Four Customers Who Said, “Goodbye Data Center, Hello AWS”

Saying ‘goodbye’ to your data center and moving to the Cloud is a big deal. It is like allowing someone else to take care of your car – you own it, you drive it, but someone else cleans it, maintains it, and powers it! The hardest part of moving your data to the Cloud is knowing where to start. Here is a glimpse into what led four Sierra-Cedar customers to the Cloud and the benefits that followed.

Customer 1 – When Capacity Outages Need to End
Our first client is a university with an enrollment of more than 111,000 students. Twice a year, in a one-week period, the institution’s students need to register for classes via their PeopleSoft Campus Solutions student portal. While online class enrollment is better than a paper alternative, processing registration for tens of thousands of students over seven days requires extreme capacity within a data center. A move to AWS allowed the institution to scale up for peak loads (e.g., student registration), scale down when a load is complete, experience a high level of performance, and only pay for additional enrollment capacity when needed. This institution continues to use Sierra-Cedar Managed Services with FlexOps® whose automated blue/green maintenance engine significantly reduces maintenance window duration from hours to minutes, another benefit driven by AWS Cloud computing.

Customer 2 – When Disaster Strikes
This second customer is a Big 12 university that experienced a fire above its data center that resulted in flooding within the data center. A nightmare for any institution! Immediately after the fire, this client looked to Sierra-Cedar to restore the HR system functionality from the offsite backup. Sierra-Cedar evaluated the options available and due to the institution’s looming payroll deadline, recommended an immediate move to AWS. The migration of the PeopleSoft HCM production system only took 48 hours and concluded with a successful on-time payroll process and transmission. After averting the crisis, this institution took a deep look at its long-term technology needs and decided to pursue a more modern, future disaster-proof data center. The university also identified the goal to mitigate future business continuity concerns, which Sierra-Cedar Managed Services accomplishes with FlexOps® active-active architecture in AWS.

Customer 3 – When Payroll is on the Line
Next up is a university system that processes $1 billion in payroll, serving more than 240,000 employees. This customer was operating in a traditional data center managed by another provider, but the institution continued to experience performance issues during payroll processing and increasing managed service costs. A move to AWS along with Sierra-Cedar’s Managed Services addressed the scaling and performance requirements during payroll processing. The university also received better billing and cost transparency (no surprise bills!) after the migration to AWS. With Sierra-Cedar’s AWS-architected platform, the institution experienced a significant reduction in the time it took to process payroll. It also continues to rely on Sierra-Cedar’s FlexOps® automation and orchestration platform to manage infrastructure deployment, versioning, drift detection, automation remediation, and change control.

Customer 4 – When Global Access Needs to be Stable and Secure
Our fourth customer is a global real estate solutions company whose warehouses stream 2.5 percent of the world’s GDP. It has more than 400 worldwide financial specialists who work on month-end general ledger closings. This global workforce encounters infrastructure stress and constantly increasing security risk and compliance requirements. After migrating to AWS with Sierra-Cedar’s FlexOps® platform, the system scales up during peak workloads and scales down during stable state mode. The client also utilizes AWS’s End-User Compute solution, AppStream 2.0, that allows secure streaming for the required financial suite of desktop tools (maintenance and security) to hundreds of user workstations, with no need to ever install, patch, or expose organization data to local workstations.

Now is the time to learn how your institution can benefit from moving to the Cloud! Sierra-Cedar offers a Complimentary Cloud Readiness Workshop, which is a great first step in exploring a Cloud journey. It’s a service two of the clients above used. If it worked for them, it can work for you!

To learn more about these AWS client experiences, reach out to the Sierra-Cedar AWS Team.

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