Client Case study: Moving to the cloud


Who are VisitorPoint?

VisitorPoint are a tourism industry marketing company specialising in the distribution of travel brochures placed in more than 2,000 locations around the country.

 VisitorPoint Limited.png


Ryan Howard, Managing Director of Both Brains says the company ran its own data centre as a private cloud. “We hosted some of our clients’ applications and data in our facility, including those of VisitorPoint,” he relates. “However, as an IT service provider, we were running into the same problems the cloud is meant to solve for end-users.”

Those problems included capacity, the necessity for enterprise-grade hardware and security, and the overhead of managing and maintaining software licensing and hardware support.

With hyperscale services like those on offer from Microsoft Azure, Howard says the economics of it just weren’t stacking up.

“We checked the market and satisfied ourselves that we could shut down our data centre, move to Azure and benefit from reduced cost and management overheads. And we could do all that while delivering an even better service to our customers.”

He adds that moving away from the ‘hands on’ aspects of running a data centre means Both Brains can focus its attention on meeting customer needs. “That’s huge. And with Azure, you pay for compute per second, which makes it a seriously appealing prospect for seasonal businesses or those with fluctuating demand.”


The migration also had to make sense for the company’s clients; while on paper, it was always going to look good, there are practical implications in migrating services confirms VisitorPoint systems manager Kelly Harland


“The really good news is that it turned out to be so simple we barely noticed.”


Playing in its favour, Harland says VisitorPoint has long accepted the advantages of cloud over on-premises computing to meet the company’s technology requirements. “We’ve got a main ERP system integrated to a custom mobile application used for recording merchandising activities, and a custom online ordering system for trade outlet orders. These all feed into the database which talks back to our website, providing reporting to our customers.”

 VistiorPoint Brochures .png

"We’d successfully used Both Brains’ own data centre with all of our office-based team members coming in via Microsoft Remote Desktop Services [RDS], so we were very familiar with the cloud concept,” Harland explains. “When Both Brains opted for the migration to Azure, we easily recognised that this is a good thing with multiple benefits for our company.”

While considerable background work went into the process – Howard says around 60 hours was required, rebuilding 6 servers and moving a terabyte of data – the actual migration was practically invisible to VisitorPoint.


“It just wasn’t significant for us; Both Brains made it seamless by doing the work over a weekend. About the only thing we had to do was move from an old RDS Both Brains had to rebuild for us. Apart from that, it was just business as usual.”



The benefits of being on Azure are strikingly similar for Both Brains as the service provider as they are for VisitorPoint the end-user: scale, security, geo-redundancy, and service granularity are all part of the package.

“From our perspective, we can increase and decrease our technology requirements as necessary. Maintenance can be done from anywhere. And as a growing company, having endless headroom without being bound by hardware is reassuring,” Harland confirms.

Relieved of the burden of managing and maintaining a data centre is one thing, adds Howard. Quite another is the removal of the necessity for his company to constantly invest in costly equipment and licensing. “Our cost of service delivery therefore goes down, while the quality of the services goes up. Microsoft spends a billion dollars a year on security, so there is a high degree of confidence in Azure.”