Freedom Furniture: Why a CloudFlex partnership was a no-brainerTo enable current and future transformation initiatives, Freedom were looking for an IT partner to support a smooth cloud migration. Learn how they leveraged a CloudFlex partnership to achieve their digital transformation.
Freedom Furniture (Freedom) is a major furniture and homewares retailer with 58 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Their aim is to inspire Australians to express their individuality and sense of style in their home.
Over the past two years, Freedom has been driving organisational transformation, harnessing the opportunity to rethink their operating models, drive new growth, and deliver breakthrough value. To enable current and future transformation initiatives, Freedom needed to transition to the cloud. Before embarking on their cloud journey, Freedom was looking for an IT partner to support a smooth cloud migration. Having experienced a false start, Freedom knew exactly what they wanted from their future partner.
- Increased cloud abilities with scalable, pay-as-you-go support
- Agile delivery model optimised resource management and eliminated waste
- Dedicated project manager, who assisted with end-to-end project delivery
The race to Azure
Over the course of 2020, Freedom built a new Azure environment to enable the first phase of their move to public cloud.
The in-house team responsible for the build were relatively new to Azure and as a result, the new environment presented challenges surrounding architecture, security, and ballooning costs month-on-month.
Freedom was undergoing a period of change across the business. With resources stretched, Freedom’s cloud migration was only one of many priorities and required a flexible strategy that was not constrained by concrete milestones. IT Operations Manager at Freedom, Daniel McMartin, said “Internally, we’re really busy. The business as a whole is undergoing a significant transformation, and Information Technology sits in the middle of that, resources were limited.”
Mind the gap
To action a secure transition to the cloud, Freedom recognised gaps in their skillset. Looking to close the gap, Freedom needed the support of cloud experts, with a vision for establishing a long-term partnership that could support their journey.
- Daniel McMartin, IT Operations Manager at Freedom,
A flexible focus
Freedom could not look past Interactive’s flexible delivery model, CloudFlex.
Daniel said, “The CloudFlex offering was exactly what we needed – it made choosing a partner really simple”. Interactive’s CloudFlex agile delivery model allowed Freedom to optimise resource management and eliminate waste. Freedom would work in sprints aligned to their business, providing them with visibility over the backlog of work, as well as full control over the priority and sequencing of tasks. Additionally, the adaptive nature of the CloudFlex strategy gave Freedom the ability to direct Interactive’s support where it was needed most.
"CloudFlex provides us with blocks of time, and each block of time can be spent working on whatever we want. It has enabled us to do a couple of other things when we've been ahead of schedule. One of the network engineers spent a bit of time doing up an SD WAN document for us, which was completely outside the project scope, but it was a huge help to us."
Establishing a foundation
To migrate to the cloud, Freedom needed to grow their Azure infrastructure. The first step of the CloudFlex engagement was to conduct a Cost Optimisation Assessment with a focus on cloud architecture. Interactive then produced a report with numerous recommendations. The report indicated a lack of well-architected compliance, minimal cloud governance, and suggested minor security remediations that will lift the overall security posture of the environment. Freedom agreed that an overall Freedom design standard and governance review was required to setup the Azure ecosystem for future projects and initiatives. This included developing a Freedom Design Standard Document, Tagging Standards Document and Microsoft Well-Architected Report.
A realistic approach to digital transformation
Following a false start, Freedom recognised they needed more than just cloud expertise to support their transition.
Interactive’s CloudFlex service supports the idea that while cloud forms the foundation of business transformation, it’s not the only change required on the digital journey. Providing scalable, pay-as-you-go support, CloudFlex has enabled Freedom to boost their cloud capability, as well as applying multi-cloud expertise to support other technology challenges on their project hit list. CloudFlex also provided Freedom with a dedicated project manager, who assisted with end-to-end project delivery and helped the team discover the full potential and value of every outcome.
Cultivating the right skills
Interactive’s dedicated cloud experts functioned as an extension of Freedom’s team. This allowed Freedom to learn from Interactive and cultivate necessary skills for future cloud endeavours. Daniel said, “Interactive is an extension of our team, always taking the time to transfer knowledge and mentor us. The process has really enabled our team to tackle challenges that could come up down the line”.
Concluding, IT Operations Manager at Freedom, Daniel McMartin, said “Interactive has been a great extension to our team, helping to provide expertise in specific areas that allowed us to deliver cost-effectively in a condensed timeline with improved quality.”