As the buzz around cloud continues to evolve, so do the successful cloud initiatives helping businesses drive operational optimization. These stories show how companies have gained through that term the continues to circulate through the IT world… Digital transformation.

Pearson Education

Founded in 1844, Pearson started out as a construction company and expanded its portfolio to include newspaper and publishing by the 1920s. Today, Pearson is known as one of the most well-known education advancement companies globally.

Pearson found itself struggling in a time of change as students were ditching the physical textbook replacing them with renting and downloading digital copies. Consequently, Pearson had to lay off thousands of employees as well as sell off its newspaper, The Financial Times. By 2014, the company was already undergoing a major transformation and was looking to power new education initiatives by leveraging cloud technology to keep in stride with the changing times.

Pearson is not the only one working on an ambitious digital roadmap in the education industry. Similar organizations like McGraw Hills, Chegg, Udemy and Udacity have started offering similar services. As part of its new initiative, Pearson decided to offer a subscription  service, a “Netflix of Education”, if you will. Pearson decommissioned nearly all of its 93 datacenters and moved its operations to a public cloud. It also reduced its application inventory from 3,000 to around 1,000.

By streamlining its operations and moving to the cloud, Pearson is showing signs of improvement. The company reported an adjusted operating profit of £546 million last year, a 50 percent increase YOY.

Thomas Reuters

A household name with more than a century of legacy to its credit, Thomas Reuters today has operations in media, IT and finance in more than 100 countries. As part of their finance education program, Thomas Reuters offers training to clients in tax management.

Their process required technicians to physically visit their trainees on-site, set up their server and run trainings in a classroom setting. After the training, the instructor had to clear the content from the server with a manual restart. On average, the process took four business days, but could take longer if the training schedule conflicted with their clients. The trainers also required a minimum attendance to in order to offset costs and resources.

While Thomas Reuters is no stranger to cloud technology, its internal services did not use it and consequently was consumed by costly delays. With the help of Sky.One, the company shifted its entire training program to the cloud. Once implemented, trainers no longer needed to visit the students personally and could offer the entire courseware online. Since the training program was recorded and stored in the cloud, students could now log on and train at their own pace.

The move to cloud allowed Thomas Reuters to circumvent the costs in transporting servers, personnel and on-site training. Overall, they were able to reduce the training turnaround time from four business days down to 15 minutes.

Choice Hotels International

No stranger to gargantuan technology setups, Choice Hotels was operating a sprawling network of data centers, which were using to provide its services across over 7,000 properties in 41 countries.

Its labyrinthine system, however, was expensive to maintain, update and operate. Choice saw it an opportunity to cut back by moving to the cloud. Their team started by migrating nearly 1,000 applications to AWS.

“Choice wanted more hotels on the ground, not more server infrastructure and data center real estate. This partnership allows us to focus more on innovation opportunities and less on managing infrastructure” says Choice CTO Brian Kirkland.

By migrating to the cloud, Choice can now deploy new systems anywhere in the world within minutes with better performance, availability and built-in fault tolerance than their legacy systems. They are also able to provide more customized services to their clients with the aid of advanced cloud-based analytics and AWS machine learning.

Autumn TI

A fleet management veteran with over 25 years of experience, Autumn TI works with more than 400 clients in South America and Africa with plans to expand deeper into Latin America by 2021.

Autumn’s core system consists of an Integrated Management System, SIGA which comes with modules for every operation a transportation company can need. The system used Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) through which multiple clients could connect to the same server to run their personal computers by sharing resources.

RDP is a resource limited solution that is difficult to set up on a client’s server as their remote networks need to be reconfigured to accept in-coming transmissions. The protocol requires Windows OS and cannot reconnect if a client’s computer is rebooted. RDP also needs to be installed on every machine manually.

In 2013, Autumn partnered with Sky.One to move SIGA to the cloud. Post migration, implementation timelines decreased to from a week to less than 48 hours. As the system can now be accessed via a browser, clients no longer need to install the software on their own machines. SIGA became OS-agnostic as well and machines based on Linux, iOS could now work with it, too. Autumn’s clients greatly appreciated the move as they no longer had to maintain the IT infrastructure required to run SIGA.

Concluding Thoughts

Study after study shows that cloud-based technologies allow businesses to not only enjoy easier process management, but serious cost savings as well. Generally, a 40 percent reduction in TCO is seen when a company moves to the cloud. Postmodern ERP guru that leverage the cloud and (if required) on-site infrastructure can provide companies with the flexibility they need in order to provide a better service and keep up with changing market trends.

Sky.One is proud to have powered many such cloud success stories that continue to highlight to the many benefits of XaaS technologies. Interested in learning more?

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