The Flow streamlines 110 terabytes of data for Honda Europe

Honda Motor Europe Logistics found themselves swimming in over 110 terabytes of files within their current cloud solution. This hefty storage not only came with substantial costs but also lacked any semblance of organization. Seeking a transformation, Honda Europe turned to The Flow for assistance.
The Flow streamlines 110 terabytes of data for Honda Europe

The Flow streamlines 110 terabytes of data for Honda Europe

Following an extensive information analysis at Honda Europe, they devised a comprehensive plan of action including a blueprint, inventory, and migration to the Microsoft 365 Cloud. Additionally, The Flow optimized the utilization of M365 across the organization. By doing so, paving the way for future operations that are more efficient, expedited, and cost-effective.

The Challenge

Honda Motor Europe Logistics oversees the distribution of cars, motorcycles, power products, and industrial engines under the Japanese brand Honda. One of its major departments resides in the canal zone in Ghent. Spread across Europe are around 30 different branches.

With approximately 4000 users storing files and data in the NetApp Cloud, the company grapples with an immense volume of data – a whopping 110 terabytes, encompassing videos, AutoCAD files, documents, and more.

Despite the functionality of the existing cloud solution, the annual expenses for maintenance and availability stand at a significant £300,000 (€ 346,975). Honda Europe already leverages Microsoft 365 for communication and pondered whether it could also serve as a storage hub, thereby optimizing recurring costs. Furthermore, there was a pressing need for a robust information structure, enhanced data security, and optimization of M365 usage within the organization. It was a holistic project, spanning from analysis to implementation – precisely The Flow’s expertise!

The Approach

Mario Van de Velde, trusted advisor at The Flow: “Before we set up structures or force migrations, we always start with an analysis. How much data is there? Who uses it and how? What kind of data is that? Does it concern work documents, sensitive information, information sources, etc.? To do this, we spoke to the users themselves to understand how they currently work with the documents, which files they still use, which can be archived or deleted, and so on.”

Surprisingly, it became evident that nearly 80% of the files hadn’t been modified in the last year, and the data was highly fragmented. “So we shifted gears!”, says Mario.

Mario Van de Velde, trusted advisor at The Flow
Mario Van de Velde, trusted advisor at The Flow

Thinking Differently

Rather than extensively cataloging what could be archived, The Flow flipped the script.
Mario: “We presumed that all information currently stored could transition to an archive. A new information structure was set up to store actively used files, in a clear and logical way. In ICT terms, we call this the “greenfield” strategy: constructing anew instead of renovating.

Next, establishing the information architecture was key. What data goes where and how?

An inventory was created, offering insights into the existing data structure: details like file types, sizes, owners, and modification dates. Considering 110 terabytes, this part demanded substantial time. 

Once the inventory was ready, the information architecture was determined not only by The Flow but in close collaboration with Honda Europe’s employees. 

The Result

The actual outcomes are yet to fully unfold as the project isn’t done yet. However, it’s already evident that the recurring storage costs of Honda Europe will plummet by at least tenfold, even factoring in project expenses. Achieved by migrating 80% of their current files to Azure Files – a more cost-efficient yet secure storage. All actively used files are stored in a structured way. Personal documents go to Onedrive, collaborative files to MS Teams, and shared information beneficial for all employees in Sharepoint. Resulting in enhanced efficiency.

Mario: “That makes The Flow strong as a company: as a trusted advisor we can guide a transition to a better digital workflow from A to Z.”

Future Steps

With inventories taken and planning completed, Honda Europe embarks on the actual project implementation; with the help of The Flow. Migrating old files to the new storage, conducting employee training, and ensuring a seamless transition take center stage. Also afterward, The Flow will continue to work together with Honda Europe to ensure a smooth adaptation to the new digital workplace.

Want to know more about The Flow? Check out their story.

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