Employers Council deploys Flexential cloud and DRaaS to ensure the availability and data integrity to serve its members without interruption
For more than 80 years, Employers Council has cost-effectively assisted its member organizations with their complex human resources and employment law needs. Its team of licensed attorneys and certified, experienced HR professionals provides a broad range of specialized legal services, training, coaching and outsourced HR services to help organizations build and maintain exceptional workplaces.
Downtime impacts customer service
When David Dickinson was hired as the chief information officer for Employers Council, he immediately conducted a thorough evaluation of the company’s IT department to address frequent unscheduled downtime. The assessment revealed several other issues as well. Employers Council was running end-of-life hardware and expiring maintenance contracts and to upgrade those would require significantcapital investment. This put the organization and the integrity of its systems and data at risk. Employers Council needed to move into an environment that was more dependable and provided 24/7 serviceability, security and disaster recovery. They pursued a cloud and off-premise solution that would provide reliability, serviceability and meet their current and future business demands.
“Our business stops when we have an outage,” said Dickinson. “Without access to our CRM systems, we don’t have any historical information on our members. This limits our ability to support them.”
The organization also wanted to shift to a more structured, state-of-the-art, best practice managed services model that would allow them to focus on strategic IT initiatives. As a result, Employers Council opted to deploy a cloud solution.
Pairing of cloud and DRaaS promotes availability
Employers Council engaged Silverlane, a managed service provider (MSP), to help it evaluate cloud options. Silverlane introduced Employers Council to Flexential. Employers Council toured Flexential’s Denver – Englewood data center and met with its team, including the account executive, leadership, and members of the implementation and technical teams. Seeing the data center and its robust protections offered Employers Council confidence in the security of the solution. This was heightened by Flexential’s personal approach to partnership which helped build a trusting relationship. Employers Council had also evaluated a major cloud provider that conducted virtual meetings that lacked opportunities to view its infrastructure and made it more difficult to build a strong relationship.
“Flexential really heard our issues,” said Dickinson. “My leadership and I never felt that we were being sold. We felt Flexential had a vested interest in the success of our business, not just the success of their own. We never had any concerns about entrusting our IT infrastructure to them.”
Employers Council migrated its full infrastructure to Flexential’s Denver cloud node with assistance from the Flexential Professional Services team. The cloud implementation was nearly flawless, beginning on a Friday night and finishing Saturday afternoon—36 hours ahead of schedule. Dickinson credits the successful migration to the planning, frequent communications and extremely competent team that was involved in the process.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years,” said Dickinson. “This is the cleanest implementation I’ve ever been involved in. Flexential did whatever it took to get the job done. They worked weekends with us and even late into the evening. One of Flexential’s technicians was on the East Coast, and there were times we met at 9:00 p.m. MT, which was 11 p.m ET. That was never an issue.”
Flexential’s multi-tenant cloud provides Employers Council with a resilient, highperforming location to run its applications and store its data. To ensure Employers Council has rapid, reliable access to its members’ account information, the Flexential network utilizes redundant, automatically rerouted connections ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. This service is backed by Flexential’s 100% network and bandwidth uptime commitment.
Employers Council also created a disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution to ensure its data, applications and systems are always available. This fully managed solution utilizes Flexential’s Recovery Cloud and offers low recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPO) to minimize data loss. This solution also integrates nightly system backups, replacing Employers Council’s inconsistent backups that took 36 to 48 hours to complete.
Employers Council focuses on strategic initiatives to deliver more value to members
The migration to Flexential has been extremely impactful for Employers Council, replacing its outdated, undependable on-premise environment with a high-performing, highly reliable cloud solution. Since migrating to Flexential, Employers Council has not had any outages—a fact that provides its IT team and leadership with tremendous peace of mind. The DRaaS solution and nightly backups add to this confidence.
The customer-centric relationship has also continued to strengthen. “Flexential has a secret sauce that works,” said Dickinson. “It’s the quality of their people, the culture they create and the teamwork. They care about our business, even though we’re not their biggest account. Flexential is truly an extension of my own team.”
The scalability of the cloud also supports Employers Council’s expanding needs. Since deploying its cloud instance, Employers Council has added 20% more virtual machines (VM) and expanded its space. “I was able to add eight terabytes within minutes with a simple phone call,” said Dickinson. “That makes my life exponentially easier.”
The organization expects to continue to grow its cloud environment, bringing over new applications in the near-term as well as a new CRM and some new financial systems down the road. The cloud provides the elasticity Employers Council needs to seamlessly address these new requirements without procuring hardware.
Today, without the responsibility of managing its infrastructure, Employers Council is able to dedicate more time and resources to digital transformations that support its members’ needs. One area of focus is data analytics. Employers Council can now create data pools and data warehouses to collect and analyze information that can drive proactive decision making. The ability to focus on these business-enabling projects will continue to allow Employers Council to improve the services it offers its customers and build a better business.
“The availability of our CRM system is key to providing our members with the high level of service they expect from us. Flexential ensures our IT environment is always up, so we never let our customers down.”