Enterprise Cloud Solution Runs Order-to-Cash Billing Operations
Cycle30 utilizes the enterprise-grade cloud platform from SunGard Availability Services for its billing services for telecom, cable and utility operators in North America. Jim Dunlap, president of Cycle30, addresses why cloud computing is an integral part of the company’s plans.
Last year, Cycle30 adopted a cloud computing solution. What do you see as the key business benefits of cloud computing?
“Cloud computing allows us to evolve our application platform as rapidly as our business needs dictate. Provisioning a virtual machine does not require the detailed planning it once did because we can always scale resources up or down later.
“A second benefit is the ability to support a heterogeneous environment on the same hardware. We run a mix of Linux and Microsoft virtual machines and they happily coexist on shared cloud resources. The third big benefit is availability. SunGard’s cloud shields us from underlying physical hardware failures, because our virtual machines migrate across hardware hosts transparently to the end users.”
Just as it was when managed services emerged 10 years ago, security is a big consideration for businesses considering moving to the cloud. Was this a concern for Cycle30 and how were you assured?
“Security is a big concern for Cycle30 and our customers. However, SunGard’s cloud offers unique flexibility in provisioning resources and that allows us to leverage our corporate security systems. We can present and protect the cloud resources as if they were inside our security perimeter. A similar approach is possible when incorporating cloud resources into high availability and disaster recovery planning.”
Time to market was important to Cycle30 – how did utilizing a cloud environment help you address your timing goal?
“Cycle30 use a mix of SunGard’s cloud and our own private cloud, also hosted on SunGard’s infrastructure. We built our own cloud, which involved careful planning, procurement and installation. While that was in process, we started using SunGard’s cloud. With very little overhead or ceremony, we rapidly spun up development and test environments on SunGard’s cloud, safe in knowing we could transition those resources to our own hardware later.
“Now that our own cloud is firmly in place, utilizing SunGard’s cloud resources has become even easier. We can now decide almost on a machine by machine basis where new resources should be created. This gives us unprecedented reaction times to new business requirements, while also permitting migrations between the environments to constantly optimize our service and cost levels.”