Azure Case Study: Optimized Operations

Case Study

Optimizing Operations in Azure to Enable Construction Business Growth

Optimizing Operations in Azure to Enable Construction Business Growth

Building a Future in the Azure Cloud

Armada Hoffler Properties (AHP) was ready to move away from physical data centers and into the cloud. The company would use the transition as an opportunity to completely redesign its IT infrastructure using Azure services to become more agile and efficient. AHP developed a strategic focus that called for cost optimization, improved security, and manageability, with a critical focus on a reliable and consistent mobile workforce experience. With the help of SoftwareONE consultants, AHP recast its IT environment in Azure. It addressed both technical and business challenges using AzureSimple. The Azure solution design optimizes cloud spend, satisfies reliability and mobile workforce requirements, and improves IT staff efficiencies. The transformation supports current and future business needs while improving security, and using the Azure environment to ensure scalability with the flexibility to grow. Operating in Azure has also reduced infrastructure complexity and expense while providing ongoing cloud support through SoftwareONE AzureSimple services.

Armada Hoffler Properties Logo

Anthony (TJ) Masters

“I can't say enough about the professional execution of this project. It’s an in-depth process that required responsive collaboration and constant communications among all the participants. Our CFO was extremely pleased that such a major transition was carried out while production operations continued without interruption.”

IT Director, AHP

The Project

  • Customer: Armada Hoffler Properties (AHP)

  • Industry: Commercial Construction

  • Solution: AzureSimple incl. Azure advisory, migration to Azure Cloud, and continuous cloud support

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About the Customer

Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc. (AHP) is a full-service real estate company with extensive experience developing, building, acquiring and managing high-quality, institutional-grade office, retail and multifamily properties in U.S. markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Through Armada Hoffler Construction, the company also provides general construction and development services to third-party clients, in addition to developing and building properties to be placed in its stabilized portfolio. The firm is committed to consistent Quality, Service, Flexibility, and Business Integrity.

The Challenge

AHP administers a range of industry-specific IT capabilities, including construction cost analysis, remote site survey reporting, and Building Information Modeling. Also, mobile applications and communications are critical to managing project schedules and costs.

AHP’s systems had become inefficient and complicated. Mobile operations had become a severe challenge. A move from a physical data center to the cloud was expected to gain a more reliable IT and consistent remote site operations. The upcoming renewal of their colocation contract became a catalyst to examine the next steps to modernize their IT capabilities.

The Solution

After in-depth planning, AHP and SoftwareONE developed a detailed Azure Cloud and software management strategy. The plan would improve and modernize the IT environment with allowances for future growth.

AHP applications were recast in Azure using SoftwareONE AzureSimple to address both technical and business challenges. The Azure solution encompasses all related products, services, and applications. AzureSimple services take advantage of SoftwareONE cloud expertise to reduce onboarding friction while providing tools to optimize cloud spend, and provide support for Azure workloads.

The AHP engagement was carried out in three structured phases: Cloud Advisory, Cloud Build, and Cloud Migrate.

Their new Azure cloud environment enhances AHP agility and efficiency while providing a more reliable and consistent mobile workforce experience with improved communications and collaboration efficiencies. From strategic focus to security and cost efficiency, the transition accomplishes all of the critical business objectives that were initially specified by senior management.

The Result

  • Cloud Transformation: Using AzureSimple support for AHP’s cloud transformation IT operations in Azure are optimized to enable continued business growth.

  • Individual User Efficiencies: New VPN technology, combined with Office 365, has improved, simplified, and stabilized the environment, including a reliable and consistent mobile workforce experience.

  • Critical Business Criteria: AHP’s strategic focus has been satisfied in support of current and future business with flexibility to grow within the Azure environment.

  • Staff Productivity: The move to Azure from in-house and colocation operations has enabled AHP’s small IT staff to scale their services and address rapid business growth.

  • Data Security: The Azure cloud environment improves systems and data security, and simplifies regulatory compliance, including a Disaster Recovery plan using BackupSimple.

  • Expense Trimming: As the new cloud environment is fully implemented, costs have begun to decrease. The expectation is that costs will continue to come down or equalize as the full transfer is completed.

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