Digital transformation is the buzzword on everyone’s lips, yet it means very different things depending on where a company is on its digital journey. AMIGO Technology (AMIGO) recognizes that the way businesses change is changing. With its AMIGO Platform and range of services, it’s on a mission to give enterprises a better way to change in less time, with less cost and less risk. “We use our proprietary technology platform to provide services that disrupt how companies approach their digital transformations. When the typical digital transformation is underway, commercial progress is often frozen while waiting for the transformation to complete,” says Jarvey Moss, Chief Operating Officer, AMIGO. “We turn that model on its head. Our model allows success to drive transformation, rather than relying on transformation to drive success.”
To make this process easier, AMIGO migrated to Google Cloud five years ago, primarily from Heroku. The company was attracted to Google Cloud’s promise to deliver web services at low latency at a global scale. “Having one global account with everything in it made things so much simpler for us,” says Moss. “And since then, we’ve found that Google Cloud is always adding new products and enhancing existing ones, so there’s a tool for every job.”
AMIGO’s customers range from midsized businesses to global enterprises, and many have been burned by past digital transformation experiences. AMIGO creates a bespoke plan for each new customer, allowing them to take small steps towards an agreed commercial outcome. “We decouple their technical agenda from their commercial agenda, so they can make commercial progress without being dependent on technical progress. At the same time, we allow the company’s technical teams to proceed under far less commercial pressure. We take technology out of the commercial critical path,” says Moss.
AMIGO spends time homing in on the right solution for each client’s technical problems, and it approaches its own challenges in the same way. “We start by identifying the business need, and then we compare various solutions,” says Moss. “Often the choices we make for our customers impact the choices we make for ourselves.”
Attracted by economies of scale
One such customer project led to AMIGO partnering with DoiT International. “We were working on a project for a global enterprise that involved heavy use of the Google Maps API, but it was an expensive undertaking,” says Nathan Burrill, Lead DevOps Engineer, AMIGO. “I mentioned this to our Google Cloud account manager, and he suggested we work with DoiT so that we could benefit from their bulk discounts.”
Jake Clarkson, CTO at AMIGO adds: “When our GCP account manager described the benefits of DoiT and then proceeded to tell me it was free my response was “that’s too good to be true.” I’m happy to say that DoiT is the exception that proves the rule. DoiT is not simply a support service, it amplifies what Google Cloud can do.”
Following an initial discussion with DoiT, AMIGO realized that not only could it reduce its costs by partnering with DoiT, it could benefit from DoiT’s other services too. Burrill says: “Before we’d even signed the contract, DoiT was giving us preemptive support. Seeing how much knowledge they could share with us while reducing our overheads by having one billing provider made working with them a no-brainer.”
The DoiT onboarding process was simple and seamless. “We were given an overview of the DoiT console and all its features and what we needed to do to integrate it,” says Burrill. “And from the beginning we were encouraged to open as many support tickets as we wanted, and all our initial queries were quickly answered.”
Enhancing the customer offering
DoiT first began tackling the Maps API project that had bought the two teams together. It switched the billing account across to DoiT, and AMIGO saw the benefits immediately. “The costs fell by around 18% for the customer, and what’s great for us is that DoiT’s billing system lets us attribute different costs to different customers,” says Burrill. “Cost attribution is hard to do directly in Google Cloud, unless you have multiple billing accounts, but with DoiT it’s easy.”
Optimizing existing Google Cloud solutions
Working on the Maps API project, AMIGO realized just how much hidden knowledge DoiT holds on Google Cloud, and it decided to leverage this wherever possible.
AMIGO has been using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) since it launched on Google Cloud, but the team knew they weren’t making the most of it. “The DoiT team helped us develop our GKE expertise and now, rather than spending days trying to dig through the documentation to find what’s gone wrong, we speak to DoiT and within a couple of hours we have found the reason and the solution,” says Burrill.
For example, during certain maintenance operations, GKE began shutting down more pods than AMIGO wanted it to. DoiT recommended implementing pod disruption budgets, which ensures that GKE always has a specified number of pods available at any time.“ This was great advice – implementing it was a ten-minute job, and we no longer have that issue,” says Burrill.
AMIGO was also keen to reduce the time and costs spent maintaining its infrastructure, and again it reached out to DoiT. “Wherever we can, we want to remove any extra overheads, and DoiT helps us pinpoint where we can do this. Kubernetes is semi-managed, but there are still parts of it that need managing. So DoiT will help us to move over to fully-managed Cloud Run. And we’ve already moved our Core Data Store to MongoDB Atlas because it can run online maintenance automatically, so we can operate with zero downtime.”
AMIGO sees two clear benefits to its partnership with DoiT. “DoiT highlights the quick wins we can implement to improve our reliability and reduce our overheads, and they highlight what’s worth investing in and what’s not long-term, which is particularly useful in the light of our drive to harness the benefits of serverless technologies more fully,” says Burrill.
Bringing cloud spend under control
With more processes and data moving to the cloud, AMIGO has adopted the DoiT Cloud Management Platform to help it manage and analyze its cloud spend. “The primary benefit for us of the DoiT Cloud Management Platform is that it makes our spending more transparent and shows us what we’re spending on each of our customers and vendors, which is again useful for cost attribution,” says Burrill.
Some problems have both quick fixes and more in-depth far-reaching solutions. AMIGO’s previous support provider often recommended the quick fix, which didn’t necessarily address the wider issue. “Previously, we always got a response, but it was often one that wasn’t that useful, followed by a closed ticket,” says Burrill. “Now we get quicker, more insightful responses, and even if DoiT needs to go back to Google Cloud, they still come back quicker because they have so much clout with Google.”
Eliminating dummy runs
Having a sounding board on call means that AMIGO spends less time trialling initiatives too. “Because we know the DoiT team is available to talk through infrastructure choices, we now spend less time and money on dummy runs. We just talk through the scenario we are considering, and they tell us whether it’s worth investigating. We really benefit from the experience of DoiT’s engineers in that way.”
Hidden gains for customers
AMIGO customers benefit not only from GCP’s best-in-class global network but also the DoiT team that enables AMIGO to get the best out of this network. “The benefit we see from our DoiT partnership is passed on to our customers,” says Moss. “Whether that’s the cost saving or that our platform is more resilient than ever, and we can make changes with zero downtime.
“We’re growing rapidly, and we know that with DoiT on board we don’t have to worry about our infrastructure being able to scale to keep up with that growth, we can just concentrate on our customers.”
Clarkson concludes: “In a start/scale-up agility is key; DoiT’s excellent support has allowed us to retain this agility as we grow. I am confident that the synergy of Google Cloud’s mission to deliver low-latency web services at planet scale, DoiT’s mission to give customers more from their cloud and AMIGO’s mission to change the way businesses change will deliver game-changing results for our customers.”