SoftwareOne case study

A modernised AWS cloud gives Workrate confidence to grow

A server room with blue lights in it.

Workrate discovered that running and managing its own IT infrastructure could be all consuming – it needed a managed service provider to take on that burden so it could focus on business priorities.

“We want to run a security business, not a server business,” says Eelco Wiertsema, the head of security company Workrate. As a fast-growing company that provides physical security for data centres across Europe, Workrate relied on a managed service provider to handle the cloud infrastructure supporting its mission-critical software applications. But, as the company’s workloads and geographic footprint expanded, it needed faster and more advanced support. It also wanted to update its architecture on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to improve speed, efficiency and scalability.

Working with SoftwareOne, Workrate has migrated to an updated environment on AWS that provides the flexibility, reliability and security it needs, as well as more manageable and predictable costs. SoftwareOne’s cloud expertise and managed services ensure that Workrate can quickly resolve any technical issues it might encounter. It can also add or update new cloud capabilities as the company’s needs change. All this has given Workrate confidence that it can meet its ambitious expansion plans in the years to come.

  • 99.97%   

    reliability of environment on AWS

  • 15 minutes

    or less first response  for highest-priority incidents

  • Best practices

    and compliance with ISO 27001 information security standards 

Workrate logo
AWS Cloud
AWS Landing Zone, Application Migration, Managed Cloud Services
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Running 24/7 on-site security for data centres 

Founded in 2003 and based in the Netherlands, Workrate protects data centres across the EMEA region. Its 24/7 services are designed to help customers safeguard their facilities and comply with strict regulatory requirements about who can enter and under what circumstances.

Data centres are highly sensitive infrastructures and require tight on-site security. Since its founding, Workrate has grown from just three people to a workforce of 2,000 employees who control and monitor door access and front desk functions, log visits, check in deliveries and handle other security tasks by using Workrate’s software, called Workstate, for customers at nearly 200 locations. Today, Workrate’s ever-expanding team provides more than 1.6 million hours of security services a year. 

Workrate’s software system acts as a daily activity reporting tool that combines several features into one. It lets security employees log and view daily security checklists and tasks, enables staff to check in shipments, provides a complete company directory and gives staff access to the customer’s list of approved guests (such as engineers). Workrate also operates an internal system, Workmate, which runs HR, payroll, finance, sales and the company staff roster. 

3d rendering of a large data center.

New cloud and managed service demands

The company had long relied on an on-premises server to support the IT systems for its day-to-day business needs. “At first, we only looked after a few customer locations,” says Eelco Wiertsema, Workrate’s Founder and COO. “We could manage with basic tools, like Microsoft Excel, for day-to-day work. But we soon grew and needed dedicated software solutions for both Workstate and Workmate.” 

That meant moving to the cloud in 2020 – specifically, to AWS. It also meant working with a managed service provider that could maintain and manage those AWS services, freeing Workrate to focus on its core business of security. 

But as Workrate’s business continued to expand after the migration – it expects to see revenues of USD 100 million in 2023 – its need for greater flexibility and scalability also grew. It eventually became clear that the company needed more IT support and cloud expertise than its managed service provider at the time could provide. So the company began looking for a new provider to guide it on the next stage of its cloud journey and turned to SoftwareOne. 

Building a new and modern environment on AWS

It was also critical to work with a service provider that could help the company manage its rapid expansion smoothly and easily. With Workrate’s annual growth rate of 20%, that meant identifying and managing the right AWS solutions to reliably support and grow with the company as its needs continued to change.

SoftwareOne was recommended to us by a number of contacts. SoftwareOne understands our business. They are experts in AWS.

– Jonas Hoving, Software Development Lead, Workrate

Using its deep expertise of AWS services as an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner and AWS Managed Services Partner, SoftwareOne conducted an AWS Well-Architected review to assess Workrate’s needs. It built a SoftwareOne Landing Zone with an Account Vending Machine on AWS and migrated Workrate’s systems to the new AWS environment. Among the services Workrate now uses are Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service that provides scalability, data availability, security and performance.

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With Amazon RDS – a collection of managed services that makes it simple to set up, operate and scale databases in the cloud – Workrate has gained the reliability, capacity and scalability it needs to take on more clients and expand into new geographies. Meanwhile, Amazon EKS is critical to Workrate’s operations: it enables containerised services that help the company run secure operations for multiple clients simultaneously.

Since completing the migration, SoftwareOne continues to support Workrate with around-the-clock managed services, which helps to maintain, manage and operate the company’s AWS environment. A regularly provided cost optimisation report helps Workrate identify any potential cost savings from growing AWS cloud usage. All this frees Workrate to focus on its core business tasks and further growth.

Increased compliance delivers confidence

Workrate’s AWS environment now has 99.97% reliability. It complies with AWS security standards and best practices but also with international ISO 27001 information security requirements – this helps Workrate attract new customers.

Our customers are reassured that we use AWS. It helps build trust and belief in our security compliance, and it makes auditing easier.

– Eelco Wiertsema, Workrate’s Founder and COO

Because Workrate’s new architecture is based on the latest reference standards, the company is also able to manage workloads more quickly and efficiently. Another benefit is that costs are more predictable, which is critical as the company looks at continued expansion.

With SoftwareOne as its managed service provider, Workrate now has access to much higher levels of AWS expertise and technical support than before. This gives Workrate confidence that any IT issues can be resolved quickly and new service needs can be met within hours. For the highest-priority incidents, SoftwareOne ensures a first response within 15 minutes or less.

SoftwareOne has been very responsive. We’ve got the rapid support we need. Between them, AWS and SoftwareOne always have the answer. We run a 24/7 business, so our customers notice when a service goes down. But since moving to AWS and SoftwareOne, we’ve had almost zero downtime.

– Jonas Hoving, Software Development Lead, Workrate

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