When Chris Dickinson received a call from Datacom about upgrading Pronto Software's hosted services to bigger and better data centres, his initial reaction was one of alarm.
“We operate 24/7 and have over 450 customers on our cloud platform. I thought to myself, 'How on earth are we going to do this?'” says Chris, who is general manager at Pronto Software, based in Sydney.
The answer was with the care, respect and trust that has defined the Datacom-Pronto Software relationship for years. A provider of cloud ERP (enterprise resource planning) and analytics software – as well as managed services and infrastructure – Pronto Software has experienced rapid growth in the last decade as it has accommodated customers’ move from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud.
“Six years ago, we had maybe 120 virtual servers running. Now we have 3,000 of them.”
Some of Pronto Software's customers operate hundreds of retail stores with its cloud platforms. A move to any new data centre had the potential to disrupt business. However, the work to move from existing Datacom data centres, where Pronto Software customers were currently hosted, to newer facilities was minimal.
“I have to admit, the Datacom proposal led me to do my due diligence and review what other vendors were offering,” says Chris.
“But when we considered the reliability and service we’d received from our number one critical supplier over the years, we saw no reason to change. We said yes.”
We operate 24/7 and have over 450 customers on our cloud platform. I thought to myself, 'How on earth are we going to do this?'
A two-year process to migrate all of Pronto Software's customers to Datacom@AirTrunk began. The hyperscale data centres, located in Sydney and Melbourne, offer state-to-state and trans-Tasman interconnectivity via Datacom’s dedicated network, with direct onsite connections to the major public cloud providers.
The first 12 months of the project involved planning the transition, first for the Sydney data centres, then Melbourne.
“Datacom provided bridging networks and anything we needed to complete the replication to get all of our customers over to the other side from a network perspective,” says Chris.
The actual migration followed a staged approach over a four-month period, with each customer switched over during a narrow window outside of business hours.
Now Pronto Software's customers reside in best-of-breed data centres, which are among the largest in Australasia.
“It has turned out to be a strong point of differentiation for us,” says Chris. “Our customers handle a lot of financial data; they value security and reliability over everything else. The Datacom@AirTrunk facilities tick all of the boxes on that front.”
We are in a better environment for us and our customers and it is not costing us any more money. We have good clarity with predictable fees.
Being newly located in top-tier data centres didn’t equate to more expensive hosting.
“We are in a better environment for us and our customers, and it is not costing us any more money. We have good clarity with predictable fees.”
The impact of COVID-19 had the potential to affect the smooth transition to Datacom@AirTrunk. However, the data centre switch was undertaken with minimal disruption. Throughout the ongoing pandemic, Datacom@AirTrunk's resources have been available to Pronto Software to help the business and its customers to continue to operate.
“This is all you want from a partner; someone who understands your business and is there for you. Even when the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to disrupt the project, Datacom was there for us and saying ‘We’ll work with you. We’ll get it sorted’.”