TotalTrax, Inc

TotalTrax, Inc. is a leading provider of real-time vehicle, driver, and inventory tracking technologies for manufacturing and warehouse operations. Combining patented hardware, software, reporting, along with business intelligence tools, TotalTrax transforms traditional fork trucks into “Smart Trucks” that track vehicle usage, maintenance, load, and location by leveraging the IoT. Eager to scale their business, TotalTrax couldn’t get the support they needed from their current AWS partner. TotalTrax’s Account Manager at AWS recommended a Well-Architected Review (WAR) from another AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Innovative Solutions, that he was confident was a good fit.

A Well-Architected Review is an architectural assessment based upon the AWS Well-Architected Framework to assist in creating a more secure, high-performing, resilient and efficient infrastructure.

“Innovative Solutions is an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, and I would highly recommend them to my customers and colleagues.” – Ryan Quigley, Account Manager at AWS

Once the WAR had been conducted, it became readily apparent that there were serious deficiencies in how their infrastructure was set up. For one thing, security was discovered to be seriously lacking. The Innovative team recommended a complete outline and plan to avoid major security breaches. That plan included automatic updates with Systems Manager, leveraging IAM Access Manager, and implementing a variety of the AWS Managed security offerings that would handle authorization, authentication, protected stores, visibility, and enforcement of TotalTrax AWS environment. Security was not the only area that was examined. Innovative took a good hard look at how best to optimize their cloud costs, suggesting utilizing a Cloud Management Platform (CMP) that would provide more than 550 best practice checks, cash flow protection, and compliance framework checks.

“Going through the project we identified some very large gaps in cost optimization, security, and just overall architecture of the environment.” – Jonathan Prutzman, Account Executive at Innovative Solutions

The Partner Solution

Once the management team at TotalTrax were presented with the WAR findings and recommendations, they came to the conclusion that they just were not satisfied with their current partner. Having Innovative Solutions handle the complete remediation seemed like a logical next step.

As the work Innovative was doing quickly progressed, the differences in style and responsiveness between the former partner and Innovative became obvious to the TotalTrax team. First off, Innovative was quick to answer questions or render support, totally the opposite of their former partner. Often enough they would be agonizingly slow to respond to support requests and questions, making the TotalTrax team feel that they were trapped in a long-term contract with a partner that didn’t care. Aside from that, they insisted on controlling much of the environment that they had built, limiting what TotalTrax could do within their own AWS environment. Finally, it became too frictional for the relationship to continue.

“With our previous provider, every three months or so we would have a totally different team that would support us. We didn’t know them, and they certainly didn’t know us.” – Thelma Marshall, VP of Operations at TotalTrax

It didn’t take long for TotalTrax’s leadership to conclude that Innovative Solutions was a good fit. Innovative offered a wide range of services under their Managed Cloud Services (MCS) offering that would enable TotalTrax to go in the direction they wanted as a business. They were responsive to their immediate needs and, with a deep bench of AWS experts, could help them achieve future business goals. Regardless of the initial cost of waiting out the long-term contract they were locked into, TotalTrax decided to give Innovative the go-ahead to create a totally new AWS environment. Innovative moved to put a dedicated team in place connecting all the players at TotalTrax on Slack, so communication became very clear and easy for everyone involved.

“TotalTrax has clear open channels of communications with all of us at Innovative. An example of this is, TotalTrax was running into Amazon EKS issues, and we were able to pull in 3 or 4 resources on the fly, and got it resolved that same day. They didn’t have to fill out a support ticket and wait for us to respond, they were able to reach out directly to me and we took over from there. Being this open makes us feel like part of their team, and not just a vendor.” – Eli Hills, Account Manager at Innovative Solutions

Hitting virtually every deadline they committed to, Innovative Solutions was then tasked with migrating all their remaining on-premises workloads to their new AWS environment, including their ERP system.

The Results and Benefits

TotalTrax now has a modern AWS environment that addresses security and utilizes a cloud management platform to manage costs efficiently. Savings are projected to be an eyebrow raising 75% of previous costs. Through Innovative’s MCS, TotalTrax has scalability, performance and reliability and a dedicated support team of AWS experts.

The benefits to TotalTrax of working with Innovative Solutions:

  • Gaining total control over their AWS environment
  • Achieving a much higher level of support, with no long-term contracts
  • A dedicated team that truly cares about their business
  • Continuous training and consulting to maintain best practices
  • Proactive cost optimization tactics, including purchasing reserve instances (pre-buying AWS services in bulk representing a 30% savings)
Why Do It Alone

If you’re thinking about building your company’s future in the AWS cloud, let us help you build, manage and optimize your cloud infrastructure. Contact us today to begin a Well-Architected Review (www.innovativewar.com) or to talk about our Managed Cloud Services (www.innovativesol.com/mcs). We use a combination of the right people and automation to proactively manage your cloud environment, so you don’t have to.

Hype Equity

Hype Equity is a start-up technology company based in Rochester, NY that is making waves in the FinTech industry. By crowdsourcing trends on social media and leveraging machine learning to process the mountain of data coming in, Hype Equity can provide important actionable information to investors in real time. Deciding from the beginning that they needed to go completely serverless with AWS. They also recognized that speed to market was essential and that to get there they needed help.

They decided to focus on their core competencies of product innovation, and enlist the help of a managed service provider (MSP) to manage the operation and structure of their AWS environment. At the top of their list was Innovative Solutions.

“Working with Innovative I have a high confidence level. They have a process, structure and for them to execute and deliver services that I don’t have to manage, it frees me up to focus on improving our product. I think of Innovative Solutions more as an extension of our team than a vendor.”     – Travis Rehl, Founder, Hype Equity

Hype Equity’s Challenge

As a casual investor, Travis Rehl, one of the founders of Hype Equity, came up with an idea for an application. What if you could gather all the comments being made online, and break it all down into actionable intelligence about publicly traded equities? Crowdsourcing social media commentary of stocks on what is hot and what is not, could be valuable, and could be a business. He was right. Hype Equity enables its customers to “over hear” the rumors, whispers and social trends related to publicly traded companies. These trends can help identify potential stock price movements before they happen and before anyone else. Leveraging Machine Learning, Travis and his two other partners developed a working proto-type that measures social media in real time. Together they spun up an application with a Python code base. The entire backend of the application is built on AWS Lambda, the database is in Amazon DynamoDB, the app is hosted on AWS S3, and the frontend was built on React.

As more and more people heard about the service, subscriber numbers grew. Soon the volume of business overwhelmed the platform and a down time event took them offline for almost two full days. That’s when they realized they needed to change things.

“If you’re going to use AWS, at some point, you’re going to need help. There’s just too many options to go at it alone. For a startup, the biggest roadblock is scaling, there’s too much to do alone.”     – Chris Mott, Cloud Services Account Manager at Innovative

AWS offers a myriad of cloud based tools for businesses of any size. However, it can be daunting trying to master them without the proper skill set or the time to invest in their mastery. Hype Equity was concerned that their momentum forward would lose steam if they had to redirect their focus to operation maintenance and structure of their platform.

The Partner Solution

Hype Equity then looked for a partner who could leverage the AWS ecosystem. That is when they had a conversation with Innovative Solutions. Nationally recognized as a top AWS Premier Consulting Partner for SMBs and Startups, Innovative had the skills to keep Hype Equity’s momentum going, by taking on the operational part of the business.

Innovative Solutions has been able to lower operational costs, minimize downtime and helped Hype Equity operate more efficiently and securely. By leveraging Innovative’s Managed Cloud Services (MCS), Hype Equity has been able to utilize the right tools to fit their needs. Integrated into MCS are tools like CloudCheckr, which has helped Hype Equity lower AWS costs, or New Relic which manages and remediates projected service interruptions and degradations. Scheduled back ups and other Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (DR/BC) related tasks are handled by Skeddly, and S3 security by Cloud Storage Security. The certified experts at Innovative Solutions have been able to free the team at Hype Equity from managing the day to day of operations, security and infrastructure maintenance and let them get on with building their business.

Results and Benefits

Since partnering with Innovative Solutions, Hype Equity has been able to scale at an incredible rate. Bringing on new clients everyday, from retail investors and AlgoTraders to Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and Financial Providers, exceeding all their expectations on speed and scale. Hype Equity has been able to grow quickly, become operationally efficient, highly resilient, while at the same time optimizing costs. Travis says that Innovative Solutions has increased the company’s momentum by 20% by being released from the operational & structural management of their application to focus on innovating their product. On the horizon for Hype Equity, listening on Crypto Currency.

“After a conversation with our leadership team, it was obvious that Innovative Solutions was the direction we needed to go. They have a process, structure, and they execute and deliver services (that I don’t have to manage), freeing me up to focus on improving our product. I think of Innovative more as an extension of our team than a vendor. It’s been a match made in heaven.”     – Travis Rehl, Founder, Hype Equity

Why Do It Alone?

With Innovative Solutions Managed Cloud Services, you don’t have to be the expert in the AWS universe. There are so many tools, each of them requires a level of expertise that few have the time to master. Time a start-up or small business can’t afford to take, and with one misstep, game over. Speed to market and speed to scale are what prevail in today’s tech world. Let Innovative Solutions be that expert with its Managed Cloud Services to maximize AWS to your company’s fullest potential.

Learn more on how Innovative Solutions can help you build, manage and optimize your cloud infrastructure with Innovative Managed Cloud Services.

Check out our video on Hype Equity

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