Tomlinson Real Estate Group is an online marketing partner and real estate company within the Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group. With 1,200 employees in sixteen offices throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, Tomlinson is Coldwell Banker’s third largest online real estate marketer and the thirty-fifth largest overall in the United States.
Tomlinson recently began several initiatives to enhance customer experience and improve responsiveness to cyclical business demands. These initiatives include expansion into mobile platforms, cloud computing, and digital document indexing. In addition, the company plans to create “remote” office environments that will give agents and customers more effective access to real estate markets.
The core of Tomlinson’s business is its websites, which frequently host 5,000 to 10,000 domestic and international visitors. These visitors regularly interact with up to two terabytes of data. As such, the company had to secure a new IT environment that could further its initiatives while continuing to support heavy web traffic.
Faced with these challenges, Tomlinson recruited cloud computing solution specialists 2nd Watch to help the company move from a regional co-location facility to AWS. The migration, which included over forty individual websites, only took six weeks to complete. James Ferguson, Vice President of Technology says, “AWS offers a better product at a more competitive price than a co-location facility or an on-premise solution provider.”
By harnessing the ease of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Elastic Load Balancing, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Tomlinson reduced the complexity of its infrastructure, thereby making it easier to manage. The company also relies on the monitoring and backup features of AWS, which were not available through its former hosting environment. Combining AWS management tools and stringent security simplified Tomlinson’s infrastructure. “The solution enables us to focus on our core strengths and marketing initiatives while still providing rock-solid applications and servers for our customers,” says James Ferguson, Vice President of Technology.
Since leaving the co-location facility, Tomlinson indicates that it reduced its capital and operational expenses by 47 percent per month. Equally important, the company now transfers data at an unlimited rate of speed-- instead of being restricted by the five MBPS (megabits per second) limit imposed by the co-location facility.
Armed with the stability and flexibility of AWS, Tomlinson is taking actionable steps to reach its goals. CEO Bob Tomlinson says, “AWS provides the best security, data services, and nationwide reach of any provider. The ease of use, scalability, ongoing system and software updates--all without having to constantly buy or update hardware and software--makes AWS an easy choice for our company, now and in the future.”