Case Study: STI Avoids Millions in IT Costs with EarthLink Cloud Workspace™

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Student Transportation Inc. (STI) is a major provider of busing services, transporting more than one million students each day. STI, based in New Jersey and Barrie, Ontario, operates 9,500 vehicles and 130 bus terminals throughout the U.S. and Canada. STI avoids millions in IT costs with EarthLink Cloud Workspace™. "Cloud is our friend. It allows us to allocate resources only where we need them and keep our staff small. Most companies our size would spend 40 times what we do on IT. And our CFO loves the budget discussions. We're in and out in half an hour." said Keith Engelbert, CTO-Investor Relations, STI.

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Case Study: STI Avoids Millions in IT Costs with EarthLink Cloud Workspace™

  1. 1. Business Challenges In North America, more than 24 million students take the bus to and from school. While traditionally school districts have operated their own bus fleets, an increasing number are choosing to privatize their school transportation. Student Transportation Inc. (STI) is a major provider of busing services, transporting more than one million students each day. STI, based in New Jersey and Barrie, Ontario, operates 9,500 vehicles and 130 bus terminals throughout the U.S. and Canada. In the past few years, STI has acquired over 40 companies and rapidly grown its portfolio of customers. STI equips buses with GPS technology and mobile surveillance video systems and the company relies on 60+ applications to run its business. At STI, fast growth and so many distributed locations could make for a complex IT environment. “We need to be able to ramp up a new acquisition or a new contract start-up immediately – sometimes in the middle of the school year,” said Keith Engelbert. “The goal is keeping our IT lean as our technology infrastructure continues growing.” STI found that a cloud-based IT infrastructure keeps the company’s IT department efficient and provides critical agility as the company grows. STI partners with EarthLink Business for EarthLink Cloud Workspace™ , giving the company a customized cloud environment to control its applications and extend secure, reliable access to employees on any device at any location. STI employs 10,000 employees, with about 1,000 corporate users accessing applications. Each employee has access to a standard set of applications and the IT team makes other programs available as needed – all from a central location. While cost savings originally drove the move to the cloud, STI quickly found that cloud technology offered additional benefits for its M&A, audit and strategic IT operations. “What started as a cost-saving IT project quickly blossomed into something much bigger as we realized the cloud could be a major business enabler for us,” Engelbert said. “EarthLink Cloud Workspace allows us to incorporate 60+ business applications into our cloud infrastructure – a feat companies many times our size cannot match.” The Solution Challenges As the transportation provider rapidly grew its North American footprint to over 130 offices, STI needed a scalable, cost effective IT infrastructure to support 60+ applications, frequent acquisitions and audit/compliance requirements in the U.S. and Canada. Solution EarthLink Cloud Workspace gives the company a customized cloud environment to extend secure, reliable access to applications for their employees on any device at any location, fold in new school district contracts and acquisitions rapidly, and satisfy audit requirements. Results • The company allocates less than one percent of its revenue to IT operations. Industry wide, the average is 3.5 percent. • STI avoids millions in up-front and ongoing IT maintenance costs. • Most companies STI’s size would spend 40 times more on IT. • The company cuts the time to bring on a new acquisition or client by two thirds. Student Transportation Inc.CASE STUDY Student Transportation Inc. Case Study 2013getinfo@earthlinkbusiness.com | www.earthlinkbusiness.com ©2013EarthLink,Inc.Trademarksarepropertyoftheirrespectiveowners.Allrightsreserved.1071-07173 “ “ “Cloud is our friend. It allows us to allocate resources only where we need them and keep our staff small. Most companies our size would spend 40 times what we do on IT.” STI Avoids Millions in IT Costs with EarthLink Cloud Workspace™ Private Bus Operator Supports 60+ Apps, 130 Locations and Fast Growth with Cloud Strategy Keith Engelbert CTO-Investor Relations, Student Transportation Inc. –
  2. 2. When STI acquires another company or adds a new client, Engelbert and his team upload the acquired company’s data and applications and then present them via a cloud environment. This allows each of STI’s acquired companies to keep and run applications in the same way as before, while STI slowly and seamlessly integrates each organization into the new tech ecosystem. That speed is a critical competitive differentiator during the contract bidding process. Engelbert estimates that he and his team cut the amount of time to bring in a new customer or acquisition by two thirds, thanks to the cloud. “If we idle too much, we’re wasting gas. Cloud workspace has helped us be extremely fast in getting a new client set up,” he said. For example, bringing on a 500-bus operation in Omaha, Nebraska demanded GPS and a number of other high-end systems, but STI completed it in less than 30 days. The cloud environment additionally simplifies compliance and audits by eliminating the challenge of auditing multiple locations, since all applications are hosted in an EarthLink data center with SSAE 16 compliant process controls and infrastructure. “Being in the cloud provides tremendous advantages for the ease of meeting compliance requirements,” Engelbert said. “When an auditor walks in, they are relieved to see how we’re set up and how applications are controlled. There’s nothing easier to audit.” “The EarthLink cloud also provides peace of mind knowing that our data is secure and protected with backup and recovery processes in place,” Engelbert said. Cloud Workspace also accommodates STI’s ever-expanding storage needs. The company uploads and stores 500GB to 1TB of video every day from each of its 9,500 vehicles, requiring huge amounts of capacity. On top of that, STI stores required driver credentials and medical records, video editing software, and runs a trip management application for extracurricular events like athletic games. How Student Transportation Inc. Benefits from EarthLink Business “Cloud Workspace is not just an IT strategy but a strategic business advantage,” Engelbert said. “We can focus our limited resources on applications that deliver ROI (return on investment).” The cloud environment additionally simplifies compliance and audits by eliminating the challenge of auditing multiple locations, since all applications are hosted in an EarthLink data center with SSAE 16 compliant process controls and infrastructure. “Being in the cloud provides tremendous advantages for the ease of meeting compliance requirements,” Engelbert said. “When an auditor walks in, they are relieved to see how we’re set up and how applications are controlled. There’s nothing easier to audit.” “The EarthLink cloud also provides peace of mind knowing that our data is secure and protected with backup and recovery processes in place,” Engelbert said. Positioned for the Future STI initially moved to EarthLink Cloud Workspace for the compelling cost benefits and the decision continues to pay off. The company operates its IT department at a much lower cost than most its size, allocating less than one percent of its revenue to IT operations. Industry wide, the average is 3.5 percent. “Cloud is our friend,” Engelbert said. “It allows us to allocate resources only where we need them and keep our staff small. Most companies our size would spend 40 times what we do on IT. And our CFO loves the budget discussions. We’re in and out in half an hour.” EarthLink Cloud Hosting will also support STI as it continues diversifying its business model. SchoolWheels Direct, a recently launched fee-based busing program for students in districts without bus service, runs in the cloud out of the EarthLink data center. With the new STI application, SafeStop™ , parents can even get updates about the ETA and progress of their children’s buses. STI is also planning to host Cloud Workspace applications in EarthLink data centers on both coasts for the best performance possible across North America. Throughout the EarthLink relationship, no matter what STI’s cloud needs, EarthLink has been a strategic business partner. “EarthLink is always really responsive in getting us anything we need,” Engelbert said. CASE STUDY getinfo@earthlinkbusiness.com | www.earthlinkbusiness.com Cloud Workspace is a registered trademark of MRK Networks inc, dba independenceIT® Student Transportation Inc. Student Transportation Inc. Case Study 2013 ©2013EarthLink,Inc.Trademarksarepropertyoftheirrespectiveowners.Allrightsreserved.1071-07173

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