Nifast Corporation provides global solutions for fastening components and automotive parts.  They opened in 1987 and provide global supply chain solutions for their customers.   Nifast maintains thirteen warehouses in seven countries around the globe.

Problem

Nifast’s Information Technology (IT) platform was based upon Microsoft software, running on server hardware in an on-premises data center they managed.   The solution leveraged legacy versions of Microsoft Dynamics Navision, SQL Server, Microsoft Office and Citrix XenApp.  All offices were connected via an MPLS network and the servers were replicated to a co-location facility for redundancy.

This legacy solution provided a stable platform and a long life, but Nifast began facing several issues as the software and hardware aged.   The Navision solution had been highly customized to support their business, and as a result, became very time consuming and costly to upgrade.  Even operating system updates became difficult to deploy as they sometimes interfered with Navision functionality.  As time went by, the software became several versions old, making updates more and more difficult and eventually the software became unsupported by Microsoft.   The risk of security breaches and component failures increased.

Nifast wished to leverage the capabilities of the latest Microsoft software (Navision, SQL Server, and Office) to provide a more reliable platform and more effectively manage their IT environment.   They also wanted to remove the operational burden of maintaining a physical infrastructure.

Solution

Nifast engaged Cloud 9 Infosystems Inc., a Microsoft Cloud Platform Gold Partner, to envision, plan and execute a modernization of their systems-one that extensively leverages public cloud computing.    Cloud 9 was an ideal partner for Nifast, given their expertise with both Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Cloud.   Founded by Chetan Malavia, an ex-Microsoft Dynamics General Manager, Cloud 9 provides end-to end services for organizations migrating to public cloud.

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Results

With the elimination of on-premises hardware, combined with features of Microsoft Cloud and managed services from Cloud 9, Nifast has greatly improved their IT capability.   Benefits include:

Security – Access to the Azure virtual machines is limited to Nifast locations and all communication is encrypted.    Microsoft Cloud meets or exceeds all required data center security certifications.

Mobility – User can run their applications from any computer with Internet connectivity.   All users use their same Office 365 credentials to access all systems.

Scalability – Computing capacity can be increased or decreased within minutes to accommodate load.  User licenses can be add/removed/moved in minutes.

Agility – New applications or services and can be tested and deployed quickly and at minimal cost.  Nifast IT resources can focus on new opportunities.

Operations – Cloud 9 monitors and maintains the Azure environment.  They also provide reactive administration and support, including after business hours support through global delivery capability.

“It is with great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for Cloud 9 Infosystems. We started a formal partnership in the summer of 2014 and have completed one major project in May of 2015. Since then we have selected Cloud 9 Infosystems to be our Microsoft Partner and all projects with regards to all Microsoft Product. We are very satisfied with the professionalism of all Cloud 9 Infosystems staff. They stand behind their work and fully support the product.”
Don Rosenberger, IT Manager and EDI Coordinator – Nifast Corporation

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