Retailer’s IT infrastructure and operations vulnerable to potential disaster

Like many other retail companies, Treadmaxx Tire Distributors depends on numerous software applications to support almost every facet of its daily operations — from customer service to its e-commerce websites. The company’s chief information officer, Richard Aldredge, made a point of ensuring that nothing would ever happen to compromise these systems. For years, he required his staff to perform daily backups and regular monitoring and testing of every system that makes up Treadmaxx’s IT architecture.

When a tornado touched down just a mile away from the company’s Atlanta headquarters, where its main servers were located, Aldredge began questioning the safety of its systems. What if the tornado had taken the building out or just shut down power? Even one day without power at the company’s headquarters could shut down business at every single Treadmaxx location. A deliberate malware attack could conceivably do the same.

Aldredge considered distributing servers among different company locations for mitigation but wasn’t sure that precaution alone would guarantee uptime; disasters, whether in the form of weather events or malware attacks, can strike anywhere. He also didn’t have the resources to manage such a solution.

Then there was the issue of Treadmaxx’s legacy operating systems not supporting the latest version of the company’s primary enterprise resource planning application, nor integrating with newer versions of other applications. It would cost the company hours of staff time and a major outlay of capital to overhaul its IT infrastructure. Further complicating things was the fact that, as a retail organization, Treadmaxx was required to meet PCI DSS requirements for security.

Leading-edge facilities and tailored cloud capabilities offer steadfast reliability

The Treadmaxx management team took a long look at the company’s objectives. With 14 warehouses across seven states, Treadmaxx’s business was customer service. It was time to find a partner whose business was technology.

Having spent nearly 25 years building Treadmaxx’s IT architecture, Aldredge had very exacting criteria for whomever he chose to take it to the next level. Only service providers with data centers rated as “tier 2” or higher were considered. One company ultimately stood out from the rest: Flexential.

With data centers in key U.S. markets, each with uninterruptible power, multiple internet connections, fire suppression and redundant HVAC, Flexential offered enterprise-class facilities that would help Treadmaxx withstand even the most severe disasters. But what about the people who ran those facilities?

“The Flexential team immediately grasped the scale of what I was looking for — a fully managed and modernized architecture — and was clearly versed in the retail industry’s PCI compliance requirements,” Aldredge recalled. “From a logistics standpoint, it was extremely helpful that Flexential had operations in the Atlanta area — close to Treadmaxx’s headquarters, but not too close.”

Aldredge was also impressed with Flexential’s ability to offer Treadmaxx a number of tailored options for a virtual IT architecture. To protect Treadmaxx’s critical business applications 24 hours a day, Flexential provided the company with an SSAE 16 and PCI-compliant cloud in its Atlanta - Norcross facility, fully managed by Flexential expert engineers, and a virtual recovery cloud at one of the Flexential data centers in North Carolina. This would ensure rapid access to business data in the event of a disaster, and it upgraded Treadmaxx to an operating system that could support the latest versions of all its business applications.

Sustainable uptime optimizes operational integrity and cost-efficiency

With decades of experience and a front row view of technology’s evolution in retail, Aldredge is a firm believer in the Flexential virtual infrastructure for support of Treadmaxx’s IT needs. He also understands that, regardless of all of the enthusiastic buzz about cloud technology, his peers want to know about the tangible benefits.

“You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind, but you can guess how much one day of lost business could cost your company,” says Aldredge. “Seeing how effectively Flexential protects our business, I can’t imagine doing everything in- house again.

Backed by the built-in redundancies of the Flexential architecture and solution, Treadmaxx is now assured of its business continuity in the face of any disaster or interruption, alleviating the potentially significant financial impact an outage could have on its bottom line and reputation. With Flexential technical experts regularly performing backups, Treadmaxx’s internal IT team is free to engage in more revenue-generating endeavors. The Flexential team is also available round-the-clock to support Treadmaxx’s IT needs, including scaling the environment to support its growth.

“Everything is redundant and regularly backed up. I no longer have to worry about who is doing this anymore,” says Aldredge. “The moment one of our e-commerce websites needs extra capacity, it’s instantly there. I don’t have to go shopping for a new server.

“We’re definitely saving money in the long run with new opportunities to move faster and be more flexible thanks to the technologies and skill sets Flexential brings.”

Learn more

To learn more about how Flexential can help create a solution tailored for your unique business needs, visit here.