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Containership fleet owner advances digital transformation strategy with Google Cloud

Ocean Network Express (ONE), owner of the world’s sixth largest containership fleet, has selected Google Cloud to help with its digital transformation. 

The next-generation shipping company hopes to boost its operational efficiency by running its mission critical SAP systems on Google Cloud, unlocking business insights and accelerating time to insight leveraging data analytics services like BigQuery, and enhancing employee collaboration with Google Workspace.

ONE handles transactions with about 14,000 customers across 63 countries every day. To manage these, ONE previously relied on an SAP accounting system hosted locally in each country on its legacy cloud platform.

To modernise its systems, ONE migrated to an SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning (ERP) finance software hosted on Google Cloud. Shifting from its on-premise infrastructure to the public cloud gives ONE the ability to scale its ERP systems up and down to meet changes in customer demands and data volumes.

ONE is also integrating its SAP system with Google Cloud’s data analytics solutions to gain a unified and real-time view of data across its global organisation, thereby enabling the shipping company to better predict demand in the supply chain and make business decisions faster.

Plans to modernise its legacy data environment with a data lake using BigQuery are also underway and are expected to be completed towards the end of 2021. This is expected to enable ONE to consolidate and analyse data from its SAP ERP and other data sources to generate even more business value from its data and advance ONE’s competitive advantage in the market.

Kosuke Wada, senior VP at ONE, said: “Modernising our legacy infrastructure requires a strategic rethink of the way internal data is captured and processed at all levels of the company. 

“By accelerating the use of data analytics to enhance operational efficiencies and predict, ONE can better meet changes in customer demands and data volumes and make business decisions faster. Our move to Google Cloud is a realisation of a centralised and intelligent system that allows us to act on trusted and up-to-date information to shape our data cloud strategy.”

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the importance of shipping to the smooth flow of raw materials, fuel, food and medical supplies. ONE was able to minimise the impact of office closures and travel restrictions on its customers by using Google Workspace, in particular using Gmail and Google Meet to stay connected with customers, vendors and colleagues, whether they were working remotely or in the office.

Already in the process of rolling Google Workspace out to its 8,000 employees, ONE said it is able to deliver seamless customer service from any device and ensure prompt responses to sales inquiries from shippers to the tight coordination of cargo between ports and countries.

The company can protect its employee’s accounts and company data by enabling security features such as two-step verification on Google Workspace. Furthermore, administrators use Cloud Identity Access Management to define access to work data on Google accounts ensuring data is kept securely on company owned devices and affording flexibility to users when required.

Ruma Balasubramanian, managing director for Google Cloud in Southeast Asia, said: “ONE is a testament to what enterprises can achieve when they embrace the Cloud to modernise and future-proof their business. 

“Their digital transformation with Google Cloud will enable them to measurably improve the quality of their decisions, crunch vast quantities of data to achieve unprecedented clarity, and improve employee collaboration in this ever-evolving work environment.”

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