Neil Harvey, CTO, Kirona
I know that I can make one call or one email into Secura to add a load of resource, and it’s just there. We couldn’t do that in the old days with dedicated cloud.
Kirona, are a software business, specializing in workforce automation and optimization solutions. Effectively, it’s enabling organizations to do more with less. The scheduling engine will plan the most effective route and the most efficient job for them to deliver next. Then, there’s a mobile app which tells them what they need to do when they get there, and enables them to capture data and feed it back into their various systems.
What all these organizations have done is transition their entire business process from paper to adapt these kind of technologies, so they’re absolutely critical to delivering the services that they need to to run their businesses.
We used to build our own dedicated infrastructure and hardware. As soon as you do that, there’s a kind of technology refresh you have to consider every three to five years. And, equally, it’s about the service levels that we absolutely need to maintain a great service for our customers. And that’s really why we started to look around.
In terms of the top three requirements that we really needed from a new hosting partner, number one was security. That’s absolutely paramount to all of our customers, particularly the government customers, local and central government, for obvious reasons. The fact that Secura have got presence in multiple data centres, so we can fail over between data centres, and those data centres are all tier 3 plus in terms of their specification, that’s really important, as well.
The second thing was service levels, is making sure that we’ve got consistent high quality of service throughout the life of the contract. A lot of hosting organisations, they just provide some infrastructure to run a website. We’re not like that. We have an evolving suite of software products that is changing all the time and advancing all the time, and as a result, our hosting needs are advancing and changing all the time.
So, Secura have had to evolve their systems to meet our needs. It’s much easier when you’ve got a partner that understands that, than just basically putting a load of infrastructure in, something like an Amazon or Azure, where you’re just dealing with a portal and no human interaction.
And the third one, really, was understanding and knowing what our costs were going to be for a long period of time, and not having to worry about a hardware tech refresh every three to five years with a big capital investment. We wanted that to be someone else’s problem.
One of the biggest advantages, compared to what we’ve had in the past, is the flexibility around the virtual private cloud technology. We can burst resources when we need to. We can scale them back when we need to. Something like Carpetright have these quick burst sales on bank holiday weekends and things like that, so we have to be responsive to that.
Migration is really important. Obviously, you need the technology there to help you make that as seamless and painless as possible. We’ve done that, probably, 20 or 30 times now with different customers, all very successfully, and that’s absolutely critical because our customers need to know that they’re not going to notice any difference or any loss of service. The model that Secura have for migrating is absolutely critical to that.
Support is absolutely vital. We have customers that work 24/7. We have customers that work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s variable. And, again, that’s where the Secura support team are fantastic. They will support our needs in that. If they need to work in the middle of the night, and we do as well, that’s accommodated. They absolutely know what they’re doing. They absolutely understand their platform, and they understand our needs.
The key thing for me is, again, the people and the flexibility. That’s what makes the difference.