Rackspace Technology, a technology services company, has enabled Alemba to adopt a Software-as-a-Service service model in the cloud, a critical move in its evolution to provide services to its customers. The IT service management (ITSM) software provider utilised Rackspace Technology Service Blocks, the subscription-based cloud consumption model, to design and secure multi-tenant SaaS architectures. This simplifies Alemba’s product development, allowing for faster innovation and reduces operating costs.
Headquartered in the UK, Alemba boasts global customers across a range of sectors from retail to education, including Sony, Daimler Benz, Games Workshop and Cardiff University. With growing recognition for the benefits of the cloud, the market demand for SaaS-based setups was on the rise, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).
Facing an opportunity to reach new customers and cement its market leadership, Alemba migrated from its on-premises model to Amazon Web Services (AWS). But the migration proved complex and Alemba’s small IT team had to devote most of its resources to understanding the new platform, as well as figuring out how to best manage the financial model.
Alemba determined that it needed an experienced partner to support it on the project, appointing Rackspace Technology to build its SaaS offering for SMBs, as well as to design and manage a customised infrastructure that could support both SMB and enterprise customers, while keeping costs, and in turn prices, manageable.
Rackspace Technology Service Blocks allows customers to select, combine, add or change on-demand cloud services to address their unique needs. This flexible model has allowed Alemba to tap into Rackspace Technology’s security expertise and enhance its own credentials, meeting the extremely stringent requirements of many of its customers.
Simon Nugent, CEO at Alemba, said: “We operate in a competitive landscape and having a flexible offering gives us a unique edge in the market. Rackspace Technology affords us with the ability to innovate faster and reduces our costs of operations, which significantly and positively impacts our business as a whole. Without Rackspace Technology’s capabilities and the Rackspace Technology Service Blocks model, we wouldn’t have been able to build out our offering for new customers.”
Mahesh Desai, Chief Relationship Officer, EMEA, Rackspace Technology, said: “Agility is a key priority for many businesses and a flexible cloud model is the answer, enabling them to scale up and down when required by consuming the right services at the right time. Every company has individual, changing needs on its cloud journey and we’re proud to provide a service that supports businesses like Alemba when and where it needs it.”
Intelligent Data Centres talks to Simon Nugent, CEO, Alemba, to find out more about the solution.
Why did you decide to introduce a SaaS offering?
We work with customers across a range of different sectors and noticed that the market was becoming increasingly cut-throat as software delivery models change and more customers look to the cloud. We understood that we needed to change our offering to meet our customers’ demands and decided to develop a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution as a way to do this.
Of course, we soon realised that migrating from on-premises to a cloud model is not that simple. We originally invested in our own data centre and hosted the solution ourselves, but it quickly became clear that we needed external support to manage the project. We also needed to be able to provide our customers with availability and security, with a robust platform.
What has the solution implementation involved?
We first chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) and our small team, led by our IT Services Manager, Alex Madgwick, spent a lot of time learning about the new platform. Alex and the team spent roughly four months studying how AWS works and what would be best for the business. While they did an amazing job learning how to make the most of the platform, the team quickly realised that while the move to cloud came with many benefits, it brought new cost management challenges. After careful deliberation, we decided to select a managed services provider to support us with the project – Rackspace Technology.
Why did you choose Rackspace Technology as your managed services provider?
We knew we would have to invest a lot more time getting to grips with AWS so we decided to work with professionals with unbiased expertise and Rackspace Technology provided this for us. If we carried on managing the platform ourselves, our engineers would have ended up spending all their time making those changes, instead of helping our customers. Working with Rackspace Technology means all we need to do is make a call and the team are there to work quickly to come up with a solution.
How does the solution implementation work?
Primarily we needed to be sure that we were designing something to meet our exact requirements, which is where Rackspace Technology Service Blocks has been very useful. The offering means we can be flexible, selecting services as-and-when we need them, customising depending on the demand we’re seeing. The model means that we only pay for what we actually need and adjust accordingly, rather than having to go in for a fully managed service solution.
The Service Blocks model has also allowed us to tap into Rackspace Technology’s security expertise. For instance, we can meet the extremely strict security needs of our customers, including a bank in Barbados, meaning we’re able to deliver the solutions customers want via the cloud, without compromising on business-critical areas such as security.
How is it improving operations, and what positive impact has the implementation had on customers?
The implementation has enabled us to boost our offering to customers through automation and quicker deployments, all in a cost-effective way. We can now offer basic templates to businesses that need only a certain level of support. This gives us more time to tackle bigger, more complex projects, which in turn helps us approach a broader market with confidence. We now have a clearly defined, universal offering for customers of all sizes, and we can meet their requirements in a way that’s scalable and sustainable for our own business.
Our long-term goal is to move all customers onto a fully managed environment, helping our IT team to free up more of its capacity. One of the exciting things is that although we’re less than a year into working together with Rackspace Technology, we have already achieved so much. As we move fully across, we’re going to see even bigger benefits, which means as a team we’ll be able to spend more of our time on supporting customers.
The migration to the cloud is a big move towards future-proofing our business. We’re about to release a major new version of our software, and the plan is for all our customers to move onto it. It’s been designed specifically for the cloud and if we can get people away from legacy environments and using the latest versions, the opportunities for further development and to use the likes of containerisation, are significant. Being able to migrate to a flexible cloud model on Service Blocks gives us a platform that will evolve as we do. It’s a great foundation for future growth, both for our customers’ ambitions and our own.