Home Services Company

Building data insights and reports by transitioning from on-prem to AWS

An Overview

The Challenge

With 29 brands and counting in the company’s network, they had outgrown their on-premises datacenters. The datacenters couldn’t scale to accommodate current and future acquisitions, and failed to integrate data for reporting, analytics, and user experience. The company lacked the internal cloud expertise necessary to independently choose a cloud service provider (CSP), create the infrastructure, and complete the migration efficiently and effectively.

The Solution

2nd Watch started by initiating a cloud comparison exercise to help the home services company’s leadership compare and analyze CSPs to determine the best cloud destination based on their goals, skills set, and cost. After the company chose AWS, 2nd Watch began implementing an AWS Control Tower to migrate corporate operations. We then built an AWS Data Lake to be used by the company’s brands in the future as a data warehouse. Finally, 2nd Watch migrated their corporate operations, systems, and application workloads to their new AWS cloud.

The Outcome

With a unified data repository, the company is eliminating thousands of unusable reports. Focused on data consistency and reporting, 2nd Watch is helping them build out 50 reports on their own. 2nd Watch is guiding them through the process of getting the data into the data lake, creating the correct ETL, cleaning the data for usability, and then building out the reports. As part of the education 2nd Watch is providing them, we don’t just want to produce reports for them – we
want them to be able to create and run reports as they need them, and as new data becomes available.

01

About the Business

The home services company is a local network of 29 home service brands including Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Molly Maid, Glass Doctor, and Precision Garage Door. Their 4,800 home services franchise companies locally owned across nine countries, and nationally acclaimed. Their website connects customers with the high quality residential and light commercial services available under their business. The company specializes in buying and developing businesses to build a service community that enriches people’s lives.

02

The Business Challenges

In order to improve cost efficiency, ensure business continuity, elevate user experience and business intelligence, and streamline acquisitions, the home services company wanted to migrate off of their legacy on-premises datacenters, and into the cloud.

The company has been operating on-prem with a CAPEX mindset since it was established. With their infrastructure retiring, and their business strategy being stretched with the growing number of acquisitions each year, they needed to modernize. Between multiple datacenters that couldn’t scale, legacy disaster recovery, and dispersed data throughout their 29 brands, they were stuck in an expensive situation that prohibited growth.

Each brand ran their own version of a data lake on the systems they had when they were acquired. Without consolidated data and no way to integrate with the corporate company, they couldn’t develop a unified application and rewards program for customers. Business owners and franchisees struggled to make sense of thousands of complex reports, with most of them being considered unusable.

When the company was supposed to refresh their hardware on 175 virtual machines, they took the opportunity to rethink their infrastructure and what was possible in the cloud. Based on the company being a Windows shop, they originally considered Azure as their CSP. Like many companies, they believed choosing a different CSP would require new internal skills. They also considered Azure based on migration and license funding, and discounts. Without cloud experience, they needed help comparing, vetting, and analyzing CSPs to get the best outcomes during and after migration.

03

The 2nd Watch Solution

When the company selected 2nd Watch as their cloud services advisor, Azure attempted to reintroduce them to an Azure Premier Partner instead of 2nd Watch. This made them question their CSP choice and asked 2nd Watch to evaluate the Azure offer. 2nd Watch completed a Migration Readiness Assessment and CloudChomp Assessment. Based on the assessments, the company realized that Azure did not satisfy their funding requirements. 2nd Watch introduced the Windows Rapid Migration Program (WRMP) to give them a like-for-like comparison between Azure and AWS. Based on cost, speed of migration, and customer enablement, the company ended up choosing AWS.

With an agreed confidence in AWS, 2nd Watch moved the company toward the end goal of cloud migration. Starting with the corporate structure, 2nd Watch constructed an AWS Control Tower as the foundational architecture for the company’s AWS cloud. After they approved the AWS Control Tower and landing zone, we wrote the code and deployed the structure. We started with the company’s headquarters to simplify integration for both current and future
acquisitions. Next, 2nd Watch collaborated with them to create an AWS data lake, and eventual data warehouse. First, we wanted to integrate all of the brand data to simplify reporting, then, down the road, they can integrate their base systems. Finally, 2nd Watch will complete migration of their headquarters into their new AWS infrastructure.

Throughout the partnership, 2nd Watch focused on uplifting the company’s team. We wanted to support their transition from an on-prem culture, and on-prem legacy team, to a cloud-based one. To get the entire organization more comfortable in the cloud, 2nd Watch cloud experts worked side-by-side with them to provide hands-on, real-word education.

04

The Business Benefits

Streamlined and High Value Acquisitions

The company’s modernized infrastructure provides the same benefits any company enjoys when moving from datacenters to the cloud – resiliency, cost, scalability, security, and flexibility. Acquisitions will also be made easier and more seamless for them. If an acquired company is not in the cloud, they now have the capability to migrate them. They can review their applications, know which R (Rehost, Replatform, Repurchase, Refactor, Retire, or Retain) to assign to the company’s applications, based on that R, they know how long it’s going to take them to migrate.

On top of that they can start building migration costs into their evaluation process. Where they may have offered $1 million for an on prem company, they can now factor in the investment necessary to modernize the infrastructure, and offer $750k instead. With a more comprehensive understanding of the cost and resources necessary for modernization, they get a better deal. Not only does it reduce their acquisition cost, but it allows them to acquire and integrate companies faster.

Data Insights and Reporting

With a unified data repository, the company is eliminating thousands of unusable reports. Focused on data consistency and reporting, 2nd Watch is helping them build out 50 reports on their own. 2nd Watch is guiding them through the process of getting the data into the data lake, creating the correct ETL, cleaning the data for usability, and then building out the reports. As part of the education 2nd Watch is providing them, we don’t just want to produce reports for them – we
want them to be able to create and run reports as they need them, and as new data becomes available.

Data availability and self-service reporting empowers both the company and their franchisees with true business value. Now, a customer rewards program can be developed using democratized data on a user-friendly application. Franchisees can see how their business compares to other franchises based on location, size, seasonality, pricing, number of employees, leads, and sales. Standardizing
data across their brands creates a baseline for franchisees to drive greater and higher levels of business intelligence. This cloud native information will have a significant impact in how efficiently and effectively the home services company and their brands make decisions for greater returns.