The LOTE Agency Engages WOLK Technology to Migrate to AWS, Grow, and Enable Remote Work
Physical servers rarely provide the flexibility that businesses need to grow. The LOTE Agency (LOTE), an Australian multicultural research and communications agency, previously operated using PCs hardwired to an on-premises server, which limited its agility and required employees to be in the office to complete their work. “The technology was cumbersome,” says David Bartlett, general manager at LOTE. “We didn’t have any real remote access to the server. There was no mobility solution available.”
To improve its agility, LOTE engaged WOLK Technology (WOLK), an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Consulting Partner and AWS Well-Architected Partner, and WOLK used AWS services to migrate LOTE quickly and seamlessly to the cloud. WOLK, which has been on AWS since its inception, uses AWS services to drive growth for its small business clients as well as its own operations.
I’ve been proud to reference our AWS-powered architecture instead of saying we have an old server that we occasionally back up. We’re in a very different position than we were in a few years ago.”
General Manager, The LOTE Agency
Migrating to AWS Using WOLK
LOTE provides multicultural research and communications services to agencies, marketing teams, and businesses. “We primarily service government clients in communications strategies and public relations for people who don’t speak English,” explains Bartlett. “We work with those clients to produce information that is accessible to all Australians.” Working across multiple time zones, the small LOTE team has employees across Australia as well as in the Philippines and the Middle East.
LOTE employees rely on compute-intensive software for their work, which involves video editing, translation, and creating marketing artifacts. However, the company’s on-premises architecture required employees to be on site to access their projects. When it learned that WOLK could assist with a migration to AWS, LOTE chose to leave its outdated system. “We saw an opportunity to develop a more robust architecture that would also enable staff to work remotely,” says Bartlett. WOLK helps clients migrate to AWS, manages AWS services for clients, and conducts infrastructure reviews using the AWS Well-Architected Tool, which helps developers review the state of their workloads and compare them to the latest AWS architectural best practices.
The AWS Well-Architected Tool is based on the AWS Well-Architected Framework, which helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications and workloads aligned with the following key pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization. Although the AWS Well-Architected Framework can be applied to businesses of all sizes, WOLK specializes in helping smaller businesses, such as LOTE, improve their services. “Because we use the AWS Well-Architected Framework and are not scared of putting in a little extra work at the start, it’s a much smoother operation of the AWS environment from the beginning,” says Wayne Hayes, director at WOLK. “We put in the extra mile so that we can reap the benefits later.”
An AWS Well-Architected Partner since 2018, WOLK has built a business that uses AWS best practices. Because of its experience using the AWS Well-Architected Framework, WOLK can run efficient AWS Well-Architected Reviews that are cost neutral for most customers. “Small businesses do not always have extra funds to improve their systems,” says Hayes. “Using the AWS Well-Architected Tool, we can provide enterprise-level security and processes to them.”
WOLK helped LOTE develop a migration plan and used the AWS Well-Architected Tool to enable LOTE’s system to adhere to AWS best practices. Using AWS services, WOLK quickly migrated LOTE to AWS, completing the project in December 2019. “Within 1 week, LOTE’s migration to AWS was finished and functional. We can migrate the majority of our clients to AWS in 3 days,” says James Bettaney, director at WOLK.
Supporting a Global Team Remotely
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses struggled to adjust to remote work, but LOTE transitioned seamlessly using its AWS-powered architecture. “I told the staff not to come into the office one night, and we were still working at 100 percent the next morning,” says Bartlett. “We didn’t miss a beat, and we could only do that because of what we had set up with WOLK on AWS.”
To help LOTE employees securely connect to the system from any location, WOLK implemented Amazon WorkSpaces, a managed, secure desktop-as-a-service solution that can provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe. LOTE employees use Amazon WorkSpaces to access their compute-intensive software programs, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, from anywhere in the world. With the new architecture, the company not only quickly transitioned to remote work, avoiding operational hiccups, but also expanded its small team. “Because LOTE was on AWS instead of physical servers, its team actually grew, and the company is 100 percent bigger now than it was on premises,” says Hayes.
LOTE often works with government agencies and must meet strict security requirements to complete its projects. Using Amazon WorkSpaces, all employees can securely access sensitive data across multiple countries, so LOTE can use international talent without risking its government contracts. “Our multicultural subject matter expert in Dubai can securely work with data that sits in one of our Australian data centers,” says Bartlett. “She does not have to store files locally when we’re working within the AWS environment. This flexibility has helped us expand and grow.”
This secure architecture provides LOTE with an advantage when applying for Australian government contracts. “Because the government requires strict data protection, we often get asked about our security posture,” says Bartlett. “I’ve been proud to reference our AWS-powered architecture instead of saying we have an old server that we occasionally back up. We’re in a very different position than we were in a few years ago.” An automatically encrypted, highly secure infrastructure on AWS differentiates LOTE from its competitors, who might use outdated systems. Thanks to its improved security posture, the agency won a large contract from the Australian government to assist with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Reaping the Benefits of the Cloud
Using AWS services, LOTE can manage a remote workforce and maintain stringent security measures. It has also realized additional benefits. “Migrating to AWS increased our revenue,” says Bartlett. “There’s less time wasted on server maintenance, and we’ve continued our business during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s nice to know we have the support of WOLK on AWS behind us.”
WOLK takes pride in helping smaller companies like LOTE achieve benefits on AWS, and its strategy has helped it grow alongside its clients. WOLK has seen a 400 percent growth in its AWS Well-Architected client base. “In March 2020, we had 25 permanent full-time managed service clients,” says Hayes. “Now we have just shy of 100, adding more weekly, and we can attribute almost every one of those to our AWS Well-Architected services. By involving AWS, we can immediately establish our authority—and it’s amazing.”
About The LOTE Agency
The LOTE Agency is an Australian intercultural research and communications agency. It provides community insights, communication strategies, and engagement programs to help employers, agencies, and marketing teams effectively engage with audiences from diverse backgrounds.
Benefits of AWS
- Secured contract with Australian government
- Increased the size of its team by 100%
- Transitioned seamlessly to remote work
- Securely deployed its system to support its global team
- Completed migration to AWS in less than 1 week
AWS Well-Architected Framework
AWS Well-Architected helps cloud architects build secure, high-performing, resilient, and efficient infrastructure for their applications and workloads.
AWS Well-Architected Tool
The AWS Well-Architected Tool helps you review the state of your workloads and compares them to the latest AWS architectural best practices.
Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed, persistent desktop virtualization service that enables your users to access the data, applications, and resources they need, anywhere, anytime, from any supported device.
Learn more about how you can use an AWS Well-Architected Partner Solutions to ensuring ongoing adherence with cloud best practices, including the AWS Well-Architected Framework.