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Six Degrees' Enterprise Cloud propels travel industry service provider 7r Group out of the technology trenches

Six Degrees’ Enterprise Cloud solution is supporting travel IT solution specialists, 7r Group, to innovate and grow their business by delivering a flexible and cost-efficient IT infrastructure, with the necessary support that allows them to remain focused on their core business.

7r Group is a market leader in the supply of cloud-based solutions to the travel industry. This British owned and managed company services the Travel Management Company (TMC) market, which is comprised of travel agents that help organisations gain control and visibility of business travel booking and spend.

Originally established in 1998 to provide, implement and maintain IT services, 7r Group now delivers unique cloud-based solutions for both travel agencies and the organisations they support. 7r Group provides proprietary systems to help TMCs improve efficiencies, reduce operating costs and provide unique selling points to differentiate their client’s business. 7r Group also provides advice and direction on IT infrastructure, systems design, implementation and maintenance to support their clients’ cloud-based solutions.

Challenge

As 7r Group has grown, it has diversified its portfolio: from supporting legacy hardware and maintaining physical sites, through to delivering a completely hosted model. It became apparent that the company either needed to invest in drastically expanding its IT headcount, or find a trusted provider who could support them in continuing to provide leading solutions for the travel industry.

Expanding the team was not viable given the small size of the company. So, 7r Group sought a partner who could provide the infrastructure to facilitate the development of their services. This partnership would position 7r Group’s business so as to avoid the upfront costs of a Capex IT delivery model, while also leveraging the flexibility and agility of an Opex model that would support any changing demands as the company continued to grow.

To deliver 7r Group’s vision of creating the most innovative offerings for TMCs, it was critical that the infrastructure provider with whom they worked prioritised constant evolution of its solution by using industry-leading technology.

Mark Ruttledge Director, 7r Group

Meet the client

"Over the years, I had become an honorary member of the IT team; dealing with the daily issues because we were stretched so thin, but since beginning work with Six Degrees I can get back to thinking innovatively about the big picture items that are important to the company."

Solution

Three factors made Six Degrees an ideal fit for partnering with 7r Group: the comprehensive solution Six Degrees could deliver that encompassed a broad range of products and services, its investment in cutting-edge technology, and the company’s expertise within the consulting services market.

Beyond those capabilities, Six Degrees already provided trusted services to many of the industries in which 7r Group already worked. Both companies were able to strengthen relationships with existing customers, and 7r Group could leverage the brand recognition that Six Degrees had established in order to secure new business opportunities.

To support the growth of its business, 7r Group selected Six Degrees’ Multi-Tenant Enterprise Cloud solution. Six Degrees provides two cloud platforms, one for 7r Group’s IT Management Support network and one to host their ‘7rOpenBook’ Customer Reporting product. These platforms give 7r Group flexibility to manage their cloud resources and scale upwards and outwards whenever they need to and only pay for what they use.

Six Degrees’ Enterprise Cloud is delivered on resilient platforms in state-of-the-art Tier III aligned data centres. This allows 7r Group to control its storage and compute environment without the hassle of having to build and manage its own platform - Six Degrees does this for the company, whilst providing instant support 24x7.

As 7r Group’s business processes and strategies evolve, Six Degrees’ expert technical staff ensure that it receives the most from its cloud environment with a suite of modules that provides additional functionality and incremental security and backup features as required. For example, 7r Group uses Six Degrees’ Backup as a Service, delivering peace of mind through ensuring there is no loss of critical business data.

Benefits

By using Six Degrees’ Enterprise Cloud solution, 7r Group has been able to:

• Successfully diversify its portfolio of services
• Grow its customer base without increasing headcount
• Maintain and increase profit margins

The managed service that Six Degrees delivers allows 7r Group to focus on its core business objectives to innovate and improve the services that it offers to end-user clients, as well as giving them the flexibility required as their business grows.

Additionally, Six Degrees’ Enterprise Cloud has allowed the company to improve its testing of new technology prior to launch. 7r Group’s staff no longer need to spend time undertaking manual system testing and rollback to previous versions. They are now able to update a live customer environment and test the new features and functionality, with the reassurance of knowing they can revert to a previous iteration of the software if necessary, all within a 30-minute window.

“Working with Six Degrees has enabled us to get out of the tech trenches, so to speak,” says Mark Ruttledge, Director at 7r Group. “Over the years, I had become an honorary member of the IT team dealing with the daily issues because we were stretched so thin, but since beginning work with Six Degrees I can get back to thinking innovatively about the big picture items that are important to the company.”