Real Estate Institute of Victoria

PropertyData makes its new home in the cloud.

PropertyData is the data and reporting arm of REIV, Victoria’s peak real estate industry body. Servicing over 1,500 real estate agents, PropertyData insights allow subscribers to identify new business opportunities, showcase their local knowledge, and monitor market trends.

Over time, PropertyData found that keeping their data in a traditional data centre was holding them back. David Hall, Online Operations Manager, says, “We recognised that we had a lot of really good ideas about where we wanted PropertyData to go, making it more sophisticated, faster and more modern looking. We realised this would be a lot easier on a cloud platform.”

Challenges

PropertyData were looking for a scalable solution that would create a stable and reliable platform to enable innovation and minimise human intervention. They also wanted to make the best use of their ongoing IT spend, getting more value for their money.

When PropertyData’s sister company realestateview migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS ), Hall was able to see the platform’s ability to integrate with off the shelf products and grow organically. This was ideal for PropertyData.

Selecting DSG to deliver the environment was an easy decision too. “DSG seemed more committed to AWS than the other vendors we looked at. They had a more native AWS approach.”

The biggest challenge was taking internal stakeholders on the journey.

“DSG helped us convince stakeholders that moving to AWS was a good idea. While the PropertyData team was ready to adapt to new technology and the end users embraced the

potential of moving to the cloud, it was still a big change for a business that has been around for 80 years.”

The process

Hall says, “The process went well. We had a three month lead up to the switch over, during which time DSG set up all the infrastructure for us and helped get everything going.”

“DSG made recommendations on how the infrastructure needed to be re-architected and set up to accommodate what we needed. They configured all the infrastructure, all the servers and services and they configured all the various security groups to make sure they were communicating. They also worked closely with our development team to get the applications migrated across and reconfigured to work with AWS services.

“It required a bit of learning from our development team and DSG were there the whole way through to help us and to advise.

“In the past we’ve been through transitions between data centres where we’ve had weeks or months of ongoing issues. With DSG any issues were resolved very quickly, within hours.”

DSG has supported PropertyData post-migration as well. “DSG have also helped us with process changes along the way. With their help we have processes in place to launch new versions of our applications smoothly without the need for outages.”

The results

Hall says that since the migration to AWS, PropertyData’s IT spend has remained on average the same. However, “For that level of spend we have achieved much better value.”

PropertyData has also experienced time-saving benefits. Previously, they relied heavily on people outside their team to deliver application updates. Now, being able to self-serve through AWS, “My team here can now be the ones who press the go-live button. We can do things now quicker than it would have been to email IT and ask them to do it.

“It has saved us hours or even days of back and forth with other people and all the opportunities for misunderstanding and errors that come with that.”

Probably the biggest result has been access to new technology. “Previously it hasn’t been realistic for a business of our size to build new software, but with AWS we can access new software as a plugin.”

As a significantly smaller group than their competitors, Hall says that accessing AWS native technologies has, “Levelled the playing field. We’re able to compete with the big guys.”

Final thoughts?

“The thing that really stood out was that when we were working with DSG’s technicians they were always available and were readily able to assist us. We got the sense that they embrace AWS. They really encouraged us to use AWS best practices and native technologies for the best results.”

Bullets:

  • Designed and deployed a new AWS Foundation
  • Implemented an environment to support current and future requirements
  • Implement a self-healing environment using auto-scaling
  • Refactored the infrastructure layer of the existing on-premise solution to take full advantage of the offerings within AWS
  • Moved the database infrastructure into RDS
  • Ensured that the new AWS hosted solution is Highly Available
  • Services Delivered

  • App Delivery
  • Cloud Migration
  • Managed Cloud