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Varde Municipality recommends Automize to other municipalities

Varde Municipality has reaped the benefits of manageable servers

Proper consultancy, financial overview and further training of employees. Varde Municipality got all of this out of the cloud with Automize.

“For some time we had wanted to explore what it means to put a server in the cloud and what it would cost compared to running it at our own data centre,” says Tommy Engholm Jensen, Team Manager for IT Infrastructure & SkoleIT in Varde Municipality.

Consultancy in understandable Danish

“I inquired at my network and was recommended Automize – which the next day was presented by two people. At the meeting with Automize, we experienced something completely new – that is, there were two consultants and they spoke in layman terms, so that we were able to understand what it was all about. We had never experienced that before, and it was a completely positive experience,” Tommy explains.

“Automize convinced us to realize our decision of seriously pursuing the cloud. They presented us with advantages that were easy to see both operation-wise and financially.”

Close cooperation with hands-on training of own technicians

Varde Municipality was facing a major investment in its data centre in the near future, so Tommy and Automize quickly decided that they would go to the cloud. Within a few months, the solution was designed in Azure and the migration engine was set up, Tommy says.

“The start-up process took place in a controlled workshop format in close collaboration between a couple of people from Automize and our own technicians. It went really well. Our people were given hands-on training and knowledge of server setup and selection – the first sample of the Azure environment.”

The price of the first 20 servers blew me away

“We started by moving some of our less burdened servers to relieve our data centre, and none of the users noticed it,” Tommy says.

He adds: “When I saw the price, I was blown away: DKK 300 per server per month! At that price, it makes no sense to have the small servers at their own data centre and with the hassle of backup, servicing, etc.”

Then we took more servers… and saved more money

“Then we moved more servers to the cloud. Right from the start of the project, together with Automize, we had grouped our electronically based system for handling specific administrative tasks and associated servers into three groups: the uncomplicated, the ones with challenges, and the very challenging ones,” says Tommy and elaborates: “We keep high complexity in our own data centre. Right now, we have become more bold in moving medium-complex servers to the cloud. For instance, we have moved our service desk.”

“Today, about 50 of the original 180 servers at Varde Municipality have moved to Azure. And that’s good business,” Tommy states.

“Looking at my average price for a server with license, backup and storage, it previously cost me DKK 8162 per year. In Azure, the corresponding price is DKK 7032 per year or in other words a savings of DKK 1100 per server. And it should be noted that it is just the basic server price without any overhead.”

Financial overview of the administrations

In addition to a low price, Azure also offers brand new opportunities to achieve a financial overview that one can budget with.

“Together with Automize, we have developed a whole new business model for the administrations. In the past, it was difficult to say what it would cost to hook up a new administrative information system. In Azure, you can budget with a fixed price when you embark on a new project,” says Tommy.

Seek experts who can provide real consultancy

It is Tommy’s experience that many Danish municipalities are considering a transition to the cloud. No matter how far they are in their deliberations, he encourages getting expert help in order to get properly started.

“The municipalities do not have internal resources in the departments to know what exactly Azure entails. It requires expert help from the outside – and here I can only recommend that you get a hold of Automize. Here you not only get a lot of sales talk and information, but real consultancy,” Tommy states.

Involve employees – it creates ownership and security

Another request from Tommy is that you should choose a consultant who is prepared to develop the skills of the employees.

“The more the individual employee gets involved, the greater the sense of ownership and purpose. Automize has trained my staff along the way, so they are self-sufficient in the daily operations, e.g. with regard to updates, launching and shutdown of servers and patches for administrative information systems. With new skills in Azure, my staff have gained greater job security – both in their current job and in general.”

 

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Tommy Engholm Jensen, Team Manager for IT Infrastructure & SkoleIT in Varde Municipality

“When you sit in a municipal administration, one really has to know one’s administrative information systems in order to be able to assess when it makes sense for users that we move to the cloud. We have prioritized administrative information systems with low or medium complexity as we undertook a major move towards Azure, ensuring a good user experience.”

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Tommy Engholm Jensen, Team Manager for IT Infrastructure & SkoleIT in Varde Municipality

“We were met by a technician from Automize, who listened to our wishes in terms of management, translated them into something that could be used in concrete terms, explained how all of it should be set up, and explained what savings we would gain from it. That’s consultancy – getting assistance in choosing the right and most appropriate path for us specifically!”

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