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Case Study: Longstanding Analytics Platform Support for Major Government Department

Longstanding contract to support a critical analytics platform within a major government department. As a trusted partner, Amadeus provides strategic advice and rapid support for urgent queries.

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Background

Our customer is national-level government body that relies on data and associated analytics to process a wide range of critical governmental data (for example, census). The information and statistics produced by this department are used by central government to define strategy and policy affecting the whole country for several years into the future. Its platform is also used to inform internal HR decisions, such as training. The customer has a team of over 300 staff who rely on the platform.

Business issue

Over the course of the many years this customer has been using SAS, the volume of data available and required for processing has grown significantly. As such, the demand on the platform itself, and the technical capabilities required from it, have evolved enormously.

Why was a solution required?

The customer sought to transition from desktop SAS to SAS® Enterprise Business Insight (EBI) across multiple sites as they felt it would be a better fit for its current analytics demands and would simplify maintenance through a more centralised system.

Furthermore, the customer wanted a partner who could provide platform administration support for their new, more complex analytics environment. There were several driving forces behind these decisions: cost savings for the general upkeep of the platform; internal efficiencies through a more modern and adaptive platform; and the opportunity to better exploit existing resource and capabilities from their software.

Vision

The customer sought a trusted SAS partner to manage their transition to SAS EBI as it is highly complex and required resource and expertise that its internal team of SAS users didn’t have. They were also looking for a provider to offer expert platform administration support following the move. Whilst the customer has some internal platform administration resource, they sought additional, expert skills to respond to scheduled and on-demand requests. The customer chose Amadeus as their partner of choice to enable them to maximise their return on investment in SAS analytics.

Amadeus solution delivered

Platform evolution: Amadeus managed the original move from desktop SAS to SAS EBI. This involved the implementation itself, as well as creating a smooth transition for all users over to the new solution. Subsequently, the analytics environment has undergone several changes and transformations to ensure the customer has access to the optimal solution to meet their needs. This included a move to SAS grid technology. Most recently, Amadeus has recommended the customer explores the benefits of SAS® Viya® and has implemented the platform to run in parallel with their grid platform.

Scheduled maintenance: The customer was so pleased with the initial Amadeus project that they agreed to an annual Managed Services support contract, which has been maintained ever since. This contract ensures the long-term health of the customer’s environment through hot fixing, upgrades, patching, securing data and resilience optimisation, as well as expert advice when required.

On-demand incident management: With Level 1 on-demand support, the customer has the confidence that Amadeus will respond to requests within one working day, minimising disruption.

Training: Amadeus delivered SAS training to the customer’s SAS users, teaching them consistency and best practice SAS coding, thereby ensuring reliability and repeatability of insights.

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Results

Since this valuable relationship began in 2008, the customer has realised several key benefits:

  • SAS grid architecture realises essential cost savings through more efficient analytics, as well as exploiting under-utilised resource.
  • An average of 97.8% of all customer SLA requests met across the last five years, ensuring optimal platform performance and output quality. This is supported by annual disaster recovery (DR) testing to verify the platform can be reinstated quickly in the face of a potential disaster.
  • Completion of predefined, planned maintenance tasks, averaging 12 tasks per year.
  • Access to expert skills and capabilities without having to recruit new team members or train up existing employees. It leaves internal staff free to focus on day-to-day tasks and generating insights. 
  • The Managed Services contract provides access to the whole Amadeus team’s expertise whilst costing the equivalent of the annual wage for one internal platform administrator. It also gives guaranteed continuity of administrator skills, even in the face of potential staff turnover, sickness or holidays.

The customer has exciting plans to further capitalise on its analytics in the future. This includes embracing the enhanced capabilities of its SAS Viya platform and operationalising its open source models.