Case Study: Professional Engineers Ontario chooses CentriLogic to Simplify IT Infrastructure Management

The licensing and regulatory body for professional engineering replaced four vendors with CentriLogic and is achieving end-to-end management and support of critical applications and systems.

PEO_logoOrganizations today are looking at IT infrastructure partners that deliver end-to-end solutions, taking a load off of overworked IT staffers and often providing better service than they can deliver on their own. Zico Sarmento, Acting Director of Information Technology with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), wanted to simplify the organization’s infrastructure vendor and outsourcing strategies in 2015. Sarmento’s first goal was to consolidate all IT outsourcing activities to a single vendor with a goal of reducing complexity and risk.

PEO had no less than four vendors handling its IT hosting business prior to October, 2015, including a prominent global hosting provider along with separate providers for Internet connectivity and device management. Even with all those companies in the mix, PEO, which licenses Ontario engineers and regulates engineering practices, still couldn’t outsource all or even most of its application hosting needs. The organization’s previous managed hosting provider could support only Windows applications, leaving PEO to internally host and manage its Oracle and Linux systems with a six-person IT staff.

Worse, PEO’s vendors caused periodic outages to production systems when they made changes or performed routine updates. The vendors also didn’t alert PEO when systems were running slow or were unavailable during work hours due to such updates. That complex and unreliable hosting environment wasn’t a great fit for PEO, which has a growing membership of more than 80,000 individual license holders and 11,000 interns and authorizes more than 5,000 businesses to offer engineering services. PEO wanted to push the bulk of its internally-hosted systems to a reliable third party firm, to free up time and resources for the development of enhancements to its core services.

“We wanted to work with a provider that could handle our full stack and we also wanted to reduce our vendor footprint,” Sarmento says.

He was also looking for a provider that would give PEO better flexibility. Previous vendors didn’t make it easy or quick to procure additional space and capabilities when PEO needed it.

Partnering with CentriLogic to improve coverage and simplify IT operations

Sarmento issued an RFP, evaluating seven vendors and ultimately selected CentriLogic as his organization’s primary hosting partner. He noted that CentriLogic’s competitive pricing, high standards for certifications and professionalism and ability to execute based on reference interviews were important factors. The contract with CentriLogic, signed in October 2015, replaced all four of PEO’s previous vendors. CentriLogic was also instrumental in helping migrate the PEO environment from those vendors to its data centers in the Toronto area.

Current and predicted benefits of CentriLogic

PEO’s migration to CentriLogic was complete by October 18, 2015; since then, infrastructure hosting costs have dropped by roughly 40 percent. Beyond better economics and more inclusive hosting, which now covers 95 percent of PEO’s IT environment, Sarmento notes that the new relationship has been positive for everyone: “My team really enjoys working with CentriLogic because they are so customer-service-oriented and knowledgeable. We had just a few minor glitches during the migration and overall the environment has been extremely stable and reliable.”

Sarmento is looking forward to working with a partner that can support future initiatives adeptly and without delay. PEO is running at about 4 percent growth in license holders annually. Sarmento has ambitious plans to move away from a largely paper-based work environment to one where technology will enable most of the daily processes. “We will need a lot more horsepower and infrastructure capabilities to do that, and I am confident that CentriLogic will help us meet our goals every step of the way,” he says. “With our previous providers, we were often on our own. Now we hope to have a true partnership, where CentriLogic can come to us with ideas and guide us in making good decisions.”