Interview with Adrian Tschannen, CEO Cent Systems AG
Mr Tschannen, how important is IT for Cent Systems’ core business and success?
IT is a key factor for our company’s success. IT enables us to automate inbox processing (input management) and keep manual work as low as possible. This is more cost effective than having clients do it manually themselves.
Why did you decide to switch to the cloud?
Our clients require a geo-redundant secondary system to ensure system availability. For Cent Systems, the question was: How much is geo-redundancy going to cost us?
A separate solution was out of the question for cost reasons. Maintaining a second system would have been far too expensive and financially unjustifiable.
So, we decided to look for service providers who could offer geo-redundancy. Cent Systems is much too small to have its own system, thus the shared cloud model was clearly a good fit for us.
There is also the fact that our company processes sensitive personal data, and we guarantee our clients that all data processing and management will be carried out exclusively in Switzerland. This means that we had to find a suitable cloud provider who could guarantee these things as well. With this ‘Swiss Cloud’ criterion, we narrowed down our options to four providers, and ITpoint was one of them.
A very important criterion in our evaluation was partner flexibility. In terms of flexibility, ITpoint outperformed the other providers by a lot. During the proposal phase, the people at ITpoint indicated that they would be flexible with their managed services, and they have proven themselves over and over again. It’s really impressive. They are also able to respond to our special requests quickly and competently.
Other providers were quick to turn down our request for flexibility on the grounds that it would force them to sacrifice system stability. ITpoint offers both: they’re very flexible and very stable. I don’t know how they do it, but evidently, they can. We have had nothing but good experiences.
Sensitive data in the cloud, managed services from third parties—how does that work for your clients?
Our contracts with ITpoint ensure confidentiality. Data protection and the involvement of third parties is sometimes an issue for our clients. But there is just no way around it, and our customers see that too. Geo-redundancy was their main requirement. Thanks to ITpoint, we now have a solution for this, and geo-redundancy is no longer an issue.
How is it going after one year?
Infrastructure outsourcing has proven very effective. Not only did it solve the issue of geo-redundancy at a manageable cost, it also provided a very professional and efficient solution for the operation and maintenance of the entire IT infrastructure.
And, thanks to the flexibility of ITpoint’s managed services, we only pay for what we use. The costs are charged based on components/subcomponents, everything is very transparent and financially feasible.
Finally, looking back is there anything you would have done differently?
No. If everything could be fully mapped out on paper, perhaps you could save on some costs because you’d know exactly which services are needed. But with such a large project, that’s just not how it works. In reality, not everything works according to the Waterfall method. That’s why we’ve made the right choice by choosing a flexible and cost-transparent partner like ITpoint as our infrastructure partner.