Dating back to 2003, Movember has grown to become one of Australia’s most recognised and reputable charities. Focusing on men’s health issues, the foundation raises awareness of prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide. Since its inception, Movember foundation has been responsible for raising over $837 million and funded over 1200 projects in more than 20 countries.
But none of this would be possible without the technical support to leverage growth periods. Here is where the partnership with AC3 helped the once humble not-for-profit grow into the charity empire that exists today. With events spanning Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States there needs to be a system in place that supports such global reach.
For the past 13 years, AC3 and Movember have been problem solving to grow the tech support as the database and customer base also grows. Movember’s solution architect Liam Svenson speaks about how AC3 and Movember work together as problems occur and solve them, leaning on the partnership with one another.
“Movember operates in 21 countries, so having a fast and reliable digital platform is one of the most important things for us,” Svenson says.
Movember also has another unique part of the business structure - the fundraising itself. As a peer-to-peer fundraising company, Movember’s strategy is about individual supporters hosting personal campaigns to collect donations from their friends, family and colleagues on behalf of the organisation. This tactic allows Movember to organically expand, reaching new heights and unexplored networks of supporters. But, in order to do so, the platform needs to be accustomed to having a surge or uptick in traffic during busy campaign periods.
“Because we’re a peer-to-peer charity, the platform is the most important thing for us. It’s our entire income,” explains Svenson when asked about the partnership.
For businesses with a setup like Movember, the key calendar dates will mean exponentially more traffic to the site.
“During our campaign, what we call our ‘magical month’, our traffic will go through the roof,” says Svenson. “It’s during this time that we need everything to work. We can’t have a campaign where our site will experience downtime or anything like that,” he continues.
It’s also cost effective. “It’s a lot that we need during that time with services, but we want it to cost as little, so there’s that obstacle as well,” he finishes.
Problem solving on-premise onto the cloud
For Movember, one of the early problems discovered was that the data was on-premise and needed to be moved to the cloud. From infrastructure through to cost savings, this move was imperative for the charity to continue its growth.
“Originally, we had it on-premise. It was costing a lot of money as well as being unreliable,” Svenson tells Three. “It also didn’t scale as we needed it to.”
As the traffic for Movember is primarily based around three key months of the year, there needed to be a recovery plan in place. There needed to be backup and help if needed should the November traffic overwhelm the servers.
“We can’t have any technical outages during these times. They’re crucial,” says Svenson. “If we have one of these outages it can literally cost us all of our fundraising.”
Movember has relied heavily on the partnership with AC3 during this time which Svenson explains is worth its weight in gold. It’s definitely worth its weight in the fundraising efforts done globally. It was AC3 who provided all of the solutions, and brought Movember over to the reliable platform of the cloud.
“AC3 provided the entire solution architecture for the move over to the cloud,” Svenson explains.
"Everything from auto scaling groups on our EC2 servers to running serverless technologies such as Lambda functions. We were provided with a cost effective solution that allows us to be confident every time we go into November."
What about the results?
It has paid off in dividends for Movember to rely on the expert services of AC3. The first year in partnership, Movember saw savings of over 80 percent.
“For a charity, seeing these savings is just amazing,” says Svenson. “Year on year, AC3 continues to see savings. We are continuing to see AC3 reduce our costs. They help us to optimise our workflow which also helps us to save our donor’s money and use it for the cause.”
It’s been a partnership for well over a decade, but Svenson sees it as one of the vital parts of making his job easier.
“Working with AC3 means that we can work on our charitable work and AC3 provides us the service with providing that work properly,” Svenson finishes.