APM Terminals, part of A.P.Moller-Maersk, operates one of the world’s most comprehensive shipping terminal networks, with over 22,000 employees and a network of 76 ports globally. With more than a century of industry experience, APM Terminals helps both shipping line and landside customers grow their business and achieve better supply chain efficiency, flexibility and dependability.
The benefits of Sitecore 9 and Azure PaaS
The new APM Terminals website is built on Sitecore 9, which has a number of new features that enable organisations to better achieve their business and digital marketing goals, including:
- Complete experience management capabilities
- Lower cost of ownership
- Opportunity to integrate web content with Sitecore commerce
- New drag-and-drop forms
- Federated authentication and marketing automation enhancements
With Sitecore 9, the APM Terminals team can spend less time creating content and setting up automation processes, and more time gaining valuable insights to drive better marketing results.
And with Azure PaaS, where the underlying infrastructure (servers, virtual machines operating system, etc.) is managed and maintained by Microsoft, APM Terminals can focus on business and delegate IT service management to Codehouse and Microsoft. Not only that, but with Azure PaaS, you only pay for what you use, so we can increase production resources during a surge in traffic, on demand, and dial it back down once traffic has normalised.
Sitecore Azure PaaS automation
Codehouse delivered an end-to-end, fully automated Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) deployment solution for APM Terminals, using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates and PowerShell scripts to automate infrastructure / platform deployments (collectively called Infrastructure as Code - IaC).
The development team used Octopus Deploy to manage and orchestrate deployment of the aforementioned templates and scripts into Azure Cloud, and broke new ground by adapting the ‘Sitecore Azure quick start templates’.
The ‘Sitecore Azure quick start templates’ are capable of provisioning a basic set of infrastructure, and whilst this was helpful to get started, the team expanded these capabilities to fulfil all the technical requirements APM Terminals had. For example, with customers located all around the world, the business needed a geographically-distributed content delivery mechanism.
The Codehouse Sitecore development team took the quick start templates and extended them, working closely with Sitecore Support to utilise built-in, but as yet undocumented, features - thus delivering a completely new Sitecore Azure PaaS automation feature.
IaC as a blueprint for change control
IaC acts as a blueprint for APM Terminals’ infrastructure. Both the Codehouse and APM Terminals technical teams can use this blueprint to create as many development environments as needed, with minimal effort, which look completely identical.
IaC is checked into a source control system, GitHub, so that we have a single source of truth for Codehouse customer website applications and environments.
Any changes to the environments are done at the source (GitHub), so that the entire development team instantly knows exactly what was changed, when, and by whom. This promotes easy auditability of all software and infrastructure changes.
In today’s digital-first world, it was vital that we built a website that could deliver the same high level of service and customer experience that our employees around the world deliver to customers on a daily basis. As a truly international business, developing our new website was an extremely challenging project, with multiple stakeholders involved, but thanks to a fantastic internal team at APM Terminals and a great partnership with Codehouse, we got it over the line. The website looks stunning and the response from customers has made all the hard work worthwhile.
Inerested in Sitecore Azure?
Combined, Sitecore 9 and Azure PaaS provides APM Terminals with power, flexibility, and total control.
The power of Sitecore together with Microsoft Azure will help your organisation deliver highly-optimised, personalised experiences for your customers that means a better customer experience and improved marketing results, faster time to market, and reduced IT costs.
If you’re thinking about Sitecore as a website platform and you’d like to know more about it, or if you already have a Sitecore website and you’d like to know more about a Sitecore upgrade or migrating to Microsoft Azure PaaS, then we can help.