London Hospitality Group: Azure Migration Case Study
As one of the largest hotel owner-operators in Britain’s capital, recognised for its people-centric approach and winner of multiple awards, this London hospitality company manages an extensive portfolio of 14 unique hotels and 130 event spaces.
Aspiring to transform their existing establishments into smart hotels offering high-tech customer experiences, the company faced a significant challenge. Its fragmented IT architecture was outdated; hindering the brand’s ability to achieve its ambitious goals.
This 2023 case study demonstrates how Atech’s Professional Services team helped a London hospitality provider revamp its technological foundations to help it migrate to the digital era.
As a front-runner in the hotel industry, this London hospitality chain attracts tens of thousands of discerning visitors to its various establishments each year. However, many of those customers now expect a high-tech hotel experience with added benefits, including digital check-in, keyless room entry and a selection of in-room apps. In fact, a 2022 survey by New York University Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality found that since the COVID-19 pandemic, 92% of customers have accepted technology in the hotel check-in process and expect to see hoteliers use contactless solutions.
Yet its organic growth created a fragmented infrastructure, with some elements on-premises, others in co-location data centres and the rest hosted with AWS.
The hospitality chain’s disjointed service held the business’s 2000 IT system users back from offering the very best in service.
Besides the high running costs, technical outages also affected the overall customer experience. Meanwhile, the large volume of personal data held within the organisation created numerous security concerns for the brand.
The company set out two key expectations for their 2023 cloud migration journey:
1. Consolidate existing infrastructure to improve performance, reduce costs and increase scalability. One part of this meant we refactored SQL on Azure to utilise Azure SQL Database elastic pools. This gave the customer a cost effective solution for managing and scaling multiple databases with varying and unpredictable usage demands.
2. The company also had to ensure the migration to Azure secured customer data and met the hotel chain’s GDPR compliance obligations.
As a leading Azure MSP, we at Atech used our tried and tested methodology to plan, implement, and mitigate risk, as well as consolidating and migrating the company’s IT infrastructure.
The project was managed by our certified project managers and provided weekly health check reports to raise any issues and ensure the transformation didn’t affect daily operations.
Here are the key milestones in the hospitality company’s Azure migration journey:
Working alongside key stakeholders, we hosted a series of workshops to scope out the project and tailor a seamless Azure migration strategy.
To determine what the platform would look like, our team considered the following:
- The overall goal of the business – to save over £800,000 in IT costs over three years.
- Simplifying and optimising the company’s internal systems.
Migrating SQL to Azure was quickly identified as the winning strategy because it would reduce the number of systems the business needs to manage and maintain. Moreover, Azure offers various automated services that can help companies reduce manual workloads.
To refactor SQL on Azure, we assessed the company’s existing SQL databases and performance metrics to identify areas for improvement in cloud performance and scalability. The assessment phase also examined the potential for rehosting SQL on Azure by analysing the SQL databases’ workload type, query patterns, and resource usage.
Over several design workshops with the client, we devised a migration to Azure that would allow the company to:
- Create the flexibility and agility needed to enhance scalability by refactoring SQL for cloud readiness.
- Maintain the highest security standards to protect personal data by rehosting SQL on Azure and implementing Defender for Cloud.
Once the SQL refactoring was implemented, data was migrated and thoroughly tested. We then migrated the final set of data, cutover and then fine-tuned to ensure optimal performance.
We also protected the Azure SQL databases with Defender for Cloud to ensure it safeguarded customer data effectively and ticked all the industry compliance boxes (including GDPR).
This unified system for managing infrastructure offers advanced threat protection against rapidly changing workloads and increasingly sophisticated cyber attack methods.
Our accredited cloud specialists now offer the company 24/7 cloud support with guaranteed resolution service level agreements (SLA) for the best level of response and resolution.
Atech’s Azure Managed Services package also includes general maintenance, such as patching, backups, security, and alerts, monitoring data usage to identify areas to optimise, and financial reporting to help the company keep on top of its costs.
Atech’s team completed the migration without affecting business operations, and technical outages and high running costs have been replaced by a reliable service and first-year running cost savings of 30%. With savings of £800k anticipated over three years, the infrastructure replacement and migration project will pay for itself within months.
“Thanks to their impressive technical capabilities, the team at Atech really knows their stuff. Despite the complexity of the project, everything’s running smoothly, and they’ve always been on hand, making us feel reassured every step of the way.”
– Head of Infrastructure.
Trust Atech as your Azure Expert MSP Partner
If you’re looking for a trusted Azure MSP partner to help you achieve your digital transformation goals, then Atech is the ideal choice for you.
We can help you migrate to Azure smoothly and effectively using our tried-and-true migration approach while ensuring that your business needs are addressed, and your productivity is always preserved.
We hold several Microsoft Advanced Specialization certificates in Azure systems. This means that even after the migration is complete, you can be sure that we have the knowledge and experience to assist you with optimising the performance metrics of your new cloud infrastructure.
Please get in touch with us today to learn more about our Azure migration services and schedule a free consultation.
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