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Netstar is a leading provider of vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions in South Africa, Australia, and select African countries.

With its legacy on-premises hardware struggling to keep up with day-to-day operations, the company migrated its workload to Microsoft Azure. Netstar partnered with NBConsult and Microsoft to ensure the process was seamless, with zero downtime for customers—despite migrating in its peak month. This move resulted in excellent connectivity and tighter security for Netstar’s telematics, enhancing its service offerings.

With over 25 years of experience, Netstar delivers high-quality products and services that give peace of mind to vehicle and fleet owners, their employees, and their families. Netstar delivers vehicle tracking, vehicle theft recovery, and fleet management by providing well-engineered hardware, easy-to-use software, powerful analytical tools, and professional call centers staffed by highly experienced personnel.

“Our AI-enabled cameras monitor driver behavior in real-time and provide video footage from under trucks, taxis, and buses. Our solutions also prevent accidents involving large trucks in the mining industry,” says Grant Fraser, Netstar Group Managing Director.

Finding the right partners

Netstar adopted cloud technology for its workload to ensure the availability, stability, and security of sensitive data, especially for telematics or communication-linked sensors in vehicles. “Netstar has a large customer base and needs to be online all the time to provide immediate response whenever something goes wrong,” explains Farieda Mayet, Netstar CIO. “Previously, our telematics and applications were hosted on-premises with restricted capacity. We faced hurdles while processing customer information due to slow network capacity.”

Having previously migrated some of its assets to Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, it felt natural for Netstar to expand its ecosystem into Microsoft Azure. “Our engineers are already skilled in Azure so there was no need to reskill them. It made sense to move to the Azure for its security, scalability, and flexibility capabilities,” shares Tony Hyman, IT Infrastructure Manager at Netstar.

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Having previously migrated some of its assets to Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, it felt natural for Netstar to expand its ecosystem into Microsoft Azure. “Our engineers are already skilled in Azure so there was no need to reskill them. It made sense to move to the Azure for its security, scalability, and flexibility capabilities,” shares Tony Hyman, IT Infrastructure Manager at Netstar.

Embracing cloud seamlessly

While a migration from on-premises to the cloud can sound challenging, reality proved different for Netstar. “With the support provided by Microsoft and NBConsult, our migration to Azure VMware Solution went even better than we expected. We achieved impeccable connectivity for all our customers with zero downtime, which is essential for our business. And this happened during the busiest month of December,” says Mayet. “Moving to cloud can introduce complexity, but in this case it allowed the customer to offload risks related to aging hardware onto Microsoft, making it a genuinely beneficial decision not just a marketing win,” adds Blank.

The move also made sense financially. “Azure VMware Solution has only 25 percent of the cost of a hardware refresh, reducing our total cost of ownership,” adds Hyman. “That’s just the capital cost. There would still have been more costs with an on-premises solution for cooling, maintenance, and all the other things that come with a local server.”

 

As the business expands, Netstar plans to take advantage of its new ecosystem and make more upgrades for its solutions. “Our goal is to modernize our apps using Azure native PaaS/SaaS services, introducing new functionality and improving performance while lowering costs. This approach helps us manage servers more efficiently and provides faster and more accurate vehicle tracking for the public,” says Hyman. 

But all these accomplishments can’t be reached without having a vision for the business.  “We dared to move to Azure, and without the proper leadership, I don’t think we could’ve done it. For leaders, the best thing you can do is to make your decision and execute on it.” concluded Mayet.

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