ATRIUM addresses the demands of both day-to-day operational property management, and the longer term strategic planning of their wider portfolio, by enabling customers to make more efficient use of their property estate to reduce costs and enhance performance. They provide hosted applications to organisations that manage or own large property estates as part of their solution. Atrium's latest cloud solutions are based on Oracle 11g Application Server Enterprise Edition.
“We do our hosting with Rackspace, who provide the hardware and connectivity, but they don’t have the necessary Oracle support skills for our needs,” said Matt Laing, Business and Software Development Director for ATRIUM Software Ltd.
His initial efforts to find a suitable Oracle consultancy company were unsuccessful. “We had previously tried working with an Oracle consultancy that claimed to do both and offered us a ‘one stop shop’. They had all the relevant training and credentials but were severely lacking in real world experience of Oracle, and didn’t have the proficiency to help us build or support our cloud environment.
The number of site properties running ATRIUM’s hosted solution runs into the tens of thousands, and users include both end clients and their respective supply chain partners, equating to hundreds of system users. However, prior to Manhattan Group’s acquisition of ATRIUM Software, the company comprised just 30 people and was highly reliant on a small number of key individuals to manage and support the cloud environments and Oracle platform.
“What we are doing is quite a specialist area,” added Laing. “Although it’s not an uncommon solution, it does require specialist staff to look after the complexities and anomalies within the Oracle environment, which can only come from real world, hands-on experience at the coal face.”
“DSP brings years of experience about decisions on what to do and not do... They really are true experts.”
ATRIUM Software appointed DSP as its support partner in November 2012, based on its proficient Oracle technical expertise, flexible commercial approach, and alignment of cultures between the two companies.
“DSP brings years of experience about decisions on what to do and not do,” said Laing. “They are a very safe pair of hands. We have joint clients in common, and they have even more experience in Oracle than us, which is saying something. They really are true experts at what they do.”
ATRIUM engaged DSP to provide support services in four key areas:
- On-going Support – Providing Oracle technical support during core business hours, managing major incidents and alerts, and working in conjunction with ATRIUM’s internal support team.
- Database Server – Managing the database creation and maintenance, as well as implementing a robust recovery and backup solution.
- Application Server – Investigated, tested and implemented a cost effective new multi-tenancy Oracle Forms solution, giving ATRIUM control over its individual customer Forms Services.
- Monitoring – Implementation of extensive monitoring and alerting at all server levels, including Windows and Oracle Database resources and processes, Forms, Reports, Discoverer and Apache availability.
As an Oracle Gold Partner, DSP maintains a strong Oracle stack focus. Their expertise across competing database technologies reflects the diverse needs of its expanding client base.
“There are two key things that really stand DSP apart from everyone else,” said Laing. “First, they really do know what they’re talking about, and their technical expertise is outstanding. Second, they are just easy to work with. Their professionalism and positivity makes you want to do business with them, which isn’t always the case with specialists.”
DSP’s services not only delivered benefits to ATRIUM’s solutions and day-to-day business, but also to the company’s in-house support team, who were able to focus their efforts on product development and customer support.
“With the previous Oracle consultancy we appointed, we never even got into live production for our new cloud environment,” said Laing. “With DSP, setting up our 11g environment has been both extremely efficient and cost effective. They are very transparent on their charges, and particularly flexible on how they work with us. They don’t ‘nickel and dime us’, and are commercially focused on our systems in the wider context of our business.”
As a result, Laing and his team have begun to engage DSP on other projects, outside of the existing contractual scope of work. “Because of their expertise, the time and pain DSP can save you is astonishing,” he added. “Oracle can be a difficult environment to manage – particularly setting up a new cloud environment – and they know it like the back of their hand. DSP gives us peace of mind. They are the backstop that makes sure we don’t hit the wall as an organisation. Their insight and hands on experience on problem solving goes far beyond simple technical accreditations.”