With Industry 4.0 transforming the construction industry, the need to invest in modern cloud technology is imminent. TMG were at a crossroads with aging IT infrastructure and downtimes compromising operations and sustainable growth. With the renewal date of their on-premises Microsoft platform just four months away, the time was now to explore the pros and cons of refreshing their status quo or retire and migrate their HCI environment to Azure cloud.
The Municipal Group of Companies (TMG) are innovators shaping the future of Eastern Canada’s infrastructure. Experts serving industries in heavy civil construction, logistics, and environmental services, this vertically integrated organization’s business growth strategy is M&A (mergers and acquisitions).
A model that relies heavily on technology to streamline operations, supply chain and workforce collaboration across their diversified business units.
Leave no stone unturned
For TMG’s CFO David XXX, the decision to refresh their Microsoft on-premises infrastructure vs. a full migration to Azure weighed heavily. Especially with a 4-month deadline and the possible disruption of daily operations, some of which run 24/7/365.
On the flip side, managing their own datacenters had become too cumbersome and was negatively affecting their ability to respond to their organizations needs. Labor shortages, market demands, supply chain issues, environmental concerns and human error were major factors in the decision.
TMG needed a technology partner who could understand their business challenges and vision, and the intricacies, limitations, and potential of their systems and HCI environment.
- Agility in their future ability to onboard acquisition, expand or contract existing lines of business and the ability to overcome outside pressures such as labor shortage and supply chain disruption, etc.
- Minimize several areas of risk pertaining to potential of outages based on hardware failure, security, patch, and facility management, as well as risk impeding business agility.
- The 5-year TCO costs considering infrastructure spend, energy costs and admin time.
Weighing options and best-case scenarios
The success of this project was largely due to a tremendous collaborative effort. ITI’s team of business transformation experts and cloud solution architects worked fluently with David and TMG’s CIO, Andrew Shupe, their Microsoft representative, and various other TMG stakeholders to assess their situation.
Four scenarios were presented:
- Full migration to Azure cloud
- Status quo on-premise HCI environment
- On-premise with managed services by ITI
- Co-location site with on-premise managed completely by ITI
Following ITI’s evaluation, they painted a clear picture of how this transition would help us reduce our risk and increase our agility making them an indispensable partner to our organization.
Cloud = less risk + more rewards
As TMG’s IT infrastructure aged and was targeted to be refreshed, being able to refocus on capital expenditures away from IT infrastructure and into operating assets that either generate revenue or increase efficiency were favorable business outcomes.
All things considered, the decision to migrate their HCI environment to Azure cloud would bring the most value to the organization now and in the future. Although a complete shift to Azure had a slightly higher TCO, the positive impact to business agility and the major reduction in risk was key to their growth strategy.
Because we were given access to the right people and information at TMG, we were able to propose options and a solution that not only made sense for the organization, but also met David’s criteria of how he evaluated success. That kind of trust and transparency, including the collaboration with Microsoft, ensured a successful outcome for our client. It’s the perfect example of the long-term partnerships we strive for.
A 90-day ‘Lift and Shift’
Working with TMG, ITI established the baseline required for a lift and shift migration to Azure to allow them to retire their aging HCI environment and reduce risk on outages (environmental, technological, and human). In addition, ITI needed to provide a foundation for new applications to be rolled out quickly to enable better agility for the business.
A total of 45 vms, a landing zone and security parameters along with security hardening and full documentation for each vm needed to be completed during this phase.
Agility is key for business growth, not only in terms of modern technology, but also in terms of the process and approach. TMG were extremely forthcoming, and thanks to weekly meetings with their infrastructure group, networking teams, desktop support group, business owners of custom applications and their Microsoft representative, the project rollout was a huge success and delivered on time.
A solid foundation and roadmap for growth
As the cloud market has come to mature, Azure provides TMG the possibility to retool their IT to drive new organizational initiatives rather than focus on “keeping the lights on operations”.
Their new cloud environment enables them to streamline operations, gain visibility across the supply chain, and improve workforce collaborations. In addition, they have the foundation and agility to quickly roll out new applications.
A modern workplace to boot
As part of this initiative, TMG were also able to simultaneously modernize their workplace by upgrading their Microsoft Office Suite from O365 to M365, saving them 6-figures just on licensing in the first year and rolling out modern security features.
There are 2 other phases in the works to continuously optimize their infrastructure including replacing their Remote Desktop environment at minimal cost, and leveraging Azure Data Lake and power BI to provide them with better business intelligence to enhance their bidding process.
This phase of our journey specifically focused on cloud adoption with Azure and right sizing our Microsoft licensing position M365 roadmap, We are excited for what the following phases will bring, and we are confident that with ITI’s help we will be able to continue to see a competitive return in our Microsoft investments.