iBuildNew was established in 2015 to connect consumers with builders and developers. As a ‘born in the cloud’ company, iBuildNew’s website, applications and services all run on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure. These cloud applications were originally developed and supported by third party IT service provider.
A $2 million investment from RACV in early 2019 gave iBuildNew the support it needed for further expansion, including the opportunity to bring its application development function in-house.
“As the business continues to grow, we need to be more technology-led. Bringing development in-house enables us to react more quickly to market changes and business needs, and to be more innovative in building our own intellectual property,” said Kevin Muchai, Engineering Team Lead, iBuildNew.
While Muchai and his team should be focused on application development, he found that a considerable amount of their time was taken up with making improvements to the existing AWS cloud platform. iBuildNew’s incumbent services provider had been maintaining the platform, but gaps were identified in the service they provided. He also noted that iBuildNew was not taking advantage of new technologies which had been released by AWS in the past two years.
“A quick audit of our AWS platform revealed that there was a lot of room for improvement. We made some changes, but we didn’t have the specialist expertise or the time to focus on the cloud platform itself,” said Muchai.
iBuildNew’s cloud services costs were growing, and the business also faced potential issues as a result of the gaps in the service provided by its former services provider.
“There have been a few instances where I received alerts in the middle of the night and had to urgently fix a server issue. As a web-based business that is 100% in the cloud, we couldn’t afford to be second-guessing what our services provider was doing,” said Muchai.
"A quick audit of our AWS platform by Interactive revealed that there was a lot of room for improvement. We had made some changes, but we didn’t have the specialist expertise or the time to focus on the cloud platform itself."
After reviewing several options, iBuildNew chose Interactive for their cloud managed service needs.
Interactive’s AWS Managed Service provides the monitoring, security, advanced management, help desk and user management required to help iBuildNew extract the maximum benefit possible from its AWS platform.
“We were initially impressed with Interactive’s responsiveness. They were more tech-savvy than most of the other providers we spoke to, and for any questions we had, someone from the Interactive team always replied either the same day or next day,” said Muchai.
“We were also assigned dedicated resources, so there were specific contact people we had at Interactive which would give us continuity of service and someone who already knew our environment.”
Prior to onboarding, Interactive conducted a read-only audit of iBuildNew’s AWS environment, identifying where new technologies could be adopted, servers could be right-sized and application performance could be improved. Interactive also identified bottlenecks across the entire infrastructure and where overall structural changes could be made.
“Interactive identified we could make 30% cost savings on our AWS environment within the first three months alone, mainly by right-sizing our infrastructure and removing orphaned resources,” said Muchai.
"We were initially impressed with Interactive’s responsiveness. They were more tech-savvy than most of the other providers we spoke to."
iBuildNew switched over to Interactive’s cloud managed service at the start of September 2020.
“The onboarding process went really well. There was good communication throughout from Interactive, and they were very open and proactive,” said Muchai.
One of the first actions completed by Interactive was to update and optimise iBuildNew’s critical servers. That alleviated any immediate security and stability concerns.
Aside from the expected cost savings and performance gains that Interactive will generate by optimising iBuildNew’s AWS environment, the major benefit will be to drive future innovation and further business growth. In addition, the infrastructure of their other company, iBuyNew, is also managed by Interactive.
“With Interactive on board, my team has confidence that our core cloud infrastructure is being looked after, which means we can really focus on development. We now have the opportunity to leverage Interactive’s expertise to build our own enhanced CI/CD [continuous integration and continuous delivery] capabilities and bring this all into AWS. That will streamline our processes and reduce the time to production for the rollout of new applications and enhancements,” Muchai concluded.
• Expected 30% cost savings on existing AWS cloud services monthly spend
• Improvements in application performance and responsiveness
• Better protection and security for core services and valuable corporate data
• Access to Interactive’s team of certified AWS architects to ensure ongoing best practice
• Enabling in-house development team to focus on innovation and new functionality