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A major acquisition offered Rivus the chance to transform its market  coverage and service capabilities—but the clock was ticking to extract  the acquired company’s IT systems from its previous owner’s data  centre. Meridian IT helped Rivus migrate IBM Power to the Microsoft  Azure cloud, on time and with minimal disruption—while accelerating  system performance and boosting user productivity by 25%.

Business Challenge

Rivus manages and maintains some of the UK’s  most critical fleets from a range of sectors such as  utilities, infrastructure, emergency services, and retail.  Already well established in light commercial vehicle  (LCV) management, the company has recently  expanded into the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) space  through the acquisition of Pullman Fleet Solutions,  the UK’s largest independent provider of HGV  servicing and repairs. 

As part of the merger, Rivus was tasked with  moving Pullman’s IT systems out of the data centre  of the company’s previous owner, and into a new  environment within a 13-month window. The Pullman  applications, which included a bespoke ERP solution  called “Carfacts” along with legacy HR and finance  systems, ran on the IBM AIX operating system on  IBM Power Systems hardware. 

Jason Evans, Chief Information Officer at Rivus,  explains the challenges: “There was limited  information available on the current infrastructure,  and internally we had little knowledge of IBM  AIX or Power Systems. We needed to maintain  access to the ERP system at all times to keep our  operations running efficiently, and we knew that  if we missed the deadline for moving out of the  previous owner’s data centre, the costs would be  significant.” 

Rivus considered developing a new ERP system or  moving to a different pre-built platform. However,  the company recognised that these strategies would  send costs soaring and take far too long to execute.  Rivus therefore decided to lift and shift the existing  applications into a Microsoft Azure cloud environment  and looked for an expert partner to manage the  project and minimise risk during the migration.


Based on a recommendation from its parent  company Aurelius Equity Opportunities, Rivus  engaged Meridian IT to lead the cloud migration.  Meridian IT showed how the company could use  Skytap on Azure to reduce the complexity and time  needed to move the current IBM Power applications  from the on-premises servers to a fully supported  Microsoft Azure environment. 

“When we consulted Meridian IT, we quickly  realised that they had the expertise to handle the  migration,” continues Jason Evans.  

Meridian IT offered a proven, ready-made, and  scalable solution that would help us to hit our  deadline—and at an excellent price-point.” 

The pandemic added extra pressure. Many Rivus  clients, such as major supermarket chains, were  classified as critical infrastructure, because they  

were responsible for distributing essential supplies.  Preventing downtime during the migration was now  vital to help Rivus maintenance teams keep client  LCVs and HGVs on the road at all times. Initially, Rivus worked with Meridian IT to complete  a discovery phase, documenting the intricacies  of the current infrastructure, and identifying  areas where changes would be required. For  example, Meridian IT helped Rivus map out and  implement the complex interfaces that would  connect Carfacts to the company’s finance and HR  systems. 

To reduce risk, Rivus and Meridian IT migrated  peripheral and support services in several  separate waves, each with its own pre-testing and

user acceptance testing steps. However, as the  company’s garages needed non-stop access to  Carfacts, only a big bang approach would do for the  core system.  

To ensure this major cutover went smoothly,  Rivus and Meridian IT decided to deploy all the  Carfacts services in an Azure environment one  week ahead of the go-live. This allowed them to run  comprehensive tests before completing the data  cutover and releasing the system to users. “Meridian IT provided a very safe, robust  migration process, including tools to ensure  secure data transfer and extensive testing of  interfaces and capabilities,” adds Jason Evans.  “From planning to execution, Meridian IT  displayed exceptional expertise in IBM AIX and  Power infrastructure.”

Customer Benefits

Using Skytap on Azure, Rivus and Meridian IT  successfully migrated the Pullman applications  out of the former owner’s data centre and into  the cloud in just 12 months—one month ahead  of schedule and without disruption to users. For  Rivus, the project represents a crucial step in its  transformation into an integrated business with  comprehensive expertise in both LCV and HGV  fleet management. 

Following the go-live, Meridian proactively  monitored the IBM Power Skytap on Azure  environment, adding processing and storage  capacity to support initial demand peaks, and  then scaling back resources to prevent over provisioning and reduce costs once the system  achieved a steady state. 

Jason Evans continues: “Skytap on Azure  proved an excellent solution for running the IBM  Power migration and ongoing infrastructure  management. The Skytap service gives us real flexibility for matching cloud server capacity to  our workloads, helping us to operate as cost efficiently as possible.” 

The move of IBM Power to Skytap on Azure  has also increased infrastructure performance.  Stability has improved and applications are much  faster and more responsive, enabling garage  teams to access contracts and other documents  quicker and provide better customer service.  Senior Operations Managers at Rivus estimate  that productivity has risen by 25 percent as a  result. 

“Completing a project of this scale and  complexity ahead of schedule and in the midst  of the pandemic was a huge achievement,” concludes Jason Evans. “Meridian IT and Skytap  on Azure were key to our success. Working with  Meridian IT has helped us to build a stronger  market presence and to develop more agile and  efficient fleet management services.”

“Completing a project of this scale and complexity ahead of schedule and in the midst of the pandemic was a huge achievement, and Meridian IT and Skytap on Azure were key to our success”

- Jason


Chief Information Officer, Rivus

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