Vitamin and supplement maker Blackmores is planning to move its 15-year-old on-premise ERP to the cloud by the end of the year. Blackmores adopted its JDE Enterprise One solution in 2002, and is now seeking to shift it up to Microsoft Azure and potentially expand it across the business. \u201cWe are undertaking a proof of concept and to date we are seeing very positive results,\u201d said Brett Winn, Blackmores\u2019 chief information officer. \u201cThe vision is to move around 90 per cent of all our workloads to Azure over time. The team are moving at a sensible pace and proving our workloads are suitable for cloud deployment. The key outcome we are focusing on is the ability to provide flexibility to Blackmores as we seek to expand our technology reach across a global organisation."Blackmores migrated to its current JD Edwards ERP solution in 2002, following an overhaul of its 20-year-old Qantel legacy system. The project to decommission the system, proposed as far back as 1999, was codenamed BBQ: bye-bye Qantel.The company is also planning a review of its CRM and are considering Microsoft Dynamics. A proof of concept is underway for Microsoft's interactive data visualisation and analysis tool PowerBI "as we seek to create a data capability to enable improved business insights and to further inform decision making," said Winn.Winn and his team are taking a "sensible approach to design and proving our approach" before diving in to any major overhauls, including a rigorous user acceptance testing process."We\u2019re also engaging with quality partners to ensure we are designing for the future," he added.Global reach Blackmores has found a trusted partner in Microsoft \u2013 even becoming an early-adopter of the new Teams collaboration workspace \u2013 and follows a \u2018one system, one cloud, one company\u2019 mantra, Winn said. After joining the company from Medibank last year, Winn rolled out Office 365 to the Blackmores\u2019 1,000 staff, half of whom are based in Asia, within nine weeks. \u201cWe have evolved rapidly over the past few years and we\u2019ve had to adapt our IT systems to keep up with the current size and growth of the business,\u201d he explained.\u201cWe\u2019re more focused than ever on supporting the whole business in a consistent and timely manner. Getting Asia on the same platform has delivered a huge win, it\u2019s built momentum for change and built the credibility of what can be achieved with the right team, the right platform and the right strategy.\u201dCultural cure-all The cloud approach will also have an effect on the company culture, Winn said. \u201cIt\u2019s positioned the company for flexible working, and potentially activity-based working in the future. As we remove technology barriers across the business, people won\u2019t be tied to their desks \u2013 instead IT becomes an enabler for more productive ways of working, and supports anywhere, anytime communications and collaboration,\u201d Winn explained. \u201cWith all of Blackmores now on one cloud platform we\u2019re seeing servicing benefits from within the IT function. But our businesses are also experiencing the benefit of greater collaboration that it affords. Executives can communicate more freely across regions; have access to calendars and messaging options. It\u2019s breaking down technical barriers and freeing everyone to just get on with the business of doing business,\u201d he added. Having been an early adopter of Microsoft Teams, its new enterprise collaboration workspace, Winn is considering its wider use in the business. Initially trialled within the Australia-based IT department, it could be rolled out at Blackmore\u2019s overseas operations. \u201cRight now we\u2019re running most of the projects out of Australia \u2013 but as we bring people into those groups from Asia we will become more distributed \u2013 and that\u2019s where Teams will really be able to stretch its legs,\u201d he said.