Case Study: Inclarity
cloud solution for a custom application
Originally established in 1991, Inclarity is a recognised leader in fixed line telephony. It was the UK’s first Hosted VoIP provider in 2003 and now operates a cloud based telephony solution which can support in excess of 6 million customers.
The company has invested heavily in developing new features and functions on their platform for customers which allows them to offer over 99.999% reliability and is why they are trusted by many major corporations including Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Christian Dior, Pizza Hut and The Welsh Assembly.
In 2015, Inclarity began working on a new custom application to give their customers access to information which would help them improve the efficiency of their communications. The application would gather data from across the customers cloud VoIP solution and deliver relevant information to users. This could then be used to help make communications based business decisions that would reduce costs, increase mobility and ensure business continuity.
Although Inclarity had experience of working in the cloud with their own VoIP systems, they recognised that delivering a robust application that handled large amounts of data would need the support of a cloud infrastructure specialist.
They identified a number of challenges they would face with deploying the application in the cloud and their infrastructure requirements including:
- Performance and resource management - Although the application stored and handled large amounts of data it would be used infrequently. This meant that resources could remain idle for long periods and they could be paying for them when they were not needed which could have significant cost implications.
- Lack of expertise - Inclarity wanted a support partner who not only fixed problems but could also be part of the team. They recognised that additional expertise could be used to enhance what they were already delivering to their customers.
- On call support - Because Inclarity’s own SLA for customers guaranteed 99.999% availability they needed a support solution that could help them maintain this regardless of when the issue occurred.
igroup understood that anything they proposed would have to be able to scale as the number of users of Inclarity’s applications grew. They conducted a review of the business requirements before creating an Azure proof of concept which allowed Inclarity to see how the final infrastructure would meet their business objectives.
As part of the overall plan, igroup recommended implementing their CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS) on the Azure infrastructure. CAMS delivers an always-on cloud support and management solution which brings together cloud performance and cost monitoring tools, support processes and infrastructure administration tools in a single portal.
Specifically CAMS would:
- Actively monitor and report on resources and their utilisation so that the infrastructure continued to operate at peak performance
- Allow igroup to regularly review the cloud infrastructure and work directly with the Inclarity team to improve application delivery
- Provide immediate access to 24/7 support through the emergency response dashboard as well as detecting and resolving issues, often before they are even noticed
Since implementing Azure and the CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS) Inclarity have seen a number of benefits including:
- A dramatic reduction in costs even as the number of users has grown because CAMS has in built cost control processes and also manages resource allocation and usage ensuring effective utilisation
- A reduction in the time taken by their own team in dealing with problems on their infrastructure enabling them to concentrate on their own application development
- CAMS 24/7 monitoring is helping to resolve issues in the infrastructure that would have previously caused a problem for the application as well as resolving issues before they are even noticed by the Inclarity team
- Access to cloud experts as and when required to help plan and develop new applications
- Improved cloud performance even as user numbers and data increases
igroup consultants hold regular planning meetings with Inclarity as part of their ongoing account management process. By using data gathered in the CAMS platform the teams are able to use real information to assist them with planning new applications in the cloud.
As new cloud applications are developed they will be integrated into the existing Azure infrastructure and be managed using CAMS.
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- Resources needed to be managed effectively to avoid performance issues
- Lack of internal resources and experience to plan and develop a cloud infrastructure
- Required 24/7 support
- Cloud costs needed proactive management
- Proof of concept Azure infrastructure
- Implementing igroup’s proactive CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS)
- Reduction in costs even as user numbers grew
- Constant infrastructure monitoring to support existing SLAs
- Reduced in-house resource requirements
- Regular improvements in cloud performance