Modern, Secure Network Infrastructure Supports a Joint Venture with Global Pharmaceutical
In this case study
In the fast-paced consumer healthcare and biopharmaceutical industry, one thing is constant – change. With heightened competition, an ever-changing global pandemic and rising research and development costs, the pressure to increase revenue, decrease expenditures and satisfy investors requires nimble strategies and deployment.
After analyzing their various business segments, WWT's long-standing client determined their consumer healthcare business to be low growth, low margin and not aligned to their core vision, mission, strategy and operations. They found like minds with another pharmaceutical and ultimately decided it was in their best interest to enter into a joint venture to combine their collective consumer healthcare businesses. The goal was to spin off this newly created joint venture with its own identity, corporate structure and board of directors.
Time was of the essence as market and business pressures required a substantial change at the speed of light. Our client quickly realized that in order to minimize disruption to existing operations (both retained and divested), meet regulatory requirements and ensure a secure integration of the combined joint-venture businesses, they needed to migrate to a common operational infrastructure in near real-time.
As part of the joint venture, the company leading the merger purchased a number of manufacturing sites across the globe. The company reached out to WWT to audit these sites and deploy a parallel technology infrastructure in preparation for the migration to the new environment.
This was not an easy task as all of the plants had been operating independently with minimal consistency between software stacks, technology infrastructure and industrial control systems. The deadline established by the joint venture to complete the deployment of a modern, standardized architecture was just under a year.
WWT augmented its enterprise architecture capabilities by partnering with Rovisys, for specialized industrial systems integration. Together, with expertise spanning information technology, cybersecurity and industrial Automation, we developed a strategy, methodology and program to:
- Create a standards-based, next-generation plant technology reference architecture.
- Discover and document site-level production processes, systems and applications.
- Audit site-level technology infrastructure against the newly developed standards.
- Design and deploy the new architecture.
- Develop site-level migration strategy and plans.
- Execute site-level migration plans with minimal disruption to operations.
In addition to the above considerations, the client required that our solution "future-proofed" the facilities with next-generation plant connectivity in mind. In turn, this drove the need for incremental physical facility upgrades of fiber-optics and power. The finalized reference architecture for plant technology included:
- IT and OT network infrastructure, including ruggedized switches and routers.
- Modern, secure wireless network infrastructure.
- Next-generation firewalls and segmentation supporting plant traffic flow.
- Hyper-converged compute platform to support IT and OT applications.
Joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures are driven by companies looking to unlock significant value for the business and their shareholders. Adopting a flexible, resilient, secure plant technology infrastructure enabled our customer to:
- Successfully execute the planned joint venture – within established deadlines.
- Increase shareholder value through increases in company valuation and stock prices.
- Position themselves to act quickly on future acquisition opportunities.
- Improve levels of cyber resiliency for critical production operations.
- Begin development of a data-driven manufacturing transformation strategy.
- Improve operational resilience, driving increased production yield and quality.
- Optimize logistics and supply chain operations.
The success of this program – from consulting, discovery and assessment to design, implementation and migration – was driven primarily by three factors:
- A unified, multi-disciplined team that understood the customer's industry, business and technology objectives.
- Ability to test multiple technology solutions (in parallel) within WWT's Advanced Technology Center.
- WWT's Global Supply Chain and Integration Services, which provide the means to procure, configure, test, stage and store technology software and hardware to ensure 100% failure-free, on-time solution delivery.