Challenge: Migrate a key customer-facing application to public cloud platform securely, within a tight timeframe and with minimal customer impact.
Solution: Expertise and automation from Cloud Migration Services from Hitachi Vantara ensured a rapid and secure migration.
From income inequality to improving the quality of education and life, the 2,000 employees at Community Brands are committed to effecting positive change. More than 100,000 membership associations, nonprofits, and schools in 30 countries rely on its cloud-based software to manage memberships, learning, accounting, fundraising, donations, admissions, events and more. Community Brands’ broad range of software has helped them create meaningful experiences for their members, donors, students and volunteers for more than three decades.
Community Brands serves market segments that traditionally lag behind with technology. The software company accelerates technology innovation for nonprofit customers and other organizations.
“We offer the best cloud native solutions around to our customers ,” reveals Senior Director of Cloud Platforms at Community Brands, Ashvin Bodhale. “Our cutting edge technology gives us an edge over the competition.”
Having already adopted a multi-cloud environment, Community Brands recognized that cloud technology could improve robustness in its software-as-a-service operations. Taking advantage of public cloud platforms could also improve agility in its product road map and automate operations to free up more resources for innovation. As a global provider, the software company also has to take into account security, compliance and performance across different countries and time zones.
With its data center contract up for renewal in a few months, Community Brands wanted to migrate its “Careers” software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Careers is a leader in association job boards, career resources and career events. It is trusted by 3,000-plus associations who also utilize the platform to deliver turnkey online and onsite career fairs. “We needed to migrate Careers to AWS quickly,” says Bodhale. “It was vital that we avoided any downtime and didn’t lose focus on security, automation and agility.”
The on-premises, cloud-based Careers application comprises 100 servers and 2TB of data. It was vital that the migrated application was highly available, able to auto-scale up and down and perform better than its predecessor.
With a tight three-month timeline for migrating its Careers platform to the cloud, Community Brands began its search for an experienced partner and reliable tools. After carrying out due diligence, it turned to Hitachi Vantara. “We had worked with Hitachi Vantara before on a successful and seamless migration project,” states Bodhale. “The company has plenty of experience, and the Hitachi Cloud Migration and Automation services team provided a solid foundation for a swift move to the AWS cloud.”
The Hitachi Vantara experts talked through current and future challenges with Community Brands’ security office to fully understand the risks and compliance requirements. “Hitachi Vantara ensured every aspect of the design met our security needs, and that the solution adhered to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS),” explains Bodhale.
As part of the Hitachi Vantara engagement, the infrastructure behind the Careers platform has been automated to scale up and down to match business needs. This automation has also been extended to the continuous integration and deployment pipeline so new code can be executed without any platform downtime.
Hitachi Vantara also scoped the container architecture. With demands on the Careers platform expected to change quickly, containers offer the needed efficiency. The architecture also supports rapid development and batched releases to align with Community Brands’ plans to accelerate innovation. This agility will ensure the company can keep up with customer demands for new features.
By partnering with Hitachi Vantara, Community Brands has migrated Careers to the cloud rapidly and with minimal impact on customers, while meeting its stringent security and compliance needs. “The expertise and flexibility of the Hitachi Vantara team were invaluable in ensuring we are ready for potential security threats,” confirms Bodhale. “We are now as protected as we can be against intrusion attempts.”
Community Brands has also been able to increase customer satisfaction with the migrated application by improving scalability. The new platform enables the application to automatically scale up and down by as much as 25% to meet increased demand at peak times. As a result, customers now experience a consistent performance, regardless of the time of day and wherever they are in the world.
Automating the release pipeline has eliminated the bi-weekly downtime and working late nights that were previously the norm for releases. “The ability to put out regular releases without downtime is an important competitive advantage,” confirms Bodhale. “We can now increase the pace at which we release new features, and release them regularly at any time of day without impacting customers.” The automation has also improved internal efficiencies, meaning Community Brands can focus more resources on innovation.
Hitachi Vantara’s expertise was critical in ensuring a successful migration to a reliable and scalable platform. “With Hitachi Vantara’s help, we now have an application platform that empowers our customers to achieve more,” says Bodhale. “And we can focus on ensuring our products and services remain at the cutting edge.”
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