Business challenge

Stonetales Properties acquired a competitor that was running their applications on Microsoft Windows and x86. They needed to migrate those applications to IBM i and upgrade their older hardware to prepare for growth in their real estate portfolio.

Transformation

Stonetales Properties worked with IBM Business Partner CD Invest to both migrate applications from the acquisition off of Microsoft Windows on x86 and upgrade from older Power Systems hardware to IBM i on the latest Power Systems S924 in the cloud.

Results

Grew

from 90 to 200 buildings in their real estate portfolio

Consolidated

from 3 systems to 1 central POWER9 system

Centralized

data to give employees access from anywhere

Business challenge story

Scaling Up After an Acquisition

Stonetales Properties is a real estate company specializing in property management. They have over 200 apartment and cohousing buildings in their portfolio. The company must make sure all real estate is accounted for and in compliance. Any issue with a property must be addressed quickly and accurately to maintain their high level of customer service.

Recently, Stonetales Properties made a key growth move for their company by acquiring a close competitor. This immediately grew their real estate portfolio of 90 buildings to over 200 after the merger. Stonetales knew that an IT transformation was in store to both handle the increased workloads and data from the additional real estate and integration of additional business applications. They began to look at their IT infrastructure landscape to see what must be done.

The competitor they acquired was running their business applications on Microsoft Windows and x86 servers. Stonetales knew this would be an issue as they started on the merger process. They needed to be able to integrate and consolidate the acquisition’s business applications with their environment on IBM i and Power Systems. A migration of these applications off Windows to IBM i would need to take place.

Stonetales was also running their current applications on an older version of IBM i and Power Systems. They knew that in addition to migrating the acquisition’s applications off of Windows and x86, they needed to upgrade to the latest version of IBM i and Power Systems to improve performance and scalability to handle the additional workloads after the acquisition. The company also needed a centralized cloud solution to give their employees the ability to access data from a remote real estate site on-demand to stay productive and address any issues quickly to remain in compliance. This transformation needed to happen quickly after the acquisition.

Transformation story

Upgrading and Centralizing on the Cloud

Stonetales Properties started working with IBM Business Partner CD Invest and IBM Champion for Power Systems Koen Decorte to plan the upgrade and consolidation of their IT infrastructure after the acquisition. The company both migrated the business applications of the acquisition off of Microsoft Windows and x86 servers and upgraded their existing environment to IBM i on Power Systems S924 in a cloud hosted by CD Invest. The centralized cloud environment would give their employees the ability to access key data needed to complete jobs at remote property sites. It would also save their IT team from having to manage multiple systems that weren’t integrated.     

The migration was fast and smooth, and only took a month to complete after the close of the acquisition with no downtime whatsoever. Jeroen Decorte, IT Director at Stonetales Properties, says “Thanks to CD Invest, we had a smooth migration of three systems to just one central system”. CD Invest provided the needed support throughout the transformation process. The new integrated IBM i and POWER9 environment would be much easier to maintain, as basic IT tasks are automated and streamlined.        

CD Invest also helped Stonetales Properties to build additional new applications on IBM i to improve their customer service and streamline processes for their property owners. They created unique user IDs for every property owner and an online portal for them to be able to log in to see legal documents and job statuses on their building. Previously, there was no such application that allowed properties owners to do this. CD Invest build these new applications using Free Format RPG and open source languages like Node.js on IBM i.

Because of the consolidation to one centralized IBM i on POWER9 environment, Stonetales Properties was also able to integrate job numbering into a single application. This would give them the ability to link individual job statuses back to the application, meaning that property owners can quickly view them from an email. The new application and emails would be linked to each other. This would greatly streamline multiple tasks for both employees and property owners.

Thanks to CD Invest, we had a smooth migration of three systems to one central system.

Jeroen Decorte, IT Director , Stonetales Properties

Results story

Easier Data Access for Improved Productivity

Stonetales Properties now has a centralized IT environment that simplifies and improves productivity for their employees. Employees can now access data from anywhere on a remote real estate site to see the status of a job or building issue and take care of it quickly. Before the consolidation, team members needed to be in the office to access key business data, which was a major inhibitor on productivity and being able to take care of critical issues quickly and accurately. Decorte adds, “Because of our new centralized solution, we can access our key business data very easily.”   

Before with their old infrastructure and systems, it was very difficult to see the status of a job in a certain building. Now with IBM i on Power Systems S924 in the cloud, it takes fewer employees to view the status and issues happening in each building within their real estate portfolio, meaning that they can re-prioritize their team to handle the additional properties brought on by the acquisition without having to hire more staff. This saves the company major costs and has increased productivity dramatically. Stonetales also no longer has to do manual backups of their environment, saving their IT team valuable time each day.   

With the new applications built by CD Invest, property owners can easily log in with their unique user ID to view all legal documents and jobs associated with their property. Previously, these documents and other critical information about their property was difficult to access and required a manual request to be made to Stonetales and a search of their system to be completed. Now, property owners can easily view this information at any time and on any device. This transformation has improved customer service and satisfaction of their property owners drastically.   

Property owners also appreciate the ability to receive an email notification about a job on their property and quickly link to the status and information on it directly from the email. This saves property owners time by being able to see job statuses on the go from their mobile device. The migration away from Microsoft Windows and upgrade to IBM i on Power Systems S924 has proven to both transform the way employees and property owners alike access the information they need from anywhere, improving satisfaction and loyalty to Stonetales Properties across the board. The company is looking forward to continuing to grow and scale up with IBM i and POWER9.     

Because of our new centralized solution, we can access our key business data very easily.

Jeroen Decorte, IT Director , Stonetales Properties

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About Stonetales Properties

Stonetales Properties is a real estate company involved in housing marketing, cohousing and sales of properties. The company is committed to quality and personalized service for their customers and property owners. They have over 200 unique buildings in their portfolio. Stonetales Properties is located in Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

Take the next step

To learn more about IBM Power Systems S924, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit https://www.ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/power-system-s924

To learn more about IBM i, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/power/os/ibm-i

CD Invest delivers ICT and business consultancy services to help maximize its clients’ business potential. For more information, visit cdinvest.be