Founded in 1984, CCA Global Partners (CCA) is a cooperative of independent small businesses in flooring, lighting, biking, and nonprofits in the United States and Canada. CCA supports more than 3,000 locations in North America and abroad. Each benefit from CCA’s leadership through its 14 different businesses. CCA enables businesses to pool buying power and work together on areas of business where it helps to have more volume and scale than a single small business can achieve on its own.
CCA’s cooperative business model has a proven track record of empowering thousands of entrepreneurs to succeed in a marketplace that is impacted by widespread consolidation. Its mission is to empower entrepreneurs and independent business owners by providing the scale, resources, and innovation that create sustainability, growth, and effective competition in today’s evolving marketplace.
Connectria came in to facilitate CCA by providing support for their Azure environment which runs hundreds of public websites for different carpeting, flooring, nonprofit, and retail companies, as well as a members-only web portal. Their desire to move to the public cloud was rooted in obtaining the ability to make adjustments more rapidly.
After an unsuccessful relationship with a previous managed services provider (MSP), CCA wanted to find the right MSP to help them move from private to public cloud. The initial migration had been problematic with CCA experiencing downtime with numerous systems. The former MSP ultimately did not have the expertise needed to migrate and manage CCA’s systems. “Our previous relationship had a severe impact on our business. My team had to spend a lot of time and energy troubleshooting and solving problems that the provider couldn’t which defeated the purpose of having an MSP,” said James Cleeve, CCA Global Partners, Director of Technical Services.
After interviewing and evaluating several different new MSP candidates, CCA arrived at the conclusion that they needed an MSP with strong expertise and experience with Azure far and above anything else. While they had considered some larger companies, CCA was afraid of getting lost in the shuffle.
“Thankfully, we found Connectria, locally, and they came out as a pretty clear top choice. The people we initially met with [at Connectria] are the same people we interact with daily, weekly, and monthly now vs never knowing who we were going to get with our previous provider. It was clear from the start that Connectria had the expertise we so desperately needed,” said Tod Greenberg, CCA Global Partners, Senior VP of Technology.
Having systems built around the management of that [Azure] environment was important. One of the big things for CCA was that they felt like they were flying blind with their previous provider. James Cleeve said, “With Connectria and TRiA, we have a better window into our environment. I love that we are able to adjust TRiA over time. The TRiA team made a lot of changes based on our feedback, and I am quite pleased with it now. Our dashboards show us what our resources are doing, at all times, as well as our forecasted spend for the month which is very helpful. I can easily access details on previous spend with very detailed information.”
Ultimately, CCA wanted to get out of the traditional server-based structure and move into a service-based architecture with more flexibility and reliable support. With Connectria, CCA accomplished just that.
“Now, we can simply send a ticket with what we need, and it gets done. Any help desk or open tickets are also available on our main page in TRiA. Where before I had to go to multiple places to get the same information, now everything is much easier to get to and all accessible in TRiA,” said James Cleeve.
“One of the unique things we have liked about Connectria, aside from working with them, is that, like us, they are a local St. Louis company. It’s been easier to work together and feels good to support real local people/fellow St. Louisans. Working with the same team, with the people consistently also provides great peace of mind,” said Tod Greenberg.
He continues, “Connectria’s service has allowed our IT team to focus more on future projects, planning, and strategic initiatives and less on the day-to-day management which has probably been the biggest benefit for us. The initial cost optimization process with Connectria unearthed another unexpected improvement, with the discovery that our previous environment was built in the most expensive Azure region in North America. We worked with Connectria for 12-18 months to get out of those expensive regions. While we haven’t experienced cost benefits from that project, we do anticipate future cost savings now that we have moved into the right region and can take advantage of services like reserved instance and others.”