn’t focus on core business operations and seek new growth avenues. The company was incurring additional costs and lacked tools to run effective business intelligence.
A growing itch to become nimble settled at Maersk. There was only one way out—digital transformation across the entire Maersk landscape.
Maersk knew going digital entailed many steps and called for significant reorganization at the company. Digital transformation reshapes competencies, business activities, procedures, and processes. Whenever ground-up internal changes happen, the stakes are high. But the leap toward digitalization was necessary to deliver new offerings to customers and boost market differentiation.
The first step was picking the technology—Maersk decided to go into the cloud with Microsoft Azure.
In the next step, Maersk needed to find a partner who grasped the complexities of a digital overhaul.
At Predica, we understand how important it is for companies to retain operational stability while embracing digitalization. When joining Maersk on its digital transformation journey, it was paramount to ensure the process didn’t disrupt business operations and the availability of services for employees and customers.
In 2013, after three years of successful partnership, Maersk asked us to manage its digital identity lifecycle process. Our team became responsible for the majority of identity and access governance as well as security infrastructure management.
After delegating the critical security service to Predica, Maersk’s in-house specialists could focus on strategic planning, business data models, and new offerings for their customers.
At that point, Maersk’s journey into digital transformation was going full-throttle, and we were working alongside Maersk’s team for a smooth switchover.
To streamline operations, Maersk had to turn to data, its most valuable asset. But the company was operating on outdated hardware. Outages, performance issues, service unavailability, and increased security risk were effectively limiting Maersk’s BI options. It was time to move the heavy data centers to Microsoft Azure.
With careful planning and swift execution, transferring the data and multiple systems took only six months. Together with Maersk, we successfully moved over 1,000 virtual machines and applications, without any user disruption.
Once Maersk’s data went to the cloud, the doors to new business opportunities burst open.
Using Power BI from Microsoft, our team restructured data management and improved data analysis. We created tailored dashboards to simplify decision-making processes. Soon Maersk started benefiting from clearer internal communication. There was a palpable bump in productivity.
Environmental responsibility is an important part of business operations in the shipping industry. In 2018, Maersk embarked on a mission to decrease its carbon emissions with a set of clear goals.
Connected Vessels is a huge project aimed at reducing the carbon footprint and fuel usage of the biggest CO2 contributors—cargo ships. With our expertise in DevOps and Kubernetes, we partnered with Maersk to better utilize the company’s resources and connect Maersk’s infrastructure. The project results in a $2 million decrease in annual fuel spending. It also directly contributes to the environment by preventing the release of CO2 and other fuel-derived particles.
On June 27, 2017, all screens at Maersk’s went black. The company fell victim to a destructive NotPetya ransomware attack. Within hours, NotPetya put virtually all of Maersk out of operations. Every major system was affected, including the crucial digital identity system.
There was no time to waste. Our engineers flew to Maersk’s headquarters and, together with other teams and companies involved in the recovery, fought day and night to revive Maersk’s operations. In less than 10 days, Maersk recovered from the attack. We helped stabilize core infrastructure services, recover Active Directory authentication and authorization platform, and restore logistics operations.
With the support of Predica’s managed service team, Maersk implemented crucial changes to prevent future attacks. In the aftermath of the meltdown, Maersk was pioneering in the adoption of the identity and security protection technology from Microsoft Azure.
Backed by robust Microsoft cloud technologies and expert insight of our engineers, Maersk now has streamlined IT processes and in-depth business intelligence drawn from numerous integrated assets. The overhead IT management, including the company’s digital identity infrastructure, is delegated to trusted partners.
With freed resources and more operational flexibility, Maersk can focus on growth and propelling the inception of innovative business solutions. The implementation of data-backed business models and strategies lets Maersk effectively reach the customer on all touchpoints, boosting customer engagement.