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Mark Holmes had only been with the healthcare organisation, Icon Group for a few years when he found himself presiding over a strategic review of the entire group’s cloud infrastructure. Any self-respecting Technology Director knows that the opportunity to actually plan for growth (rather than react to it) is not to be wasted. So, he called in Macquarie Cloud Services to help make a plan.

"We knew we wanted to be on Azure. We knew what we wanted in terms of disaster recovery, availability in two geographical locations and our other business requirements. But what we really wanted was a partner with expertise, who’s done this sort of project before."

Mark Holmes
Head of IT Infrastructure, Icon Group
Icon Group logo

Building on what you’ve learned,
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Icon Group is Australia’s largest dedicated cancer care provider bringing together all aspects of quality cancer care, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, hematology, pharmacy and chemotherapy compounding to deliver a true end-to-end seamless service for cancer patients internationally. This care is delivered by a strong, experienced and passionate multidisciplinary team with a common focus to deliver the best care possible, made possible by a powerful, innovative and flexible technology infrastructure.

Not only had the group recently expanded globally into Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong and New Zealand, but several aspects of the business also operate in the heavily regulated pharmacy vertical, overseen by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). It was a migration project that simply had to work perfectly.

As Icon Group’s Head of IT Infrastructure, Mark Holmes explains ‘We knew we wanted to be on Azure. We knew what we wanted in terms of disaster recovery, availability in two geographical locations and our other business requirements. But what we really wanted was a partner with expertise, who’s done this sort of project before.”

The Macquarie Technology Group had been long term providers of telecommunications and networking services to Icon, but this was an opportunity to consolidate offerings across the portfolio and modernise the group’s infrastructure. The lockdowns of the global pandemic, however added another layer of complexity – the entire project had to be designed, delivered and managed remotely.

Moving fast is sometimes what the situation requires.

The experts at Macquarie Cloud Services advised rolling the migration out across two timelines. The first instance required the migration of services that Icon had been hosting on their ‘Launch’ cloud platform over to the more scalable Azure platform. The team invested heavily in planning and testing for this phase, as this side of Icon’s business comes under the purview of the TGA and requires specific access for auditing purposes.

Icon Group Banner image

The second track needed to move much more rapidly, as it contained the workloads that supported pharmacy dispensing, which were subject to some external regulatory changes. As Mark puts it “So it started out as ‘We think we can do this in Azure. We’re testing it ourselves in Azure. It’s looking like it works well’ and then suddenly it became, ‘we need to do this very quickly because we’ve only got two months left.’

Macquarie Cloud Services were able to work really quickly to provision those services and get them all set up in an automated way. That allowed us to keep that pace and get the project completed in the compressed timeline.”

The project has delivered more than just capacity and flexibility to Icon Group. It has also allowed Mark to continue to develop the talent in his team: “It’s definitely been a collaborative approach. We see the need for our cloud skills to continue growing internally. We’ve brought in a principal cloud engineer into the team who’s working well with the MCS team, progressing those designs further, fine tuning them here and there. That lets me offer natural skills progression for my team.”

The experts at Macquarie Cloud Services advised rolling the migration out across two timelines. The first instance required the migration of services that Icon had been hosting on their ‘Launch’ cloud platform over to the more scalable Azure platform. The team invested heavily in planning and testing for this phase, as this side of Icon’s business comes under the purview of the TGA and requires specific access for auditing purposes.

Icon Group Banner image

The second track needed to move much more rapidly, as it contained the workloads that supported pharmacy dispensing, which were subject to some external regulatory changes. As Mark puts it “So it started out as ‘We think we can do this in Azure. We’re testing it ourselves in Azure. It’s looking like it works well’ and then suddenly it became, ‘we need to do this very quickly because we’ve only got two months left.’

Macquarie Cloud Services were able to work really quickly to provision those services and get them all set up in an automated way. That allowed us to keep that pace and get the project completed in the compressed timeline.”

The project has delivered more than just capacity and flexibility to Icon Group. It has also allowed Mark to continue to develop the talent in his team: “It’s definitely been a collaborative approach. We see the need for our cloud skills to continue growing internally. We’ve brought in a principal cloud engineer into the team who’s working well with the MCS team, progressing those designs further, fine tuning them here and there. That lets me offer natural skills progression for my team.”

Technical Solution Overview.

  • 1

    Azure environment with landing zone, aligned to defined best practices but incorporating Icon’s specific application needs

  • 2

    A variety of Managed Virtual Machine images and site-specific configurations to help Icon get the best value for money

  • 3

    Icon-specific rollout process to support fast application deployment without cutting corners or opening up security holes

  • 4

    Ongoing architecture, network, security and consumption reviews as the environment grows and matures

  • 5

    Fully project managed phased migrations.

"It’s definitely been a collaborative approach. We’ve brought in a principal cloud engineer into the team who’s working well with the MCS team, progressing those designs further, fine tuning them here and there. That lets me offer natural skills progression for my team."

Mark Holmes
Head of IT Infrastructure, Icon Group
Icon Group logo
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Results.

Icon Group now has highly reliable, available and – most importantly – secure cloud infrastructure for all the different types of businesses and operations across the various companies in the group. Crucially, the time taken to strategically plan for the group’s expected growth trajectory has given Mark both a cloud platform and a partner he can be confident in.

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“For me, it’s the extra step. It’s that 1% extra that they do,” says Mark “And it’s outside of the cloud space as well. We use the Macquarie Technology Group data centre as our co-location facility in Sydney and I speak very highly of the remote hand services. They are better skilled, better informed than remote hand services from other providers. And that leads to confidence in being able to do things remotely, being able to delegate tasks and not have to worry about it.”

Although it’s just one story for Macquarie Cloud Services, the Icon Group experience is absolutely indicative of their approach to partnership – reflected in our Net Promoter Score of over +89, one of the highest in the industry.

Cloud icon

Finding a true technology partner in Macquarie Cloud Services allowed Icon Group to build a cloud infrastructure that will serve their expansion. For Mark, the partnership delivers the confidence to work closely with Icon’s leadership, supporting their plans to grow the business both in terms of reach and services offered.

“For me, it’s the extra step. It’s that 1% extra that they do,” says Mark “And it’s outside of the cloud space as well. We use the Macquarie Technology Group data centre as our co-location facility in Sydney and I speak very highly of the remote hand services. They are better skilled, better informed than remote hand services from other providers. And that leads to confidence in being able to do things remotely, being able to delegate tasks and not have to worry about it.”

Although it’s just one story for Macquarie Cloud Services, the Icon Group experience is absolutely indicative of their approach to partnership – reflected in our Net Promoter Score of over +89, one of the highest in the industry.

Cloud icon

Finding a true technology partner in Macquarie Cloud Services allowed Icon Group to build a cloud infrastructure that will serve their expansion. For Mark, the partnership delivers the confidence to work closely with Icon’s leadership, supporting their plans to grow the business both in terms of reach and services offered.

Services we supplied for Icon Group.

MCS Case Study - ICON Group

How Macquarie Cloud Services helped Icon Group.

Finding a true technology partner in Macquarie Cloud Services allowed Icon Group to build a cloud infrastructure that will serve their expansion.

Download the full case study

Get in touch with our experts today.

If you’re looking for a local cloud services partner with deep expertise in Azure and the proven ability to support the growth of your business, you need to put Macquarie Cloud Services on your shortlist.