The Education Company (EdCo) was formed in 1988 and started life as a consultancy to help large organisations run competitions and events in UK schools. From day one EdCo recognised the vital role data played in the delivery of successful education projects. 30 years on and the Education Company has embedded data and business intelligence into all the products and services they provide to the world of education.
From this start, EdCo has grown and now employs over 50 people across two sites based in Kent and Derbyshire.
A core part of EdCo’s offering is its SPIRITTM CRM software that allows customers to manage their sales activity with schools, underpinned by the direct marketing database lists that EdCo provides.
EdCo had an IT infrastructure set up to support its SPIRIT CRM which is delivered as a Software as a Service (Saas) offering. The infrastructure used to deliver this was split between on premise and rented servers. Many of these were legacy 2008/12 servers and with these aging servers came the headache of managing failing disks, hardware, backups.
Across the combination of the multi-tenant SPIRIT CRM, eCommerce and several individual microsites, EdCo was managing and hosting around 100 different websites.
The rented physical servers provided a fixed infrastructure without any flexibility over sizing as the business grew. As Darren Waters, Technical Director explains “As we grew each time and added another customer’s CRM we would need to commit to buying another two servers – we just couldn’t scale incrementally. We were looking for a more flexible, cost effective solution that could scale with our growth.”
EdCo was spending around £22k per month for its IT infrastructure and hoped to make significant savings, along with increasing resilience and flexibility.
As EdCo’s software is all developed and written in-house using the Microsoft technology stack it made sense to stick with Microsoft for the cloud infrastructure as well, as it was familiar and therefore would make the transition easier.
Darren explains “Our contact at Microsoft put us in touch with a few partner companies who could possibly help us. After chatting to a few we knew that Compete366 would provide the best fit for us and help us to achieve what we wanted to.”
Compete366 provided an Azure expert consultant366 who hand-held EdCo through the design of the top-level architecture for their Platform as a Service (Paas) on Azure. They also assisted with the server reservation process, allowing EdCo to lock in the costs of the services they needed, providing predictability around the costs of procuring what they required.
In addition, Compete366 worked with EdCo to set up the complete Office365 setup for the entire team, providing a flexible solution that allows for remote working, and saves considerable costs against traditional office application licensing.
Compete366 also helped to set up Azure WVD to give the EdCo team members secure access to the business applications and data they needed – wherever they are working.
“We have found working with Compete366 so easy. When we need to provision additional licences, Compete366 team members are always responsive and quick to come back to us with what we need straightaway. And by reserving the hardware we require with Microsoft, they have helped us reduce our costs by a significant amount. The Compete366 technical experts are always there to help with our more complex enquiries – and have been instrumental in helping us to transition to our new infrastructure.”
Darren Waters, Technical Director, EdCo
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