SkySync is an integral and strategic component to our infrastructure at AstraZeneca.

- Luke Temple, Services Design Architect for Enterprise Collaboration Tools – AstraZeneca

Company Profile

As a global biopharmaceutical leader, AstraZeneca focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of primary and specialty care prescription drugs. Operating in more than 100 countries and providing innovative medicines for millions of patients worldwide, this requires being curious, challenging conventional thinking and making bold choices to achieve scientific breakthroughs.

Business Drivers

AstraZeneca’s research and development teams within the organization’s three Science Units need to be able to work quickly and effectively to discover new drug products, and make sure those medicines get to patients in the most efficient way possible. In order to focus on science rather than process, AZ’s IT Department decided to implement a cloud-focused IT strategy, enabling researchers to collaborate more effectively.

The Challenge

With AstraZeneca’s 70,000+ users accessing content from hundreds of datacenters across the globe, it was a challenge to get the right documents into the right hands in a timely manner. As part of its new IT strategy, AZ is currently in the process of moving its on-premises content into Box’s cloud-based content collaboration platform.

“Moving to Box will improve the Science Units because it enables our researchers to collaborate easily, as well as promotes a mobile-first strategy that drives new partnerships and innovations within AstraZeneca,” said Ben Leadbeater, IT Project Manager at AstraZeneca.

Once a decision was made to migrate to the cloud, ITs biggest hurdle was integrating the sheer volume of AstraZeneca’s document management systems with Box, without interrupting business operations.

“We had over 100 document management systems in our infrastructure, which led to all sorts of confusion,” said Luke Temple, Services Design Architect for Enterprise Collaboration Tools. “Getting all of that into Box has been our biggest challenge.”

The Solution

“What we liked about SkySync was its ability to connect to multiple systems,” Temple said. “We did not want to introduce 20 or 30 different types of migration tools when we could have one that is able to seamlessly integrate all of them.”

With SkySync, AstraZeneca was able to fully automate the migration and synchronization of business-critical metadata and other file-related information from its multiple legacy platforms to Box, rapidly and without any disruption to business operations.

“SkySync has the ability to move our highly-valued metadata, which is incredibly important to us. It also provides an audit trail that has supplied us with key reports regarding the location of our data from start to finish,” said Paul Bullock, Global Service Manager for Enterprise Collaboration Tools.

In addition to its enterprise-level sync and migration capabilities, SkySync’s ease of use proved itself during the large migration project.

“SkySync is not overly complex like some of the other migration tools we’ve worked with. It’s very simple; you literally point it at the source, you point it at the destination, and you allow it to just do its thing,” Temple added.

The Results

Since migrating users and their associated content to Box, AstraZeneca has been able to consolidate its storage infrastructure, empowering researchers to focus on what they do best.

“By enabling and exploiting the cloud, everything is simpler. Everybody knows where their files need to go. Box has a great interface, it’s fantastic on mobile devices and sharing could not be easier,” Temple said. “This allows our scientists to actually focus on their science, rather than being concerned about where their documents are.”

“Our challenge today has been to get content from on-premises to the Cloud, but that’s just part of our journey,” Leadbeater added. “It doesn’t stop there. We’re always looking to simplify and improve our ways of working and we see SkySync as a critical tool to enable that vision.”