ICTSI partners with Microsoft for centralized data platform

Port operator International Container Services Inc. (ICTSI) has signed a long-term partnership with Microsoft to enable a centralized and integrated data platform across its terminals worldwide to ensure improved operational efficiency.

“With the help of Microsoft technology, our new data platform gives us 24×7 visibility and critical system monitoring services across all our global terminals in every market we operate in,” Brian Hibbert, ICTSI chief information officer, said.

“This innovation is a game-changer for us, driving improved efficiencies and will enable us to better engage with our partners and customers.”

The new integrated data platform called Microsoft Azure will allow ICTSI to have an enterprise view of all their terminal operations and connect future deployment of platforms for internal and external services to drive innovation and economies of scale. To date, two terminals have been onboarded, and ICTSI’s focus is to connect the majority of its terminals to the data platform.

“Digital transformation projected to happen over the next 10 years is happening today. Covid-19 has challenged organizations but has also accelerated the creation of untapped business opportunities and models,” Ella Dujali-Mangubat, customer success lead at Microsoft Philippines said.

“Our focus is to provide our customers and partners with a foundation that will enable the specific outcomes they need today and tomorrow—whether it’s massive disruption and digital transformation or pockets of meaningful innovation. We’re eager to continue building with ICTSI and help them accelerate their resilience and growth strategies around the world.”

In addition to building the data platform, ICTSI is migrating its terminal operating system called Navis N4 to Microsoft Azure. So far, two terminals—Subic Bay International Terminals and Mindanao Container Terminal—have successfully migrated to Azure. These terminals now benefit from increased performance, better security, and seamless transactions to their customers and partners. The TOS of terminals in Brazil and Argentina will soon be migrated to Azure as well.

Microsoft started with a pilot data lake to demonstrate how the Azure solution can serve as ICTSI’s centralized and integrated platform from which future applications, both internal and external, can be connected.

Microsoft also provided a detailed solution and migration path for moving Navis N4 to Azure as well as roadmap to support ICTSI’s future aspirations.

“Everything went smoothly, and we completed the migration activities ahead of schedule. The system users have become more responsive after the migration to Azure,” Hibbert said.

“The infrastructure is essential but only the foundation. We are working in many areas together, including data analytics, digital platform services, API [application programming interface] delivery, and web and mobile applications for customers. This is the beginning of a very exciting journey that is all designed to ensure all of our terminals offer great digital experiences to our customers.”

ICTSI also aims to enable further innovations by opening up its data platform to the public thru an API layer and allow access to citizen developers to build their apps and services.

The company is looking to partner with other private organizations to create an open data platform where they can exchange data.

ICTSI’s goal is to encourage a start-up mentality and drive innovation in the Philippines in partnership with Microsoft, the companies said.

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