When company decision-makers get to the point where on-premises infrastructure alone is no longer sufficient for their business needs, cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers can help them achieve data flexibility and scale.
See below for five case studies on how companies in various industries are working with cloud providers and using IaaS to solve their business challenges:
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Tidewater owns and operates one of the world’s largest offshore support vessel fleets. The company encountered challenges associated with its acquisition of GulfMark. It used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to move some of its infrastructure to the cloud, including its usage of SAP services. Company leaders also hoped to save money in the process.
“The objective was to consolidate our global SAP systems and processes on AWS for both Tidewater and GulfMark, and we only had nine months to do it,” says Lee Johnson, CIO, Tidewater.
“We went from an on-premises environment with manual processes to a cloud environment with automated processes in nine months and exceeding our merger cost savings target.”
The switch to AWS allowed them to efficiently acquire and onboard their SAP environment as well as exceed their savings goal of $45 million, reaching $65 million in savings, according to Johnson.
Tidewater also transitioned some of its physical data centers to the cloud, which increased security and helped the company become a paperless organization. It also plans to pursue technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) via its cloud infrastructure, which should help the business stay competitive.
“I told my team that we are not in the server business — we are in the value creation business,” Johnson says. “Now that we are all in on AWS, we can focus on innovative, value-generating projects. It’s amazing how much we are able to save as a global company by migrating all IT infrastructure to AWS.”
Industry: Oil and gas
Use case: Tidewater implemented AWS to become more efficient and cost-effective through a widespread digital transformation.
Outcome: The company moved all production applications and 38 servers to the cloud, exceeded cost-savings expectations, and saved time by automating some manual tasks.
See the full case study on Tidewater and AWS.
Asteria provides an online cash flow forecasting service. Banks can offer it to small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them manage their finances. Anders Nordkvist, the company’s founder and CEO, shed light on his vision for the company and the problems he thought it could solve.
“Smaller companies struggle on a daily basis with liquidity management,” Nordkvist says. “They struggle to make sure clients pay invoices on time, and the overall administrative burden is too spread out and complicated.
“They often don’t get the support they need from their banks. At the same time, banks struggle to connect with this SME market and provide them with relevant services.”
Nordkvist met with a representative from IBM Cloud before launching his solution. Making this offering available meant having a flexible and scalable cloud infrastructure that would include the tight security banks need.
“The reputation IBM has for data privacy is extremely important for us in appealing to financial institutions,” Nordkvist says.
Asteria chose a data storage solution that could grow with its client base. As company leaders plan to get established in the Nordic region and beyond, cloud-based solutions offer the necessary flexibility to meet companies’ needs.
“We will onboard a lot of clients and that means we need to have the capacity to handle massive amounts of data,” Nordkvist says. “We wouldn’t be able to deliver what we do without IBM Cloud.”
He believes the migration to the cloud will create value for everyone involved.
Industry: Financial technology
Use case: Asteria relied on the cloud to help banks make transactions with independent software vendors.
Outcome: More than 50 independent software vendors are now part of the Asteria ecosystem.
See the full case study on Nordkvist and IBM.
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Gennion helps its customers digitally detect, identify, and track people and assets across physical environments. The company’s technology pulls data from various sources, including its custom-built sensors, for client bases, such as shopping malls and hotels.
Because it deals with such large amounts of data for large organizations, Gennion needed a high-speed, scalable cloud infrastructure that representatives could use while managing IT costs. Decision makers chose the Google Cloud Platform to meet those goals.
“As we grew, we needed a platform that could scale to a high degree and support a multi-client, multi-environment infrastructure,” says Jose Manual Arocas, CTO, Gennion.
“With Google Cloud Platform, we found a solution that could deliver this while keeping our IT expenses under control.”
The Gennion system consumes thousands of data points per second, resulting in millions of records generated per day. The Google Cloud Platform can handle that amount of information without decreasing in speed or reliability.
Industry: Location-based technology
Use case: Gennion needed a solution for storing, querying, and getting insights from location data with near-real-time efficiency.
Outcome: Using the Google Cloud Platform, it was able to provide services to 10 times the customers the company could in its first year, while reducing IT costs.
See the full case study on Gennion and Google Cloud.
4. Money Mart
A common theme in cloud IaaS use cases appears when decision makers realize they must modernize how they do business. Such was the case with Money Mart. It has hundreds of locations across the U.S. and Canada and provides consumers with financial assistance, ranging from check cashing to loans and money transfers.
Decision makers recognized that it was no longer feasible to solely serve customers through brick-and-mortar locations. They invested in cloud services from Cisco to expand their infrastructure and increase the company’s marketplace relevance.
“You can’t be a consumer finance leader with brick-and-mortar only. Not in today’s day and age,” says Sankha Ghosh, CIO, Money Mart.
“So we’re pivoting to an omnichannel model that provides services wherever and whenever consumers need them.”
Company leaders knew they wanted to build new digital channels and engage with clients across more touchpoints. That meant moving to the cloud.
“Putting everything in the cloud was a learning experience,” says Awan Sikri, CTO, Money Mart. “We learned some applications, like our core transaction platform, should remain on-premises in a private cloud but with tie-ins to the public cloud.
“We also learned cloud-based storage is very expensive, and we have a lot of data. So it became clear that a hybrid cloud model would be the key.”
Ghosh says the cloud transition helped the company operate more cost-effectively and consolidate 32 equipment racks down to four. As a result, the company estimates they will save over $3.5 million over the next three years.
The cloud investments have collectively helped the company engage customers in new ways and keep its business model moving forward.
“We’re becoming more touchless and frictionless as a company, and our IT has to match,” Ghosh says. “The Cisco technologies we’ve implemented are helping us be faster, more agile, and increasingly consumer-focused.”
Industry: Financial services
Use case: Reinventing its long-established business model will allow Money Mart to better serve customers and maintain a competitive advantage.
Outcome: The company created a hybrid cloud model to build a simplified and fully integrated technology stack, allowing the company to give its customers an omnichannel experience while improving its IT management.
See the full case study on Money Mart and Cisco.
Parkl is a parking startup that helps customers quickly locate parking spaces, bike lockers, and electric vehicle charging stations. Company leaders who sought solutions to achieve the necessary scalability chose cloud infrastructure technologies from Microsoft Azure.
“It became obvious we needed a modern cloud architecture that was suitable both for startups and corporate projects,” says Andor Toth, lead software developer, Parkl.
“Azure was best suited for that.”
The company relied on the cloud to manage the Internet of Things (IoT) devices that help its technology work.
“It’s made it possible for us to grow from 30 devices to more than 300,” says Zsolt Somogyi, founder and CEO, Parkl.
“We can also update more than 100 devices through the solution, making maintenance so much easier.”
Toth also discusses how the expanded cloud infrastructure allows the company to deploy license plate recognition cameras for parking garage management.
“The barrier opens when cars enter and charges the payment automatically when they exit. Everything is contactless,” said Toth. “Over two years, we’ve seen a huge rise in registered plates from 2,000 to 70,000.”
In addition, Toth reports that even though the overall service utilization has increased by 20 times, the Microsoft Azure platform has minimized, if not eliminated, stability and performance issues, allowing them to always be ready to serve customers. Parkl’s team hopes to double the company’s user base in two years. As such, cloud infrastructure will be instrumental in helping achieve that goal.
Use case: Parkl uses cloud technology to efficiently scale its technology and offerings.
Outcome: As a result of implementing Microsoft Azure technologies, Parkl has experienced a 20-fold increase in the number of transactions customers make through its platform.
See the full case study on Microsoft and Parkl.