Founded in 1997, headquartered in India, customer is a leading technology products and solutions company that focuses on accelerating digital innovation – securely and efficiently. Headquartered in India, our customer has earned revenues in excess of USD 115 Million with 100+ customers – 1300+ employees and a presence in 15 countries including North America, Europe, South East Asia and Africa.
Challenges: Need to securely and efficiently run their digital payments and billing platform in UK region while achieving relevant compliances
Our customer’s digital payments and billing platform is one of the most sought-after platform around the world to automate bill generation and distribution. One of their telecom customers in Britain wanted to utilize their billing application for generating and distributing PDF bills to their customers. This process required our customer’s application to securely fetch mobile and landline usage data, user identification details from their client’s datacenter in the UK hosted at AWS, generate the PDF bills as per a selected design language, and finally distribute them to the e-mail addresses of the customers. The key challenges that our customer was facing in executing this solution included:
- Secure transfer of data from the client’s Amazon Web Server: The primary source of data for our customer’s application was the data stored in their AWS server, for which a data channel was needed to be established between AWS and the datacenter hosting the customer’s application. However, the AWS team were unwilling to share the credentials needed to log into AWS to transfer the data due to security concerns. The customer would therefore have to create an alternate way to transfer the data.
- Security, regulation and compliance regulations in the UK: The telecom client was based in the UK and hence our customer’s application, wherever hosted, had to be compliant with their comprehensive security requirements. This included the 10 safety commandments laid down by CESG – the UK government’s national technical authority for information assurance. The customer’s chosen on-premise or cloud-based datacenter had to undergo audits to get the required certifications, which could be a costly and time consuming proposition.
- Varying demand: The customer’s telecom client had varying demands which the application would need to be ready to serve. The first 10 days of the month would typically require high application availability and processing as this is the typical billing cycle. At other times, the load on the application could be low. The customer therefore wanted a solution that could guarantee near 100% availability, robust disaster recovery and ability to quickly scale up and down to optimize resource utilization.
Having identified their key challenges, the customer wanted a solution that would enable them to host and run their application for their customer within the UK region.
Delivered: A secured, compliant, highly scalable Azure cloud based solution
Our customer was already using Microsoft Azure and had partnered with Embee for its implementation and support. Being an existing service provider gave us a unique insight into their requirements and key pain areas for this project. Embee’s existing partnership with the customer as well as our illustrious history of having executed 300+ cloud projects and migrated 300,000+ users to the cloud made us the partner of choice for our customer.
Having closely understood the scope and requirements for the project, Embee understood that the customer required a solution which was compliant to all the data security and compliance requirements set forth by their customer. The solution further needed to be able to effectively communicate with AWS to fetch usage data and provide high application ability, disaster recovery, data replication and scalability. Lastly, the cloud platform chosen needed to have a datacenter in Britain.
Embee suggested hosting the billing application on an Azure datacenter in the UK because of robust security and their multiple datacenters in the UK region. Below are some of the salient features of Embee’s solution:
- Building a channel with AWS: Embee worked closely with the customer’s team to build a channel between Azure and AWS to enable secure data transfer. Embee used SQL File Transfer Protocol, DHCP and SSL-based communication to build a secured channel where the AWS team could transfer data without having to share their network details. This solved the customer’s biggest challenge – getting the data securely into their billing application. Multi-factor Authentication has also been implemented at the customer’s end to ensure that only authorized professional can access the application and the data.
- Ensuring Compliance: Choosing an Azure datacenter in the UK was a big boon for our customer. Among all cloud and on-premise datacenters, Azure has the highest number of security validations and certifications. Azure’s built-in features such as built in cryptographic technology, removable media controls, role-based access control, incident management, malware protection, centralized monitoring and infrastructure security ensure that it fulfills all of CESG’s recommendations. Azure has received the UK Government’s G-Cloud certification and official accreditation from the UK Government’s accreditor, making it a viable and the most secure cloud solution.
- Performance and Scalability: Embee configured the customer’s application on multiple virtual machines hosted on the Azure cloud. We further wrote and customized automation scripts to ensure that data traffic could be managed across virtual machines for best performance and maximum system stability. The customer’s application was using SQL for database management, and Embee also configured Azure’s unique elastic SQL feature which further enhanced their scalability. Load balancing and automation scripts configured by Embee for scalability meant that the system could guarantee near 100% availability at any given time moment. This also enabled our customer to optimize asset utilization.
- Disaster Recovery and Monitoring: Embee built-upon Azure’s security and disaster recovery features to provide Geo redundant data replication to our customer, which meant that their data was replicated across the local cloud datacenter as well as in other locations – which ensured that the customer was protected against data loss. Alerts were configured and can now be delivered to the customer’s key stakeholders on their mobile devices or via email, enabling them to take immediate action in case where operations were disrupted.
The production environment was first tested on local servers before moving to the cloud. Embee also provided detailed training to the customer’s existing users for using the new Azure solution. Embee continues to provide support to the customer for Azure solution and billing.
Impact of the solution
The cloud solution implemented enabled our customers to meet their client’s compliance requirements while guaranteeing data security and high application availability for top-notch performance. Some of the benefits provided by our solution include:
- Out of the box data security & compliance: Azure’s competencies in the security of infrastructure and data have been well recognized around the world and it holds the largest number of certifications among providers. Having a pre-approved cloud provider enabled our client to have out of the box compliance, which otherwise could have costed them time and money to first build the infrastructure and then get it certified.
- Secured data transfer between AWS and Azure: Embee’s unique FTP, DHCP and SSL-based technologies enabled our customer to successfully and securely transfer data from their client’s AWS. This was further bolstered with Azure’s built-in cryptography, data replication and multi-factor authentication to ensure end-to-end security.
- Asset Optimization: Embee’s automation scripts allowed the customer to effectively utilize their Azure virtual machines. High loads could automatically be distributed across virtual machines to ensure system stability and the customer had to pay only for the Data Throughput Units (DTU) that they were using – enabling them to get the best return on their cloud investment.
- Simplified Management: The Azure cloud infrastructure is managed and secured by Microsoft’s engineers, meaning that our customer did not have to assign additional resources to manage and monitor the infrastructure. The implementation of alerting mechanism always kept the customer informed on the status and performance of their infrastructure.
Embee is a recognized leading technology partner in India with 34+ years of experience in delivering digital transformation to its 2000+ customers. We are uniquely positioned to empower businesses to be more with Cloud and Datacentre Technologies enabling them to leverage the latest resources on various cloud platforms while optimizing costs, through application modernization and serverless computing.