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Case Study June 23, 2021

Case Study: Foundation Title

Foundation Title is a full-service title insurance and settlement services agency serving all of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York as well as the rest of the United States through its National Lender Services division. Established in 2005, Foundation Title is unsurpassed for customer service to the consumer and clients.

Foundation Title supports 125 employees with five underwriters. Foundation Title provides competent insurance for any type or size transaction. The emerging Commercial Division and National Lender Services make Foundation Title the best choice for title insurance and settlement service needs. Rackspace requested WSM to assist Foundation Title with a very fast-moving migration project, migrating 19 Windows 2019 servers from VMware over to managed VMware at Rackspace.

Challenge

Foundation Title had an urgent need to migrate Windows 2019 servers from VMware because its previous hosting provider was shutting down. This dictated a tight time frame to move all assets. In total, the WSM team was afforded approximately six weeks in Q1 of 2021 to complete this VMware migration project. However, the initial plan agreed upon by Rackspace and WSM had to be reconfigured, which consumed available time to complete the actual migration. In total, WSM had about three weeks for the migration.

Each party involved in this project encountered challenges. First and foremost, the client, Foundation Title, faced challenges with their environment that required them to migrate. Secondly, Rackspace and Foundation Title needed assistance from WSM to complete the migration within the established time frame. Finally, WSM had to execute the migration while starting from scratch with a new methodology and still complete the migration within the original time frame.

Solution

WSM came in after Rackspace and Foundation Title had scoped out the initial parameters of the migration project and determined the support needed. WSM was initially scheduled to do a lift and shift migration but later determined this approach would not work due to access limitations with the existing host provider.

Therefore, the WSM team pivoted and reworked the entire migration plan moving away from an image-based migration and toward an aggressive manual migration methodology. Part of that pivot involved shipping a NAS with hard drives. The new methodology required a loft of file copies, manually moving websites, manually moving databases, manual installation of multiple third-party software, manual setup of SQL reporting, and more.

In addition to working closely with Rackspace and Foundation Title, there were also multiple vendors involved which dictated the need for clear communication and tight coordination. The WSM team explicitly assigned roles and managed responsibilities. “Initially, there was some confusion defining who owned what, which made it difficult for the team to focus on the delivery. Brandy did an amazing job as Project Manager. She was able to keep everyone and everything in line,” said Violeta Albrecht, WSM Engagement Manager – Client & Partner Services.

Results

While nearly impossible given all the obstacles involved in this project, WSM was able to execute the manual migration within the originally established time frame thanks to an all-hands-on-deck effort. The WSM team completed the migration of 19 servers in less than seven weeks.

“The team [WSM] provided amazing support, engagement, and execution throughout a tough migration for Foundation Title. This migration had a very rocky start before WSM came in. Their engagement, guidance, and direction throughout the project were among the main reasons it went to completion successfully. Bottom line – working with the WSM team was a pleasure. The customer is now on the Rackspace platform, seeing improved performance, and all parties are pleased,” said Justin Gonzalez, Rackspace Strategic Account Executive.

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