Office Move Imminent 

Moving to the cloud might seem like a big decision to some business owners. For the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), it made perfect sense. The timing happened to coincide with their physical move to a new office building so it was a good opportunity to downsize some of their aging, costly, on-prem IT Infrastructure. SATC needed to make a decision about whether to upgrade or downsize. Ongoing hardware refresh costs just didn’t make sense to the business.

“We had six months to decide what to do and run a comparison between buying new hardware – our infrastructure was about six years old – and compare that to migrating to a completely virtual infrastructure”, recalls Sam Mountstephen, SATC ICT Operations Officer.

Physical space in the new office was also one of the limitations that helped them decide to go with the Azure option.

“We don’t have any room in our new server room – we literally have a small box – so we were restricted” Michelle Stokes, ICT Manager for SATC explained.

Charting a Course to the Cloud

To move the project forward, SATC contacted their vendors – Dell, Satalyst and NEC and gave them the opportunity to show what it would look like with physical hardware or with a cloud-based option. It was quite an involved process, but Satalyst had already proven their capability to deliver with Azure for SATC. Their Cyclist Tracking App and People Movement Monitor for the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as a system for rider jersey tracking for the Bupa challenge were all innovative and successful solutions.

“The ‘aha’ moment was when we worked with Satalyst and found we can migrate to Azure and it will work,” said Sam.

The Benefits of Migrating to the New World

There were a number of aspects of the Satalyst Azure solution that made the move attractive for SATC. Avoiding approximately $250K+ in hardware refresh costs was one of the more obvious immediate benefits. There were other key advantages too:

 Running premier sporting events like the Santos Tour Down Under and the Superloop Adelaide 500 meant that IT needed to be scalable. Azure was more than capable of providing the scalability they needed, which led to further cost savings.

Risk mitigation was another good reason to run things from the cloud. With Microsoft continuing to strengthen the security features in Azure, there were none of the concerns that clients used to have about putting their environment into the cloud.

“Comparing the cloud with physical hardware there was a big tick for how much risk we can mitigate by moving to the cloud rather than relying on physical hardware that can just go pop. Risk is way more mitigated in the Azure data centre rather than our own little data centre”, commented Sam.

Further savings were generated when SATC engaged Satalyst to provide Managed Azure Optimization services for the new environment.

Azure Brings Opportunities for Business Modernisation

The move turned out to be even easier than expected.

“We were able to do migration with no downtime, no data loss. We had one day where we shut down everything at head office – but people who were remote could still work as though nothing had happened. It meant we could continue the business even though there was no infrastructure in our physical premises”, recalls Sam.

Since the migration was completed, SATC has been able to take advantage of other opportunities to modernize business applications in Azure. The first big win was when Satalyst revamped SATCs Dynamics 365 to drive a more centralised, automated Event Registration and Management System for the ADL 500.

“The Dynamics project will give  centralised control over the registrations in CRM, SATC will be able to significantly speed up printing of event passes as well as have real-time reporting capability”, explained Basil Carbonaro, Satalyst CRM Practice Lead.