Microsoft Azure – Our Digital Transformation Journey
Sitting in on an internal meeting this week it was mentioned that Typetec have been a Microsoft partner since 2005, someone commented “was that all”? However, when you look at it, that’s an 18-year partnership we’ve had with Microsoft to create, develop and evolve with the software giant’s technologies.
These developments and changes in the Microsoft Portfolio have been immense, but surely the biggest impact comes from their hosting services, – Office 365 and Azure.
When Typetec first became a Microsoft partner, we deployed servers and desktops with standard Operating systems. This service took days to procure, and days to build. It had a single functional environment that served one purpose and were then retired.
Over the past 18 years and especially over the last 18 months, Typetec has been on a significant journey and our partnership with Microsoft has been to the forefront of that journey.
Our Digital Transformation:
Early in 2017, we were faced with a decision relating to our indigenous IT Hosting platform. Since 2012 Typetec had been providing hosting as a service for some of our customers. The infrastructure we used for that service while effective was nearing end of life and we were looking at a significant investment to refresh it.
We had two options available, one, was to invest a capital amount and refresh the hardware to run as before. This would be a big upfront cost to the company and while this service had worked so far for our customers we didn’t think we could provide the benefits that some of our competitors were now offering in terms of storage and flexibility. Two, was to move the platform and our customers to the public cloud. This meant investing in a new, fairly unknown technology, with a risk of trying to potentially fix something that’s not broken. However, as a company who originally sold typewriters were no strangers to new technology and knowing to succeed you have to embrace new technology and evolve with it.
Our professional services team investigated and tested several different public cloud offerings, finally deciding on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s latest cloud technology as the right choice. To test this theory, we spent 6 months moving our first customer, us, into the Azure environment. We wanted to make sure that our customers were getting the best solution and benefits possible so we used ourselves as a ‘virtual guinea pig’ to experience first-hand what it was like placing our data, our applications, and our business into the hands of a Microsoft hosted environment.
The Friday of the June Bank Holiday weekend we logged out of our desktops, the Tuesday after the June bank holiday we came back in and logged into our new environment sitting in Azure. Everything looked and felt the way it did on the Friday, SAP, our resource planning software, operated the same, our emails looked and acted the same, Word, excel, PowerPoint all looked the same – because they were still the same applications we had used on the Friday the difference now was they sat on servers hosted in Microsoft and not on a server in our data room.
By the end of 2017 Typetec successfully migrated 8 of our key customers to Azure, these are now enjoying the benefits of that platform.
So what is Azure and why should you consider it for your company:
Microsoft Azure is basically the backbone of the Microsoft Cloud, and the fastest growing Cloud Infrastructure Platform on the planet today.
Microsoft Azure gives you an alternative to buying hardware to host your data and applications. With your data no longer sitting inside your four walls but rather sitting in one of Microsoft global secure data centres with locations around the world including Dublin.
Key benefits of Azure include:
Scalability on demand: Like the volume of say your car radio, you can turn up or down the resources of your Azure servers if and when required. More processing power can be added if needed. When finished you can scale it back. Azure works on a usage basis so you only pay for the server when they are in use. We can manage your environment to turn them off when not being used so that will reflect in your billing. This model is a true – pay for what you use.
Constant Backup and Access: With migrating your data and applications to the cloud you will reap the benefits of always available access to your data no matter where you are. You tick DR and Business continuity boxes that otherwise would cost significant investment to replicate internally.
Security: With $1 billion invested annually by Microsoft into their cloud technologies you can plug in to the high-end security that Microsoft can offer to protect your data without the price tag associated with these kind of high end solutions.
Cost effective and innovative: With no upfront IT server costs, and a monthly pay as you go cost, Azure is cost effective solution that allows you to focus on innovation.
Typetec can manage the cloud infrastructure similar to how we manage your current servers, we can use clever coding and scripts to maximise the environment to ensure you are getting the best out of your cloud investment.
Customers can take a hybrid approach when migrating, so you can have a mix of, moving your critical must have, always on data and applications to the cloud and less critical data and applications remaining on your local hardware to squeeze the most of your investment out of them.
At Typetec we love Azure, with the right amount of planning the migration is totally achievable for even the most exacting of environment.
When should you look to Azure as an option?
· Current server estate nearing end of life
· Change in the way your organisation operates
· Demand for new applications
· Demand for a more flexible working environment
· Higher need to secure your data and it’s integrity
· Need to drive down your costs while increasing your productivity
If any of the above are being considered then consider Azure and talk to us today at 015009001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start your digital transformation today.