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Kempinski Hotels transferred from Novell GroupWise to G Suite with CloudM Migrate.

Why did you take on this project?

Judopay is going through a significant period of growth and we wanted to update our infrastructure to support this business expansion and create a flexible, agile platform for the future.

Judopay is a payments processor, focussed on shaping the future of mobile payment and digital commerce. We’re striving to change the way people pay using the power of digital technology. We work with consumer-focused businesses that are looking to enhance the consumer shopping experience. Businesses, new or longstanding, that are disrupting their market, or breaking new ground. For this reason, Judopay needs to be able to innovate quickly to support the needs of its customers.

Moving to the cloud will allow our business to react faster than our peers and continually innovate by providing additional resource capability, allowing us to deliver on innovation opportunities as they present themselves.

Our technology has been recognised as some of the best in the industry. We plan our infrastructure 12 months in advance to add value to the customers and businesses we bring onboard every day. The migration to Google Cloud Platform helps our IT systems be agile enough to build quickly to meet the needs of our ever-developing customers.

Alongside innovation, as a fintech organisation, security was a top priority for us. The cloud offers a host of security benefits that are significantly harder to manage at scale using physical infrastructure.

What were the main challenges to overcome with migration?

As with any tech development, the project was not without its challenges. The main challenge for us was the timeframes we had to work within. The team was concerned that moving to the cloud would be time-consuming and potentially redirect a lot of manpower from other projects.

The expertise gap was also a factor, having not been through this process as a business before. To fill that gap, we decided to work with a partner rather than building all the expertise in-house. We needed to find a partner to provide us with the knowledge and experience to migrate and adapt our IT systems.

CloudM addressed both of these challenges for us. By working with an expert partner, we have managed to minimise any disruption to our business and streamline the process to make it the most efficient.

CloudM came highly recommended by Google. The CloudM team has in-depth knowledge of the cloud, they have helped us to design a whole new infrastructure and achieve the future-proofing our business was looking for from an IT perspective.

What advice do you have for other companies thinking about migrating?

Judopay is midway through the migration process right now. We have had a very positive experience so far and would recommend other fast-growth businesses consider the benefits that migration to the cloud offers.

Thorough preparation is the best advice we would give to a company considering a migration. In the planning stage, CloudM worked with Judopay to create a comprehensive statement of works, researching our current infrastructure and understanding our goals, allowing them to create a solution tailored to our needs.

Open communication with a knowledgeable partner is critical for success. Ask probing questions about the company’s experience before agreeing on a partner. CloudM have such an extensive and impressive track record, and come highly recommended by Google, so we were confident we would be in safe hands.

It is also important to choose a team of people that are easy to work with and will act as a true extension of your business. CloudM has a clear partnership ethos, which allowed them to properly integrate with our company. This should be essential when looking for the right partner, as you will be working with them for some time.

Any final comments?

The benefits that GCP offers makes it the ideal solution for our growing company. GCP’s security, scalability and competitive pricing, coupled with CloudM’s expertise made it a winning combination. Judopay is delighted with the results so far, and excited to use this change in infrastructure to continue innovating ahead of the market in future.

The company

The Kempinski name is proudly borne by a growing collection of distinguished properties around the world. As Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, they are committed to providing guests with memorable journeys inspired by exquisite European flair, believing life should be lived with style.

The project

The group, which manages more than 70 hotels in over 30 countries, traditionally used Novell GroupWise hosted from its head office in Geneva, but increasing operations costs, and a corporate five-year plan aimed at portfolio growth, increased financial and operational performance prompted a move to the cloud.

Jeremy Ward, Senior VP for IT at Kempinski explained “As part of Kempinski’s ongoing five-year strategy, which we defined in 2010, we are focused on reducing the overall cost of ownership and cost of administration to the hotels,”

“Moving our email platform to a cloud-based solution removes the requirement for the hotels to administer the underlying infrastructure, freeing them to focus on driving efficiencies out of the application itself.”

The process

After considering cloud email platforms from Microsoft and Lotus, Kempinski chose G Suite, “the most mature and widely available of the solutions we considered”, said Alexander Gundlak, Kempinski’s Director of Collaboration and Web Services.

“It was the logical choice, bearing in mind our geographical spread,” he added.

The migration, which began with a pilot in Geneva followed by roll-out, was completed on target, summer 2015. They transferred existing messages, appointments and contacts from Novell GroupWise to G Suite using CloudM Migrate.

The results

Kempinski’s franchised structure meant CloudM Migrate had to sign a separate contract with each hotel to migrate between 50 and 100 local users in turn, while integrating with the group’s complex LDAP user directory and meeting the demands of the credit card industry’s PCI DSS compliance standards. With email migration complete, Ward is planning to use other elements of G Suite to improve communications and collaboration between Kempinski’s sites.

“Now we have fully migrated all of our users and the project is complete, we’ll have not only an email platform to support our future growth, but a collaboration platform that is continuously improved,” he said. “This will allow us to introduce new functionalities to our employees at a significantly reduced cost compared to our old solution.”

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