The Making of a Cloud-Only Company

Is it really possible to become a cloud-first organization? Yes. In fact, you can become a cloud-only organization. You can move off of Oracle, adopt Microsoft Azure, and modernize applications using Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Windows 10. In doing so, you can eliminate your datacenter, reduce IT spend, and transform your workplace. 

In January 2017, Bob Evans Restaurants, a national restaurant chain based in Ohio, divested from their food division, Bob Evans Farms. As a result, a technical separation of the two organizations had to occur. 

Where most would have seen an IT roadblock, Bob Evans Restaurants saw an opportunity. The separation of their organization was an opportunity to redefine their IT strategy and become a 100% cloud organization.  

“We were excited by the prospect of a digital transformation and a business transformation occurring simultaneously,” said Chris Delong, Chief Information Officer at Bob Evans Restaurants. “However, in order to successfully transform our workplace, we knew we needed someone who was just as excited about the challenge as we were. We needed Blue Chip Consulting Group."

As a trusted partner and cloud expert, Bob Evans Restaurants engaged Blue Chip to help them 1.) separate from Bob Evans Farms and 2.) adopt to the cloud. 

First, we focused on successfully moving Bob Evans to their own domain in a way that mitigated risk and ensured that end users were not disrupted. How? Through our Readiness Management Program and dedicated Readiness Managers (i.e. liaisons between the technical project team and the end users impacted by the upcoming changes). Our Program…

  • Prepared the workforce for upcoming changes​ through proper communication, awareness, scheduling, and training.
  • Acted as a vehicle for optimizing adoption and usage​.
  • Provided a strategic approach for mitigating project risk and resistance​.

Then, we established a greenfield environment and focused on getting Bob Evans' infrastructure, hardware, and applications ready for its own environment. Leveraging technologies like Azure, Office 365 and Windows 10, our team set out to migrate email, move files, and migrate and secure identities.

As a result of our work effort, over 18.63TB of data was migrated along with 30,264 accounts, 273 machines, 1,500 mailboxes and 1,385,053 files. 

With divestiture activities complete, and Bob Evans on its own directory and domain, our team set out to modernize their desktops, migrate servers to cloud, and modernize applications.

  • All workstations were upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  
  • A standard Gold image was created and applications were packaged. 
  • BitLocker and Office 365 MFA was implemented. 
  • Over 70 hardware servers and 478 virtual servers were moved into Azure.  
  • Bob Evans was able to eliminate over 60% of their servers in their datacenter, providing an immediate cost savings and supporting their cloud-only efforts. 

Following the aforementioned activities, our team moved Bob Evans' intranet (which was hosted on premise and leveraging 14 servers) to Azure, so that they could leverage an SQL PaaS database and Azure website.   

The speed, quality, and execution of the deliverables that we outlined for Blue Chip were stellar,” said Delong. “The team was consistent, agile, and willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.” 

Next, Blue Chip moved Bob Evans from Oracle to Dynamics 365 for both ERP and CRM. And, to make sure that data could flow in and out of Dynamics based off of business needs, Blue Chip developed 20 custom applications using Logic Apps in Azure. 

Shortly following, Blue Chip implemented an Enterprise Voice solution, moving all phone systems to Skype for Business, enabling secure, real-time collaboration.

So, with data and servers in the cloud, and over 20 integrations with Dynamics 365, BER needed a way to ensure IT could handle items like access requests and feature updates.  

The incumbent operations lifecycle management tool, HP Application Lifecycle Management, wouldn’t cut it. So, Blue Chip enabled Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Team Services, taking Bob Evans' source control into the cloud. Now, Bob Evans can make its application lifecycle faster with enhanced planning, testing, and release capabilities. 

In conclusion, not only was Blue Chip Consulting Group able to successfully separate Bob Evans Restaurants from Bob Evans Farms, but help them eliminate their datacenter. We were able to either decommissioned or move all servers into the cloud. As a result, Bob Evans has gone from dark to 100% cloud.

"In six months Blue Chip took Bob Evans from a dual datacenter organization to 100% in the cloud,” said Delong. “Not only did we move out of the datacenter; but we migrated from on-site Exchange to Office 365; we upgraded our intranet; we moved off of Oracle and Cisco. In short, we changed everything. The best part is that, to our end users, it was a non-event. That’s unheard of in the IT world and I owe that all to Blue Chip.” 

60% Percent of servers eliminated
18.63 Terabytes of data migrated
30,264 Accounts Migrated
1,500 Mailboxes Migrated
1.3 Millions of Files Migrated