HRM Systems’ IT infrastructure was reaching the end of its life and the company was looking to switch from working with several IT partners to procuring a complete solution from a single source. On the look out for a uniform solution, Bechtle’s managed IT concept stood out to the HRM Systems’ IT department and management the most. Today, HRM Systems is leveraging Bechtle 360° Managed IT based on Microsoft Azure — reliable, highly available and future-proof.
The Winterthur-based software and services company, HRM Systems, had been working with various outsourcing partners for its IT for several years. As time went on, the solution no longer met the requirements of availability, reliability and was no longer fit for the future. On top of all this, the existing hardware was coming to the end of its lifecycle, and so the IT infrastructure needed a complete overhaul so that it could handle everything the future could throw at it and that consolidated all aspects of IT—from the network and applications to support—provided by one single partner.
As CEO Georg Hartmann explains, HRM Systems has particularly high demands of its IT. «As a software provider with our own development department, we and our some one hundred employees may be thought of as an SME, but the complexity of our infrastructure and the way we work means we need enterprise-grade IT solutions.» This meant that the systems for developing and testing the software had to be integrated into the overall IT, and performance has to meet the high speed requirements of the developers and software testers. There was another critical criteria for the cloud-based solution and that is that all data have to remain in Switzerland.
In the summer of 2019, HRM Systems analyses various solutions for its future IT. The idea was to migrate the majority into the cloud, but there remained a question about whether a hybrid cloud solution with important functionalities transferred into a private cloud or a public cloud service would be the way to go. After a thorough analysis in the evaluation phase, it was Bechtle’s concept that stood head and shoulders above the competition. The basic concept was developed in joint workshops before Bechtle’s detailed system design was presented and refined in close collaboration with HRM Systems’ IT team.
Today, the majority of the IT infrastructure has been migrated to Microsoft Azure and is run and managed by Bechtle in the form of SaaS applications and Managed Services. Internal computing capacities are now only used for development and testing purposes. The challenging migration project was completed on schedule, not least as a result of the iterative approach instead of minutely detailed planning with fixed deadlines, which was a cause of some concern for HRM during the project, but which, in fact, was very successful. Another critical factor for success was that the migration project enjoyed high levels of acceptance in the IT department, at management level and among the employees. System design started in November and was available in January 2020. The migration to Azure was planned for between March and August and was completed on schedule with Bechtle assuming the role of single point of contact for all of HRM Systems’ IT queries from June.
With its impressive concept, extensive technological expertise and trusting collaboration, Bechtle has proven itself to be a competent and reliable parter. It was exactly the right decision for HRM Systems to migrate to Azure.
HRM Systems has benefited greatly from migrating IT into the Azure cloud and handing over responsibility of system operations to Bechtle. The IT is now highly available and computing and storage capacities can be quickly scaled as required. What’s more, HRM Systems was able to decommission its own data centre in Winterthur and its backup location in Zurich, which had been one of the objectives of the project, along with finding one partner for all IT needs to reduce coordination efforts and creating a flexible, future-oriented infrastructure that optimally supports the business including Office 365 and Microsoft Teams for phoning.
As the ITOps service coordinator, Peter Kehrli played a crucial role in the migration and was impressed with how everything went. «I had concerns about whether it would be possible to get such a complex project off the ground so quickly when it involved a whole new IT and switching partners, but we managed it, which was really impressive.»