Auxis Performs Cloud Selection, Migration and Operations Management for $72B US Retailer

cloud solutions for retailer case study

Client Profile

Recently acquired by a $72B retailer in the US, client provides cloud-based e-commerce and point of sale solutions for connected product retailers. Their solutions for in-store and mobile seamlessly unify the complex and interdependent data streams between retailers, manufacturers, digital service providers and network operators. The result is an efficient omni-channel experience that helps retailers improve their customers’ shopping experience while realizing greater margins and reduced IT spend.

Business Challenge

Early in 2014, the organization was acquired by a major retailer in the US, generating the need to migrate their omni-channel application from their former hosting location. The company wanted to utilize this opportunity to migrate the application to the cloud as part of the integration process. The key challenges involved in this migration included:

  • The omni-channel application was developed over a decade ago, was not optimized for the cloud and required a high volume of database transactions to process the orders
  • There was a very tight timeline for the migration as it needed to be finalized before the upcoming holiday season that was expected to drive a high sales volume
  • Due to the recent acquisition, there were no governance or operational procedures during the new implementation
  • Tight security monitoring and controls for the new infrastructure was one of the most important requirements

The organization was looking to partner with a vendor that had the skills and experience to design their new platform on the cloud, as well as support the implementation and management of the new system.

Solution

Auxis was first engaged to perform a cloud vendor selection assessment to recommend the best option based on business requirements. Auxis performed an analysis of the workloads and designed a scalable and robust cloud architecture, including security, usage/cost, and company operational requirements. Based on these criteria and the challenges identified, Auxis prepared the design and pricing models for three vendors, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was ultimately selected as the preferred vendor.

The company had a strict timeline for migration (3 months) to be ready in time for the big holiday retail push kicking off in late November. In order to meet the deadline, Auxis was tasked with the following:

  • Migration roll-out support – Auxis engineers effectively designed and supported the creation of the stacks in AWS, including the preparation of the Cloudformation,Opsworks templates and Chef recipes
  • Implementation of security measures – Auxis helped mitigate security concerns byworking closely with the company’s security staff to implement necessary tools and services for monitoring and identifying risk to the company’s systems, applications and data, including CloudTrail, CloudWatch, File Integrity Monitoring, Host Based Intrusion detection systems, and Centralized log collection
  • Creation of governance, security and operations processes for cloud management – Auxis assisted the local teams in creating the support processes using ITIL framework needed to properly manage all the workloads on the cloud with high emphasis on security,controls and proactive management
  • Day-to-daycloud monitoring and operations management – Once the processes were created and in place, Auxis implemented the proper tools to monitor and manage AWS production and security environments from Auxis Nearshore Outsourcing Center in Costa Rica

Despite the aggressive turnaround time, Auxis implemented over 240 EC2 and 132 RDS instances running on two AWS accounts, spinning over 15 different environments, including Production, UAT, Test and Development.

Results

By moving their platform to the cloud and utilizing Auxis Cloud Managed Services and Financial Management Services out of Auxis Nearshore Center in Costa Rica, the company was able to achieve the following benefits:

 

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Increased business focus

With Auxis providing 24x7x365 Cloud Managed Services, the organization can now focus on innovation and business strategy activities while Auxis continues handling the monitoring, management and support from an infrastructure Auxis implemented over 55 different processes for the management of the cloud.

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Improved business agility

Auxis made it simpler and faster to create VPC stacks, instances, databases and services, allowing developers to streamline their efforts, especially with the ability to create whole new test and development environments at AWS within minutes.

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Business peace of mind

Auxis governance, security monitoring and management practices gave the company the confidence their data was protected in the event of an attack. Auxis executed over 40 different controls to ensure the proper security is in place for the environments.

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Cost control

Auxis Financial Help Desk provided specialized processes and controls to understand company spending with AWS, and control any changes outside the baseline. Auxis worked with the organization to tag the different environments using different levels of cost centers. After the environment was stable, initiatives were put in place to understand usage and reduce the size of the instances where needed. This process is constantly repeated to keep the environment size as needed and not deplete additional resources. Auxis continues to be responsible for reporting and controlling the tagging of the environment through weekly updates on the spend and forecast based on the environment type and services.