ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG) Guides Customers Along Each Step of the Cloud Transformation Journey

SCTG is an APN Advanced Consulting Partner and AWS MSP with AWS Competencies in DevOps and Government

Embracing a Technical Foundation for Building a Practice Around AWS

Turing Group's journey began in 2013 when two technical experts with a passion for DevOps and appreciation for automation came together to help companies embrace and realize the technical capabilities of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

“Key to our story is our technical engagement with AWS as a platform from day one,” says Brendan Caulfield, chief revenue officer at ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG) and co-founder of Turing Group. “My partner Eric Dynowski and I both have decades of technology experience as engineers and have a particular affinity for the technology itself, which is what drew us to AWS in the first place. Very early on, we saw the potential for AWS to disrupt IT. The compelling use case for cloud technology and the AWS approach to the technology became a catalyst for us to take a leap and start Turing Group.”

Turing Group’s strong technical roots differentiated the company as an AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partner. Its founders knew the company’s success would be determined by their ability to translate technical capabilities into business value. The company’s goal focused on staying a step ahead of new technology trends and development to help customers align business strategy with technology.

“We put a lot of time into business planning and were always focused on building an overarching AWS services-focused company,” says Caulfield. “When we began, the story that most resonated with business decision makers focused on cost savings, agility, and the broader shift in compute and infrastructure management responsibilities. We began with a fixation on some of the core value propositions that come from a lift-and-shift approach out of on-premises locations and into AWS. For many clients, beginning with the compute, storage, and autoscaling capabilities was mind-blowing and a huge departure from that way compute and infrastructure had been managed. AWS offers enormous capabilities beyond lift-and-shift, but we find many clients today still begin their cloud journey focused on understanding and embracing the basic fundamentals of running on the cloud.”

“Joining the AWS MSP Program and earning that distinction has enabled us to grow our business into what we are today.”

- Brendan Caulfield, chief revenue officer at ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG) and co-founder of Turing Group

Developing a Niche as a Strategic Consultant

As Turing Group grew and matured its practice, eventually becoming an APN Advanced Consulting Partner, AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner, and AWS Public Sector Partner, the company found its niche as a strategic consultant helping customers identify how and where to begin the transformation journey on AWS. While technical expertise still played a massive role in each engagement, the founders shifted their mentality to focus first and foremost on their roles as strategic and management consultants. “When we began, we were in a position to start an engagement from square one with customers to make sure things were architected correctly and that they understood the business impacts,” says Caulfield.

Today, the company defines itself as a next-generation MSP by its ability to help customers execute a long-term cloud strategy and manage the transformation process.

“It’s all about each individual customer journey,” says Caulfield. “For many customers, it still begins by helping them migrate to AWS and showing them the initial value that comes from taking the first steps. We then focus on helping them along the path toward utilizing AWS to meet business needs and objectives, going beyond saving money and increasing flexibility to decreasing time-to-market and increasing their path to innovation. Our goal is to shepherd customers through that lifecycle as a trusted partner and help them take advantage of AWS from step one through a full digital transformation.”

Merging with ServerCentral to Scale and Innovate

Given its novel approach for merging technical expertise and business strategy, Turing Group’s AWS practice, particularly as an AWS MSP, began to scale rapidly. The company knew that to embrace the opportunity in the market wholly, it needed to evolve beyond its initial bootstrapped heritage and scale its practice. “As we started exploring options for growth, one of the first teams we reached out to was ServerCentral, with whom we’d worked closely in the past and had a strong relationship,” says Caulfield.

After initially partnering to support a few clients, ServerCentral and Turing Group quickly found their business strategies and expertise highly complementary to one another.

"ServerCentral takes a holistic approach to IT development and cloud migration that often begins from a managed private and hybrid cloud space," says Caulfield. "Since our goal is always to do what is right for the customer, we found that expanding our capabilities to meet customers where they are and help them strategically migrate to AWS presented a great opportunity. By taking our time with customers coming from different starting points, we can have different strategic conversations around business drivers, key performance indicators, and governance. We can put a different kind of strategic underpinning in place while still focusing on helping customers eventually prepare to take advantage of AWS and drive success."

For SCTG, encouraging customers to jump in and learn along each step of their cloud journey is critical, particularly when embracing a new internal development culture. A core area in which many customers turn to SCTG for guidance is building a culture of DevOps.

“We came to this business with both infrastructure network and development experience and began with a goal to use smarter services from the get-go, such as AWS CloudFormation," says Caulfield. "Our DevOps culture has stayed with us every day and allowed us to not only scale the business, but help our customers understand what it means to build a DevOps practice at a strategic level. We want to collaborate with our customers and help them learn at each stage.”

Taking Advantage of the AWS MSP Program

The company’s MSP practice is evolving every day, with its focus leaning toward providing strategic consulting and ongoing optimization services—such as cost optimization support using services like CloudCheckr and CloudHealth—and driving technology innovation for customers in areas like serverless computing, machine learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT). Caulfield credits the AWS MSP Program for helping SCTG become the MSP it is today.

“The AWS MSP Program has been the biggest transformation factor in our business,” says Caulfield. “I can’t say enough good things about the team and the program. Working to become an AWS MSP helped us solidify the approach we take to the customer lifecycle and transform how we look at the customer lifecycle."

“Joining the AWS MSP Program and earning that distinction has enabled us to grow our business into what we are today.”

Helping Florence Corporation Scale and Transform Its Business Using IoT

Florence Corporation initially came to SCTG with more than 83 years of experience designing and manufacturing secure, centralized mailboxes and mechanical parcel lockers. The company had also created a new business segment built around automation.

The Florence team developed a smart locker system that automates delivery and pick-up processes. Packages are delivered to an available locker by any delivery company and users receive a barcode via email or text that they can scan to open the locker.

Florence developed the initial IoT-enabled locker system but quickly saw that scaling the solution would require cloud transformation services. Florence Corporation knew that IoT had the potential to help it grow the automated locker solutions business and pursue new markets, but the company needed a technical partner to help begin its cloud journey. The company chose to move forward with SCTG.

“I was looking for a technology partner,” says Kevin Fee, vice president of engineering at Florence. “We had many companies who wanted to sell us a service, but we weren’t willing to turn over the future of the business to someone who said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.’ SCTG did not do that. From day one, they wanted to understand our issues and our problems, where we were going, and why.”

SCTG designed an AWS Cloud transformation strategy and managed cloud strategy for Florence to bring the Florence smart locker system into the AWS Cloud. In the discovery phase of the project, SCTG quickly realized that the primary issue Florence was facing with deployed systems was the need to individually log in to each machine to identify the software version and/or to upgrade systems installed in the field. Eliminating this one-to-one requirement gave Florence the initial scalability it desired. Today, Florence can update its software in a matter of seconds compared to the hours it previously took.

In addition to providing managed cloud services, SCTG also scoped out an overhaul of some of the DevOps processes and methodologies used to produce the smart lockers. Upgrading systems to current standards and deploying a series of web tools gave Florence the foundation it needs to deliver 24/7 access to storage both now and as it expands.

SCTG also helped the Florence team embrace the company’s new advanced technology focus to supplement and support its long-term manufacturing excellence.

SCTG delivered a cloud transformation framework for Florence’s manufacturing process. Now, each step of production is tracked in Florence’s managed AWS Cloud environment. Automated tests run as the systems are built, with data stored on AWS. When the tests are complete, a shipping label automatically prints to let employees know the smart locker system is ready to be packed out for the customer. With the data SCTG gets from tracking the manufacturing process in AWS, the company can work with Florence to find even more efficiency improvements.

Following the cloud transformation roadmap from traditional manufacturing processes to running an IoT solution requires a new set of skills, and SCTG has helped Florence and its staff manage that transition from both the technology and strategy sides. Now that Florence has a scalable, cloud-based system for its IoT-enabled lockers, the company is looking into new markets and opportunities beyond their initial vision. SCTG is right there with them, helping to make it possible.

“SCTG has adopted our needs and they’re performing seamlessly,” says Fee. “I don’t view them as outsiders. I treat them as part of our development team. That’s a rare and valuable thing.” Read more about SCTG’s work with Florence.

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Florence Corporation

Florence Corporation needed a partner to help the company optimize its IoT-based smart locker solution and take advantage of AWS. Today, Florence can update its smart locker software in a matter of seconds compared to the hours it previously took.

Challenge

Florence Corporation developed an initial IoT-enabled locker system and knew that successfully scaling the solution and taking full advantage of IoT meant embarking on a cloud transformation journey. The company needed a technical partner to help begin its cloud journey.

Solution

The company decided to work with ServerCentral Turing Group to migrate to the cloud. SCTG designed an AWS Cloud transformation strategy and managed cloud strategy for Florence to bring the Florence smart locker system into the AWS Cloud. SCTG delivered a cloud transformation framework for Florence’s manufacturing process. Now, each step of production is tracked in Florence’s managed AWS Cloud environment. Automated tests run as the systems are built, with data stored on AWS.

Benefit

Today, Florence can update its software in a matter of seconds compared to the hours it previously took. Now that Florence has a scalable, cloud-based system for its IoT-enabled lockers, the company is looking into new markets and opportunities beyond their initial vision. SCTG is right there with them, helping to make it possible.

About ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG)

ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG) offers AWS cloud consulting, cloud-native software development, managed private cloud and hybrid cloud support, disaster recovery, and global data center services. The company is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Consulting Partner, an AWS Public Sector Partner for Government and Education, and an AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP) Partner. In December 2018, ServerCentral acquired Turing Group to form ServerCentral Turing Group (SCTG).

Published November 2019