Supporting a growing data footprint with bespoke capacity and second-to-none service
Industry: Information Services
Solution: Data Centre, Infrastructure
In February 2016, global information services company Equifax closed its acquisition of Veda, Australia and New Zealand’s leading provider of credit information and analysis. The acquisition saw Veda gain access to advanced data and analytics platforms from Equifax, allowing it to provide more comprehensive intelligence to its customers across a range of industries from retail to commercial real estate. In March 2017, Veda completed integrating with its parent company and rebranded as Equifax in Australia and New Zealand. With more than 1,000 employees in Australia alone, Equifax operates offices in all the country’s major cities as well as over 20 other countries worldwide.
- Inflexible commercial terms with data centre provider
- Aggressive growth coupled with integration and adoption of parent company platforms which required major infrastructure investments from multiple vendors.
- Colocation at the data centre through NTT ICT
- Procurement and implementation of various infrastructure hardware from different vendors through NTT ICT
- A commercial agreement for data centre space that is beneficial to Equifax
- Faster turnaround times on procurement and data centre access requests
- More of a partnering approach than a vendor and customer model.
- Ability to meet changing business demands quickly
In February 2016, global information services company Equifax closed its acquisition of Veda, Australia and New Zealand’s leading provider of credit information and analysis. The acquisition saw Veda gain access to advanced data and analytics platforms from Equifax, allowing it to provide more comprehensive intelligence to its customers across a range of industries from retail to commercial real estate.
In March 2017, Veda completed integrating with its parent company and rebranded as Equifax in Australia and New Zealand. With more than 1,000 employees in Australia alone, Equifax operates offices in all the country’s major cities as well as over 20 other countries worldwide.
Challenges: A growing need for data centre capacity amidst difficult negotiations
Following the acquisition, Equifax needed to rapidly expand its data footprint to support its growth plans and increasingly heavy analytics workloads, but was struggling to finalise commercial terms with a new data centre provider. At the same time, the business was also attempting to consolidate two data centres into one single premise – a process which could only proceed once those terms had been successfully negotiated.
“Our data centre operator had a great facility and a great location, but we were stumbling over some of the relationship pieces and conditions of the contract,” said Ashley Sowter, General Manager, IT Services, Equifax. “Data centre reliability and capacity is critical to Equifax’s service levels to customers, something that had gained extra urgency following the acquisition and the customer volume that it began to bring to our infrastructure.”
The acquisition also required Equifax to make several major infrastructure investments to meet their ambitious growth plans, working with a range of previously unfamiliar hardware vendors and service providers. “We were investing and knew that there were many vendors we had to liaise with.” said Sowter. “That compounded our need for a single trusted partner who could assist us across a range of third-party vendors, allowing us to focus on more strategic tasks like product development.”
EQUIFAX APPROACHED NTT COMMUNICATIONS ICT SOLUTIONS
BASED ON ITS TRACK RECORD FOR FAST, EFFECTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS
Solution: Joining the dots with flexibility and scalabilitY
Equifax approached NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) based on its track record for fast, effective infrastructure solutions.
“We work in an industry that’s very flexible, dynamic, and fast-paced, one where customers need real-time access to huge volumes of data and timely and relevant insights,” said Sowter. “NTT proved themselves to be really flexible, customisable, and able to get win-win situations where we needed them most.”
To provide Equifax with the extra capacity it needed, NTT ICT allocated extra space from its own pre-existing hosting agreement with Equifax’s preferred data centre provider. NTT ICT subsequently took over negotiations to broker a contract that satisfied both Equifax and this new data centre provider, paving the way for a future consolidation of its data centre footprint.
“NTT stepped in and told us they had space at the data centre we required, meeting all our data and cooling requirements with no issues,” said Sowter. “Furthermore, with their network of global partnerships with vendors, NTT was able to fulfill our infrastructure requests and streamline numerous logistics processes easily.”
THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN EQUIFAX AND NTT ICT ALLOWED THE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS PROVIDER TO LEVERAGE THEIR NETWORK OF 200 VENDORS TO PROCURE RESOURCES AT A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE PRICE POINT
Benefits: futureproofing for growth through truly industry-leading relationships
The partnership between Equifax and NTT ICT allowed them to leverage NTT ICT’s network of 200 vendors to procure resources at a highly competitive price point. NTT ICT’s involvement in Equifax IT implementations has also enabled them to meet the aggressive timelines and price points that were required.
“With NTT ICT, we’re confident of meeting all our data centre requirements in a timely manner, no matter how quickly we scale up our operations,” said Sowter. “Equifax’s needs are constantly adapting as we assess the market: we might make an acquisition, want to go to market with a new product, or engage new opportunities at any time. The ability to shift quickly and meet our business demands is imperative.”
“NTT is made up of a great bunch of people, with great industry relationships and a great ability to do business. So far, I haven’t found anything that they can’t do to a high standard.”
“We had an issue with some of our production kit for our data and analytics platform last week and I had to organise two emergency deliveries and two emergency access requests in the space of a day. I just want to say thank you so much for the support the team provided. The process was seamless, I lodged the requests and then called to check but they already had them in hand and were so helpful. Fantastic service.
Whilst I am at it, thank you so much for all the other requests the team has helped with recently from lending us tables at short notice, finding missing pins for PDUs to moving floor vents. Please pass on my thanks to all of the team. Greatly appreciate not only the help but the positive way in which it is delivered.”
Kim Purwanto, Senior Project Manager, Equifax