David Grimes, CTO, NaviSite, says:

For fast-growth companies, the cloud is a valuable resource to strategically manage and transform their core service and offerings. While the cloud can equip companies with the tools needed to dramatically grow, scale, and advance their operations, companies are often challenged identifying where and how to begin leveraging the cloud.

ConnectEDU, an education-focused platform which helps over 20 million users manage their education and career paths, has used the cloud to transform and dramatically scale in the past four years.  The company recognized it needed a flexible, cost-effective and efficient IT infrastructure that could accommodate seasonal spikes in demand. The company also needed to establish a technical foundation for long term growth.

ConnectEDU began employing NaviSite’s managed hosting and database administration services in 2009. As a leading provider of cloud enabled enterprise hosting and application management services, NaviSite offers a comprehensive suite of customized ‘-as-a-Service’ solutions.  This suite enables companies to reduce the cost and complexity of IT and focus on their true business priorities. In addition to hosting and administration services, ConnectEDU was also looking to leverage NaviSite’s security offerings, strong customer service, and customized architecture.

When NaviSite announced its Managed Cloud Services, ConnectEDU seized the opportunity to leverage the cloud to scale and grow its services and applications.  For example, NaviSite supported ConnectEDU through the launch of its SuperApp, which simplifies and speeds the entire college application process – from gathering supporting documents, such as letters of recommendations and transcripts, to completing and submitting the application. ConnectEDU also saw an opportunity to use the cloud for a planned state-by-state rollout of a new student portal.

NaviSite’s high performance, enterprise-class managed services offering was uniquely suited to address the requirements of ConnectEDU’s IT environment, and helped ConnectEDU:

Scale: ConnectEDU needed to accommodate seasonal demand spikes and continuing customer growth. Once on NaviSite’s cloud platform, ConnectEDU used AppCenter, a web-based management tool, to create its IT environments. This allowed ConnectEDU to quickly build and tear down development and QA environments, as well as ratchet CPU and RAM resources up – or down – to complete performance-related tasks in shorter time periods.

Comply: ConnectEDU needed to comply with federal regulations that govern the handling of confidential student records, data, and credit card information.  All NaviCloud-enabled data centers are SSAE-16 compliant – an internationally recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants- and undergo regular and rigorous reviews of policies, practices, and security measures. This certification enabled NaviSite to work closely with ConnectEDU to ensure full compliance with all regulations and standards. In addition to meeting all regulatory requirements, NaviSite leveraged its highly secure data center and information management practices to ensure all of ConnectEDU’s data was stored in the most secure environment available.

Lower TCO: ConnectEDU looked to the cloud as a more cost-efficient alternative to traditional hosting. By taking advantage of NaviSite’s innovative usage-based billing model, ConnectEDU was able to pay only for the resources they actually consumed, reducing cost by more than 30 percent.

Improve Business Continuity: ConnectEDU required integrated disaster recovery to ensure that applications and data could be quickly recovered.  NaviSite’s MCS platform, with its geographically distributed footprint and enabling technologies such as replication, enable customers to implement disaster recovery as part of their service.  This, combined with a state-of-the-art operations center and a highly resilient service delivery infrastructure spanning multiple data centers, allows for increased efficiency and reduced risk.

By leveraging NaviSite’s flexible, cloud-based infrastructure, ConnectEDU is now positioned to handle continued business growth and ambitiously take on additional business opportunities.

About David Grimes:

As NaviSite’s Cloud Expert, David Grimes is an innovative technology visionary responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s architecture and solutions. He has been instrumental in leading both the design and development of the NaviCloud platform.

Prior to joining NaviSite, David was a lead software engineer at AppliedTheory, where he was a key member of the team responsible for developing the patented content delivery technology DeltaEdge. David joined NaviSite in 2002 through the acquisition of Clear Blue where he was responsible for overseeing all internal and operational support systems. Under his leadership, he led the transition to an in-house platform that resulted in 50% infrastructure cost reduction. David is a graduate of Syracuse University and holds a Bachelors of Science and Masters in Computer Engineering.