CASE STUDY

Kahua turns to Sungard AS for security and availability best practices

Whatever you’re building, collaboration is essential.

That’s the maxim of Kahua Inc., a rapidly growing provider of project management workflow and collaboration platforms to the construction industry and other organizations. It also applies to the strong partnership of the Georgia-based company and Sungard Availability Services, which manages the essential security of Kahua’s massive database, providing colocation services, among other duties.

With a small IT staff handling all customer data and the security requirements, Kahua needs a strong managed services provider whose IT professionals can serve effectively as an extension of Kahua’s team. Partnering with Sungard AS, Kahua provides its highly complex Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering to its customers with a high level of security and availability.

Security is critical and Sungard AS delivers broad expertise – including proactive warnings of cyber security issues they’re detecting elsewhere – as well as other enhanced services essential to Kahua.

Its co-founders, who have started and sold several other technologybased companies, had regrettable experiences with technology partners in the past. Frequent hacking attempts, unresponsive customer service and requests unfulfilled for days or weeks are just a few examples.

Partnering for business solutions

In the summer of 2013, Kahua began looking for a robust hosting partner, with a vetting process that took six months. “We needed a high-quality colocation vendor,” says CEO and co-founder Scott Unger.

Kahua turned to Sungard AS for managed hosting services in a colocation environment. In addition to colocation, Kahua executives recognized the additional value that Sungard AS could provide for availability and security. Kahua expects security compliance to continue to become increasingly important as it expands business into government and healthcare markets. PCI compliance is also critical with credit card information as part of its operations.

“The value Sungard AS brings us for security and availability best practices is unrivaled,” says Unger. Sungard AS also offers the international data center presence that Kahua sought based on plans to expand its platform globally.

Kahua appreciates the close communication that Sungard AS delivers. “We feel very involved. During the data center build out, they shared the internal documents that their engineers used,” recalls Jeff Albertine, Network Administration Director. “They said, ‘Come join us; see the team.’ We truly work in partnership.”

Kahua’s PaaS cloud offering recently went live in the new Sungard AS hosted environment. The migration went so smoothly that Albertine and his team received no tech support calls from customers. “We called our own tech support number to make sure it was working,” he says.

One recent Friday at 5 p.m., Kahua officials realized they quickly needed extra bandwidth to serve customer demand, going beyond Kahua’s existing contract with Sungard AS. “Our service delivery contact said, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll make it happen now,’” notes Albertine. “With our previous vendor, we would have had to put in an order and wait days.”

Sungard AS furnishes state-of-the-art security protections, including Alert Logic* advanced security tools with 24/7 security monitoring, which can identify malicious behavior and questionable network patterns originating both inside and outside Kahua’s network and collects and archives log data relevant to its security, among other services.

Results

While Kahua handles its collaborative PaaS offering, Sungard AS provides it with a high degree of security and hosting and infrastructure expertise; a tailored approach to suit Kahua’s business needs; a full suite of IT availability services, including strong disaster recovery expertise important to its business; ongoing collaboration; and hands-on trust and responsiveness.

“Sungard AS is a true extension of our organization,” says Unger. Adds co-founder and President Brian Moore, “With Sungard AS, if we have a problem, they will solve that problem. It feels like we’re one collaborative team.”

“We can’t be experts in everything,” says CEO Unger. “We want to be experts on our platform, so we leverage Sungard AS for their security and network consultative experience to assist us with our highly complex environment. This is truly a strategic partnership.”

Business benefits for Kahua, Inc.:
  • Availability and security best practices with professional and seasoned security expertise
  • Ability to scale operations up and down as needed
  • International reach to support global expansion

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