INTRAC H. Fehrmann GmbH is moving the CARGO ONLINE transport management software and Office applications to the dbh data centre, thereby minimising maintenance work.

Modern information and communication technology has been an essential tool in the import and export business for a long time now. Technology is becoming increasingly complex, legal requirements are constantly changing, new software updates need to be installed and the interaction between components does not always run smoothly. As a result, maintaining the systems can swallow up a huge amount of time and money and see non-experts faced with almost insurmountable obstacles.

INTRAC H. Fehrmann GmbH (INTRAC) also found itself facing this challenge. The forwarding company with its international focus offers a comprehensive range of services, and the level of requirements faced in day-to-day operations, which demand extensive expertise, is correspondingly high. In order to concentrate on its core competencies, INTRAC decided to outsource another, equally complex area to dbh Logistics IT AG (dbh): the information technology (IT).

IT OUTSOURCING IN THE CLOUD Relief for the core business

INTRAC wanted not only to relieve itself from as much of the growing IT burden as possible, but also to make sure that the business was optimally equipped to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In particular, this involved the following areas:

  • Outsourcing of IT in the area of communications (email)
  • Bringing forwarding software up-to-date
  • Flexible access to all applications from anywhere

The aim was to minimise the amount of maintenance required by using as little of the company's own hardware as possible. At the same time, the expenses incurred needed to be optimised. In order to bring these requirements together, all solution providers being considered were evaluated in detail. As well as costs, the selection criteria also included items such as the scope of service and the user-friendliness of the applications.

COMPLETE MOBILITY Accessible everywhere

"After giving the matter careful consideration, we opted for dbh," explains Michael Reidl, Managing Director of INTRAC H. Fehrmann GmbH. "There is already a trusting relationship between our companies, plus dbh offered us the most attractive solution package."

On this basis, dbh transferred INTRAC's entire IT set-up to ASP operation (application service provider). ASP is a form of cloud computing. This means that the software no longer runs on internal servers, but rather in an external data centre — in this case the data centre run by dbh Logistics IT AG.

In this model, the software is used via a secure data connection. System maintenance and updates are now dbh's responsibility, and all that INTRAC users need is a slim computer with Internet access.

A Citrix farm is used in the background — this is a group of servers that displays a modern user interface to users and enables them to access the latest versions of Microsoft Office (incl. Word, Excel and Outlook) via this interface. The CARGO ONLINE forwarding software is also used in ASP operation. The use of a large number of application servers means that the load is automatically distributed, thereby guaranteeing optimum use of resources in terms of the applications.

CARGO ONLINE has a module for every application — from air and sea freight and overland transport to warehouse management. It can also be easily connected to other solutions, for instance for customs handling. dbh also takes care of the maintenance, support and further development of the software here. The users do not need to worry about anything.

EVERYTHING FROM A SINGLE SOURCE IT outsourcing with dbh Logistics IT AG

Outsourcing its entire IT set-up for ASP operation offers a host of benefits for INTRAC:

  • All applications are always up-to-date without the company having to worry about it
  • Maintenance is also carried out by dbh. There is no need for a large one-off investment — invoices are issued monthly
  • All functions can be accessed from anywhere at any time, even using mobile devices

The ASP technology allows even small and medium-sized companies that do not have their own IT department to keep up-to-date with the latest technology. Thanks to this solution, INTRAC gets expertise, its contact for forwarding software and Office solutions from a single source — dbh.

"By outsourcing our IT, we are able to focus all our attention on our core competencies and strengths," explains Michael Reidl, adding: "And we know that with dbh we have a reliable partner by our side."


INTRAC H. Fehrmann GmbH (INTRAC) was established in 1965 as an owner-managed transport company specialising in exports via sea transport. As an independent, medium-sized forwarding company, INTRAC operates with an international focus today. The area of import has recently been established as a further, important pillar of the Bremen-based forwarder's business.


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