Global Leader in Energy Storage Solutions Powers a New Beginning
To separate from its parent company, Clarios needed to design and deliver a new IT infrastructure against an aggressive deadline—all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clarios worked with NTT DATA to implement modernized IT services, including hybrid infrastructure and Microsoft Azure and Device as a Service deployments, delivered ahead of schedule and under budget.
In May 2019, Johnson Controls, a 136-year-old multinational conglomerate, sold its Power Solutions business unit to Brookfield Business Partners, a private equity firm — writing a new chapter in the story of a world leader in advanced energy storage solutions. The agreement gave the business unit, to be known as Clarios, 30 months to transition and transform its entire IT infrastructure.
But the COVID-19 lockdown changed everything. Working parents became homeschoolers, meetings moved from the boardroom to the kitchen table and airports became ghost towns. For Clarios, the global leader in low-voltage advanced battery technologies for mobility, the lockdown interrupted a major technology transformation that involved:
- Refactoring more than 200 applications and building over 300 interfaces
- Moving 75% of its enterprise applications to Azure
- Implementing a cloud-based middleware application integration platform
- Replacing on-premises data warehouses with a cloud-based data lake and analytics tools
The transformation, in full stride in March 2020, was forced to adapt when the pandemic sent much of the Clarios staff to work remotely. The company's manufacturing facilities closed and reopened, employees needed remote collaboration tools, and the company still had much to do to complete its transition.
- Deploys new IT infrastructure four months early and 8% under budget
- Creates Device as a Service fulfillment for 16,000 global employees
- Develops new hybrid and colocation environments
- Delivers a new application integration Platform as a Service
- Creates a cloud-enabled data warehouse and data lake
A high-performance team
Early on, Clarios CIO Chad Steighner said, "There are two ways this can go. I can either work extremely hard and create a lot of stress and strain doing this ourselves. Or I can put the right team around me. I chose the latter."
After meeting with several potential partners, Clarios chose to work with NTT DATA. The two companies shared a vision for a future technology platform.
Together, Clarios and NTT DATA worked to:
- Deliver modern digital workplace services through a Device-as-a-Service experience for all Clarios employees across the globe
- Deploy NTT DATA's Nucleus Intelligent Enterprise platform and products for employees to order devices and have them shipped to their homes
- Design a U.S. colocation environment to host mission-critical workloads like SAP and other enterprise applications
- Refactor more than 200 applications to accelerate cloud transformation to the Microsoft Azure cloud
- Create an ‘anytime, anywhere’ digital office environment through messaging and collaboration services
- Provide cybersecurity services and bolster security in accordance with NIST framework
- Create a new integration Platform-as-a-Service for over 300 interfaces
- Create the infrastructure backbone to build a secure, cloud-enabled data warehouse and data lake and replace an on-prem data warehouse
Clarios successfully met the challenge of building all new infrastructure and security, migrating more than 800 applications, launching new services and moving thousands of e-mail accounts, PCs and phones.
Clear road ahead
Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, Clarios completed the transition four months early and 8% under budget—a significant accomplishment for a project of its size.
"I'm proud to say we're operating now at $10 million per year under our planned budget," said Steighner. "These were all great accomplishments that I think most companies would be proud of if they did just one of them in a single year. And for us to do all of it simultaneously was pretty amazing."
Clarios creates the most advanced battery technologies for virtually every type of vehicle. We are a global leader in energy storage solutions, powering one in three of the world's vehicles. We partner with our customers to develop smarter solutions that make people's lives better.