Like many companies, KPN utilizes cloud storage services, but its storage services were offshore and needed to be moved back to The Netherlands in order to streamline service delivery.
The company utilizes IBM Cloud Orchestrator software to automate cloud and hybrid cloud environments, delivering self-services to customers and creating a digital audit trail of all related activities.
99% reductionin service request and delivery times, from days to minutes
Saves equivalent of 15-20 FTEswhile accommodating 45% growth in data storage demand
Automates all workflow tasksassociated with receiving and fulfilling personalized cloud storage service requests
Business challenge story
Accelerating cloud storage services
Data is the new capital in today’s world; it’s the new economy, according to Royal KPN Senior Technical Product Manager, Jan van Cruchten. “Data is crucial to every application but, just as important, those applications must have the right kind of storage available at the right time.” Increasingly, companies are relying on colocation—moving their in-house data center to a data center managed by a professional information and communications technology provider like KPN. Prior to 2015, KPN was outsourcing its cloud storage services, relying on the equivalent of 40 full time employees in India to provide first line and second line support. The manual ticketing system KPN employed in India meant customers sometimes had to wait five days for their storage-related requests to be fulfilled, often with errors. For instance, it often took an inordinately long time to create new data storage logical unit numbers (LUNs) for a server, mainly because mirroring may have been overlooked or the wrong LUN sizes used. Meeting expectations wasn’t easy, and it often required third line (L3) IT support.
Moreover, the emergence of cloud services resulted in continually escalating expectations for speed and performance. To increase its level of customer service, KPN not only needed to bring its cloud storage services back to the Netherlands, it had to streamline service delivery and eliminate errors. Mr. van Cruchten, in fact, wanted customer requests fulfilled instantly, with the click of a button. Mr. van Cruchten called on IBM Business Partner® E-Storage to help fine-tune the KPN requirements and develop the financial business case for the acquisition of the IBM software. The company remained closely involved throughout the project, helping to ensure deadline and ROI expectations were achieved.
Personalizing hybrid cloud workflows
KPN customers generally operate in hybrid environments, with services both on-premises and within KPN’s cloud and storage hosting infrastructure. IBM Cloud Orchestrator software automates cloud and hybrid cloud environments, delivering self-service capabilities to customers. For KPN, this automation was the key. “We found that IBM Cloud Orchestrator could automate the workflows (expanding LUNs, reverse mirroring, unmapping or deleting LUNs) that the offshore company was performing and deliver standardized processes,” says Mr. Erik Teunissen, Senior Technical Consultant at KPN, who is responsible for implementing and maintaining the IBM Cloud Orchestrator software. Standardization delivers quality and speed of service, with the additional advantage of allowing KPN to build in extra controls, such as management approvals, in the process flows. “The automated process flows enable all sorts of management controls. Depending on the customer and specific requirements, we can build in extra change, cost, and quality controls. And since it is all digitized we also now have a digital audit trail of all the activities.”
Faster provisioning, fewer resources
Within 12 months of implementing IBM Cloud Orchestrator software, KPN achieved a 45 percent increase in its data storage business. Importantly, the company didn’t need additional resources to facilitate that growth. “We were not only able to re-shore the work, we saved the cost equivalent of 15–20 full time employees,” says Mr. van Cruchten. “And because workflow tasks are automated, when a customer needs us to provision storage capacity or has business continuity issues, for instance, we’re able to create a snapshot within seconds or minutes with IBM Cloud Orchestrator, rather than the days it took to send a ticket to India and initiate the service.”<br><br>
KPN B.V. is the largest telecom and IT service provider and the only integrated access provider in the Netherlands. The company, headquartered in The Hague, employs more than 18,000 people.
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