EVENT Uses Stax Cloud Management Platform to Cut Costs by 30% and Give Moviegoers a Better Ticketing Experience


Australia-based technology company Stax specializes in helping enterprises move to the cloud quickly and cost-effectively. Launched in 2015, the company has 200 customers across three continents, from fast-food chains to Australian Securities Exchange Top 20 organizations. An Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner, Stax provides a feature-rich, secure cloud management platform that customers use to deploy applications to AWS. This platform provides a prefabricated, AWS-endorsed architecture for a multi-account cloud environment with segregated account access. It also offers solutions for account creation and management, AWS network management, workload deployment, and actionable, real-time insights across cost, risk, and compliance.

In 2021, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited (EVENT)—parent company of Event Cinemas—Australia and New Zealand’s largest movie exhibitor, engaged with Stax. EVENT, which also owns hotels and Australia’s number one ski resort, was running its IT operations in a hosted data center. This presented limitations when scaling to support spikes in online ticket demand for major movie releases. Peter Bourke, director of IT at EVENT, says, “New releases drive booking up to 20 times higher than normal. We often ended up oversubscribing compute capacity, which was not cost-effective because we didn’t have to use it at times.”

The company’s data center environment also made it difficult for EVENT to innovate. “We used traditional enterprise technology that required a lot of hardware maintenance, and we needed to modernize our architecture,” Bourke says. “We wanted to move to the public cloud to lessen our dependence on physical servers and be more elastic and flexible.”


By using the Stax platform, we were able to deploy a uniform architecture for all four groups. That was very important for us because it took away the risk of diverging as different teams moved various workloads to AWS.”

Peter Bourke
Director of IT, Event Hospitality & Entertainment

Achieving Complex Migration in Under Six Months with the Stax Platform

After choosing AWS as its cloud technology provider, EVENT was introduced to Stax. “We asked AWS to recommend a partner that could provide management tools to meet our requirements, and Stax was the best fit,” says Bourke. “Stax provides foundational and account management capabilities but also helps with cost management and compliance monitoring. It’s a package of integrated functionality that I haven’t seen in other standalone solutions.”

EVENT used the AWS-native Stax cloud management platform—which leverages AWS primitives—to accelerate the migration of 142 SQL servers to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). EVENT also uses Elastic Load Balancing to automate scaling and the distribution of incoming application traffic.

EVENT leveraged Stax to accelerate a complex migration that included four separate business units. “These are very different businesses, with different transactional and digital platforms. By using the Stax platform, we were able to deploy a uniform architecture for all four groups,” says Bourke. “That was very important for us because it took away the risk of diverging as different teams moved various workloads to AWS.”

EVENT completed its migration in under six months by relying on the Stax platform. It then established cloud foundations over several days. “Once we decided to move out of our data center, we wanted to improve our architecture as fast as we could. We also wanted to be ready with the new solution by the time cinemas reopened following lockdown,” says Bourke.

Driving Down Costs by 30%

By relying on Stax to streamline processes and optimize cloud costs, EVENT has reduced its operating expenditure by 30 percent since going live on AWS. The business leverages powerful, granular, actionable insights into cost and compliance from Stax, including recommendations for cost optimizations. “The important thing isn’t just the decreased costs, but the increased value we can provide,” says Bourke. “We can offer better services, such as business continuity and disaster recovery, that meet modern expectations. For example, it only takes us a few hours to carry out disaster recovery testing, instead of a few weeks. This is very important for risk management.”

Scaling on Demand to Support 20x Increase in Traffic

EVENT can now easily scale its loyalty database, alongside its online and onsite cinema ticketing and concession platforms, ensuring a reliable experience for customers. High availability is critical for EVENT, especially when ticket demand increases twentyfold during a new movie release. “We can manage spikes easily on AWS, and this enhances our customers’ overall experience,” says Bourke.

He continues, “It can be difficult to keep a website performing efficiently when new movies launch. Other website providers can’t support the demand, and their sites slow down or fail. We just stay up on AWS.”

Focusing on Core Business and Spurring Innovation

By running on AWS and leveraging Stax to manage the fundamental aspects of cloud management like maintenance and security updates, EVENT can spend more time on its core business: operating cinemas, hotels, and other ventures. “By moving to a modern architecture on AWS and with the ongoing maintenance, support, and reporting from Stax, we don’t have to worry about managing our IT environment. Stax also keeps our cloud environment evergreen. This allows us to focus more on our apps and customer experience, instead of procuring and maintaining hardware,” says Bourke.

This increased emphasis on its core business is helping EVENT drive continuous innovation. For example, the company recently launched a service-to-seat offering, so moviegoers can order food from their mobile devices and have it delivered directly to their seats.

Bourke concludes, “Nobody wants to buy new solutions to experiment with when things don’t work some of the time. That would impede innovation. Using AWS, we can try new things and delete the code if it doesn’t work. That flexibility will help us continue innovating.”

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About Event Hospitality & Entertainment (EVENT)

Event Hospitality & Entertainment is Australia’s leading entertainment, hospitality, and leisure company. EVENT owns the largest cinema circuits in Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, and it owns, operates, and licenses over 70 hotels. In the leisure space, EVENT operates Australia’s number one ski resort, Thredbo.

About Stax

Stax is a unique native AWS Cloud management platform that provides the consistency, confidence, and velocity customers need straight out of the box. The platform is purpose-built for AWS and is designed to eliminate cloud complexity, reduce time to market, provide visibility, and optimize costs.

Benefits of AWS

  • Migrates key workloads to AWS in less than 6 months
  • Lowers operating costs by 30%
  • Scales to meet 20x web traffic spikes
  • Delivers a more reliable customer experience
  • Completes DR testing in hours instead of weeks
  • Launches innovative new features for customers

AWS Services Used

Amazon Relational Database Service

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

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Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets and virtual appliances in one or more Availability Zones (AZs).

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