Readify turns to cloud to help businesses emerge from the storm

By Toby Bowers, Cloud & Enterprise Business Group Lead, Microsoft Australia

Earlier today, we announced the launch of the Microsoft Azure Geo in Australia. This is a landmark moment for Microsoft in Australia, but we’re even more excited about the difference that the new Geo will make to our customers and partners as they transform their businesses in a cloud age.

We’ve been catching up with a number of our partners ahead of the Azure Geo launch to learn how the platform is helping them to thrive in our mobile-first, cloud-first world.

Today, it’s the turn of Graeme Strange, CEO, Readify, an Australian software applications and IT services provider, who has more than 180 employees spread across offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. The firm earned revenues in excess of $32 million in the 2014 financial year and is on track for 20 per cent growth in the 2015 financial year.

For Mr Strange, a culture that allows elite talent to flourish is fuelling this performance: “It’s hard to easily define our ‘technology first’ culture, but some of its key attributes include hiring the best people, trust, transparency and respect while encouraging diversity of thought and flexibility at work,” he said.

Innovation crucial to success

As with many organisations, Readify finds that innovation is crucial to success, with simply managing costs and driving revenue no longer enough to survive in business.

Readify is helping customers to innovate by developing and deploying applications and other software services. The Microsoft Azure cloud is integral to the firm’s service offering and has already enabled it to deliver solutions ranging from e-commerce platforms that support multiple suppliers to Internet of Things platforms.

Projects undertaken to date include helping Laing O’Rourke connect a disparate global workforce, MYOB giving its customers access to financial information on the go, and helping WebJet improve the travel experience.

Readify also sees its role as helping businesses navigate a bewildering array of trends which create challenges and opportunities on a daily basis. These trends include cloud, mobility, social, big data and the Internet of Things.

Cloud eliminates need for large-scale hardware and software acquisition

By moving its business to the Microsoft Azure cloud, Readify has enabled its customers to avoid large hardware and software acquisitions.

“That’s our strength – we walk the walk and reinvent ourselves too,” said Mr Strange. “Cloud is no short-lived fad. Rather, it sustainably changes the way organisations access and consume technology services.

“With the increasing demands of computing resources, I can’t see private organisations being able to achieve the same level of efficiency as public cloud providers,” he said. “If you aren’t in cloud computing as a technology service provider, you aren’t in the game anymore.”

Cloud is no short-lived fad. Rather, it sustainably changes the way organisations access and consume technology services

– Graeme Strange, CEO

Readify previews Australian Azure Geo

Readify’s deep focus on the cloud and existing partnership status prompted us to invite the company to preview the launch of the Microsoft Azure Geo.

Readify shifted some test workloads into the region to confirm the platform was working as anticipated and reported any issues back to Microsoft. “We made the decision early on that we would have multiple people involved in the preview, not only to spread the workload, but because individuals have different focus areas and we could provide Microsoft with better insights about what was important,” Mr Strange said.

During the private preview program for the Australian Geo, Readify has reviewed each new set of services as they come online and applied a simple test scenario to validate that they were working properly. This activity supports Microsoft’s own testing and ensures the services are ready for launch.

Rising interest in cloud from senior executives

Readify’s embrace of the cloud dovetails with rising interest in the model from the CxO suite. “Whereas last year CIOs were cautious about even discussing the cloud, this year they are almost universally adding it into their strategic roadmap and are actively executing plans – in some cases they are bringing those plans forward,” Mr Strange said.

“In addition, as hardware refresh cycles roll around, technical decision-makers are deciding to move to the cloud because it allows them to get out of the hardware management rat race.”

Readify answers pain points

Readify is continuing to broaden its Microsoft Azure services to continue eliminating obstacles for customers and help them seize the opportunities available. They are able to help customers because they use the technologies themselves.

“By using Microsoft Azure to underpin our own business, we’ve identified potential pain points around cloud identity management, network topologies, migration strategies beyond basic lift-and-shift, and the overall business management needs associated with a cloud platform[and] we’ve got pretty good answers now for all of those,” said Readify CIO, Tatham Oddie.

As an example of applying expertise to solve real world business problems, Readify recognised that better access to cloud billing and usage information in Azure EA scenarios could help their own teams deliver more efficient customer outcomes. To make this information securely available to the right people, with useful analysis, Readify built the Azure EA Insights Tool and shared it for free. “We’ve had great feedback from customers already. The tool allows any organisation with an Azure EA to better manage and monitor their consumption of Azure services,” Mr Oddie said.

There’s a technology disruption firestorm swirling all around us and the Readify team sits at its centre – helping customers manage disruption and reimagine their future so they emerge from the storm with a brighter future

– Tatham Oddie, CIO

Readify is also working on cloud-based mobility and touch technologies which help clients interact more closely with customers. Additionally, it’s helping clients use social collaboration technologies, use cloud services without compromising privacy, security and identity and manage legacy applications while modernizing business-critical applications.

“There’s a technology disruption firestorm swirling all around us and the Readify team sits at its centre – helping customers manage disruption and reimagine their future so they emerge from the storm with a brighter future,” he said.

Readify’s focus on enhancing the customer experience across a range of IT services is inspiring, showing that regardless of the shape or size of a business, cloud can drive efficiencies across a range of areas.


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