The Challenge

Finnish railway company VR Group is a public cloud forerunner company in Finland which continuously develops the digital customer experience of train travellers to optimise operations and increase service quality. Finnish state-owned VR Group has been facing free competition on local railway passenger traffic by 2021.

As the company has its customers as the focal point in its strategy, VR is dedicated to provide the services the customers are searching for. Mobility services and data are the core components of future travel and VR wants to lead the development of these services by taking full advantage of the public cloud.

When utilising the public cloud, the development of new services is fast and agile. Additional benefits of new cloud technologies for VR Group were reliability of services which assisted in the user experience of the service as well as the overall cost of the service.

VR Group wanted a single cloud partner to execute multi-cloud mass migration, adoption of DevOps culture and legacy App modernisation.

 

The Solution

In 2014, VR Group started using new Azure cloud technologies. Nordcloud provided consultation for Azure, built the infrastructure and provided 24/7 managed cloud services for this project.

VR Group also wanted to start using the AWS cloud platform, so Nordcloud provided consultation and built a platform for new services. After this Nordcloud continued to manage and monitor all VR Group´s cloud environments. In 2017, VR decided on the first wave of applications to be migrated to AWS. Nordcloud provided VR with a team of cloud architects who became an integral part of VR´s own in-house IT team and they created the foundation for the AWS cloud platform together with VR´s internal cloud architects and IT department. Nordcloud´s cloud architects also created the baseline for the infrastructure as well as automated the infrastructure utilising chosen technologies (e.g. Terraform).

As the migration project was driven forwards and applications were being migrated to the cloud platform the management of these services was also handled by Nordcloud. This was a crucial aspect of the migration project as the main driver was to have a more reliable platform for the service and improving the customer experience and satisfaction.

During the migration project, Nordcloud was responsible for creating the automated cloud infrastructure. The migration was also heavily reliant on third-party software partners and, to be able to succeed in the migration, the right level of knowledge regarding the new cloud technologies needed to be in place. Nordcloud ´s consultants therefore guided the third-party software partners in the creation of the new applications on the cloud platforms.

 

The Results

Nordcloud and VR Group successfully completed the new cloud platforms and the migration project on time. Nordcloud and VR cloud experts all worked together as one integrated team, both learning best practices from each other. This meant that the project execution and incident reaction times became considerably faster than using an old fashioned ticketing process. Working agily together also lead to adaption of DevOps principles in the organisation.

All together some 25 services where onboarded to Nordcloud managed services to ensure that VR´s customers always can get the service they need when they need it. Multi-cloud environment means that the development of new services is fast and agile. Reliability of these services will ensure the best possible customer experience and customer satisfaction for VR´s customers.

The utilisation of cloud technologies also resulted in significant cost savings for the VR Group. Nordcloud´s capacity service offers VR both cost optimisation and customised bills to be allocated accurately.

 

About the company

The Finnish state owned railway company VR Group is a public cloud forerunner company in Finland continuously developing the digital customer experience of train travellers to optimise operations and increase service quality.

Company in figures:

  • Net sales 1186.7 million euros
  • 82.1 million train journeys
  • 36.1. million tons of goods transported by rail

 

Image VR Group