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WhiteSpider working with Berry Global

Berry Global is a leading global design and engineering company in plastic products. 

Berry Global is today a global design and engineering company in packaging and protection solutions. The group has nearly 50,000 staff with operations in 33 countries with no fewer than 290 locations, providing a geographical footprint that allows it to operate close to its customers. 

In 2019 Berry Global undertook the purchase of Berry Global, one of Europe's largest supplier of plastic packaging and a turnover of £4bn, which expanded its reach from a predominantly American operation, to a truly global operation with a significant number of locations in each continent.  

The group turned over $12bn in 2019.

Berry Global’s European Operations

Berry Global has manufacturing operations across many European countries. Being a supplier of plastic packaging for the food industry, where shelf life can be limited and stock turnover rapid, the resilience of its operations is critical. 

In 2018, Berry (RPC at the time) had made significant investments in new HP compute and storage in the form of ProLiant and 3PAR. This improved business performance, and the intention was to migrate all workloads to this new hardware and have it provisioned in an architecture that it could easily assimilate other applications and services that were at the time hosted at remote sites. With continued business growth the IT team saw that that additional capacity and greater resilience was needed to be built into the infrastructure. They also needed to reduce the underlying complexity that had resulted from multiple mergers and acquisitions. 

“The existing system we’ve been operating from for several years has, so far, met the demands of business as we’ve grown, both in terms of number of devices and higher demands on applications,” said Roger Mann, Berry Global’s Infrastructure Architect. “However, we needed more capacity and a simpler, more resilient network as the infrastructure was becoming more complex to manage and harder to control”.

Specific challenges the company was looking to overcome: 

  1. Infrastructure resilience: It was known that an outage in the company’s manufacturing plants would result in significant financial and reputational damage.
  2. Simplification: Growth and acquisition had resulted in multiple technologies and a complex network. The cost and challenge of operating this was becoming a significant burden
  3. Transformation: The business was looking for an IT solution that could support rapid change and growth enabling the IT team to be more responsive to busines requirements.
  4. Cost reduction: Even with an expanding IT infrastructure and new technology, the business needed to make cost savings.

WhiteSpider’s approach

The initial work undertaken by WhiteSpider focused around Berry Global’s current data centre (DC) setup. They had confirmed in the initial discussions that the existing DC solution caused concern due to its potential resilience and the scalability required of their growing infrastructure. WhiteSpider carried out a detailed audit, which investigated both the technology (the infrastructure, configuration, architecture and usage etc) and the people (requirements, experience and expectations of a modern IT service). 

This highlighted several areas of improvement to enable the busines to adapt to meet modern-day demands as required by a data centre within any organisation. These included: 

  • Users of Berry Global’s network wanting a more flexible solution.
  • Higher expectations for reliability and speed.
  • The need to reduce downtime at any point, both planned and unplanned.
  • The understanding that the HP solution was not sufficient to support the growth and change in the business.
  • The need for the IT team to focus on ‘transformation’ rather than ‘operation’.

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Craig Reynolds
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Why WhiteSpider?

WhiteSpider is an advanced technology services company, specialising in the provision of consultancy, strategic advice, and practical support in enterprise service architectures. As experts in software-defined architectures, we help organisations across the world to standardise their IT and communications infrastructures as they transition to digital.

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