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Pearson Digitally Transforms on AWS


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Pearson is a global provider of educational content, assessment, and digital services to learners and enterprises. Operating in 70 countries and serving hundreds of millions of learners, Pearson provides tools to enable more effective teaching and personalized learning at scale. Pearson is digitally transforming on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Benefits on AWS

  • Saved $5M in 1 year
  • Uses automation to scale products 
  • Containerized applications to increase agility
  • Reconfigured monolithic applications into microservices

"Folks who historically acted as database administrators hardly even touch a database now. They’re doing more high-value work and are enjoying it.”

Ian Wright
Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations, Pearson

Modernizing and Innovating on AWS

For decades, Pearson had legacy, monolithic, on-premises applications and data centers, which inhibited change, were complex to operate, and siloed teams.

In 2012, the company began its migration to AWS. Pearson migrated to AWS to modernize using Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), and Amazon Aurora (Aurora), fully managed by Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

On AWS, Pearson optimizes costs by automatically scaling across a variety of applications, operates more efficiently, and drives innovation in its applications and services.

Case Study: Pearson Digitally Transforms on AWS
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Optimized Costs

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Twice a year, when schools are back in session for the spring and fall semesters, Pearson sees spikes in online volume of 60 percent. After undergoing a cost-optimization initiative within its higher education apps, Pearson’s spending decreased almost 28 percent from $18 million to $13 million in just 1 year.

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Increased Scalability

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Pearson’s products have to scale to serve hundreds of millions of global users. The company realized that automation was key. After investigating how to scale using minimum manual effort, it discovered Amazon ECS, a fully managed container orchestration service that helped Pearson build a clean delivery pipeline.
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Increased Agility

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Containerizing its Windows applications improved the company’s agility and has helped support more innovation across teams. For example, Schoolnet, an application Pearson developed in the late 1990s that enables teachers to create and manage large-scale assessments, found incredible success on AWS. 

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Improved Innovation

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A large part of Pearson’s digital transformation has been its ability to reconfigure its monolithic applications into microservices. Using Aurora, Pearson has decoupled large monolithic applications into smaller components, modernizing its processes and giving the company more flexibility in terms of functionality. 

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Pearson Case Study

Pearson improves the agility of its applications, optimizes costs, increases scalability, and drives further innovation in areas like machine learning using AWS.