Case Study: Icebreaker

New Zealand clothing leader deploys worldwide IT infrastructure from Atmosera

Client Profile

Icebreaker is a leading innovator in adventure clothing, creating a distinctive line of garments from the wool of merino sheep. Founded in 1994 in New Zealand, Icebreaker’s apparel now includes outerwear, underwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children. Icebreaker clothing is sold in more than 3,000 stores in 44 countries.

Popularity of Icebreaker clothing has resulted in the company’s rapid expansion around the globe. Icebreaker outgrew its IT infrastructure about three years ago and decided to outsource much of an upgraded system that would be developed in the United States instead of New Zealand. In 2009, following a formal selection process, Icebreaker selected Atmosera (formerly (EasyStreet Online Services) for a blend of colocation, managed services and deployment of a private cloud.

Icebreaker IT Manager Andrew Swain says competitive candidates were eliminated for being too inflexible, “Getting them into managed services would have taken a bit of kicking and screaming,” or for size reasons, “They wouldn’t be able to scale to where they’d need to be to handle us.”

“With Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet), it was a meeting of the minds,” he says. “Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) understood the technology and where we wanted to go. When we talked with them, we had the feeling everything was moving in the right direction for us.”

  • Client Profile:

    Leading supplier of merino- wool adventure clothing, selling in 44 countries

  • Challenges:

    Outgrowing IT infrastructure, including ERP. Decision to outsource to provider in United States instead of New Zealand

  • Atmosera Solution:

    Deploy hybrid configuration including colocation, managed services and eventual deployment of a private cloud for ERP and all auxiliary systems

  • Business Outcome:

    Providing faster, more responsive system worldwide at far less cost than conventional hardware and software purchases.

“With Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet), it was a meeting of the minds. when we talked with them, we had the feeling everything was moving in the right direction for us.”

Andrew Swain

IT Manager Icebreaker

Deploying ERP in the Cloud

Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) for two years had been hosting various components of Icebreaker’s IT when the company’s dramatic growth rendered obsolete its enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. “About 12 months ago, we determined that our ERP wasn’t growing to scale with the company’s growth overall,” Swain says.

“We’d gone past its limits and we decided to upgrade the entire system. We determined that moving to a single instance that everyone globally accesses here at Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) is the right move.”

Icebreaker’s private cloud at Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) includes its core ERP, its lifecycle-management system and all of the auxiliary systems that comprise these vital systems. “We had a choice – we could either go out and have a look at other providers with an RFP, or we stay with a relationship that we already knew, where trust had been built up between the two companies,” Swain adds. “So it was a bit of a no-brainer.”

Icebreaker also is finding Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet)’s cloud deployment to be cost-effective, with monthly charges based on usage instead of having to purchase equipment. In addition, it is having Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) develop geo-distant disaster recovery in Arizona.

“Our new ERP is much larger,” Swain says, adding that its complexity has reinforced Icebreaker’s earlier decision to outsource the system to Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet). “The number of servers is increasing and, this way, we don’t have to literally employ someone just to manage the system. And on the infrastructure support side, it’d take a lot of time for us to do all of the building, patching and maintaining.”

“When we were looking for a company to handle our IT, we found that Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) was a good fit with our own values – things like a commitment to sustainability, which is a big one for Icebreaker.”

Troy Warren

Enterprise Systems Administrator Oregon Freeze Dry

A Deeper Relationship

“When we were looking for a company to handle our IT, we found that Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) was a good fit with our own values – things like a commitment to sustainability, which is a big one for Icebreaker,” Swain explains. “We matched up quite nicely, both from an IT and philosophical perspective.”

Swain says that Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet)’s performance in the first two years of working with Icebreaker proved to the New Zealand company that Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) could handle the added work. “As time has gone on, both companies have become a lot more comfortable with each other, and we’re confident in handing over the extra work
and responsibility.”

“With Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) there have been no issues with support, and the response to any problems has always been very quick, and the service we’ve received from Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) has always been very proactive,” he says. “Carrying it on and making a deeper relationship is a bit of the Icebreaker philosophy of narrow and deep – having a more limited number of vendors but having very deep relationships with them.

“We have this relationship with Atmosera (formerly EasyStreet) and it’s working well,” he says. “And I don’t see it changing anytime soon.”

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