Azure Cloud Fix Transforms Cash Management Firm

A client enlists Saxony to optimize their cloud database and leverage API technology

OVERVIEW

The client is a U.S.-based automated cash management firm that had hired an offshore vendor to build out their cloud database. When one of the firm’s strategic clients insisted that the database operate in Microsoft Azure (which was not the database’s native environment), the vendor claimed they could easily move the existing database into Azure with no continuity issues. But it soon became apparent that the vendor was not as fluent with Azure as they claimed.

With their database limping along, the costs to maintain it piling up, and their relationship with their offshore vendor strained, the client reached out to Saxony Partners in search of a fix.

THE PROJECT

Saxony deployed an Azure developer to the client site to assess the current state of the database. What they discovered was an overbuilt, poorly-architected cloud environment. Because the original database was not native to Azure, it didn’t work as intended once it was migrated to Azure. Like a homeowner who “fixes” a leaky roof with a tarp, the vendor had added patches and temporary fixes to make the database functional without addressing fundamental architecture issues.

This led to two significant problems. One, the temporary fixes required to make the database functional were eating up astounding amounts of cash and bandwidth. (Each of the patches and workarounds cost money to both acquire and operate month-to-month.) Two, because the database wasn’t native to Azure, it wasn’t able to take full advantage of all the bells and whistles Azure offers.

The fix was straightforward. First, get whatever information we could about the current state/workflows of the database from the client and the old vendor (no small feat, because the vendor was withholding much of that information). Second, let an actual Azure expert get into the guts of the platform, reengineer it, and right-size it to meet the needs of the client and their customers.

PROJECT INSIGHTS

As the project began to take flight, the client relayed another request to Saxony. One of the their largest customers needed the ability to request transaction data from the database for individual retail locations. This required installing an interface (API) into the database.

THE RESULTS

Quickly, Saxony was able to reengineer and right-size the existing Azure database. In so doing, the client was able to take advantage of all the benefits and privileges of an Azure environment, while enjoying significant cost savings. Saxony’s Azure architects were able to easily add an API giving the client’s strategic customer access to information that helped drive data-based decisions. Overall, this is what making digital practical looks like – pairing the right expert to the right problem to deliver the right solution to meet your business goals.

Another takeaway for companies who are weighing offshore vendors: Make sure that you do your due diligence ahead of signing an SOW. When you need high-touch, business-critical support, consider a firm that can be on-site when you need them.

Here are some additional bottom-line impacts from this project:

  • Client went from spending tens of thousands of dollars per month in Azure costs to just a few hundred dollars per month

  • The client’s database was sized appropriately based on their needs (they no longer had to pay for a large environment they did not need)

  • Through cost savings alone, the project paid for itself

  • The client’s new architecture is easily scalable for future growth

  • The new Azure environment is much simpler and easier to maintain

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