A cloud provider in it for the long haul.
“We live and breathe off what’s in our data centre,” says Rob McDonald, founder, president and CEO of Apps Transport Group. “We get hundreds of calls an hour for pickup requests, tracing requests, customer service issues, driver communications about where they are and what they’ve done, and more. Our whole network runs round the clock. If the system disappears, it’s just like turning the lights off in a room with no windows. You’re completely in the dark.”
Once a two-truck, two-employee operation, Apps Transport has come a long way since it opened in 1985 in Woodbridge, Ontario. Now a nationwide, award-winning company with a fleet of more than 200 trucks and 400 employees, and boasting decades-loyal customers that include some of the world’s largest retailers, food distributors and industrial suppliers, it’s safe to say that Apps Transport knows how to stay ahead of the game. “It’s a very tight, competitive industry,” says Rob. “What sets us apart is we’re a lot more flexible and customizable.”
But when their private cloud solution started to threaten that flexibility, Rob and his infrastructure manager, Paul Cloutier, knew they needed a better solution—and fast.
Rob McDonald, founder, president and CEO
Paul Cloutier, Infrastructure Manager
Years ago, Apps Transport moved their enterprise resource planning system from an on-premises solution to a private cloud to avoid power outages, fires and floods, but the company kept growing. “We needed all our offices to connect all the time,” says Paul, “but the private cloud environment wasn’t always up when we needed it. It would randomly cut off one to four times a day and be down sometimes for over an hour.”
“One hour of downtime takes us many hours to catch up,” adds Rob. “Once you’re back online, you’ve got all this backlog of information to go through plus all the ongoing stuff. Every department has to catch up including our drivers, our dispatchers, customer service, billing, IT. Everyone. It was not sustainable.”
Data sovereignty also became an issue with their cloud provider. Much to Rob and Paul’s surprise, they found out their cloud provider had moved their data to the U.S. “That kind of thing is concerning,” says Paul, “because we don’t know if it would be subject to U.S. laws.”
Ultimately, Rob and Paul’s declining confidence in their cloud provider also delayed their adoption of Microsoft 365, a cloud-based app that gives users easy access to their Microsoft Office programs from anywhere on any mobile device, driving greater productivity and collaboration, especially on the go. “That is something we knew we wanted to get to,” says Paul. “We had considered it, but wanted to wait because of the complications.”
When it came time to choose a new cloud provider, Rogers was on the list to be contacted. “For me personally,” says Rob, “there was a level of comfort and familiarity with Rogers. We used Rogers as a cell phone provider over the years, and the fact that they were a fellow Canadian company also played a role.”
However, it turned out there was no need for Apps Transport to reach out to Rogers. “They just beat us to the punch,” says Paul. “Rogers called us directly. They then engaged all the correct parties on their side, and the rest is history.”
Rob and Paul’s confidence was substantiated because Rogers approached them more like a partner rather than simply a provider, offering an impressive level of flexibility. “Rogers was very good at breaking down all the potential costs versus all the potential savings,” says Paul, “but they also made a big difference on the technical side. For instance, we have a strong reliance on Citrix, so we need our provider to be highly knowledgeable in that area. Rogers worked with the right people to ensure that. They were also very skilled in managing the migration from one data centre to another.”
However, migration was not without its challenges and required creative solutions. “Thankfully, Rogers and their partners were able to come up with different tools that we didn’t know were out there,” says Paul.
The benefits of switching to Rogers Private Cloud were immediately noticeable. “Stable connectivity was something we saw the very day we went over to Rogers,” says Paul. “That was dramatic, and it’s been consistent. Before Rogers, we wondered whether we’d have the technological toolsets to grow the business. Rogers clearly understood that. Now we have room to grow.”
Apps Transport has also adopted Microsoft 365 as a result of their new relationship with Rogers. “The reliability is exceptional,” says Paul. “That has been the number one benefit of it so far. We haven’t had to deal with Exchange servers having issues or distribution groups not receiving documents. We also added the advanced threat protection for our email, and as a result, we’ve had a considerable reduction in phishing scams, malware and spam.”
“We look forward to a long-term relationship with Rogers,” adds Rob, “and hopefully a growing one.”
To learn more about Private Cloud or Microsoft 365, speak to your Rogers account representative or visit rogers.com/businesscontact.