Optima Builds Stable, Flexible IT Infrastructure: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Provides the Foundation for Growth

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May 2, 2014

Optima needed a reliable, flexible infrastructure that would be easy to deploy and manage. Red Hat® Advanced Business Partner Spearhead Systems proposed virtualization of the IT infrastructure with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and IBM hardware.

Customer: Optima Solutions Services

“We chose Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization because it offered the high availability and flexibility we needed for our call center operations, at costs around 60% lower than the closest alternative.” - Daniel Mereuta, managing director, Optima Solutions Services

Industry: Other
Geography: EMEA
Business Challenge:

Optima anticipated a significant increase in both workforce and call volumes and required a solution that could successfully scale to meet future growth needs.

Hardware:

IBM BladeCenter S, IBM HS22 Blades

Benefits:

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization was easy to deploy and manage, allowing the company to keep the resources and time needed for infrastructure management and maintenance to a minimum.

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Background:

Founded in 2010 in Bucharest, Optima Solutions Services provides complete contact center services: telemarketing and telesales, customer support, loyalty and retention, back-office, and consultancy solutions for contact centers. The company is growing, with ongoing projects for clients in industries such as banking, telecommunications, and online retail.

Business Challenge:

A startup that needed a reliable, flexible IT infrastructure

In 2011, Optima Solutions Services was an ambitious new company on the contact center market in Romania, with plans for a rapid expansion. Operating in a very competitive market, the company acknowledged the impact of its IT infrastructure on the quality of services it could deliver.

“We wanted to build a strong business and provide the highest quality of services to our clients. We knew that in order to succeed, we needed the right technology solutions from the start and an IT infrastructure that would ensure optimal support for our operations,” said Daniel Mereuta, managing director, Optima Solutions Services.

The company needed a reliable, flexible infrastructure that would be easy to deploy and manage, and a solution to maximize availability at affordable costs. Optima anticipated a significant increase in both workforce and call volumes and required a solution that could successfully scale to meet future growth needs.

“As a growing call center business, high availability and scalability were essential to Optima. Cost-effectiveness was also a major factor for us,” added Mereuta.

Solution:

The right fit at the right price

Optima shared its requirements with several vendors. Spearhead Systems, a Red Hat® Advanced Business Partner based in Bucharest that specializes in IT infrastructure and virtualization, found the right fit. After analyzing the company’s requirements and business needs, Spearhead proposed both software and hardware solutions, which included virtualization of the IT infrastructure with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and IBM hardware.

A product demonstration showed the impact and benefits of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Optima’s business in terms of performance, flexibility, and costs. The company also evaluated virtualization solutions from other suppliers, including Microsoft Hyper-V, but decided to build its infrastructure with Red Hat.

“We chose Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization because it offered the high availability and flexibility we needed for our call center operations, at costs around 60% lower than the closest alternative,” said Mereuta.

High availability and scalability

The new infrastructure, with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization at its core, was deployed in only three days, enabling the company to rapidly shift its focus to business and optimizing its operations. To gain a competitive edge, Optima implemented an advanced CRM solution that required a stable, powerful infrastructure.

“Our next priority was to implement high-performance call center software that would maximize our efficiency and support us in delivering quality services. Our IT infrastructure was the solid foundation on top of which we built these solutions,” said Mereuta.

The company’s new infrastructure provided high availability of core business applications and increased uptime — this helped maximize workforce productivity and effectiveness, directly increasing revenues.

“Our infrastructure provides an uptime of 99%, which is crucial to us. If our platform can’t perform calls, we are losing business,” said Mereuta.

In the last three years, Optima more than tripled its staff and expanded its CRM platform, which required increasingly more resources. Since the implementation, the company expanded its physical infrastructure, which currently consists of six servers, and software solutions.

“Spearhead tailored the solutions so we could expand by 20-30%, and each year we added more hardware to support our growth,” said Mereuta.

Benefits:

Efficiency and peace of mind

With more than two years since the deployment, Optima has fully experienced the benefits of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

“We’ve had no incidents since the deployment. We are very pleased with the performance and stability of our platform, which allowed us to focus on business, not on IT,” said Mereuta.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization was easy to deploy and manage, allowing the company to keep the resources and time needed for infrastructure management and maintenance to a minimum. Optima’s IT infrastructure is managed by one person, and the solution allowed him to focus more on ensuring support for end users and solutions to enable higher productivity.

“For our business, this translates into increased agility and efficiency, both in terms of costs and human resources, which we can keep to an efficient level,” said Mereuta.

The company is pleased with the cost-effectiveness of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, from the acquisition cost to the subscription model.

“Having predictable costs was a major factor in our decision,” said Mereuta. “The Red Hat subscription model not only reduces costs significantly, but also enables easy forecasting for future upgrades.”

The company plans to continue its expansion, expecting to significantly increase the size of the staff before the end of the year. Mereuta is confident the company’s infrastructure will successfully support this growth:

“We are glad we committed early to virtualization. With Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, we can easily make changes and upgrades and it gives me peace of mind to know that we are prepared to cope with IT challenges.”

Optima intends to continue its migration towards open source solutions to reduce costs associated with proprietary software. The company’s plans for the future include possible new deployments of Red Hat solutions and virtualization of its desktop environment.

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