Ensuring comfortable home and work environments
American Residential Services leverages Hosted Private Cloud - Advanced Access and Recovery Cloud to strengthen dispatch efficiency.
Headquartered in Memphis, TN, American Residential Services (ARS®)/Rescue Rooter® operates a nationwide network of company-owned locations that provide exceptional heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and sewer and drain services to homes and businesses. By pairing its professional technicians, plumbers, and home comfort advisors with technology, the company optimizes service delivery and ensures every job is done right—the first time.
Flexibility and control needed to ensure application performance
ARS has partnered with Flexential since 2014, initially utilizing the Flexential virtual private cloud to support its service-based business. However, to meet the unique performance requirements of its in-house enterprise solution, the company needed more control over its IT environment than the cloud could deliver. To gain this oversight and flexibility, ARS pivoted, repatriating its cloud environment to the Flexential Denver – Aurora data center and leveraging a third-party platform to help manage its high-performance servers.
While this deployment delivered the control and performance ARS needed, it increased the burden on ARS’ internal team, requiring it to manage the infrastructure. This took time away from business-enhancing initiatives. The company was also implementing an enterprise-wide solution that integrates artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) with its database of service details to automate service dispatching, track work progress, and support its 6,500 employees.
As ARS’ gear neared end-of-life, it reached out to Flexential for a new solution that could support its intensifying requirements with the ease of the cloud and the control of colocation.
FlexAnywhere Platform offers a flexible cloud environment and DRaaS for performance and resiliency
Leveraging its FlexAnywhere Platform, a highly connected and scalable platform with a full suite of colocation, interconnection, cloud, data protection, and managed and professional services, Flexential recommended its Hosted Private Cloud (HPC) - Advanced Access solution. This fully managed environment offers full control and management of the Flexential-owned VMware vCenter server, while Flexential performs the initial configuration and ensures the ongoing compliance and management of the shared hypervisor. With complete visibility and control over its workloads, ARS can modify its cloud environment as it would with an on-premises solution. ARS is currently building this solution with Flexential, employing C3, a trusted advisor to ARS and a Flexential Channel Partner, to help evaluate workloads from a technical perspective.
“The Hosted Private Cloud - Advanced Access solution gives us the performance, control and flexibility we need in a cloud environment, without running the infrastructure,” said John Carreno, Vice President of IT Infrastructure and Operations. “This allows my team to focus their efforts on projects that improve the customer experience and our profitability.”
To achieve the necessary availability and resiliency, ARS relied on the FlexAnywhere Solutions Blueprint for “Improving Application Performance and Reliability.” FlexAnywhere Solutions are designed to address common business challenges and deliver business-enabling solutions that fast-track IT transformations and drive competitive advantages. To facilitate uncompromised uptime, Flexential provides a redundant architecture and multiple, diverse connections from leading national providers—all backed by a 100% uptime SLA on power, cooling, network, and bandwidth and a five 9’s availability SLA for Flexential Cloud.
For added confidence around its resilience, ARS utilizes the Flexential Recovery Cloud, a flexible and reliable disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution that is tailored to ARS’ unique requirements. Fully managed by Flexential disaster recovery service experts, the DRaaS solution undergoes regular testing to ensure the rapid, secure recovery of ARS’ data, applications, and systems during a disruption.
“Business moves at such a fast clip that something as simple as introducing new servers can undermine recovery,” said Ross Miles, Vice President of Information Security at American Residential Services. “We do not have the bandwidth to perform regular DR tests. Flexential DRaaS ensures our recovery solution is validated and effective should the unexpected occur, so we can continue to respond to customer requests quickly and effectively.”
ARS also relies on Flexential Interconnection to engage with customers, technicians, and partners. Utilizing the Flexential private 100Gbps network backbone and multiple blended Internet circuits, ARS achieves robust, high-speed connections to ensure effective communications.
High-performing infrastructure improves the efficiency of dispatch routes
Flexential provides a robust environment that can scale and shift at the speed ARS’ business requires as it introduces its AI-enabled enterprise solution across the company. By integrating AI with a growing database of information—including request urgency, and technician and customer locations—the platform allows ARS to automate and optimize complex routing decisions and unexpected schedule changes to boost its competitive edge.
As ARS continues to rely on this technology to enhance efficiency, profitability and the customer experience, the performance of its environment will be increasingly crucial to strengthen “speed to lead.” Flexential HPC - Advanced Access will provide the flexibility and control ARS needs to configure its environment to address new requirements to enable a response speed that supports customers and drives profits. Additionally, Flexential spend portability empowers ARS to adapt its product mix to optimize spend as its needs and business objectives evolve.
Downtime and inefficiencies can also impact ARS’ status as an authorized service provider for Home Depot, Lowe’s, and pro installer of Google Nest. The ability to quickly respond to customers—especially on referral-based sites like Angi that send out service requests to multiple organizations simultaneously—is critical to increase the likelihood of securing work. And with significant revenue generation, the cost of downtime for ARS can add up quickly. The Flexential cloud and DRaaS solutions ensure the company can continue at full speed, 24x7x365, even amidst a disaster.
“Every relationship can bear fruit down the line,” said Miles. “If our systems are not available for that initial conversation with a customer, that is lost revenue—for both the initial engagement and any future opportunities.”
For ARS, the Flexential team and corporate culture have also been key success factors. Flexential Professional Services (FPS) has served as an extension of ARS’ internal IT team, helping to design and implement its hosted cloud and DRaaS solutions. Throughout the relationship, Flexential has been committed to helping ARS solve its business challenges, ensuring ARS could complete the rollout of its dispatching solution before its busy season. Without this support, the project would have been delayed, potentially sacrificing millions of dollars in opportunities that the more efficient dispatch solution could deliver.
“Flexential has been in the trenches with us when we have been under pressure. The team has offered a level of speed and urgency we would not get with a hyperscale cloud provider,” said Carreno. “They are invested in understanding how we use technology and how they can support that effort to help us deliver real business value.”
This support has also helped ARS move past keep-the-lights-on workloads to focus on the core business and continually enrich the end-user and internal customer experiences.
ARS’ enterprise platform has already been rolled out across 75 businesses, greatly improving efficiency and freeing up its office staff to undertake customer-experience-improving initiatives it previously did not have the time to conduct.
“The Flexential team has been 100% dedicated to our success,” said Carreno. “With a single, high-performing platform across all our branches, we can implement unified operational procedures and KPIs that drive improvements across the company and allow us to better serve our customers.”
“The Hosted Private Cloud - Advanced Access solution will give us the performance, control, and flexibility we need in a cloud environment without running the infrastructure. This allows my team to focus their efforts on projects that improve the customer experience and our profitability.”