Hills takes IT to the cloud (Azure) to reduce costs and improve agility


Business size: 2,600 users

Business sector: Communications

Technology: Azure, SharePoint, Skype for Business, StorSimple, Office 365

Solution: Business Productivity Solutions, Cloud and Infrastructure, Communication & Collaboration

Business issue

Hills Limited is an iconic company. Started in Australia in 1945 to manufacture the famous rotary hoist, Hills is now a publicly listed company, with revenue in 2013 of more than $1 billion. Hills Limited has been on a multi-year journey to transform from an industrial manufacturer to a technology business.

As part of the company’s modernisation, Hills’ IT department was faced with the challenge was to provide an enablement platform to support the new business, including a large number of businesses operating disparate systems and processes.

The decision was made to modernise and transform Hills IT infrastructure, enabling flexible, cloud-based collaboration through a comprehensive Microsoft technology solution including Office 365, Azure, StoreSimple, Lync 2013 (now Skype for Business), Windows Server 2012 and SharePoint 2013.  One of the key factors in the decision to move to Azure was native integration with the Microsoft Surface Pro Hills was rolling out to provide mobile working, replacing other devices and providing a standard mobile platform.

Hills pursued a public-private hybrid cloud with “non-critical” functions shifted to Azure.  A new private cloud was created for more sensitive legacy applications using Microsoft’s HyperV. The combination of an Office 365 cloud environment and SharePoint 2013 on-premise provides Hills with flexibility and enables them to avoid an expensive investment in licenses and server infrastructure.



Ensyst has undertaken the migration to Azure, testing, and ongoing management, as well as supplying the Surface devices, a transformation to support the new vision of “One Hills”.  The comprehensive Microsoft platform facilitates integration of business systems, and consistency across the company.  Workforce mobility is being facilitated with rollout of Microsoft Surface tablet devices, a change that increases productivity and reduces costs.

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