Cantactix Solutions Inc., leading experts in Category and Space Management processes and applications, delivers JDA Category Management consulting, upgrades installations and hosting solutions to major retailers and the CPG companies who supply them. Clients are across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and South America. Established in 2009 as a virtual software company, Cantactix consistently stays ahead of the technology curve, enabling clients to direct more funds and resources to project results.
Cantactix’s solutions are delivered to many different clients with different platforms, servers, access points, and security requirements – single sign-on (SSO) and regular sign-on (RSO), connectivity levels of automation, and customization needs. Client-hosted or outsourced server access among clients made it difficult for Cantactix personnel to update, customize, add on, and upgrade software for end users in a timely manner. Server-run program changes and minimally integrated infrastructures shackled opportunities to add value. The Cantactix team was frustrated by the lack of agility, slowness to scale, poor client access, and poor user experience they knew was being passed on to clients. Management recognized Digital Transformation was necessary to improve client value and services and requested proposals from Cloud Service Providers over the past two years. Quotes to transform the business model to include the Cloud were cost-prohibitive, and security concerns were not alleviated.
Third Octet took the time to understand both our technical and business needs and responded immediately by developing and implementing a Proof of Concept showcasing a heavy traditional application and moving it to the Cloud. They took the time to educate us around networking and connectivity so we understood the design and implementation. Turnaround time for design, testing and implementation was lightning speed. They helped us demo the Proof of Concept with a major client, a global toothpaste manufacturer. Their ability to assess, design and deploy to meet our business goals and our clients’ business goals was an approach we had not experienced. Prior to Third Octet, the Cloud was this Big Scary Monster.Dan Desmarais, President, Cantactix
Third Octet’s Collaborative Cloud Solution assessed Cantactix clients’ customized environments, servers and resources and built them net new for centralized, self-contained access per client. Existing servers and resources required by clients were simply integrated into the centralized, self-contained settings. Citrix Netscaler was implemented to accommodate different platforms and user sign-on requirements while ensuring the highest level of security. Security was centralized using de-centralized authentication using clients’ Single-Sign-On (SSO) authentication. This enabled control of access for improved customer service, add-ons, customization and speedy response time. Microsoft Cloud-based centralized environments provide the ability to launch new and scale existing environments for clients in real-time to accommodate business growth. All new environments were created while regular business continuity was underway. Dan Desmarais described the implementation as “Changing the engine while the plane is in the air”.
Matthew Metelsky, CEO on Third Octet’s Solution:
When the Cantactix team approached us with their requirements – an agile cloud infrastructure to support Software as a Service – our first step was to conceptually validate the use of Citrix tech, followed by extensive design through all architectural options (Citrix Cloud, XenApp Essentials, and CSP). Ultimately, we designed an Azure-based platform modelled as a Service Provider architecture, including a shared connectivity plane hosting NetScaler appliances and tenant isolation zones for XenApp-based app delivery. To simplify identity management, Federated Authentication was employed to permit clients to leverage their own/existing identities for access to the Cantactix Cloud.
We found the architecture and approach of the Cantactix Cloud best aligned to the business requirements of Cantactix and their clients, allowing cost-effective delivery of applications while maintaining high security and infrastructure agility.
Dan Desmarais, President of Cantactix, speaks to the results…
For us, this digital transformation has re-engineered our business. It moved us from a services consultant to an agile services provider. We now deliver new environments and software improvements 5 to 6x faster globally. And Disaster Recovery as an issue has disappeared. Now we deliver a better user experience for clients anywhere, on any device. And most significantly, we have added monthly recurring revenue to our revenue portfolio.
For our clients, there is a much better user experience anywhere, anytime, on any device. Access to centralized data is more efficient and faster. They are delighted with the production speed for account teams for increased store resets and forecasting opportunities with fewer resource and capital expenditure requirements. Because of this new flexibility to scale environments, clients request our new model across all their geographical locations. To minimize downtime risk, Third Octet manages our access points, hosting, security, and backups so we can focus on providing business applications to our customers.