Solynta

Using public cloud services to prepare for significant growth

The customer
Solynta is a leading potato seed breeding company based in Wageningen that has developed an innovative technology for targeted breeding of potatoes. 

The challenge
Solynta is developing breakthrough technology in the field of potato breeding and is on the eve of significant sales growth.  The organisation is growing rapidly and is in the process of professionalising. Business processes are being streamlined and formalised and an ERP system is being implemented. Securing and protecting its unique IP and ensuring business continuity in case of a disaster have become high priorities.

The organisation comprises distinct user groups with very varying profiles: office employees for management and operations, R&D personnel, field trial agronomists and salespeople operating across the world. This diverse group of users was working with a centralised windows terminal server workplace complemented with windows laptops.

IT needed to be adapted in order to support the changing circumstances and requirements. 

The solution
Cambrian helped Solynta evaluate a number of possible IT architectures and once the best solution was selected, managed the migration and now carries out the coordination among selected suppliers.

The terminal server based workspace was split into loosely coupled cloud services such as OKTA for identity and access management and Office 365 for collaboration. Furthermore, the HR system was interfaced with OKTA to automate the commissioning and decommissioning of users. 

Business applications were made available as web applications by implementing the AWS AppStream service and the networking infrastructure was overhauled by implementing Cisco Meraki to improve security, manageability and WiFi coverage. Device management tooling was implemented to manage and secure user devices. Finally, tooling for service management and password management were implemented.

The results
The core IT services became device independent. Depending on the user profile, the appropriate device could be selected: ipads, macs, linux and windows PCs. 

Access to IT required a single authentication process based on one unique password combined with a second factor for security. Management and sharing of passwords outside application authentication were facilitated and secured by implementing 1Password. Sharing and collaborating on documents with colleagues and external parties was simplified and made more auditable and secure by introducing oneDrive and Microsoft Teams. 

A service management tool by 4Me was introduced for everyone allowing users to make and manage their own tickets. Key users were given access to automations we built, in order to allow the organisation to manage requests without the involvement of any IT services provider. 

Finally, disaster recovery was implemented with minimal effort by using the out of the box facilities offered by AWS and Office 365.

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