A large American family dining restaurant chain which was originally owned by a conglomerate, opened its first restaurant in 1999. In 2007, the conglomerate sold the chain to a private equity firm that wanted to improve the efficiency and operations of the company’s IT. Today, there are 67 restaurants running in 16 Eastern and Midwestern states, and plans to open new locations.
After purchasing the chain, its PE owner wanted to improve store support and gain more control of the IT operations that were being operated by a small team that provided little visibility into largely disjointed on-premises operations. The key challenges the company was facing, included:
- The on-premises IT infrastructure was obsolete and needed major upgrades and better support.
- IT operations and procedures were unstructured, unstable and undocumented, making it difficult to secure and meet PCI-DSS regulatory compliance mandates.
- The company was experiencing significant server downtime in their on-premises data center, and disaster recovery times were unacceptable.
- End-user and store support was extremely limited and slow, and there was no process to assess the end-user experience.
- There were little, if no, disaster recovery capabilities in place.
The company was looking to partner with a vendor that had the skills and experience to transform operations and implement innovative cloud-based technologies , as well as manage and support the IT and end user environment on a 24x7x365 basis.
Solution & Approach
Auxis was first engaged to assess the existing state of IT and business requirements to recommend a cloud service provider to migrate to. Auxis performed an analysis of the workloads and designed a scalable and robust cloud architecture that includes security and compliance, performance monitoring, usage/cost analysis, and company operational requirements. Based on these criteria and the challenges identified, Auxis prepared the design and pricing models, and ultimately selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the preferred cloud vendor.
To help the organization achieve its business and operational goals, Auxis was tasked with the following:
- IT operations and end-user support including store POS systems – Auxis took over the day-to-day operations and support by implementing a comprehensive set of processes, technologies, and bringing on more capable and better skilled resources than before. Auxis assigned a Service Deliver Manager that from day one that established a connection with company executives and store personnel.
- Cloud migration – Auxis engineers effectively designed and supported the migration and creation of the stacks on AWS infrastructure. Auxis also performed the migration of productivity applications to Office 365, as well as PBX systems to AWS.
- Business applications and OS software – Auxis implemented an automated system for software patching and updating to increase security and application performance levels. Auxis also enabled the company’s increasingly mobile workforce with remote desktop management services.
- Governance, security and operations processes – Auxis assisted the local teams in creating support processes using the ITIL framework required to properly manage all of the workloads on the cloud with a high emphasis on security, PCI compliance controls, reporting and proactive management.
- Cloud 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.
- Network infrastructure – Auxis completely revamped the company’s obsolete network infrastructure by moving the PBX to the cloud and implementing Cisco firewalls, switching and routing hardware and software at the corporate office.
- Disaster recovery – To improve disaster recovery response times across multiple locations and POS systems, Auxis created an implemented a DR and failover plan that is continuously tested to meet standardized RPOs and RTOs.
- Vendor management – With strong vendor relationships, Auxis created a dedicated team to act as a liaison between technology partners and the company, including third-party telecom and POS hardware providers, to maintain ongoing, cohesive relationships.