4-page Case Study
Posted: 11/21/2013
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Rewardsco Rewardsco Reimagines Business Enabling Dynamic IT Infrastructure with Microsoft

Established in Kwazulu Natal over 15 years ago, Rewardsco has rapidly evolved into one of South Africa’s foremost providers of outsourced sales solutions.

Working closely with a wide range of South African blue-chip clients – primarily residing within the telecommunications and financial sectors, this dynamic organisation is entrusted with sales, fulfillment and customer care on their behalf.

Making over 500 000 customer contacts and selling 60 000 products monthly, there is little doubt that Rewardsco has become a major player within its field. The recent development and adoption of a new R170million, 8 000 square metre headquarter building in Umhlanga – one of Durban’s most highly sought after business and residential areas, reinforces this outlook.

Challenge

The fast moving nature of the telephonic sales environment requires the support of a robust and reliable technical infrastructure. Without this foundation organizations such as Rewardsco would be unable to function efficiently. In this industry lost uptime can swiftly result in reduced revenue. There is no room for failure.

To meet this expectation the company had, over the course of a decade, assembled on-premise infrastructure of servers and other physical hardware. Accumulated according to immediate demand, rather than a long-term focus, the environment had become disparate and incongruent.

Although this platform met the expectations associated with immediate need, it was unable to function as a cohesive unit. Furthermore, as the infrastructure began to age so downtime became a more frequent occurrence. Without a carefully mapped IT architecture in place, technicians were finding the detections and rectification of issues increasingly troublesome.

After introducing a new Head of Infrastructure and Technology, Lawrance Reddy, to the organization in 2011 Rewardsco made the critical decision to begin investigating alternative options.

Solution

Working closely with certified Microsoft Partner, Gijima, Rewardsco opted to take an entirely new approach to internal IT by developing a private cloud architecture that would streamline operations whilst vastly improving uptime and service availability.

The objectives were clear. Gijima was tasked with developing a solution that was resilient, offered proactive alerting and notifications, supported virtualization of all systems to reduce restoration time and ensured consistency by using image based computing.

The answer was a comprehensive Microsoft “ecosystem” that placed emphasis on service delivery, not infrastructure delivery. Established within a private cloud, this collection of technologies offered Rewardsco the business peace of mind whilst equipping it with the capacity and dynamic capabilities to manage ICT services delivered to the business from the Private Cloud platform.

The RewardsCo Service Delivery Ecosystem has also included the latest capabilities provided by Microsoft in terms of Public Cloud and Commodity of Scale capabilities provided by Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365.

“Through careful alignment of Business Strategy, Microsoft technologies and Microsoft licensing, Rewardsco has gained a significant edge in industry it operates in. It has truly allowed us go beyond boundaries and physical limitations” says IT Executive Director, Jayson Naidoo

Benefits

The benefits associated with Rewardsco’s comprehensive virtualized environment have been numerous.

Microsoft’s offerings delivered according to expectations in the following manner:

Agility

Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Microsoft Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365

“Microsoft Windows Server 2012 has provided Rewardsco with a robust and trusted server platform that offers the kind of functionality only otherwise available in several disparate product sets” comments Lawrance Reddy, Rewardsco Head of Infrastructure and Technology.

“This, in collaboration with Microsoft’s Hyper V technology ensured that we are able to consolidate critical physical servers into lightweight and agile virtual systems that are portable, transportable and movable. This is critical within a large call center environment”.

The introduction of Office 365 – Microsoft’s remotely hosted productivity suite, has also improved agility and access at an executive level adds Reddy.

“Office 365 allows our corporate users access productivity applications from anywhere in the world using any device and without having to connect back to the corporate on premise network. This kind of agility is demonstrating significant value within our marketing and business development teams”.

“Our core revenue users of the business, our agents, use agile virtual desktops provided Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services. We can now place agents at any location and still provide the same workspace.

“Windows Azure – Microsoft’s Cloud and Hosting Platform, is the current evolution of scalability and agility for Rewardsco, In-house applications and services are currently being designed and developed to fit into the Windows Azure Platform.

Continuous Operations

Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Microsoft System Centre 2012, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 AlwaysON

A reliable and virtualized environment has proven a massive benefit to Rewardsco’s uninterrupted operations. Microsoft technology lies at the heart of this infrastructure, adds Reddy.

“Microsoft HyperV Replicas allow Rewardsco to replicate servers. There are no true single points of failure.

Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012 SP1 allows us to respond to exceptions’ rather than manually monitoring everything.

SCOM 2012 has become the eyes and ears on our network”.

“Our mission critical database environment runs on a SQL 2012 AlwaysON cluster, ensuring that we are literally alwayson 24x7 365”.

Data Integrity

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012, Microsoft Windows 8, Microsoft Threat Management Gateway, Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012

Information security is critical to Rewardsco’s daily operations. Microsoft technology has ensured reliability and security within the full breadth of internal operations, adds Reddy.

“Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 delivers standards based and corporate Windows 8 images across the organization. SCCM 2012 manages all assets and configurations of those assets. Windows 8, meanwhile, delivers a secure, feature rich experience for our end users. It is the standard desktop OS within the organization.

“Significantly, SCCM 2012 also allows us to effectively manage mobile devices, allowing agents to bring their own devices(BYOD) whilst maintaining device security.

Features like, integrated Windows Update, configuration baselines, keeps our Windows assets running optimally all of the time.

“A geographically dispersed set of Microsoft System Center DPM 2012 servers helps Rewardsco to protect all data assets. DPM2012 allows us protect application specific content”.

Solution Overview




Organization Profile
Rewardsco Sales (Pty) Ltd is a company that sells products on behalf of Blue-Chip South African companies across the Telecommunications, Banking and Insurance sectors. We establish trust with our customers, using world-class technology and quality management processes by staff members who are passionate about who they represent and what they do.

Software and Services
  • Microsoft System Center 2012
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Vertical Industries
Outsourced Services

Country/Region
South Africa

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Gijima

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