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PI Data Analytics ramps up security and scalability with Azure migration
Together with Comprara, owner of PI Data Analytics, we helped deliver additional benefits from their Microsoft Azure migration. With their legacy cloud environment reaching end-of-life, Comprara decided to migrate the purchasing data analytics platform that powers their PI Data Analytics service to Microsoft Azure.
Working with us they took the opportunity to benchmark the performance of the environment as well as conduct a full security audit. This ensures that their clients continue to have an exceptional user experience, while their security infrastructure is able to evolve to stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape.
The close cooperation between Comprara and NTT and the detailed planning around the migration meant that it was completed with minimal impact on the organization and their clients.
Purchasing Index (PI) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Comprara, helping reduce the overall cost of acquisition through best practice sourcing and purchasing strategies, processes and technologies.
Their PI Data Analytics platform has been helping clients across industries to better manage their procurement spend for more than 20 years.
They work with clients and software partners to specify and develop technology solutions across the procurement process.
Delivering critical purchasing intelligence
Through their PI Data Analytics service, Comprara provides a critical capability for organizations across Australia and New Zealand, enabling them to gather vital information around their purchasing trends.
Comprara CEO Ben Shute explains that purchasing managers leverage their data analytics platform to assess spending trends and capture data that would otherwise be time-consuming and challenging to incorporate.
‘A lot of the information related to purchasing exists in unstructured data and our platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to capture and categorize that data. This allows the platform to differentiate between a scalpel and a laptop and correctly attribute it.’
Having access to this information allows purchasing managers to monitor their spending patterns and create data visualizations to ensure that they’re able to optimize this critical function. With high-profile organizations including banks and hospitals using their service, availability and security are of critical concern to them.
‘A secure foundation is critical to ensuring that our clients can trust us with their information.’
Moving critical workloads to Microsoft Azure with minimal disruption
With the retirement of their legacy cloud platform, the decision was made to migrate the workloads into Microsoft Azure. With the systems hosting mission-critical data and services, this needed to proceed with minimal impact on their clients. After a thorough planning process involving both the NTT and PI Data Analytics teams, the workloads were moved across to Azure over a weekend with minimal disruption to their clients.
‘The migration process involved our production servers to Azure and the project plan executed by the team was impeccable’, says Shute. ‘NTT has successfully completed our migration to Azure with zero issues, and six months into our migration, we haven’t experienced any issues and the post-migration support we’ve received has been outstanding.’
Prior to migration, the NTT team executed a full performance benchmark for the existing environment, which provided the data needed to measure the performance of the Microsoft Azure platform. This insight allows them to scale up or down their resources while ensuring their clients receive a consistent user experience.
Improving their security posture was also of critical importance. The sensitivity of some of the data processed by their system means that they need to take a proactive stance in addressing the ever-evolving security landscape.
‘A secure foundation is critical to ensuring that our clients can trust us with their information,’ comments Shute. To ensure this they implemented an application gateway with web application filtering which protects the virtual machines from any malicious activity.
‘The importance of information security for both us and our clients can’t be overstated. It’s critical that we take all possible steps to protect information from data breaches, unauthorized access and other disruptive data security threats.’
‘NTT successfully completed our migration to Microsoft Azure with zero issues, and six months into our migration, we haven’t experienced any issues and the post-migration support we’ve received has been outstanding.’
Secure and scalable cloud platform
The migration from the legacy platform to Azure has not only provided PI Data Analytics with a future-proof infrastructure platform, but also enabled them to ensure their security environment was aligned with industry best practice.
The performance benchmarking we undertook before the cloud migration has has provided them with the insights they need to optimize their environment in the future. With a clear view of the user experience, they can explore opportunities to reduce the cost of the service without any impact on quality of service.
With a secure foundation, they’re able to protect their own and their clients’ data, ensuring that they minimize any risks. This minimizes the risk of a data breach but also defends against reputational damage.
The long-standing relationship between PI Data Analytics and NTT ensured that the two teams were able to work closely to ensure there were no issues during the migration. This reduced the likelihood of a rollback being required and minimized any potential impact on their clients.