FieldCore, a GE Company, Drives Innovation in Business Operations Through Automation Using AMS Accelerate
The global industrial field services company FieldCore, a General Electric company, needed a cost-effective way to migrate its operations to the cloud at scale. Because operating in the cloud was new to FieldCore, the company didn’t have enough qualified in-house cloud operations personnel to keep up with cloud demand and operational responsibilities, and it wanted to free its current teams to focus on business objectives. FieldCore turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and chose AWS Managed Services (AMS), which provides operational excellence in the cloud for customers and partners. FieldCore became one of the first users of the recently launched AMS Accelerate operations plan, which enables both new and existing workloads and extends existing customer teams with scalable operational capacity and skills across monitoring, incident management, security, patch, backup, and cost optimization. Using AMS, FieldCore was able to establish 24/7/365 cloud operations for its customers, realize considerable cost savings, and leverage automation to achieve consistent security, compliance, and operational best practices across their cloud portfolio.
AMS empowered us by providing flexibility and control over how we want to run our cloud operations.”
Enterprise Infrastructure and Solutions Director, FieldCore
Rebuilding Business Operations in the Cloud Using AWS
With operations focused on the power-generation sector across six continents, FieldCore sends teams of experts to maintain and support about one-third of the world’s electricity generation. The company formed in 2017 as a merger of two General Electric legacy field services businesses, and it now includes more than 10,000 experts involved with approximately 100,000 mobilizations yearly. Originally, FieldCore ran its legacy systems in colocation centers in Tampa and Atlanta, but it found that existing hardware and the complexity of providing global 24/7 support made it difficult to meet the expectations of stakeholders. Also, manual patching was time consuming, with a high risk of potential human error. “We were unable to focus on delivering continuous business value and innovation,” says Sriram Iyer, enterprise infrastructure and solutions director for FieldCore. “So we had to reimagine how we wanted to operate in the cloud.”
Automating operations and deployment was a new concept for FieldCore, and the organization wished to maintain best practices in cloud-based infrastructure from the outset. To automate the installation of monitoring, automatic remediation, configuration rules, and other services, FieldCore used AWS CloudFormation, which lets businesses model, provision, and manage AWS and third-party resources by treating infrastructure as code. CloudFormation templates serve as the blueprint to configure the AWS resources that define FieldCore’s infrastructure, such as the number and type of instances of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which delivers secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload. FieldCore’s onboarding took about 2–3 weeks. “Onboarding AMS was smooth and fast,” Iyer says.
Saving Costs and Driving Innovation Using AMS
FieldCore benefits from the 24/7 cloud operations coverage of AMS, which Iyer calls “one-stop shop support.” By using AMS, FieldCore gained consistent coverage, including on weekends, and when issues arose that were outside the scope of solutions managed by AMS, the AMS team provided support to help FieldCore teams resolve outages. “What we really liked was the seamless transition that happened from one shift to the next shift,” Iyer says. “Bottom line: AMS brought in the subject matter experts when we needed them.”
Using AMS also helped FieldCore upgrade its enterprise vulnerability management capabilities by using automation to cut patching cycle time by over 50 percent. Automated patching successfully helps prevent human errors and improves FieldCore’s compliance level to greater than its own internal requirement of 90 percent. For incident detection, FieldCore uses AMS to operationalize security with more than 150 security guardrails and compliance checks. AMS proactively detected and remediated 55 percent of the company’s security cases before they were even aware of the issue. To further empower FieldCore’s current operations team, they will leverage AMS GameDay exercises to prepare for security incidents such as responding to a ransomware attack.
FieldCore’s AMS cloud service delivery manager helped FieldCore identify and launch activities to optimize AWS usage and minimize cost without compromising capacity or performance. For example, FieldCore saved 10 percent by rightsizing its Amazon EC2 instances, matching instance types and sizes to workload performance. FieldCore was able to save additional cost through adjusting its use of Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), a scalable, high-performance block-storage service designed for Amazon EC2. Amazon EBS provides multiple volume types divided into two main categories: solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs), with a default volume type known as General Purpose SSD (gp2). Following the recommendations of AMS, FieldCore migrated from the default gp2 volumes to gp3 volumes, saving 21 percent by using the latest generation of general-purpose SSD-based volumes. “Our cloud service delivery manager provided recommendations to optimize our AWS usage and cost, and then helped us achieve the savings” Iyer says. “This is to make sure that we get the most out of the investment.”
Focusing on Innovation in Business Solutions
Using AMS has extended the capacity and cloud skills of FieldCore’s IT team and freed them to focus on using their digital capacities to drive business outcomes. FieldCore plans to bring additional workloads into AMS, such as its Field Execution Platform, which streamlines operations focused on quality and safety in its field services business. The company also plans to develop proactive and preventive monitoring of its payroll systems, using alarms to notify its teams and help prevent service downtime through the use of automated remediation. Overall, FieldCore continues to look at ways that automation can help drive innovation, treating data as an asset that helps generate valuable insights from a holistic picture instead of using data silos. “AMS empowered us by providing flexibility and control over how we want to run our cloud operations,” Iyer says.
With operations focused on the power-generation sector across six continents, FieldCore is an industrial field services General Electric company that sends teams of experts to maintain and support about one-third of the world’s electricity generation.
Benefits of AWS
- Established 24/7/365 operations support and infrastructure incident management
- Cut patching cycle time by more than 50%
- Proactively remediated 55% of security cases
- Improved compliance level to greater than 90%
- Drove innovation through use of automation
- Saved 10% by rightsizing Amazon EC2 instances
- Saved 21% by migrating from gp2 to gp3 volumes
AWS Services Used
AWS Managed Services (AMS)
AWS Managed Services (AMS) helps you operate your AWS infrastructure more efficiently and securely. Leveraging AWS services and a growing library of automations, configurations, and run books, AMS can augment and optimize your operational capabilities in both new and existing AWS environments.
AWS CloudFormation lets you model, provision, and manage AWS and third-party resources by treating infrastructure as code.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 500 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.
Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS)
Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is an easy-to-use, scalable, high-performance block-storage service designed for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).
Organizations of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses and delivering on their missions every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS journey today.