Fortune Transportation
Photos 10 14 2020 A (46)

Fortune embraces cloud transition

July 15, 2022
The Minnesota-based reefer fleet leverages Cleo Integration Cloud in a hybrid deployment to open its legacy B2B systems to a modern IT environment.

Fortune Transportation is shifting its business to the cloud.

With help from software company Cleo, the Windom, Minn.-based refrigerated transporter recently took a hybrid approach to its IT transition, using the new Cleo Integration Cloud (CIC) Express package to begin migrating connectivity and data movement capabilities to the cloud, while maintaining its on-premises infrastructure.

The move will allow Fortune to increase the speed of its interactions with trading partners, while also improving visibility, providing added security, and reducing overall costs.

“What’s super cool is that the flexibility of Cleo’s platform makes this even possible for us,” said Philip Symens, Fortune’s IT director. “Even though most of our IT environment remains ‘on-prem,’ we believe cloud is the way of the future. CIC marks our first foray into this realm, and it’s already quite promising. We like the fact that it doesn’t take up another server, plus we don’t have to worry about updating any software or operating systems.

“I just need to make sure we have our connection to the internet. That’s peace of mind—and that makes it all worth it.”

Symens is part of a two-person IT staff at Fortune, which keeps most of its technology solutions in-house. While this is a cost-effective approach, the setup sometimes makes it challenging to stay ahead of ever-changing customer expectations, while also ambitiously managing rapid growth in a post-pandemic environment.

Fortune isn’t alone in facing these sorts of challenges, Cleo said. According to a recent survey of integration experts, 87% of logistics companies have yet to move their integration technology to the cloud. The good news is that increasing numbers of them are focusing forward, with more than half (51%) saying they’re increasing budgets for technology upgrades. This targeted spend is expected to be allocated for improving governance, automation, integration, and business intelligence. Still, logistics and transportation firms have a long way to go to achieve faster systems that produce fewer errors, reduce cost, and increase customer satisfaction.

To keep pace in an industry undergoing digital transformation, and serve its ever-changing ecosystem of customers, partners, and suppliers, Fortune needed to adopt cloud technology “sooner rather than later,” Symens said. So, it elected to begin with a hybrid approach, starting with a strategic aspect of their ecosystem—integration technology.

Fortune runs its digital ecosystem with Microsoft Windows Server, an enterprise-class operating system that is used for on-premises data storage, applications, and local networks. The company also employs a transportation management system from Trimble, and had been using Cleo’s on-premises data transformation solution, Cleo LexiCom, for many years “with great stability and high performance,” Cleo said.

So, why make a change? CIC Express is specifically designed to help customers venture into the cloud by first migrating connectivity and data movement capabilities. CIC Express includes AS/2, SFTP, FTP(s), email and partner mailbox capabilities on a single platform to rapidly onboard and transact with ecosystem trading partners, like shippers and retailers.

Last year’s release of CIC Express prompted Symens to begin exploring cloud-based solutions, though he wasn’t quite ready to put Fortune’s long-standing, on-premises investment “out to pasture.”

By taking a hybrid approach, Fortune moved partner connectivity to the cloud using CIC Express, while ensuring data transformation remains an on-premises task. “We’re working on moving all our trading partners to the cloud using CIC and expecting to gain greater visibility and control from that level, but not losing any of the value of our prior IT investment,” Symens said. “It’s a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ scenario.”

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

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