ICTSI partners with Microsoft to power global unified data platform – Back End News
International Container Services Inc. (ICTSI), a global port management company, recently forged a long-term partnership with Microsoft to enable a centralized and integrated data platform across its terminals worldwide to ensure continued operational efficiency and world-class customer service.
“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,” said Brian Hibbert, chief information officer, ICTSI. “This innovation is a game-changer for us, driving improved efficiencies and enable us to better engage with our partners and customers.”
ICTSI operates 34 terminals in 20 countries, from the Manila homeport to across six continents, which drives the need for a centralized data management system. The new integrated data platform powered by Microsoft Azure will allow the company 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, five terminals have been onboarded, and ICTSI’s focus is to connect the majority of its terminals to the data platform.
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“Digital transformation projected to happen over the next 10 years is happening today. COVID19 has challenged organizations but has also accelerated the creation of untapped business opportunities and models,” said Ella Dujali-Mangubat, customer success lead at Microsoft Philippines. “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.”
Terminal Operating System
In addition to building the data platform, ICTSI has migrated their Terminal Operating System (TOS) called Navis N4 to Microsoft Azure. So far, three terminals — the Subic Bay International Terminals (SBITC), Mindanao Container Terminal (MTC), and Onne Multi-Purpose Terminal (OMT) — 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 located 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. Furthermore, Microsoft provided a detailed solution and migration path for moving Navis N4 to Azure as well as the roadmap to support ICTSI’s future aspirations.
“The system has become more responsive after the migration to Azure but more importantly, we have been able to place a strong emphasis on security and disaster recovery,” said Hibbert. “The infrastructure is essential but only the foundation. We are working in many areas together, including data analytics, digital platform services, API delivery, and web and mobile applications for customers..”
ICTSI 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.