The Secret To Lockdown IT Project Success: As Simple As A-B-C

Discover how Teekay pivoted IT project plans for a multi-national, 90-day journey of a full data migration for a merger & acquisition during lockdown.

Teekay Customer Story: IT Project During Lockdown

In Q1 2020 Teekay announced the $26M sale of their Teekay Marine Solutions division (TMS) to Malta-based Hili Ventures. TMS is headquartered in Sunderland, UK, with remote staff and operations in Dubai, Jordan, and the Togo Venture – a tug vessel based off the coast of West Africa.

Cybit was engaged for a fast and smooth data migration which needed to be completed in less than 90 days, by April 30th. This included finance, HR, and marine systems. The mission was made clear: “The new company needs to be operational on day 1 (May 1st).”

A cross-organisational project team was assembled with resources spanning North America, Asia and Europe. We kicked off the project in early February with everyone travelling to Sunderland, UK to meet in person and onsite. Plans were put into place, and delivery was underway.

Then, within weeks, COVID-19 hit.

Delivering an IT Project Remotely – Despite Global Lockdown

We needed to make a quick pivot from onsite work and cutover plans to delivering entirely remotely across multiple regions.

We were momentarily daunted by the task at hand, which required simultaneous remote cutovers in UK, Jordan, Dubai offices, on board the vessel off the coast of West Africa, and for 20 remote Mooring Masters across the globe.

Time to Re-Plan

The cross-organisational team gathered again, this time on Microsoft Teams, to re-plan. We looked at our mission again, “The new company needs to be operational on Day 1.”

We discovered that if we leveraged and embraced our cloud-based, highly collaborative approach more fully, we would be able to stay on course for an April 30th completion, enabling our client to be operational as planned on May 1st.

Microsoft Azure infrastructure and Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) application delivery continued without delay – even with staff working from home under lockdown conditions. Business Central implementation ensured financial systems would be accessible and ready.

Sailing Forwards Amidst Global Lockdown

The already collaborative cross-organisational team stepped up into high gear with daily scrums on Microsoft Teams.

Teekay’s Account Manager at Cybit, Stephen Briggs, says of lockdown, “No one worried. We were already on a pathway that couldn’t be stopped. The project had to be delivered on time. Because of our skillset of remote working, and how we already use it internally, it just wasn’t a problem.”

Where face to face meetings would have been needed, Microsoft Teams calls were arranged, including daily catchups with people based all over the world. Documents, like proposals and reports, were shared and collaborated on in real-time online using Microsoft 365.

Systems and network cutovers and workstation migrations were completed successfully using Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools and chat and video meetings. This included remote cutover of marine systems on the Togo Venture while it was docked in West Africa, using VSAT satellite technology.

The final planned end-to-end IT infrastructure

Everything highlighted in grey is planned for phase two.

Tailored, Microsoft-Powered IT Infrastructure

Phase 1

Dynamics 365 Business Central will provide core financials and operations. Information from Dynamics 365 will be synchronised to Business Central.

Microsoft 365 and SharePoint will be the document storage and collaboration platform, enabling Teekay to enforce governance across all documentation. Tight integration with Dynamics 365 and the extended Microsoft 365 suite will enable users to access all information relating to a customer through a single interface.

Phase 2

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Field Service will be the core system for business processes. All sales quotes and field service management will be conducted through the system, removing the need for spreadsheets.

Dynamics 365 Field Service provides a mobile app for use by field engineers. This will enable moor masters and other key personnel to update the progress of jobs and report daily activity directly into the system, for immediate progress reporting.

Power BI will connect to Dynamics 365 to allow end users to interrogate the data held in legacy systems. Visualisations and dashboards can be created allowing the business to gain insight into their current customer base and report operationally across the business.

A Seamlessly Connected, End-to-End IT Solution

Stephen says, “The project hasn’t been without its problems, but we’ve rolled with the punches. Because we achieved great communication, we had clarity. So, despite a bad situation, the project has come through.”

STS Marine Solutions (LNGSTS & OILSTS) now operates using a seamlessly connected end-to-end IT solution that provides the following benefits:

  • Manage clients and prospects more efficiently
  • Improve internal and external communication and collaboration
  • Enable quick and easy access to documentation
  • Develop workflows to improve the sales process
  • Create a culture of continuity and knowledge sharing
  • Enable the business to be more financially effective
  • Less frustration from manual/admin work
  • Better global teamwork – even with moored vessels!

The Secret to Project Success: As Simple As A-B-C

Ultimately, we found that the secret to project success was as simple as A-B-C.

  • Azure infrastructure providing delivery flexibility
  • Business Central with rapid implementation capability
  • Collaboration tools allowing for consistent and effective communication.

Today, the staff in the newly formed company, STS Marine Solutions ( &, are working effectively and with seamless operations in UK, Dubai, Jordan, and West Africa. Lockdowns and travel restrictions are managed with remote access to cloud solutions.

We did it! Mission accomplished.


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