Netsurit drives on-demand scalability for Fuel Online

Moving to a new business platform may make your company more efficient in the long run, legacy systems are ignored at your peril.

Low bandwidth online training provider FUEL tailor makes SAAS e-learning solutions for its clients. FUEL has more than 15 years’ experience creating and managing corporate blended learning academies and offers an end-to-end online training solution.

When the lifespan of FUEL Online’s legacy system was coming to an end, and current systems were at risk as a result of warranties no longer being extendable and systems reaching their end-of-life, Netsurit created a solution to extend the system’s availability so that key customers could be migrated over time.

The business problem

FUEL’s systems continue to be developed and improved, but because certain customers have not yet subscribed to its new systems, the availability of the legacy platform became critical to the business. That was when FUEL turned to Netsurit.

Typically, legacy systems are so ingrained in a business that as much thought and planning needs to go into how they should be replaced, as goes into planning the new system. There could be no risk of downtime, as this would compromise clients who depend on the system for their training needs.

The company approached Netsurit in September 2018, when it had just begun its journey to Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service.

“The business had several pain points at the time,” says Justin Hough, FUEL. “Our legacy hardware systems were old and out of warranty. They had reached end-of-life stage, but the business still needed to keep them up and running without investing too much as they were due to be retired once all our clients had migrated to the new solution.”

FUEL was seeking minimal downtime, along with a scalable solution that did not have to be reconfigured on the new platform.

“For many companies, legacy systems are mission-critical. With important strategic customers still running off our legacy systems, we were looking for a platform that could scale on demand, but also be turned off at any stage should the need arise to decommission.

The solution

Netsurit’s Professional Services division Inobits is well known in the Microsoft consulting space and has a reputation for excellence.

“Inobits has the ability to deliver quality that is cost-effective, while consistently driving further innovation,” says Patrick Schneider, account executive, Netsurit. “Since Netsurit was already the managed services partner taking care of FUEL’s current systems, it made sense to utilize the skills of the extended team.”

FUEL needed to adopt a business continuity and disaster recovery strategy to keep its data safe, and its apps and workloads up and running, regardless of planned or unplanned outages. Netsurit provided a solution to migrate FUEL’s three-tiered architecture platform to Azure using Azure Site Recovery. This helped to ensure business continuity by keeping business apps and workloads running. It also replicates workloads running on physical and virtual machines, with any outages occurring simply failing over to Netsurit’s infrastructure. The Azure Backup service kept FUEL’s data safe and recoverable by backing it up to Azure.

“We had to keep downtime to a minimum,” says Justin Hough. “This is because we have customers connecting to the platform from all across the globe. We also had a requirement to reduce hardware for our call centre agents. Netsurit’s team managed these special requirements for us.”

Hough says the solution extended the life span of a legacy system that could not be switched off before migrating customers to the next version of FUEL’s improved application.

“We have cut costs by being able to consolidate our systems. We were also able to reduce call centre agents’ equipment down to only one machine due to the implementation of Windows Virtual Desktop, which was an innovative idea recommended by Netsurit. Our agents now have a hassle-free method of connecting to clients securely, making them more efficient and our systems more reliable.”

Looking to the future

FUEL has already identified further projects around cloud security and will be consulting with Netsurit on to improve its go-to-market from a security perspective.

“We have been very impressed with Netsurit’s knowledge of all things Azure-related and the team has assisted us to resolve several critical issues. They also installed and configured the Windows Virtual Desktop solution for us which has been working well and suits our needs perfectly from a call centre scale-on-demand perspective. I would recommend Netsurit to anyone looking for MS Azure Solutions.

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