Great to speak with you, Greg! Can you start out by telling us about AC3 and what you all do?
Sure. So our go-to-market strategy is about cloud, infrastructure, data, software integration, and cybersecurity management. We can help you on your journey from a consulting phase about a new project, or during a migration into the cloud, all the way through to managing that on an ongoing basis. We provide managed services, cybersecurity expertise, day-to-day operations, cloud infrastructure builds, software development, and everything in between.
It requires us to really understand the client’s business. For us, it’s really all about enabling technology to solve business problems.
What’s your role at AC3?
My role is Principle Practice Lead, I look after all of the practices which include AWS, Azure, systems integration and management, and two up and coming practices: software and data, and cybersecurity.
How many customers do you all have?
About a thousand. That’s about a 50/50 split of customers using AWS or Azure, and customers in private cloud. And that’s across both government and private organizations and all sizes.
Are most of your customers in your general geographical area?
Yes. Most of our customers are Australian or New Zealand based.
So of your customers that are using AWS or Azure, how far are they into their cloud journey?
It’s a very varied mix. We have everything from mid-sized agencies that have been running WordPress environments and need help with customizations, all the way through to large enterprises and governments. Where they are in their cloud journeys can vary greatly.
For some, we’re starting with a lift-and-shift and then kind of unraveling some of their workloads to see if we can start making use of native services. For others, there are workloads that we’re looking after or were built that are completely serverless. For example last year we built a completely serverless data lake for New South Wales Spatial Services.
How did you start using ParkMyCloud?
I personally had a particular need to solve a resource scheduling problem, so I checked out some MSP software options for scheduling and then jumped in and used it. ParkMyCloud had a simpler interface compared to some of the other products out there, and got the job done. It was an easy model to understand and consume, and it wasn’t going to cost an arm or leg. I liked that the pricing wasn’t based on percentages or anything complicated.
And then it kind of just started to snowball from there. We’ve got more and more customers using ParkMyCloud, and we’ve started to integrate it into our monitoring.
What was the specific use case that got you looking for a solution?
The customer wanted to be able to manage on and off schedules themselves. We have our own internal process that does some of that, but it wasn’t available to customers – there was no interface they could use to create, apply, or override their own schedules.
One customer was saying to us, look, we need to be able to turn it off potentially days at a time as opposed to just a regular schedule. And then sometimes we might want to be able to have it running all week if we’re doing load testing or vulnerability testing or something like that.
So we jumped on board with ParkMyCloud and signed this customer as a bit of a proof of concept. They were really happy with everything. They were able to schedule everything, group things together, and it made perfect sense for them from there.
Now we have many more customers using ParkMyCloud, and have hooks inside our internal monitoring system for ParkMyCloud so we can keep an eye on everything.
Has it saved you or your team any time to hand off the scheduling to the end-users?
Definitely. By being able to give end users control, they’re able to drive how and when they have things and can turn them on and off on an as-needed basis.
Before, one of our engineers would have to understand the problem, talk to the customer, grab those requirements, put it into a ticket, go in and put the scheduling into our system, test it to make sure that it worked, and close that ticket. Now it’s a completely different team that can take care of that – a team that is more customer aligned rather than the support team. They can just spin up a new account for ParkMyCloud. The automation takes care of hooking it into the AWS account with the right roles, etc., and the customer gets an email to get started with and they’re off and away.
Do you have any other feedback about your and your customers’ experience using ParkMyCloud?
The ParkMyCloud team has been really responsive which helped me integrate the product with Google’s suite for SSO. When we’ve raised suggestions, the team has been responsive supporting those initiatives and we’ve seen some of them come to fruition.
We also appreciate that the interface is easy to use and the pricing model is simple. It’s just really easy. That was the big key thing for us. There are other solutions and MSP software offerings out there that can do some sort of scheduling. But what tends to happen with these tools is that they end up doing many things and they don’t do them well. Software providers do better when they remember their original core focus and stick to that.
Thanks so much for your time, Greg!
Learn more with the full case study: Managed Services Provider AC3 Automatically Optimizes Customers’ Cloud Environments with ParkMyCloud.