The market for IT solutions is undoubtedly moving towards cloud services rather than operating the systems oneself. For the software development house QualiWare, it was therefore not a question of whether or not they should go to the cloud – but how and with whom. Microsoft Azure and Automize were the strongest choice of platform and partner.
”There is no doubt that the market is moving towards the cloud and that it is the only way we can deliver in the future. It won’t be many years before an alternative to the cloud won’t be relevant to consider,” states Jacob Lund, COO at QualiWare.
Until the autumn of 2017, when QualiWare decided to go the public cloud route, they provided their software solution as a license sale or operated in their own hosting center.
“Our considerations were between continuing with a private cloud or putting it all in a Microsoft or Amazon cloud,” Jacob explains, and elaborates: “We quickly realized that the solution was a public cloud. In this way, we avoid having to consider a lot of technology, while a public cloud provides the safety and security of our customers. And since QualiWare has been a Microsoft house for the last 20 years, it was obvious for us to choose Azure – we know that at Microsoft the technical setup is in order.”
“From Microsoft’s point of view, Automize was identified as the sharpest experts in getting our Azure cloud platform in order, in terms of security, robustness and scalability,” Jacob explains.
He recalls the first meeting with Automize: “We were met by a couple of people from Jutland who had a good grasp of what they were doing. They were honest, talked openly, and very quickly built up a sense of credibility regarding their consultancy. We quickly became confident in letting them manage our platform and infrastructure, and the pilot project we launched with Automize was also the solution we chose to continue with.”
From the very start of QualiWare’s cloud journey, it has been a conscious, strategic choice that they do not want to themselves investing in building and maintaining technological know-how on Azure internally, Jacob explains.
“QualiWare’s core business is software development, not operating the underlying platform and infrastructure. It is expensive to build knowledge internally, and therefore a very conscious choice was made to invest in a long-term relationship with Automize, which has specialist knowledge of Azure and is in step with the development.”
When you decide to transition to the cloud, one’s relationship with customers also changes, Jacob explains.
“We no longer just sell our customers some functionality wrapped up as a software package. When we move to the cloud, we sell them our ability to manage it separately, as a service. The confidence lies in our platform – that it is accessible and properly set up, and that we have control over customer data. We need to be able to give a credible answer that we can justify.
”Jacob continues: “If we fail to deliver our solution as a cloud-based service, we have problems. That’s why it’s important to have a partner that we trust has control over things, and Automize does exactly that. The relationship of trust is very high for these types of deliveries.”
One of the first pieces of advice QualiWare got from Automize was to automate their processes to reduce the risk of manual errors. Jacob elaborates: “When we move to the cloud, there must be no doubt that everything is set up correctly – incorrect configuration can i.e. affect safety. Automize has automated 95% of all our processes so they run through standardized scripts. We avoid the risk that a box is checked incorrectly, which can happen if we sit and provision our servers manually.”
The automation has also given the efficiency a huge improvement, Jacob says: “Previously, it took 2-3 business days to prepare for a customer to phase into our solution. After we moved to the cloud and Automize has automated most of our processes, it takes two hours to get a new customer environment ready for use. Now our customer environments are 100 % standardized, and this provides great recognition and efficiency in our daily support across customer environments.”
On the whole, Jacob is very pleased that, with regards to Azure, he has transitioned from his own servers to PaaS (Platform as a Service). “Now I buy my platform as a service. I no longer have to be at the forefront of maintaining and optimizing my own servers manually and, for example, ensuring that proper backup is made or that security is at a top level. The platform does this completely automatically for me.”
Although much of it is now automated and runs as a cloud service with Automize as the experts, Jacob does not feel left out, on the contrary.
“We have a really good chemistry with Automize. Right from the start, both we and Automize have invested in building a relationship with each other – we want a long-term, strategic collaboration with Automize. Automize has taught us a lot about technology and they have learned a lot about our business. On a daily basis, we know each other well enough that we do not have to spend quite a long time getting a well-thought-out and correct answer from Automize on a problem, and this speeds up things when there is something we need to address quickly.”
QualiWare develops and implements software for business and process modelling at large companies around the world. Founded in Denmark in 1991, QualiWare has since expanded beyond the Scandinavian market. Today, QualiWare has around 100 employees and is represented by subsidiaries on all continents.
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“Our relationship with Automize has been so compelling that they are now not only partners in our cloud but have also become partners in our internal operating environments, in our own IT operations centre. There is no doubt that Automize’s level of competence is really, really high, and it provides security.” |
“We have worked iteratively and very pragmatically and have continuously learned from each other, and this has meant that we have come up with a solution that we trust and that lives up to our expectations.” |
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