Zespri’s world first in public cloud

Zespri International is one of the world’s most successful horticultural marketing companies, with sales revenues of NZ$1.35 billion. It is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit, selling into more than 53 countries and managing 30 percent of global volume.

Based in Mount Maunganui, Zespri is 100 percent grower-owned and employs approximately 280 people in New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America. It is now also New Zealand’s first truly global, 100 percent Azure engagement solution for all enterprise infrastructure and applications.

The Challenge

In early 2011, when Zespri was on track to triple revenues by 2025, a deadly virus struck New Zealand kiwifruit vines. Shortly after, the Christchurch earthquake struck and a tsunami hit Japan. These natural disasters posed a real threat to the kiwifruit industry and prompted Zespri to review its disaster recovery plan. 

From orchard to consumer, Zespri relies on its IT systems to support every aspect of business. The company wanted to run a lean IT operation insulated from disasters while providing instant unlimited scalability and enhanced customer experience.

The Solution

Zespri chose Datacom and Microsoft as its long-term partners. Zespri knows that Datacom’s best-of-class capability, scale, and resource depth made it the first choice to consult, transform, build and manage its IT resources in the cloud.

Datacom rigorously evaluated Zespri’s broad business aspirations. As trusted advisor, and with key strengths in technology independence, Datacom recommended Azure as the right public cloud service. This decision was based on cost, experience with platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) solution, and the existing strategic alignment and expertise within Datacom.

When SAP met business requirements in a test performance in the cloud, Zespri migrated its SAP development environment into Azure using approximately 100 Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines running in the western US Azure data centre.

In November 2014 Datacom successfully shifted all Zespri’s SAP production applications to Azure in a world-first. Zespri intends to move 100 percent of its IT infrastructure into Azure. As a provision, all applications unable to run in Microsoft’s cloud can easily run in a Datacom data centre. Zespri can now rest assured that they can continue to run in the event of a disaster.

In this video case study produced by Microsoft, GM of Datacom Midlands Dave Duffy explains how Datacom supported Zespri to reduce costs and improve resilience.

“Datacom has the flexibility, technical knowledge and can-do attitude to enable Zespri to work towards our aspirational target of 100 percent public cloud.”

Andrew Goodin – Global Manager Information Systems, Zespri International


  • Improved resilience through implementing a disaster recovery plan for Zespri’s lineof business applications
  • It took just over one month to migrate Zespri’s SAP development environment into the Azure cloud
  • To date, 200 virtual machines have been commissioned in Azure with the performance proving acceptable
  • Zespri has reduced IT costs by US $700,000 to US$1 million
  • SAP performs well on Azure, with response times under one second and improving
  • The speed at which new initiatives can be brought to market has improved Zespri’s global reach

Technologies delivered

Microsoft Azure and SAP development environment migrated to the public cloud. Services migrated or underway include SAP/SharePoint (internet, intranet, net applications, email, data services platform). Approximately 300 servers and all Zespri enterprise applications globally will move from on-premise into Azure, including the ongoing service management of that environment.

The Partnership

Around nine months ago Datacom embarked on a long-term partnership with Zespri. Datacom consulted with Zespri as independent advisors and recommended Microsoft Azure as the platform of choice. Datacom has a solid, long-standing partnership with Microsoft.