Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Azure Migration gives Pernod Ricard Greater Flexibility and Improved Performance


Pernod Ricard aimed to transition their current virtual machines (VMs) into a cloud environment, seeking enhanced flexibility and streamlined management through a “lift and shift” approach.


The Pernod Ricard team conducted preliminary research to gain insights into market options and align them with business needs. Subsequently, they evaluated the capabilities of technology partners and, after engaging with key RSI Technologies Microsoft Azure specialists, concluded that RSI Technologies’ expertise and capabilities met all their criteria.

IT Outcome

  • Microsoft Azure data centre environment
  • Greater flexibility for core systems
  • Improved visibility
  • Reduced management burden
  • High level of security

Business Outcome

  • Improved performance
  • Confidence in key applications
  • IT team has more time for project work

The Background

With global headquarters in Paris, Pernod Ricard maintains a direct presence in 73 countries and distributes its extensive range of beverages to 180 countries worldwide. The company boasts over 240 beloved wine, champagne, and spirit brands, each crafted to enhance moments of conviviality and connection.

Facing the end-of-life phase for key IT infrastructure, Pernod Ricard opted to migrate their virtual machines (VMs) to the Microsoft Azure public cloud instead of replacing them with updated on-premises equipment.

The Challenge

From its headquarters in France to its operations worldwide, including Australia, Pernod Ricard seamlessly combines traditional quality with modern processes, positioning itself as a leader in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. Simon Burrows, the Core Infrastructure Manager, emphasized that this progressive approach relies on extensive experience and a strategic approach to technology.

In FMCG, technology plays a significant role. We depend on a range of technologies, from Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to customer-facing platforms, as well as operational technology for mass bottle production. At Pernod Ricard, we have a rich history, particularly in winemaking, where some staff members boast over 40 years of experience in producing the finest wines.”

While Pernod Ricard previously utilized on-premises infrastructure, the time for renewal was fast approaching. Although the existing equipment had served the company well, advancements in technology and the maturation of cloud services presented new opportunities for progress.

We were dealing with aging equipment, which became increasingly challenging to secure, and we were running out of capacity. We faced the choice of refreshing the data center or transitioning to the cloud. Given the industry trend toward cloud adoption and automation, it made sense for us to focus on strategic business initiatives rather than managing a data center,” explained Burrows.

Given Pernod Ricard’s fast-paced business environment, minimizing disruption to normal operations was paramount, underscoring the critical importance of selecting the right technology partner. Burrows highlighted the significance of experience and trust in this decision-making process.

While we explored options with other potential partners, our longstanding satisfaction with RSI Technologies played a pivotal role in our decision. They have consistently delivered on their promises and promptly addressed any issues, instilling confidence in their ability to deliver,” Burrows noted.

IT Outcome

Approximately 180 VMs were migrated from Pernod Ricard’s on-premises environment to the Microsoft Azure cloud. RSI Technologies facilitated access to Microsoft funding to expedite the migration process, accelerating project value realization.

Pernod Ricard opted to engage with RSI Technologies early in the initial assessment phase and maintained close collaboration throughout the project. A series of meetings and workshops facilitated thorough preparation for the migration, with access to an experienced team proving beneficial.

The project comprised four or five phases, starting from designing the migration foundation and conducting a proof of concept to validate the design, and culminating in migration. Although we encountered some issues during the initial migration, we swiftly identified and addressed them with the support of the right expertise. The ‘lift and shift’ approach ensured minimal business impact, transparently mitigating downtime solely for data migration,” explained Burrows.

With cyberattacks growing in frequency and sophistication across all industries, Burrows emphasized the paramount importance of security in significant transitions.

Security was a primary concern for us. Transitioning to Microsoft Azure alleviated concerns associated with aging on-premises infrastructure vulnerabilities,” outlined Burrows.

While the initial approach focused on ‘lift and shift’, the Pernod Ricard team is now exploring opportunities to transition to cloud-based applications where feasible and beneficial for the business.

We’ve upgraded several applications this year, migrating databases such as Oracle and SQL Server to cloud services. Additionally, we’re transitioning our web app to an ‘as a Service’ model instead of traditional software installation. Leveraging Microsoft Azure Load Balance, we’re witnessing increasing applications reaping the benefits of Microsoft Azure,” Burrows concluded.


Given the pivotal role of technology in the FMCG sector, Pernod Ricard’s IT team is dedicated to continuously enhancing value. Transitioning away from the time-consuming task of managing on-premises equipment has empowered them to achieve precisely that.

Our reliance on technology has grown, and fortunately, reducing the workload associated with on-premises management has allowed us to focus more on project-related initiatives for the business,” remarked Burrows.

The enhanced performance of vital applications, such as the beverage company’s Enterprise Resource Planning system, has been particularly well-received. Burrows noted a decrease in the support time required.

We were experiencing more day-to-day issues with the ERP system previously. There was a higher likelihood of encountering infrastructure issues that we no longer encounter with Microsoft Azure,” Burrows explained.

For those contemplating a similar transition, Burrows advises ensuring that key stakeholders within the business are engaged and fully comprehend the requirements for a successful migration.

It’s crucial to have strong sponsorship within the business. If the business loses interest, there’s a risk that a cloud migration could be sidelined from the budget. People often overlook the business’s involvement beyond the project team, so understanding and effectively communicating this aspect is essential,” Burrows emphasized.

Every motivation for a Microsoft Azure migration varies, and there should be a solid business case driving the decision. We’ve witnessed performance improvements, increased confidence in critical applications, and a more secure environment, all while reducing our workload,” Burrows concluded.

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