In the second of his series on the true economies of cloud computing, Rob Jenkins, Director of Enterprise Cloud for VMware in EMEA, talks through SEGA’s motives for moving into the cloud and how it has successfully managed to increase productivity and gain financial savings.
In my first post I talked about what I feel are the three components of the cloud business case. This time I’d like to look at real examples of how companies are embracing cloud and a business case with these components. First up is SEGA, a world renowned games publisher that is using the cloud to drive revenue, reduce cost and protect its reputation.
Why the Cloud?
SEGA wanted to be able to have a scalable resource on demand for games development and testing. This is a workload on the critical path for company revenue generation but with highly variable capacity demands.
What it did
By virtualising and moving into a hybrid cloud, SEGA has been able to shorten the testing cycles of its products. By shortening this process it has been able to incorporate extra testing stages, which increased overall product quality.
SEGA can now launch new products more quickly, increasing market share and revenue capture. Importantly the level of customer satisfaction increases with the greater product quality.
How it’s benefitted
SEGA has benefitted immediately from cost savings, now only paying for the amount of test infrastructure it actually requires. When launch dates of a product approach there is inevitably an increase in testing and usage, but it only pays for the additional capacity when required. So, the cloud enables SEGA to seamlessly absorb peak demands without permanently carrying the overhead of peak capacity.
From a security point of view, SEGA no longer allows 3rd party testing studios to access the testing sites through its VPN. Instead, SEGA now deploys its infrastructure into a public cloud and can allow users specific access to a particular game or games. This concept allows SEGA a fine degree of granular control without opening its infrastructure to security breaches.
Heading to the future
SEGA has become a much more agile business, more responsive to market changes and able to deal with increasing or decreasing demand with more flexibility than before. By reducing the cost and time of development cycles itcan innovate more rapidly and gain competitive edge. In the future SEGA plan to add a new revenue stream to its business and deploy games online, with a public vCloud infrastructure again taking advantage of elastic resource provision.
“Our games products are developed and tested across the year with fluctuating frequency. Maintaining an ‘always available’ IT infrastructure throughout this period incurs a high CAPEX and OPEX burden. A Colt vCloud solution allows us to manage our infrastructure availability and costs in a far more flexible way, allowing us to scale up capacity when needed and reduce when not, almost instantly and without the CAPEX and infrastructure management burdens we’d previously had.”
― Stuart Wright, IT Director, SEGA