AIMMS increases innovative capacity through migration from AWS to Azure

Making mathematical optimization accessible has been AIMMS' goal for 34 years. With its innovative solutions, the Dutch software company enables hundreds of multinationals worldwide to make optimized decisions and build applications without technical knowledge.

The challenge

From AWS to Azure

AIMMS' software products were running in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. To the organization’s satisfaction. However, several of its (potential) customers thought otherwise. They did not want to use AWS because they competed with Amazon's shop. Although Azure was not the immediate choice for AIMMS, the software provider saw interesting opportunities. "Microsoft seemed like a better business partner to us and we could use a rebuild to take our architecture to the next level," explains AIMMS' CIO Jan-Willem van Crevel. "Since we wanted to focus ourselves on expertise that differentiates, we went looking for an Azure partner."

A migration to Azure means a lock-in with Intercept. Therefore, I wanted to make sure we were looking at the world the same way. After extensive discussions, I felt confident that we could go through with the partnership with Intercept and together would overcome the ups and downs that might follow.
Jan-Willem van Crevel CIO AIMMS

Why Intercept?

Microsoft suggested Intercept

"Intercept is technically the best, Microsoft said," explains Jan-Willem. "They have more knowledge than anyone else in Western Europe." As can be expected from a software company in optimized decisions, the decision for the partnership was not taken lightly. "A migration to Azure means a lock-in with Intercept. Therefore, I wanted to make sure we were looking at the world the same way. After extensive discussions, I felt confident that we could go through with the partnership with Intercept and together would overcome the ups and downs that might follow."

 

The solution

Automatic migration

Before the migration of the 120 accounts to Azure could take place, Intercept built a completely new environment. And because AIMMS manages its infrastructure herself - fully automatically and remotely - Intercept had to build APIs for this. For example, the migration had to happen automatically. For this, Intercept and AIMMS jointly developed 'relocation tools'. In addition, Intercept's team composition was adjusted to fit seamlessly with AIMMS's DevOps way of working.

 

Downtime is not an option

After a year and a half, the Azure environment was as desired, passed all tests, and achieved the desired performance. This was an important condition for AIMMS, explains Jan-Willem: "We place high demands on the availability and reliability of the platform. It must always be running. Downtime is not an option, not even planned downtime." Outsourcing the migration to Azure was therefore a tough decision. "It was terrifying to place this in the hands of an external party. After all, it is a critical component of our services."

 

Team performance

The first 80 customers were easily migrated. But as the end of the migration approached, things became more difficult, and the team had to really push it. By working closely together, they succeeded. To celebrate the collaboration with the core team, Jan-Willem reserved a table at a fine restaurant. On 26 January at 6pm, the team was expected there. "I was on a call at a quarter past five pm when I heard a huge noise coming from the kitchen. The last customer was migrated!" says Jan-Willem enthusiastically. It was time to celebrate this success over dinner. Interceptors Richard and Wesley were part of the team and were invited too. "They did so well. It felt like they were AIMMSians too. They still are today."

"What Microsoft said is true, Intercept is a true Azure specialist and knows the most on a technical level of all parties in Western Europe.” I would choose Intercept again without question,"
Jan-Willem van Crevel CIO AIMMS

Results

Improved architecture

A lot has changed, although at first glance AIMMS customers don't see any difference (which was also AIMMS' request). "The architecture is much better now. It follows best practices and is much more reliable in terms of security. It really is a step forward," says Jan-Willem

 

Pandora's box

During and after the migration, AIMMS and Intercept continued to build heavily on the next generation of technology. "We can now, if customers cannot do it themselves, link any Azure service to their account. Tech-savvy customers see that we have opened up Pandora's box by using Azure."

 

More innovative capability

There are many new opportunities ahead for AIMMS as well, not just for their customers. "We have become more innovative through the partnership with Intercept and the developments in our thinking has accelerated our innovative capability. That offers us many opportunities for the future."

 

AIMMS about Intercept

 

Technisch Azure specialist

And the fine words from Microsoft, have they turned out to be the truth? "What Microsoft said is true, Intercept is a true Azure specialist and knows the most on a technical level of all parties in Western Europe.” I would choose Intercept again without question," Jan-Willem concludes.

 

Also migrating from AWS to Azure? Or want to share ideas with our Azure specialists? Then get in touch with us.

Tags

  • Migrate

In short

  • Dutch software company with 80 employees, of which 35 are software developers
  • Migration from AWS to Azure
  • A new Azure Kubernetes Services environment
  • Downtime is not an option, not even planned downtime

Possibly interesting as well: