Melbourne IT services provider Advent One has overhauled payroll services for human resources software provider Tambla Workforce Solutions.
Advent One was tapped to optimise the management and payment processes to Victoria’s health workers using an SAP system based on an aging infrastructure.
Tambla inherited the platform through its acquisition of enterprise and government payroll specialist Datacom Business Services (DBS) in 2020.
“We had a very old infrastructure that we inherited through an acquisition with everything going straight to the public cloud,” said Richard Mitton, chief information officer at Tambla. “From a performance-cost perspective we couldn’t do any [digital transformation]; they had just a server with SAP, but they weren’t delivering it to critical departments.
“More than 200,000 people get paid through the server every pay period: basically, the whole of Victorian health. This was during the pandemic, so the pressure was on. With the infrastructure, we inherited not only were we swapping modems to hard disks every month, one of the data centres was being demolished as well.
“We knew we didn’t want to go on the path where it was full public cloud for this stack of technology. This was going to cost up to $60,000 a month.
“In order to get to this point, we had to automate a lot of manual processes, and that’s how we discovered Advent One. They opened our eyes to Red Hat.
Advent One, an IBM and Red Hat partner, was tapped to speed up and modernise the payroll system. The services provider designed and deployed a solution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and Red Hat Satellite.
According to Mitton, the project began when Mitton was getting his first Pfizer shot while on the phone with Advent One CTO Talor Holloway in May 2022.
Four weeks later, the project finished, and Mitton conducted his final meeting with Holloway – as a nurse injected his second COVID-19 shot.
“We use Red Hat in our own managed services practice, so essentially that means we drink our own champagne,” said Holloway “It allows us to take packed-up modular automation that we have already done and use it to accelerate customers’ projects.
“What we were able to be is a ‘sausage machine’ of systems. This helped to build the infrastructure, the standard operating environment (SOE), the controls and baselines. Storage and network configuration are part of it.
“With SAP, there are pages and pages of configuration you must do. Red Hat provides certified collections that do that. So, we used a combination of things we had written ourselves and what Red Hat provided. So, we had a really good mechanism to set up, and we were able to roll out Tambla’s systems.
Now, Tambla uses a hybrid infrastructure, with all edge and connections sitting in Amazon Web Services (AWS), and SAP payroll software sitting in private cloud using on-premises servers.
“We ended up getting the cost down to $10,000 a month and doubled the number of resources on all of the servers we deployed,” added Mitton.
As a result, Tambla saved months of migration effort and delivered huge efficiency gains. Processes that previously took six hours now take an hour or less to complete and the new solution delivered improved security functionality and availability of these critical services customers rely on to run their businesses, Red Hat said.
Tambla now has a number of more complex processes it is looking to improve with Ansible. It is also looking to further improve security and boost its automation.
“What built our confidence with Advent One was that Talor demonstrated how the ‘sausage’ system works; exactly all the work that was configured and how it would scale,” Mitton said. “It was not just a quick technology fix, it was a skills and trust built by sharing that level of technical detail.”