Interview: Alex Pilar, CIO, DHL Supply Chain

By Derek du Preez
02 Nov 2011 View Comments
DHL truck at container dock used as cover shot

Deutsche Post DHL is the world’s largest logistics group, operating in more than 220 countries and generating over £30bn in revenue annually. As CIO of the company’s DHL Supply Chain division, Alex Pilar is able to draw on 15 years’ experience of working at the logistics giant.

Further reading

Pilar began his career with the company working for its DHL Express division in the Czech Republic, later moving to London to become the CIO for Express in the UK.

Three years ago he was appointed CIO for DHL Supply Chain, which provides warehousing, distribution, managed transport, business process outsourcing and supply chain management solutions to customers in the retail, manufacturing, automotive and technology sectors.

IT is obviously critical to the day-to-day running of these operations, but a few years ago the company realised its fragmented technology infrastructure
was in need of streamlining, and embarked on a move towards a private cloud environment that aims to lower DHL’s IT costs by between 20 and 30 per cent.

“Over the past five or six years Deutsche Post has been consolidating its global infrastructure of 40 datacentres into two datacentres, one based in Kuala Lumper and one based in Prague,” explains Pilar.

“These two datacentres are key to optimising and centralising our IT structure. It is important to note that this programme of consolidation was not just for DHL Supply Chain, but spanned all our divisions,” he adds.

The other divisions of Deutsche Post DHL are Express, Forwarding and Freight, Global Customer Solutions and Global Mail.

“Although this plan will be on-going for a while, the last unconsolidated server in Europe got switched off and moved over to the Prague datacentre in June of this year.”

Virtualisation

Virtualisation has become central to the group’s strategy over the past two years, with Pilar estimating that between 50 and 60 per cent of the new datacentre environment is now virtualised.

“We are also intensively building the virtualisation capabilities in our datacentres.

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