How cloud adoption has transformed four businesses
Cloud adoption has skyrocketed in recent years, driven by the demands for flexible working and remote working mandates issued during the pandemic.
As more firms replace legacy solutions with cloud services, issues such as workflow, security, storage and customer satisfaction are some of the new challenges they’ve had to tackle.
To explore more how cloud is supporting firms’ business goals we spoke to four cloud vendors and their enterprise customers about their adoption journeys and the impact cloud tech has had on their business.
Elsevier’s Salesforce in the cloud
A ‘seamless experience’ is what many firms who have undertaken cloud migration report enjoying. The sales team at publishing company Elsevier can attest to this, when it decided to take its ‘quote to cash’ process into the cloud.
The stages that occur between a customer expressing an interest in a product through to its purchase is known as the quote to cash (Q2C) process. This system, which Elsevier used previously, was complex and manual, requiring the sales team to take its contracts through different platforms causing roadblocks and delays for the customer.
“This fragmented process was resulting in version control issues, contract mistakes, long processing times and a lack of insight into contract status,” recalls Matt Cumberlidge, head of the Quote to Cash programme at Elsevier.
“Our sales team would have to step outside the Salesforce CPQ system to complete their work, which was adding turnaround time to the contract lifecycle. This was ultimately impacting customer satisfaction and was being flagged as an issue in our surveys.”
The firm partnered with Conga – which sells a suite of tools that allow businesses to create digital contracts and documents and store them in the cloud.
Once Elsevier moved this manual process onto Conga Contracts for Salesforce it enabled the firm to take control of its contract processes and create, negotiate and execute contracts through automation. It also meant that the sales team could stay on one platform, allowing all information to be accurate and recorded.
Since the implementation, Elsevier claims to have reduced its contract creation and generation time from “days to hours”. This has led to faster time to revenue as well as freeing up the sales team’s time.
“We wanted to get contracts into the hands of our customers within 24 hours and the cloud has enabled us to achieve that goal,” Cumberlidge adds.
Legacy planning at Greater Anglia
UK train operator Greater Anglia has made two huge investments over the last five years – replacing its entire fleet of trains with brand new ones and changing its wide area network (WAN) to accommodate Microsoft 365, including OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint.
“Our new trains are deploying more modern technology and infrastructure, which meant we had a lot of legacy applications that were defunct when the new applications came in,” explains Himesh Patel, head of IT Service Delivery at Greater Anglia.
“We began looking to push a lot of applications either to the cloud or to suppliers in their own cloud environments,” he added.
To help with these changes Greater Anglia called on the services of cloud backup provider iland.
Firstly, it needed the secure its Microsoft 365 investment to protect itself with backup protection as well as to prevent cyber-attacks.
Greater Anglia had been backing up its mission-critical applications on premises, by copying data from the primary storage device to a tape so the data could be recovered in the case of a hard disk failure. However, the IT Team realised that they were spending too much time on this ‘outdated’ approach.
According to Himesh, a resilient, scalable approach was needed if IT was to tackle key business objectives such as the rolling out new trains, IT infrastructure and new customer information screens at each station.
“From a strategy point of view, I think cloud backup is excellent,” said Himesh. “It just moves everything up and out, removing our responsibility onsite. And eventually it will allow us to remove a lot of legacy hardware.”
Himesh adds that migrating to the cloud has also given authenticated staff the ability to access its data, securely and remotely, while working from home.
“And that plays into our strategy moving forward. We’re reducing the footprint on premises infrastructure as well as the footprint for IT support,” Himesh adds.
Nuffield’s digital infrastructure gets a workout
For UK healthcare charity Nuffield Health, the reason for moving to the cloud was to modernise the infrastructure behind its website and digital services, as well as improving its peak-time performance and availability.
The IT team selected Microsoft Azure after using the provider for developing environments and data integrations. Moving its site, nuffieldhealth.com over to Azure would also, it added, cut costs, simplify and speed up website modernisation and allow for the creation of new digital services.
After attempting to rearchitect some of its services for the cloud in house, the team decided to seek further help from Microsoft for assistance, which in turn recommended cloud specialist Node4.
Node4’s first task was to devise an Azure migration strategy. At its core this was a lift and shift exercise, but Node4 also rearchitected and optimised nuffieldhealth.com so that the IT team could take full advantage of Azure’s services, infrastructure and wider ecosystem.
The goal was to modernise its digital services and the front end of its website, which meant that the team had to limit operational disruptions so that this process did not disturb the customer experience.
Node4 spent time with Nuffield Health’s IT team to catalogue the health firm’s digital assets and applications to ensure every asset was included and avoid a service outage. The provider then carried out several ‘dry runs’ ahead of the actual website migration to ensure it would go smoothly.
After nuffieldhealth.com moved to a Node4-supported Azure environment, resources could be scaled up or down in line with demand – and without needing to allocate IT budget to over-provisioned resources.
Nuffield Health’s technology strategy and delivery director Dave Ankers points to the tangible cost savings the switch to cloud has reaped.
He explains: “We’ve been able to reduce our storage costs by 50% year-on-year. That’s based on the cost of our previous storage compute vs the cost of the current Azure storage-based compute. To my mind, that means the migration has already paid for itself.”
He adds: “We’ve also saved around 50% on support bills. Our legacy environment was incredibly complex. It needed highly specialist — and therefore costly — support. Today, Node4 provides us with a single website and infrastructure support contract, which makes life so much easier for us.”
TSB exploits AI to optimise online banking UX
As more of its customers embrace online banking TSB looked to the cloud for support.
The bank partnered with software intelligence company Dynatrace to build a multi-cloud banking platform with AWS, IBM Cloud, and BT Cloud to support customers across all key channels, including mobile, where more than 70% of them prefer to transact.
With AI-powered answers and intelligent automation delivered by Dynatrace, the bank’s digital teams can now optimise both front and back-end applications. This has enabled the bank to deliver improved user experiences and resolve problems before customers are impacted.
Suresh Viswanathan, COO, TSB Bank noted that Dynatrace’s observability and AIOps capabilities were key to the project’s success.
TSB’s customers rely on dozens of digital services to execute a single transaction, which can be as simple as a bank deposit or transfer. By offering deep observability into each step of the digital journey, Dynatrace claims to offer real-time insight into performance, availability, and potential issues in the user interface, to help the bank’s teams prioritise their focus on service enhancements that will have the biggest impact on customer experience.
“With Dynatrace, previously manual-intensive tasks are now managed automatically, freeing our teams to focus on what matters most – driving innovation for our customers and accelerating our digital transformation strategy.”
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