Case Study: Valuechain
Creating a cloud platform for a custom application
Based in the UK, Valuechain is a leading provider of smart manufacturing solutions around the globe. Their clients include major worldwide corporates such as Bentley and Airbus through to smaller SMEs.
Their applications increase productivity, promote collaboration and provide intelligence which can be used by customers to improve their profitability and manufacturing efficiency.
Over the past few years, Valuechain have made a number of strategic acquisitions to support their existing portfolio of services. This has meant that they have had to add new applications and tools to their existing infrastructure so that their global customers can access them.
Having acquired new companies, Valuechain was faced with a number of challenges that they needed support with if they were to continue to grow and offer additional services to their worldwide customer base. These included:
- The need to move to a single cloud infrastructure - In order to reduce IT hardware and support costs they wanted to move all their applications and services onto a single infrastructure. This would mean that resources could be shared and reallocated as and when required without incurring additional costs.
- Scalability - Valuechain were already looking at developing new applications in the cloud as well as organically growing their user base and they needed a cloud solution that could scale with their business.
- Improve overall performance - As their business had grown they had encountered some performance issues with their existing cloud infrastructure that had affected their customers and they wanted to ensure that problems were resolved as quickly as possible.
- Cost management - Valuechain had seen a number of unexpected costs from their existing cloud infrastructure having to pay for resources that were underused or were just not needed.
In addition, Valuechain recognised that they lacked the right skills in house to manage their cloud infrastructure. Their existing Azure architecture had grown out of necessity rather than as part of a cohesive plan and they wanted to work with specialists who understood all aspects of the cloud and could become part of their onboarding team as they launched new applications.
In order to understand the goals and objectives of the business, igroup consultants ran a series of workshops with Valuechain which they then used to plan and architect the right infrastructure solution. This information and plan were then used to reconfigure the existing Azure infrastructure which could then be used by all the applications.
Once igroup had deployed a stable Azure environment they worked with Valuechain to migrate all their applications over to the updated infrastructure. This meant that they were able to decommission legacy systems saving costs and management time. In addition they gained greater visibility of all their applications and how they were performing in the cloud.
Following the initial setup and migration project, igroup implemented their CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS) across Valuechain’s infrastructure. This delivered a set of dashboards, tools, applications and processes to give greater management control of the infrastructure which included:
- Fault finding
- Resource and performance monitoring
- Upgrades and patches
- First line help tools
- Cost management
igroup consultants also provided support to Valuechain’s own development team advising them on how to maximise performance in the cloud, which elements of their applications could affect performance and how best to deploy new applications.The solution delivered by igroup included:
- Architecting and planning the most suitable Azure environment
- Migrating applications to a single infrastructure
- Implementing the CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS) to improve performance, manage resources and reduce costs
- Provided ongoing support to the Valuechain development team
Valuechain quickly recognised the value of working with the cloud experts from igroup. Many of the challenges they had previously faced were resolved quickly including:
Performance - By having a well architected solution the right resources and compute power had been specified so there were less failures and customer complaints
Single infrastructure - By operating just one infrastructure Valuechain were able to save significant costs on hardware, maintenance and support
Active management - CAMS from igroup helped reduce costs and improve management visibility
igroup will be working closely with Valuechain as they develop and deploy new applications to the Azure infrastructure. With the CloudOps Active Management Solution their infrastructure will be continually monitored, resources managed effectively and problems identified and resolved before there are any problems.
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- To plan and architect a single infrastructure for all applications
- To support moving applications to the new infrastructure
- To manage and improve Azure performance
- To support future application deployments
- Planning and architecting a robust Azure infrastructure
- Implementing igroup’s proactive CloudOps Active Management Solution to monitor and manage the infrastructure
- Providing ongoing cloud consultancy services
- Improved performance and reduced costs
- Moving all applications to a single infrastructure