Customer Case Study
CloudFirst Takes American Enterprises International to the Cloud
American Enterprises International (AEI) provides direct sales financing for small businesses. Chris Landowski is not only AEI’s IT Manager, but is also its IBM programmer and developer as well. The applications running on the IBM i/AS400 system are all custom programs written by Chris, including payroll, accounting, contracts, inventory, etc.
AEI is required to have a Disaster Recovery plan as part of PCI Compliance, so they were running two AS400 systems in parallel. The hardware was very old and reaching end of life. Chris was looking into replacing the hardware, but the cost was astronomical. This led him to consider cloud hosting as a viable option.
Chris has been in the IT field for over 35 years but was hesitant to go to the cloud to host his critical systems. He was quite comfortable managing his on-premises environment and was reluctant to give up control. Working with CloudFirst completely changed his mind.
Driven by cost concerns, Chris took the leap. AEI’s production IBM system is now hosted in the CloudFirst cloud. There were a few hiccups with onboarding the system, but he was able to open tickets with CloudFirst through the support portal and then speak with IBM directly about the issues. These were resolved quickly and easily.
Another benefit of having the system hosted with CloudFirst is that if there is any kind of issue where one of the hosted VMs needs to be restored, CloudFirst’s engineers are able to instantly restore back to a previous save point. This was something that wasn’t possible when the servers were physically on premise.
Today, not only is AEI’s production IBM system hosted in the CloudFirst cloud, but several Windows servers as well. This allowed the company to replace of all its PCs with Chromebooks, generating big savings. All told, with the elimination of the need to purchase two new IBM i/AS400 systems, plus maintenance, infrastructure and energy costs, AEI is now saving thousands of dollars a month.
Besides cost savings, Chris himself is now able to focus on the proprietary software projects that are his primary job description. He no longer has to worry about hardware or networking performance issues, and could not be happier with the entire migration, ongoing support, and cloud-hosted solution from CloudFirst.