PROACTIS CASE STUDY

Proactis provides spend control software to around 370 major public, commercial, and not-for-profit clients in 75 countries, including the world’s largest law, property and hedge fund organisations. Recognised by analysts as a best-in-class eProcurement vendor, Proactis was looking for a hosting partner that shared its commitment to high standards and chose Redcentric.

Proactis - Extensive security delivering peace of mind for customers icon

Extensive security delivering peace of mind for customers

Proactis - Removal of administrative burden for internal teams icon

Removal of administrative burden for internal teams

Proactis_Ability to offer customers a 24-hour service without the overheads icon

Ability to offer customers a 24-hour service without the overheads

Challenges

Having decided to offer its software as a hosted service in response to customer demand, Proactis soon realised that the cost and manageability issues of providing this in-house were untenable, and set about finding a suitable partner to provide resilient virtual hosting.

Chief Operating Officer Sean McDonough says, “Most companies are quite rightly paranoid about their data. They need to know where it is and who’s looking after it.”

So when he was looking for a partner, security and reliability were important considerations.

However, with each of its clients having, on average, approximately 3,000 employees and suppliers processing invoices, Sean McDonough wanted to find a provider who would also grow and develop with Proactis over time, enabling the company to allow thousands and thousands of people to access its servers. In assessing different companies, Proactis wanted to align itself with a company that:

  • Complemented its reputation as a best-in-class procurement provider
  • Owned and managed its own data centre, backup and network services guaranteeing security, resilience and 24-hour operation
  • Provided a service that was scalable to support Proactis clients’ evolving needs
It was vital to get this right. I can’t afford shortcuts even where there’s pressure on the price. Customers will not accept a sub-standard service or the inherent risks of such an approach to the provision of these services.

How Redcentric helped

Sean McDonough evaluated a number of providers, and says, “It was not only Redcentric’s highly secure data centre that impressed me, but also their flexible approach which has led to an open and positive relationship from the outset.

Whatever technological or commercial barrier we’ve encountered it has been resolved enabling us to develop our service together.” The relationship has grown consistently over the past decade, from an initial co-location agreement to the adoption of Software-as-a-Service and hosted IP telephony and latterly the conclusion of a private cloud deal to give Proactis more direct control of its infrastructure.

Sean McDonough comments: “As the cloud has matured, our customers’ demands and expectations have matched this progression, and so we need to anticipate them. We wanted a private infrastructure that could guarantee a return to operation within four hours in the event of an issue with our primary systems, because that’s simply what’s expected now. We were confident that Redcentric, as our existing Cloud provider, could deliver the additional recovery and security we required, and its response proved our confidence was well placed. Indeed, Redcentric’s ability to consistently tailor and scale its proposition to rapidly meet changing customer needs makes it a stand-out provider in this market.”

Redcentric has also provided robust Service Level Agreements, 24-hour support and seamless upgrades throughout the partnership, undertaking hardware and disk upgrades with no extra cost or hassle to Proactis.

Despite over 6,000 active daily users, I’ve not had a single client complaint relating to the services provided by Redcentric since we began working with them.

Business Benefits

Sean McDonough says he has complete trust in Redcentric: “It’s a lot to do with the people and their support. Redcentric is definitely not a faceless provider. They understand my issues, and I know exactly who to call to resolve them.”

He cites a number of benefits that come from using Redcentric:

Dynamic working – When the Proactis business saw the need to switch gears around disaster recovery and control of its infrastructure to underpin customer confidence and commercial opportunities, Redcentric had the scope, capacity and skill to quickly deliver a high end private cloud environment.

Excellent customer service – Despite over 6,000 active daily users, Proactis hasn’t received a single client complaint about the services provided by Redcentric since the two companies started working together.

Extensive, cost-effective security – Data encryption, https transfer, SSL certification and firewalls are matched by comprehensive physical security procedures and documented audit trails and escalation paths giving Sean McDonough complete peace of mind: “I’m not just sending my customers’ data off into a public Cloud. I know where it is, I know it’s safe.”.

The benchmark in service and functionality we have set with Redcentric is difficult to replicate and certainly is not available as a standard offering from Cloud providers.

Not all clouds are created equal

ISO certification – “Redcentric’s ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certification are a real benefit. It’s fantastic we are aligned on this as it makes it really easy to prove our standards.”

Reliable, scalable performance – Sean McDonough says, “Performance, availability and reliability have been second to none. As an example, we’re seeing a billion page reads per hour from a database on a hosted SQL server – a performance indicator telling me I know I can grow.”.

Administrative efficiency – Proactis’s IT team can now concentrate on its core business rather than on managing its network, hosting infrastructure and data back-up. Extra capacity, such as new servers or extra bandwidth, can be added almost instantly.

Financial benefits – IT staff costs have been significantly reduced and, says, Sean McDonough, “Redcentric provides access to a state-of-the-art data centre and highly cost-effective services far cheaper and better than we could possibly do internally. For example, we haven’t had to buy equipment or tens of thousands litres of diesel for backup generators. Similarly, with security, we’re offering a 24-hour service for our clients without having to employ 24-hour staff.”.

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