When Catalogic Software opened its doors in October 2013, the data protection company faced a unique challenge. It needed to put in place new IT infrastructure rapidly, like a typical technology startup. But because it already had a mature client base, Catalogic couldn’t tolerate any disruption to its existing customers while building out the new systems and underlying infrastructure.
|When you look at what we’re paying for versus what we get, it’s very good. Having the comfort of a global data center offers huge value—and huge peace of mind.|
| James Farrell|
Manager of Data Protection Software Services
Catalogic, which delivers intelligent data protection and cataloging solutions to clients around the world, began as a division of Syncsort and was recently spun out as a private entity. While Catalogic started out with the in-house proprietary tools and technologies necessary to deliver services to customers, it needed to quickly replace the line-of-business systems and core infrastructure that had previously been provided by Syncsort. This included such essentials as file and print, email, and core financial systems.
“We had to fill in a lot of gaps,” recalls James Farrell, Manager of Data Protection Software Services at Catalogic. “We were suddenly responsible for our own networking, email, data center support, and a myriad of diverse applications that run the business.” Turning to Cloud-Based Services
In an effort to minimize the burden on its IT staff and reduce investment in physical infrastructure, Catalogic adopted an IT strategy that relies heavily on cloud-based services. “We want to build out an infrastructure that can be agile and take advantage of new technology,” says Farrell. “To us this means moving applications to the cloud whenever it makes sense to do so.”
Currently, Catalogic relies on several cloud-based services, including Microsoft Office 365 for productivity, hosted Exchange for email, and Microsoft Dynamics GP for financial management. The Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment runs in the cloud on Microsoft Azure and is managed by Microsoft Certified Partner Syvantis Technologies.
The flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics deployment models—specifically, the ability to move from the on-premises deployment used at Syncsort to a partner-managed cloud deployment of Microsoft Dynamics GP on Microsoft Azure—fit well with Catalogic’s overall IT strategy. Rapid Time to Benefit
Syvantis deployed, configured, and provisioned Microsoft Dynamics GP rapidly, migrating existing financial data from Syncsort to Catalogic—and from on-premises to the cloud—with virtually no disruption to the business or to financial processes. “We have zero tolerance for downtime,” says Farrell. “And in the end there was no
downtime. There was no disruption to the business.”
|We have zero tolerance for downtime. And in the end there was no downtime. There was no disruption to the business.|
| James Farrell|
Manager of Data Protection Software Services
After a brief period of testing and configuration, Syvantis migrated Catalogic’s financial data from Syncsort’s Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation into Syvantis’s multi-tenant instance of Microsoft Dynamics GP running in their Microsoft Azure cloud. Syvantis staff began the migration after the close of business on a Friday afternoon, and systems were up and running when the Catalogic finance team arrived at their desks Monday morning.
In addition, the cutover to the new system has been nearly transparent to Catalogic’s financial staff, who use Microsoft Dynamics GP daily for financial accounting (General Ledger, Accounts Payable), as well as reporting, through Management Reporter 2012. “They had been used to the performance of the on-premises system,” says Farrell. “So if performance suffered, we would hear about it. But there’s been no noticeable difference between the on-premises and the hosted version.” High Security
The Catalogic team reviewed the security of the new system from the perspective of the Microsoft Azure cloud as well as access to its Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment, working with Syvantis to ensure its concerns were addressed in both areas.
“We take security very, very seriously,” says Farrell. “So we need a partner that also takes security seriously. We’re confident that Syvantis has locked down Microsoft Dynamics GP to the fullest extent, and that the Microsoft Azure cloud is also secure.” Low Cost of Ownership
The multi-tenant model of Microsoft Dynamics GP on Microsoft Azure provided by Syvantis Technologies has proven to be extremely cost-effective for Catalogic, in terms of the subscription model, minimal infrastructure costs, and reduced maintenance and support demands on internal IT staff.
“We are still a startup in many ways,” says Farrell. “So cost is always a factor. When you have to rationalize every purchase, it’s hard to justify spending tens of thousands of dollars to stand up a single service like email or accounting—especially when we can adopt a pay-as-you-go model with no upfront licensing or hardware fees.”
And the value of the service is also high. “When you look at what we’re paying for versus what we get, it’s very good,” adds Farrell. “Having the comfort of a global data center offers huge value—and huge peace of mind.” Future Plans
Looking ahead, the move to a hosted implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP will help Catalogic pursue business goals that include simplifying processes and providing more robust reporting across a distributed global organization. With a growing global presence, the company has been performing manual aggregation of data from its international sites. Microsoft Dynamics GP on Azure will allow Catalogic sites in Europe to access Microsoft Dynamics GP directly, reducing reliance on manual processes. In addition, multi-currency functionality in Microsoft Dynamics GP will enable Catalogic to support a truly global organization. This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published May 2014