TIAA Henderson Real Estate employed next-generation cloud based technologies in the launch of its business, which went from conception to global operations in just nine months.
Speaking at Cloud World Forum in London, James Whyte, acting head of IT at TH Real Estate, said that for businesses wanting unparalleled flexibility and speed to market, cloud is vital.
“The rise of cloud means that geographical location is no longer an obstacle in global success,” said Whyte. “Everything the cloud brings to a new business contributes to its success – end users have total mobility, deployment is rapid, costs are scalable and data centres become more energy efficient. Often stressful and time-consuming day-to-day IT operations are also eradicated, leaving employees to focus on their core competencies and growing the business.”
Whyte went on to outline the critical role cloud played in the growth of TH Real Estate, a joint venture company between TIAA-CREF and Henderson Global Investors.
A standalone operation to its parent companies, TH Real Estate needed a full business and technology suite built from scratch, including high quality video conferencing and other collaboration tools across 19 countries worldwide.
“The establishment of a global entity from a standing start and with very tight deadlines presents a number of challenges, particularly when you’re up against the traditionally long lead times which come with networks and equipment,” said Whyte.
“Providing the infrastructure required a vendor that understood the timelines and was willing to partner in not only the delivery but also the vision. A cloud based Citrix solution was the only logical choice if these timescales and geographic challenge was to be met. The decision of vendor in the end became quite simple – a global provider with strength in Asia Pacific and the ability to bring together three streams of services across cloud, network infrastructure and communications.”
Telstra Global was selected by TH Real Estate and adopted an ‘agile infrastructure’ approach to allow the company to place orders for WAN links and servers based on what was known at the time, enabling the model to be built according to a design that was still forming.
By hosting their key business data in Telstra Global’s secure facilities, located in Asia and Europe, TH Real Estate was able to draw on Telstra Global’s global capabilities, resources and flexibility to quickly implement a new infrastructure from the ground up.
In addition TH Real Estate has the ability to easily increase capacity, in Asia or Europe, according to business demand.
“As a regulated financial organisation, maintaining the integrity of our information security is fundamental to every decision we make,” said Whyte.
“By using Telstra’s Cloud Infrastructure platform, our IT team has been able to focus less on the day-to-day operations and more on enabling an innovative end-user experience through new corporate applications.”