The Business Case

Vanderlande has grown significantly in the last few years, and this has gone hand in hand with an increase in the complexity of the application landscape and their data volume. These factors combined led to the need for a centrally managed data platform that can operate separately from it’s internal applications and customers’ systems and that could meet the data needs of both Vanderlande and their customers. As a result Vanderlande chose to adapt to the concepts of Data Mesh. Something that was recently introduced at that time.

Our Challenge

The goal for the platform is to serve the whole of Vanderlande so every decision and change impacts many stakeholders. This required some creativity and cooperation from all teams involved. Also going from a centralized to a decentralized solution required some thinking in a different direction and common requirements like security, compatibility and scalability didn't always have straightforward solutions.

Vanderlande colleagues

Bridging the island: a decentralized system that impacts everyone

For the last several years, Vanderlande has been on a digitalization journey. The overall goal of this journey is to enable data-driven business decision-making both in our internal processes and for their customers.

At the start of this journey, they did not look too much at the requirements. Instead, they had the vision of achieving a higher level of decentralization through data products and platforms which not only would help them solve the needs of the data consumers but also provided a delightful experience.

What they did was to deep dive into the issues we had, analysing the problems until they got to the root cause. The fact that they decided to adopt data mesh was because it combined multiple concepts which they felt were the right ones to help solve their problems.

When Beyond Blue joined the platform team it was clear that this was not just your ordinary data platform project. While traditional data solutions are well-defined, for instance, in the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework, the concept of data mesh is a very recent development and there were not a lot of use cases available as a reference, so creativity and innovation were key subjects of the past year.

A land(e) for all: ever-evolving platform

The platform is built using the Azure cloud platform because of the varied offering of (data) services and its easy integration with tooling that supports an Agile way of working. These additional tools, like DevOps, also help us with our CI/CD workflow. For example, Azure Pipelines with its integration into the Azure platform make our deployments an easy and pain-free experience.

So far, we have worked on many distinct aspects of the platform, enabling several categories of data practitioners, while guaranteeing the ability to scale. Data Platform and products teams closely collaborated to onboard the initial set of business domains, collecting and processing data from many different source systems, delivering data products and, overall, supporting multiple use cases.

We collaborated on strategic choices for the data platform and Beyond blue took the lead in translating multiple complex concepts into solutions architecture and helped bring them to the development teams in the form of epics, features and user stories. Beyond blue helped to navigate through a lot of complexities due to the variety of topics we had to deal with and supported the teams in gaining technical knowledge and expertise.

For the future we aim to keep evolving our platform, making it continuously more robust and loosely coupled. We will keep onboarding even more business domains and source systems and keep maturing our services, fueling our journey toward scaling analytics and boosting our AI capabilities. All this while making the experience for our data platform user communities continuously better.

More on the Vanderlande x Beyond Blue project? Watch the video below!


About Vanderlande

Vanderlande is a market-leading, global partner for future-proof logistic process automation in the warehousing, airports and parcel sectors. Its extensive portfolio of integrated solutions – innovative systems, intelligent software and life-cycle services – results in the realisation of fast, reliable and efficient automation technology. For the last several years, Vanderlande has been on a digitalization journey. The overall goal of this journey is to enable fully data-driven business decision-making both in our internal processes and for our customers.


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