Worldwide Medical Corporation Achieves Significant Growth, Advances in Technology and Cost Savings in AWS

Lightstream becomes an extension of the IT team, delivering ongoing support, savings and optimization of its AWS cloud environment

Business Challenge

This medical corporation is a global developer and marketer of medical devices and software solutions that help advance emergency care and save lives, while increasing clinical and operational efficiencies. At the core of the company’s mission is the commitment to grow by remaining focused, building on their technology leadership and providing unique high-quality products through worldwide distribution.

The company’s IT leadership became aware in 2015 that migrating to a cloud environment would give them the agility and innovation they needed to carry out that mission well into the future. So, they partnered with Lightstream to design and implement their first AWS infrastructure. Soon thereafter the company designated Lightstream as its AWS reseller in order to take advantage of additional discounts the provider was able to obtain for them. For the next four years the company relied on Lightstream to perform quarterly analyses of the company’s cloud performance and provide advice on its technical optimization strategy.

By early 2020, the company’s IT team had become overburdened with the day-to-day management of its cloud environment. Their hands-on approach had become cumbersome and was pulling the team’s focus away from their core mission to build on their technology leadership. On top of that, cloud spending had become exorbitant and they lacked the internal resources to uncover and remedy inefficiencies. The IT management team knew it was time for a change, so they once again turned to Lightstream for help finding ways to overcome these challenges.

Solution

Lightstream’s first recommendation was to enter into to an AWS Enterprise Discount Program (EDP) contract to allow the company to take advantage of additional savings. The next step would be to start utilizing Lightstream’s Cloud Managed Services (CMS) to capitalize on the ongoing optimization of the financial, security, technological and operational aspects of its cloud environment. Entrusting Lightstream to procure cloud services on its behalf and relying on the provider to do some of the heavy lifting in terms of engineering and professional services would free up the IT team to focus on its core competencies. And the recommended Platinum service level contract would essentially add a certified Lightstream cloud engineer to the company’s workforce.

Lightstream created and manages the company’s cloud environment using best practices provided by AWS Control Tower. This ensures a well-architected multi-account environment and the tools to govern AWS workloads with rules for security, operations and internal compliance. Lightstream works with AWS to ensure that the company receives the ideal storage performance and cost, which is currently EC2 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud – a level that gives the company the ability to rent virtual computers on which to run apps.

Lightstream’s CMS ensures maintenance of cloud-native security controls and provides guidance on overall security as well as comprehensive visibility across its cloud infrastructure. This enables protection for state and activity monitoring, turning insight to action while meeting compliance demands.

Business Outcomes

Ongoing Cloud Optimization

The company’s procurement of Lightstream CMS has allowed it to return its focus back to advancing the company’s technology leadership. Weekly meetings between the company’s IT professionals and its dedicated Lightstream team provide insight into the ongoing optimization of the financial, technical and operational aspects of its cloud environment.

Cloud Cost Savings and GP3 Migration

By entering into an AWS EDP contract, the company saved nearly $200,000.00 in cloud expenses in 2020. Lightstream is currently working with the company to iron out the terms of its upcoming contract renewal, which promises even greater savings for the medical device company in the coming months and years. Lightstream is also upgrading ZOLL to Amazon’s newly introduced GP3 storage volume in order to take advantage of higher volumes at a 20% lower cost.

Supporting Business Growth

The company has achieved exponential growth in the last several years, most recently expanding into Europe and Asia. As it continues to build on its technology leadership and accomplish worldwide distribution of its life-saving products, Lightstream will be there to support the company every step of the way.

A Bank Securely Supports a New LOB in Azure

Industry:  Banking

A regional bank holding company is the Western U.S. with just under 3,000 employees offers its clients a wide range of banking products and services, including transaction and savings deposits, commercial, consumer, and real estate loans, and mortgage origination services.

Business Problem:

  • Avoid cost of purchasing additional hardware while integrating a new 3rd-party SaaS application Koney Customer Service Management on Azure SQL Managed Instance
  • Adhere to security and regulatory compliance
  • Improve business continuity and ensure continual compliance

Solution:

  • Lightstream Rapid Risk Profile and guided Cloud Foundation Framework helped securely extend the customer’s on-premise infrastructure into Azure
  • Custom integration that enabled a 3rd-party provider to securely access line-of-business application in Azure
  • Refactored SQL databases in Azure to support a SaaS solution
  • Lightstream Cloud Managed Services for ongoing Azure management and optimization of financial, technical, security and operational aspects of environment.

Business Outcomes:

  • Enabled bank operations to support new customer-facing line-of-business application while providing visibility for operational and security teams
  • Improved overall ability to meet business technology needs while enabling customer recovery capabilities

Lightstream Rescues Fortune 1000 Company from Security Disaster and Facilitates Digital Transformation

Organization is Future-Proofed with Cloud Managed Services to Promote Financial, Security, Operational and Technological Health

 Business Challenge

A Fortune 1000 company sought a digital transformation. A new chief marketing officer was hired, and the first order of business was to have a new website created. In order to save time, this rather large undertaking was outsourced to a third-party development agency instead of having the company’s internal IT department handle it. The multi-location developer expedited the design and construction of a new customer-facing website with a completely transformed customer interface.

Unfortunately, the development shop failed to communicate with the company’s internal IT team during the process of building the website. Two weeks before the site was scheduled to go live, the IT team performed an assessment and determined that live customer data had been transferred to the cloud without any security controls having been installed. The absence of security features made organizational assets and critical customer data vulnerable to attacks and theft. Frustrated and in need of skillful mitigation of this huge risk, the IT department quickly shut the site down and contacted Lightstream for help remedying the security breach.

Solution

The experts at Lightstream brought the two opposing parties together in order to discover exactly what was done. This all-in approach allowed them to devise a plan that everyone was on board with in order to make the application work within the company’s security environment.

Eight months later, the new website went live with strict security measures in place to protect customer and company data. While Lightstream was initially engaged to put out the fire of the unsecure website, the relationship grew and the provider now manages the company’s cloud environment. Their environment is optimized through Lightstream’s partnerships with Microsoft Azure and Palo Alto Networks, delivering consistent, automated protections with a variety of value-added resources. Moreover, the security, financial, technology and operational expertise offered by Lightstream’s Cloud Managed Services (CMS) solution is helping the manufacturer to improve the day-to-day administration and management of its cloud infrastructure.

Business Outcomes

The company now has a modern, customer-friendly website operating within a highly secure cloud environment. When new applications are desired, they can be implemented quickly and safely.

Previously, the company had its own data center which was fully managed by its internal IT department. Several months into the relationship with the web developer, huge inefficiencies were discovered which had caused the company’s invoice to increase by $40,000. With no security or financial controls in place, the company incurred significant budget and resource drains. Lightstream’s CMS now ensures that expensive mistakes like this will be avoided as cost variations will be detected early on.

Ongoing monitoring and monthly reports on the financial, security, operational and technological health of the environment provide full transparency to company executives. By exposing minor but frequently occurring inefficiencies, Lightstream consistently helps to keep costs down.

With its current cloud expenditures being nearly cost neutral, the company is looking to expand into Lightstream’s network services. A continuously growing depth and breadth of business-optimizing solutions ensures that Lightstream will be there to support the organization well into the future.

Customer Quote:

“In my 30 years in the technology industry, Lightstream has been one of the best partners I’ve ever worked with. Their ability to sit on the same side of the desk as us, partnering with us to develop customized solutions to our problems has been a game changer.”

– Director of IT at Fortune 1000 company

Lightstream Helps Major Software Provider Achieve Business Growth with AWS Even During Pandemic

Industry:  Technology

Cloud Managed Services Empower MasterControl through Business Optimization, Cost Control and Enhanced Security within AWS

Business Challenge

As a leading provider of Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS), MasterControl prides itself on maintaining the highest standards of quality and operational excellence. In fact, the organization’s cloud-based QMS system is titled MasterControl Quality Excellence™. With some of the largest regulatory agencies and life-science companies in the world depending on MasterControl to help them expedite the process of providing people with life-changing products, they can’t afford to leave quality and compliance to chance.

MasterControl is an innovator in the use of cloud technology and started down the path of public cloud with AWS in 2010. They eventually became overwhelmed with the day-to-day contractual management of AWS and sought out a technology provider that could help them streamline processes, fine-tune security and contain costs. They found that partner in Lightstream, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner that offers a variety of services to assist organizations in assessing, designing and managing their AWS environment.

Over the years, Lightstream has helped MasterControl to find better ways to grow their business with AWS while controlling costs. Lightstream’s assistance with onboarding new accounts and achieving savings discounts has enabled the company to overcome obstacles as they bolstered software development initiatives. AWS and Lightstream supported MasterControl as the company expanded into Europe and Asia Pacific, which expansion was made much faster and more seamless due to the cloud.

As most business leaders know, this magnitude of expansion is almost always accompanied by growing pains. MasterControl’s IT team found that it was being stretched thin and no longer had time or sufficient resources for the ongoing monitoring needed to detect potential cloud security issues. They had to find ways to manage security and reduce cloud spending as they worked to establish a strong global presence. Travis Ruiz, Director of Cloud Services at MasterControl, once again collaborated with long-time partner Lightstream to come up with a solution.

Solution

Lightstream knew that its Cloud Managed Services offering could provide MasterControl with enhanced financial optimization along with the security oversight that is critical in order for the company to prosper even during times of crisis. Cloud Managed Services helps companies to improve the day-to-day administration and management of their cloud infrastructure through a flexible mix of consulting, integration and managed services. Lightstream’s gold level service package identifies changes that must be made in MasterControl’s cloud environment for security, technical and financial optimization. Lightstream then implements the changes necessary to remediate the financial aspects of those optimizations, while MasterControl’s in-house team is able to remediate any security and technical issues Lightstream detects.

Lightstream negotiated an Enterprise Discount Plan (EDP) with AWS on behalf of MasterControl in order to achieve a considerable expense reduction. Cost optimization measures have been amped up with additional savings plans and in-depth reviews and revisions to its Reserved Instances contracts. Extensive tagging features and Lightstream Connect customized reporting were established to help the company save time and gain greater visibility while analyzing expenditures and appropriately allocating costs.

Business Outcomes

Since Lightstream began providing Cloud Managed Services to the company in 2017, MasterControl has been able to meet their stringent budget constraints, even during the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Like most organizations, MasterControl faced many challenges in 2020 as customers weren’t as active as they once were, which was negatively impacting the company’s revenue stream.

Financial Optimization

Despite this, they’ve managed to stay on track with the help of an eight percent discount on AWS costs along with additional savings. A dedicated team at Lightstream has ongoing interaction with MasterControl’s executive officers, regularly delivering detailed reports and savings summaries that demonstrate how Lightstream is helping the company reduce expenses.

Enhanced Security

MasterControl’s internal IT team is able to focus on keeping its cloud environment safe and secure with the help of Lightstream’s ongoing monitoring, analysis and reports that give insight into potential technical and security threats and concerns that must be remediated.

Business Growth

While MasterControl’s cloud journey with AWS propelled the company’s international growth, Lightstream has ensured business optimization and significant ROI along the way. Lightstream has helped MasterControl to scale down spending without lowering their high standards for quality, compliance and security. The company has managed not only to remain viable during this tumultuous time, but it’s starting to grow again even in the face of an economic downturn.

As MasterControl continues its steady expansion, Lightstream is unwavering in its promise to add value and foster growth within the AWS cloud environment. Lightstream stands ready to support MasterControl well into the future, with ever-broadening service offerings that can continue to help it succeed in its quest to maintain the highest standards of quality, safety and operational excellence.

What MasterConrol had to say:

“We appreciate that Lightstream goes above and beyond to enrich our AWS cloud environment. Our long-term partnership with them has allowed us to keep customer success and innovation at the core of our operating philosophy without compromising on the cost and efficiency of our cloud infrastructure. We’re on track for continued growth with cloud technology firmly at the center of our product and services map.”

-Travis Ruiz, director of cloud services at MasterControl

UBC Successfully Migrates Windows and SQL Servers to Azure

Industry:  Trade Union

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is one of North America’s largest building trade unions, with over a half-million members. The union leads the way in training, educating and representing the next generation of skilled construction professionals.

Business Problem

  • Development of Cloud migration plan to Azure.
  • Meet security and regulatory compliance requirements for migrating core legacy applications, including Personify running on Windows Server and SQL Server.
  • Provide ongoing Azure optimization and management.

Solution

  • Lightstream Cloud Foundation Framework Workshop and guided Foundation Build aligned with Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF).
  • POC stand up, Security Planning and Design, Network Architecture and Design, App Validation, Automation and Implementation.
  • Lightstream Cloud Managed Services for ongoing Azure management and optimization of financial, technical, security and operational aspects of environment.

Business Outcomes:

  • Successful workloads migration to Azure.
  • Compliant governance and security posture for workload environment enabling UBC to safely deploy applications via Infrastructure-as-Code.
  • Ongoing management and optimization including 65% cost savings through RI management and successful networking providing full direct interoperability between on-premise resources, Azure resources via ExpressRoute and AWS resources via Direct Connect.

A California Bank Gives Applications a High Availability Boost with Network Managed Services

Technology Problems:​

  • Lack of high availability of user applications
  • Poor user experience due to high cost/low-bandwidth connectivity, lack of availability

Solution:​

  • Lightstream Proactive Monitoring & Carrier Management​
  • Connectivity Solutions
  • Multi-carrier broadband solutions
  • Upgrade of MPLS carrier services 
  • Technology Solutions
  • VeloCloud SD-WAN overlay
  • Network redundancy reinforced with Cradlepoint 4G LTE solution
  • Centrally-managed distributed Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall platform

Business Outcomes:​

  • Optimized costs 
  • Implementation of high availability of user applications
  • Increased staff efficiency due to offload of device/carrier management and improved network performance
  • Dramatically improved user experience

Lightstream Helps a Large Restaurant Chain Fast Track Digitalization and Save Millions

Industry:  Retail

Managed Services for Network and Cloud Simplify Billing, Improve Bandwidth Speed and Reduce Costs

Business Challenge

Consumers have choices, especially when it comes to fast-casual dining. When people are considering restaurant options, they are looking for fast service, convenience and tasty food delivered with quality and excellence at an affordable price. And they won’t settle for less. Restaurant executives understand this. As a result, they continually strive to deliver high quality, innovative service to their customers, to stay ahead of the competition.

In today’s connected world, consumers increasingly browse menus online and place orders remotely. Restaurants need a high-performing voice and data network to accommodate these demands.

In 2015, Lightstream began working with an international fast casual restaurant chain to address several network challenges. At the time, the company had over 2,000 restaurants and was struggling with an expensive, complex telecommunications network. They were experiencing connectivity issues at the stores, and it was costing tens of thousands of dollars every month in wireless cost overruns.

Solution

When Lightstream first engaged, the team began with a thorough review of the company’s existing network infrastructure and service providers. Each store was configured with a primary connection for voice and data with a wireless 4G connection for backup, and the company used hundreds of different providers across the country.

At the restaurant level, the company’s network was designed for uninterrupted service. If the primary connection went down, service immediately switched over to the 4G network. The change happened seamlessly—users were oblivious to the failover, and service continued as usual. The network, however, was not monitored closely. The company often was unaware when a switchover occurred, and stores could operate on the 4G network for a long time, causing wireless costs to skyrocket.

Because the company had hundreds of different telecom providers, the finance organization was overwhelmed with invoices flowing in from across the organization from the various vendors. Consequently, sorting through invoices every month was time-consuming and inefficient, requiring painstaking research to ensure the billing was accurate.

To resolve these challenges, Lightstream consolidated the company’s entire telephony infrastructure, replacing them with lower cost, higher bandwidth connectivity options, and streamlined the number of providers. In addition, Lightstream added network monitoring and event management services, so that any network outages or anomalies and would be identified and resolved without any added burden on the company’s IT organization.

Since that initial engagement in 2015, the company has grown to 3,000 restaurants, and the organization’s infrastructure has evolved. Today, SD-WAN is deployed across the infrastructure, and the company has invested heavily in moving workloads to the cloud.

As the company has grown over the years and its needs have changed, Lightstream has expanded its relationship providing network monitoring, event management, telephony, field services (installation, cabling, and wiring) and cloud infrastructure optimization.

Business Outcomes

Reduced Costs / Increased Bandwidth

Working with Lightstream’s technical experts, the company consolidated its voice and data network, reducing the number of circuits and carriers and increasing bandwidth to the stores at the same time. This substantially simplified billing—reducing the number of monthly invoices from well over 100 down to one.  All of this has generated millions of dollars in cost savings.

Reduced Connectivity Problems / Improved Service Availability

In 2015, the company was struggling with excessive wireless overage charges. Lightstream’s Network Managed Services for network monitoring and event management helped solve those problems, improving service availability and reducing wireless overage costs by a factor of ten. Network Managed Services includes proactive monitoring and carrier management, managed services through the support of our 24/7 network operations center, dedicated customer service managers and optional field services.

Cloud Infrastructure Optimization

The company has invested heavily in the cloud.  Currently nearly half of its revenue comes through digital sales which depend on the cloud infrastructure.

In 2017, cloud costs accounted for about $150,000 annually. Today, due to the growth of digital sales, cloud costs have increased by a factor of more than 100.  To keep costs in check and to optimize cloud investments, the company utilizes Lightstream’s Cloud Managed Services to help them gauge monthly trends and capture billing anomalies within their environment. This helps them avoid wasteful spending accounting for nearly one million dollars annually in savings. Cloud Managed services helps clients manage the day-to-day administration and management of their cloud infrastructures with a flexible mix of consulting, integration and managed services.

Digital sales are expected to grow as consumers are demanding more digital access than ever before. As a result, the company continues to invest heavily in cloud and rely on services from Lightstream to help optimize cloud infrastructure costs, while delivering better user experiences for their customers.

 

 

A Regional Bank Makes First Move to Azure with Help from Lightstream

Industry:  Banking

Cloud Foundation and Managed Services help architect an Azure environment to securely support a new line-of-business application

Business Challenge

A regional bank in the Pacific Northwest was facing a challenge. The company had 200 locations and aggressive growth plans to triple its business in the next two years. To accomplish its objectives, and offer more modern customer experiences, the organization needed to make changes to its applications and infrastructure.

The company operated two data centers in an active-passive architecture. Maintaining the active-passive configuration meant every time hardware or software was installed at the primary location, a duplicate was installed at the backup site.

Operating two data centers in this way was expensive. The company found that it was buying 2-3 times the amount of capacity it really needed, leaving a lot of costly resources stranded and unused. For this reason, the bank wanted to move applications to the cloud and eventually eliminate the need for a second on-premise data center.

To begin, the company selected a customer-facing application to move to Microsoft Azure. The goal was to integrate the new 3rd-party SaaS application while purchasing no additional hardware, adhering to security and regulatory compliance, and improving business continuity.

But the company had no previous experience working with Azure or with managing cloud environments.

Solution

Seeking help with the move to Azure, the bank engaged Lightstream in 2019. To gather data about the company’s technical environment and to establish a baseline, Lightstream consultants performed a Cloud Foundation Workshop. The workshop helped the company better understand Azure and the basics of cloud operations and security.

When the workshop concluded, the Lightstream team worked with the company to design a secure architecture to support the SaaS application. The effort included writing custom integration code that enabled the SaaS provider to securely access line-of-business application data in Azure and creating re-factored SQL databases in Azure to support a SaaS solution. The design allowed the company to successfully move the application and created an architecture, process, and procedure for moving more applications into Azure without needing to re-write, re-architect, or re-engineer the environment for every subsequent application.

Business Outcomes

Cloud Architecture to Support Strategic Business Goals

Beginning with a Lightstream Cloud Foundation Workshop, the company was able to design and implement a secure cloud architecture. This enabled bank operations to support a new customer-facing line-of-business application while providing visibility for operational and security teams. And it established a baseline process for moving more applications to Azure as business needs arise.

In addition, the cloud architecture positions the company to move forward with its redesigned disaster recovery strategy. The company can now confidently move more applications to Azure and reduce the need for additional hardware at its backup data center.

Ongoing Cloud Management and Optimization

Having limited experience with cloud environments was a concern for the company. To address this, the company uses Lightstream Cloud Managed Services for ongoing Azure management and optimization of financial, technical, security, and operational aspects of the environment.

Access to Specialized Technical Experts When Needed

Cloud expertise and specialized skills can be difficult to find and expensive to hire. Engaging Lightstream has enabled the company to get the benefit of cloud experts without adding people to its staff.

Improved Cross-IT Communication

One unexpected benefit of working with Lightstream has been the impact on cross-IT communication. Like many organizations, the company’s IT group operated in vertical silos. This often was a challenge, because technical problems often crossed silo boundaries and required cross-group communication and collaboration to resolve them. But effective communication between groups was sometimes hard to achieve and caused delays in finding the root cause of issues.

Lightstream Cloud Managed Services, while focused on supporting the company’s Azure environment, has provided a consistent presence to help solve technical problems. With technical expertise in all aspects of IT, including networking, storage, server, and security, and visibility of the company’s entire network, Lightstream’s technical experts have provided valuable insight and helped bridge communications between different parts of the IT organization.

Contact Information

To learn more about how Lightstream Cloud Foundation Workshop or Cloud Managed Services can help your business create a secure cloud architecture, reduce costs, and improve user experience, visit www.lightstream.tech/solutions/managed-services/.