Established in 1992, Centaur Software’s mission is to reinvent the operations and processes of thousands of dental practices around Australia.
With over 100 employees across Australia and the Middle East, Centaur Software enable their customers to provide excellent customer experiences through their range of solutions that look to improve operations, increase treatment acceptance rates, and improve patient pipeline.
We spoke to David Brotherton, System Administrator at Centaur Software on how AC3 helped them right-size their environment and optimise costs.
Centaur Software had a mix of on-premises and AWS environments that enabled them to provide their current services to customers. When looking to scale their business, Centaur identified the need to have a scalable, reliable, and secure cloud environment to provide mission-critical SaaS services instead of their current on-premises software.
“We were managing our AWS environment ourselves but when we identified that we are going to be a SaaS provider, our services will be mission critical and we don’t have the subject matter experts available to monitor our environment.” said David.
“Even though there is some level of availability in our team, there’s a lot of the day-to-day stuff a managed services provider could handle, and we want to eliminate the noise.”
Centaur Software found themselves with cost sprawl in their AWS environment due to a relaxed approach to provisioning assets. “We were too busy looking at the products and developing features and the team are conservative so we would always over-spec things.” said David. “We change our servers a lot and the team were reluctant to commit to AWS reserve instances so they were going to on-demand AWS servers.”
“We are thinking ahead and wondering what it is going to be like if we scale up. We wanted to take the time to reset and investigate what we are doing on AWS. Do we have the right plans in place? Are we managing our costs appropriately? We needed advice on how to reduce costs.”
“We needed people that were knowledgeable and that we could escalate things to if a server is going offline for example. AC3 now manage our incident response, backup schedules and health alarms so that we don’t have to buy a third-party product and manage that.”
To help Centaur Software with backups and compliance, AC3 identified that “AWS backup would be better for our backup management as we were running our own scripts to shutdown servers or run snapshots and we had to maintain our own retention window, and because it wasn’t broken, we just kept running it.”
When it comes to cost optimisation, David said “We got into this cost sprawl situation as we weren’t actively working with AC3 on a monthly basis where they could say “hey, the plans have changed, or you could do this with that. So, we engaged AC3 to do a full cloud cost assessment but to also look at our agreement and plans with AWS to ensure we are on the right one for our business.”
“The proposal was to move to an AWS savings plan based on the way we work. They gave us projected costs and our internal tech teams were all fine with that.”
“They recommended changes to help reduce further costs around S3 Intelligent Tiering and Amazon RDS instance resizing as well”
“With AC3’s cloud management service, we don’t have to worry about how incidents flow into escalations and ticketing systems and with AC3’s CMDB, it makes it all a bit easier and we don’t have to worry about that pain.”
The AWS Cloud Saver Assessment resulted in “all low-risk changes around restructuring our AWS agreements so we aren’t losing anything, but we are reducing costs. The projected savings were around $90,000 a year, but obviously as we scale, that usage cost goes up, however we have optimised our costs to get more value for money” confirmed David.
“Even with an AC3 Technical Account Manager now, it is still cheaper than our old agreement when you factor in all the costs.”
“We’ve only just had our first TAM meeting, but we can start talking about knowledge sharing and all the proactive tasks we want to do. There are always tasks that I am so busy with that I’m unable to look into things I want to that could help us. but with a TAM, they can do the research and bring back the answers for me. It’s like having an extra employee that is an AWS SME.” concluded David.