Sponda had one year to build the cloud foundations, landing zones and complete a full enterprise IT migration from its remote data centre.
Sponda is one of the leading real estate asset management companies in Finland, and owned by funds managed by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager.
Sponda specialises in owning, managing and letting commercial properties across Finland. As the company continued its focus upon providing industry-leading, customer-oriented solutions and best practices, it was time to transform its IT infrastructure and move to cloud.
Sponda saw an opportunity to transform and future-proof its business. As part of its IT transformation roadmap, a key part was to shift data centre operations, moving everything to cloud.
With basically all servers in a traditional on-premise environment at its data centre away in Eastern Finland, plus a relatively modest IT headcount, this was no small feat.
Sponda had already marked Microsoft Azure as the right fit, but needed a cloud partner to steer its path. They weren’t just looking for a vendor with strong migration credentials, but one that could be a strategic partner into the future.
And Sponda were clear in seeking a pure-play cloud-native provider. A partner that lived and breathed cloud. One that could continue optimising Sponda’s Azure investments in the future, with things like security, data analytics support, and cost optimisation.
We knew that Nordcloud were an incredibly competent and high-quality team, from management to delivery. For our project specifically, it felt like they really understood our needs, and got up-to-speed quickly with our requirements.
What was key from the beginning, was Nordcloud’s expertise as a cloud pure-play. You don’t see the kind of friction or direction you might otherwise see with traditional systems integrators. We were all focused on the same clear goal – to move our entire capacity to the cloud.
During the migration, it was crucial there was no impact on the performance of applications, or access to services or data.
Following migration, continued platform work was needed to realise the full potential of Azure in supporting future strategic IT and data initiatives.
Assessment & Roadmap.
Sponda had already selected Azure as its preferred public cloud. As a Microsoft Gold Partner and Azure Expert MSP, Nordcloud could not only maximise value from the platform, but also secure various fundings for workshops, migration and Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Advisory Workshops
Nordcloud initially ran a series of cloud advisory workshops, where migration and modernisation experts focused on the approaches and roadmaps to meet Sponda’s needs.
- Collaborative Competency
The Nordcloud team then joined up with Sponda’s architect team as part of a collaborative CCoE, to centralise cloud competencies and ensure best practices would be embedded during and after the migration.
One of the most impressive aspects was during the configuration work and the planning stage before the delivery was carried out.
All of the cloud architects and delivery teams from Nordcloud were focused, aligned with our team, and clearly knew exactly what they were doing.
They saw potential issues way ahead of time, which played a huge part in the migration success.
Manager, Business Technology Operations; Sponda
Landing Zone & Mass Migration.
Foundation & Landing Zone
Nordcloud built the Azure cloud foundation with landing zone, providing a robust, secure foundation for migration, development and testing – ready for the applications and services migrations. Nordcloud also provided managed services to support the roadmap of cloud application development activities.
With the landing zone in place, Nordcloud’s technical experts and migration architects worked closely with Sponda to configure the mass migration. Keeping the data and services intact, in-sync and consistent required tight correlation, planning, and identifying potential issues before they arise.
On-Prem to Cloud Migration
Once the workloads were prioritised and processes agreed with Sponda’s team, the mass migration began, with Nordcloud migration specialists guiding the program. Teamwork was key, working closely through each stage and every technical decision. A high cadence and inclusive approach ensured all IT infra needs were met.
Combining this with the meticulous planning and configurations, meant a smooth migration. From the business side, Sponda noted a completely seamless switch, without any degradation of services.
Following migration, Sponda continued to partner with Nordcloud to make strategic improvements to its Azure stack, driving true value through agility, cost optimisation, expanded functionality and improved security and stability.
- Infra Agility
Cloud allows Sponda more agility and flexibility in a constantly changing IT environment. Nordcloud supports modernisation efforts, from upgrading systems or improving security, to cloud development supporting strategic IT initiatives, such as ERP or HR system renewal, or upgrading operating systems to Azure Virtual Desktop.
- Enabling Innovation
Moving to the cloud has also enabled greater agility and improved product development on the customer side, and Sponda has expanded its capabilities around data and analytics, underpinned by Azure services.
- Cost Optimisation
Nordcloud’s expertise have already been used to find cost effectiveness and cost optimisations. For some applications, modernisation allowed Sponda to save on licences. For others, eliminating technical debt and enabling the application to perform more efficiently and saving cloud usage.
This isn’t just a case of lift and shift. There’s much more to consider around the additional services and architectural decisions, after the initial move to cloud. Finding the right partner that has an abundance of great people to support every aspect is not easy.
The quality of the Nordcloud team is exceptional. At every level, we knew we were dealing with experts. We always got the right answer.
Manager, Business Technology Operations; Sponda
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Sponda completed its enterprise IT migration from on-premise to cloud within the schedule of one year, with zero degradation of services throughout.
By using Nordcloud’s cost optimisation expertise, Sponda has significantly reduced its post-migration Azure spend, with future plans to further implement cloud management tools and double-down on cost optimisation.
Also, having improved its ways of working and fully adopted cloud-native tools, Sponda’s agility has significantly improved the velocity of upgrades and releases.
And following migration, Sponda is in a strong position to evolve its technology stack in-line with strategic transformation plans. Free from the on-premise data centre, the team can to continue its modernisation efforts – unlocking future innovations and new products, built upon Azure native services.
Our open, transparent way of working has been extremely beneficial. The key to our success has been teamwork. We see Nordcloud as a strategic partner, not just a client-vendor relationship.
For us, when we look at the results, it’s been a slam dunk. A home run.
Data centre migration to cloud.
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