Challenge: Boost cost-effectiveness and enable global business expansion with software as a service (SaaS).
Solution: Integrate Pentaho software with the Fail-Safe Record Management solution to launch a scalable cloud service using Hitachi object storage as an archive.
Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy is a fast-growing IT services provider headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, which has doubled its revenues over the past year. With approximately 30 staff and consultants, the company offers products and services for compliance and service management. In particular, its modular and scalable Fail-Safe Record Management solution combines archiving, regulatory compliance and analytics capabilities in a single package.
To continue its successful growth path, Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy wanted to increase the cost-efficiency of its products and go to market with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering.
Technology: Cloud Service Provider, Independent Software Vendor (ISV)
"As a business, we focus on supporting our clients with all data collection and analysis related needs," says Sami Hyttinen, the company's CEO. "Operational costs are always a key concern, so we look for ways to make our solutions even more attractive and affordable for existing and prospective clients."
Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy specializes in solutions for the financial services industry, where delays and technical glitches can immediately translate into lost revenues. "One large client needs to process five billion events per day to support services, such as card payments and online banking, which are critical to its commercial success," Hyttinen explains. "When you are operating at that scale, even tiny technical issues can pose a significant business risk. We wanted to enable our clients to spot and resolve issues faster, before they impact customer services and hurt the bottom line."
Fail-Safe Record Management provides complete audit trails for clients' systems and processes, which makes it an ideal solution for use cases such as fraud detection. The solution is built for large-scale data processing: It collects data from a client's entire technology stack, from high-level application metrics, such as app transactions and website clicks, to low-level network events, hardware system messages and logs. In total, the solution needs to capture, process and archive data in up to 2,300 different formats.
During the development of the product, Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy realized that sluggish support from one of its main vendors was holding back its ambitions and delaying strategic projects. "We were using a proprietary big data analytics engine which was largely a black box for us. Strict vendor lock-in combined with suboptimal support made it difficult for us to offer customers the best service," Hyttinen remembers.
Looking for alternatives, Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy decided to rethink its technology stack and swap the black-box solution for Pentaho, a Lumada portfolio product. Hyttinen explains: "We were already using Hitachi Content Platform as our primary data archive, so it made sense to broaden our relationship with Hitachi Vantara and utilize Pentaho for data visualization. This would allow us to streamline data flows and minimize infrastructure requirements, which is critical since we have clients who generate as much as 5TB of new data every day."
The company worked closely with the Hitachi Vantara support team to embed Pentaho modules into its product. "Thanks to the support we received from Hitachi Vantara, we made quick progress," Hyttinen comments. "Pentaho enables closer integration between data processing and storage, giving us direct access to records stored securely in Hitachi Content Platform. This results in a less complex and costly application architecture."
Furthermore, the predictable and scalable pricing model of Pentaho made it possible for Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy to develop a high-growth SaaS offering. To realize its ambitious expansion strategy, the company plans to power this new cloud service with Hitachi Vantara software and hardware solutions.
Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy's clients are already seeing significant benefits from the new architecture. "With FS Record Management and Pentaho, our clients can complete critical tasks much more quickly. In the past, root cause analysis across systems could take two or three days; with FS Record Management and Pentaho they can do it in five minutes," notes Hyttinen.
As a result, clients are able to resolve technical glitches before they impact customer service, driving significant business benefits. For example, by eliminating delays and disruptions in card payments and online banking transactions, clients can minimize the risk of customer churn, increasing customer lifetime value and revenues.
Existing clients benefit from the ability to use FS Record Management with Pentaho as a drop-in replacement for the analytics engine in their current FS Record Management implementations. Deploying FS Record Management with Pentaho can streamline administration processes and cut clients' software licensing fees by up to 70%, while maintaining quality and providing greater value through Pentaho's extended feature set.
"Our products already offered a very low total cost of ownership compared to other solutions," says Hyttinen. "Thanks to Pentaho and Hitachi Content Platform, we have now simplified setup, configuration and deployment, further continuing to reduce operating costs for our clients. For large clients, moving to Pentaho is a future-proof step that adds flexibility, and has a return on investment of 1.5 months."
The reduced complexity and the increased openness of the Pentaho technology helps Fail-Safe IT Solutions Oy and its clients to accelerate development of new analytics-powered functionalities. As an example, the company is currently working with a banking client to build a real-time alerting tool for its loan application process. When customers experience technical difficulties, the tool notifies customer support staff so that they can help complete the transaction.
"I know from our own experience that Pentaho will save our clients' development teams at least an hour per day in DevOps tasks, so they can spend more time adding value to the business logic," remarks Hyttinen. "As a result, we estimate that clients could potentially deploy two more releases every month, boosting agility and responding faster to constantly changing business requirements."
He concludes, "Moving to Pentaho with a cost-effective, scalable pricing model opens up new markets for our SaaS product. We can take full advantage of economies of scale and add new features more easily, without compromising on quality. As a result, we can deliver improved service quality with FS Record Management and Pentaho while keeping operational costs in check. By launching our new SaaS product, we also make our solution viable for smaller clients. Advanced analytics features based on Pentaho will support our growth strategy and help us reach out to new clients around the world. By partnering with Hitachi Vantara, we also see opportunities to strengthen our products and services with other Lumada solutions."
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