Kuehne+Nagel innovated their infrastructure within 3 months

The Kuehne+Nagel Group is, with over 78,000 employees at 1,400 locations in over 100 countries, one of the world’s leading logistics companies. Its strong market position lies in Sea Logistics, Air Logistics, Road Logistics and Contract Logistics, with a strong focus on integrated logistics solutions.

Because new emerging technologies could potentially increase resource efficiency and performance of their applications, it was decided to start looking for a different solution. As Kuehne + Nagel wanted to move quickly, they challenged their staff by requesting the new solution to be deployed at their existing Red Hat OpenShift platform and to go live within 3 months.

Firelay helped Kuehne+Nagel with not only running Liferay on OpenShift, but also helped streamlining its Liferay development and deployment workflow. “Firelay’s Liferay Cloud is amazing. We can instantly deploy without downtime, maintain excellent portal performance and keep up with our business’s demands,” Paul says. “And above all, I really enjoyed working with the Firelay Team. Communication went very well and our team gained a lot of knowledge by working closely together with Firelay’s consultants.

In search for more flexibility

For their internal and external communication, Kuehne+ Nagel ran a web application based on a CMS platform. Unfortunately, this platform couldn’t keep up with Kuehne + Nagel’s business demands.

User-friendly content management and easily configurable landing pages were on the top of the requirement list of the content editors. Simultaneously technical application managers were demanding the ability to more self-service and easy application management.

As Kuehne+Nagel already had a Red Hat OpenShift (a Kubernetes based container management platform) running, it made sense to look for a portal solution that would not only fulfil the content management related requirements but also would leverage the benefits of OpenShift. Paul, Lead Architect at Kuehne+Nagel: “Although using OpenShift as the base platform for our new portal seemed like a logical choice, the idea to run the new solution on top of OpenShift was causing additional pressure.

Paul and his team started looking for a solution swiftly. After evaluating several products, Liferay was selected to be the best candidate. Paul: “Actually it was the first time our team learned about Liferay, we had no prior experience with or knowledge about it. However, the business unit requested specific functionality to which Liferay was obviously the best fit. Fortunately, our team is always up to a challenge.

About Kuehne+Nagel

The Kuehne+Nagel Group is, with over 78,000 employees at 1,400 locations in over 100 countries, one of the world’s leading logistics companies.

Industry: Logistics.

Company Size: Enterprise 70.000+ employees.

Innovation is just around the corner

Because of the lack of knowledge on Liferay, Paul and his team started looking for OpenShift based Liferay solutions. Paul: “Most of the Liferay solution providers offer cloud solutions based on traditional servers or Kubernetes. Although the latter is similar to OpenShift in regards to containerisation, OpenShift offers additional features that someone should have a good understanding of to leverage these fully.

That is when they found Firelay. Paul: “I think Firelay is the only solution provider that is running Liferay on top of OpenShift, probably already for years, hence it made sense to contact them.

The assignment that Firelay got was to help Kuehne+Nagel optimize their Liferay deployment process. At that time, Kuehne+Nagel had a makeshift solution that was building and deploying Liferay containers using a Jenkins automation server and Docker solution, all located outside of OpenShift. 

Firelay replaced Kuehne+Nagel’s makeshift solution by its Liferay Cloud Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) solution, thereby leveraging OpenShift’s internal Docker and Jenkins features to build and deploy Liferay environments. Paul: “Firelay has provided us with knowledge on pipelines that fit our development strategy and helped with setting it up on OpenShift to ensure that it’s optimized for Liferay.

Successful implementation and incredible portal performance

Paul is glad that he got more than just a replacement for their makeshift solution: “On the way, we have learned a lot about Liferay from the Firelay team.”  And this increase in knowledge stretches throughout the full Liferay stack: “We can now instantly deploy without downtime, which was very important to us. Also, if we see too many connections coming to our website we can easily scale our environment to keep up. Better deployments and better performance.

Everything worked out as planned. Paul: “Because of Firelay we were able to deliver according to our business’s requirements and meet the given deadline. Our business unit is happy and I’m happy, so I think that it has been really good working together.

Because of their experiences with Firelay, Kuehne+Nagel also got interested in Firelay’s monthly application support packages, which gives them guaranteed availability of Liferay trained professionals whenever required. Paul: “If I need something done, I just call the Firelay team. They respond swiftly and start tackling the issues immediately”.

Overall, Paul mentions that Firelay handling the project with great care was the key factor to success: “The contact with Firelay was very professional. In the beginning, we set targets. Throughout the project I had several meetings to talk about the progress and status, I was kept informed, things got done and all just went as planned.

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