Helping PHOENIX group deliver medicines and health products quickly and safely

BT Continuity Services help the PHOENIX group guarantee a minimum of disruptions in their central Wide Area Network.

10,000 to 50,000
Life sciences
Image of Helping PHOENIX group deliver medicines and health products quickly and safely


As one of Europe's leading pharmaceutical distributors, the PHOENIX group guarantees that, with a total of 152 distribution centers, medicines and health products will reach the customer quickly and safely in 26 European countries. 

BT Continuity Services including regular disaster recovery tests, in close cooperation with the PHOENIX group IT, guarantee a minimization of disruptions in the central Wide Area Network (WAN).

The reliable supply of people with medicines and medical products is a cornerstone of a healthy society. Whether pharmaceutical wholesalers, own pharmacies or other services, the PHOENIX group ensures that they are one of Europe's leading healthcare providers.

Following the successful acquisition and integration of numerous companies across Europe in recent years, the PHOENIX group decided to centralize its WAN. In 2013, BT was awarded the contract to supply managed WAN services, security consulting and business continuity services. The goal: to improve the profitability and security of the WAN, while reducing the risk of a warehouse failure.

With annual disaster recovery tests, the PHOENIX group and BT Security Consulting have demonstrated the WAN's resilience mechanisms and the functioning of contingency plans.

Regular disaster recovery tests, which are planned, coordinated and executed together, help to ensure the continuity of business processes.


The challenge

Security Consulting for the WAN of a pan-European pharmaceutical trader.

In pharmaceutical wholesaling, the PHOENIX group has 152 distribution centers in 26 countries and supplies pharmacies and medical facilities with pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.

With the pharmacy brands BENU, Apotek 1 and Rowlands Pharmacy, the company also operates more than 2,000 own pharmacies in 13 European countries. The Pharma Services division provides services along the entire value chain for the pharmaceutical industry.

The PHOENIX group has acquired companies throughout Europe in recent years. In 2013, it was decided to centralize the company's own WAN, which the acquired companies had operated independently until then. The PHOENIX group already had voice services from BT, which also won the contract for managed WAN services and security consulting.

Well prepared for the possible emergency

The centralization of WAN Services posed new challenges for the PHOENIX group IT. This included traffic planning on the WAN, as well as the design of contingency plans to ensure IT service continuity in the event of a malfunction. In 2013, the project Security and Business Continuity Consulting began, both areas in which BT could build on many years of experience in comparable service environments. 

The goal of the Security and Business Continuity management in cooperation with BT is to ensure the availability of order management, minimize the risk of a warehouse failure and ensure rapid recovery in the event of a crisis.

The tests have proven that the failover mechanism works as expected and provides support for the continuity of business processes.”

Michael Poesdorf
Head of IT Operations PHOENIX group IT GmbH

The solution

Analysis, Design, Test and Evaluation

In a first step, the BT experts, working closely with PHOENIX group executives, analyzed the criticality of information transmitted over the WAN for the business processes of the PHOENIX group and identified the associated security risks. Building on this, scenarios have been developed to estimate potential damage due to failures and proposed mitigation measures, for example:

  • What is the impact of a warehouse outage on revenue?
  • At which locations should the network connection be improved?
  • How can availability be increased?

Regular continuity tests make a significant contribution to avoiding disruptions. Annual continuity tests include failure of a WAN connection, configuration recovery of a CE router, disaster recovery plan testing, and in-house infrastructure testing. The tests will be conducted jointly across Europe by the central and local PHOENIX group IT teams and BT service teams.

Afterwards, a documentation of the tests as well as the improvement measures to be taken will be prepared, discussed in detail and implemented together with the IT experts of the PHOENIX group.

In some regions, such as Scandinavia, the PHOENIX group is required to comply with government regulatory requirements. The concepts and reports created by

BT Security Consulting help to prove the management of WAN risks.

Benefits for PHOENIX group

  • Reduce IT outages in the WAN environment
  • Tested and functioning procedures for crisis situations
  • Proof of the resilience of the IT infrastructure of mission-critical functions
  • Clear responsibilities in the complex interaction between PHOENIX group, BT and third-party providers

The result

IT Service Continuity Management from BT: IT availability assured.

Today, there is hardly a company that does not depend on an intact IT infrastructure. Therefore, an IT service continuity strategy is more important than ever to prevent a company from being severely damaged financially by extraordinary events affecting the IT infrastructure.

BT's IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) focuses on the availability of IT services at all times, even in a disaster or crisis situation. In this way, we make a significant contribution to business continuity management.

BT security specialists help companies seamlessly integrate the ITSCM strategy into their existing business continuity strategy.  BT provides support through:

  • Development of IT service continuity plans
  • Definition of failure scenarios and recovery measures 
  • Definition of roles and responsibilities in the event of a crisis 
  • Definition of communication channels in case of crisis 
  • Development of disaster recovery plans 
  • Development of appropriate test programs 
  • Test execution, documentation and implementation of the resulting continuous improvement measures

It was excellent teamwork between the local IT departments, our partner BT and the PHOENIX group IT.”

Michael Poesdorf
Head of IT Operations PHOENIX group IT GmbH