Randstad recruits DSG to connect their business across Asia in the cloud.

As IT Services Manager of global recruitment company Randstad, Chris English knows a thing or two about cloud services. “As our remit is the Asia Pacific region, we have adapted to remote work and the cloud makes this much easier. It was evident we needed to go to the cloud. So, after doing a costing and concept model, we decided to make the change.”

Globally, Randstad is the second-largest HR service provider. Founded in The Netherlands in 1960, it now operates in almost 40 countries worldwide and has been operating in Australia since 1988.

The challenge

“Our main offices are in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Hong Kong. We have just over 1,200 staff regionally. From an IT point of view, we manage systems for all those staff, so we needed a streamlined, workable system. The main issue we had was that all regions except for Malaysia and Hong Kong were on Citrix, and Citrix only ran out of the Sydney data centre. This was too slow as it was over public Internet systems, so we looked at Amazon Web Services (AWS) as an option. “

Chris and his team approached AWS, who recommended partners they thought were capable of facilitating this move to the cloud for Randstad. Ultimately Chris engaged DSG for the Malaysia and Hong Kong cloud migration 3 months prior to them going live in March this year.

As Chris remembers: “We got Data Solutions Group (DSG) in for a chat and we were very impressed by their approach, as well as their knowledge of the environment. Sometimes, a geographical location poses problems but this wasn’t an issue, even though, at the time, DSG were only based in Melbourne and Randstad is in Sydney. As we have staff all over the world, we are heavy users of Google hangouts and video conferencing, and DSG adapted to our technologies whenever we needed them to, and if it was necessary, a team of 2 or 3 of them would fly up to Sydney.”

The process

With such large projects, there are invariably a number of issues that may potentially arise. But for Chris, planning with DSG was smooth sailing all the way:

“We found them really easy to work with. Initially, they facilitated a one-day boardroom session where they did a deep dive into our environment and came up with a plan and outlined what access they needed. Sometimes when you do these things, people come back with the same questions asking for the same documents and it becomes annoying – but these guys didn’t. Their attention to detail and documentation was faultless.

“It was quite a big project, but they held it all together perfectly. Their documentation was so good that when we went to them with queries, they simply pulled out their documents and clarified the points and put issues to bed really quickly. Their transparency, straight talking and good documentation was a massive bonus for us.”

The results

The key benefits of cloud migration for Chris and his team at Randstad are better flexibility and the ability to scale up and down the environment easily.

“Cost wise, it came in about the same as us building it ourselves – but there’s no way we’d have had it built or ready within three months as DSG did. And from a maintenance point of view, we are much better off now. Because the performance was so good, we have also scaled down the services to lower grade – without affecting the performance – which is great.”

Final thoughts?

“The DSG team exceeded all our expectations: the outcome, the performance, their technical knowledge around AWS – they really know their stuff! Other vendors claim to be able to help you move to the cloud, but don’t always come up with the goods. But these guys were amazing. DSG are a smart company and they have a good way about them. There’s a good core team of people, who know what they’re doing, involved the whole way through.

We have initiated other projects since then with DSG as we were so impressed, and there’s always someone different who comes onboard with great expertise. I can’t fault them!”

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  • Cloud Strategy