Case Study: Digital Craftsmen boosts efficiency through managed service for Stickyeyes
Since launching in 1998, digital marketing agency Stickyeyes’ reputation has been built around its creative insights and technology-driven approach. Today, Stickyeyes employs more than 100 people and works with brands in over 20 countries.
The firm prides itself on providing its clients with digital acquisition solutions that maximise their online presence, enabling them to communicate more dynamically with their customers. The nature of its business can see Stickyeyes working on a number of client projects simultaneously.
Previously, the company was using several different hosting companies, paying per machine, but it wanted to move to a more efficient, service-based model. With this in mind, the firm was looking for a managed service provider able to simplify its servers and bring its websites and hosting under one roof.
It needed something flexible: as client projects came in and were completed, the company wanted to be able to put in new machines and easily remove them later. Stickyeyes had previously spent too much on its suppliers and was looking for a service that was better value for money and delivered by a company with expertise in the sector.
Steve Lee, Stickyeyes Operations Director, says:
“We had several different suppliers: from large hosting providers to lots of small virtual machines. We wanted to bring all these websites under one roof to make it easier to manage. It was about convenience, value for money and having a company we could rely on.”
The firm selected Digital Craftsmen to build, manage and host its site. Digital Craftsmen was chosen for its proactive service, service continuity and high up-time, making it great value for money. Lee says: “I like their service; I like their level of proactivity. They inform us as soon as they spot an issue, and 99 times out of 100, it’s before we see it. They’re friendly and they regularly come to our offices.”
Digital Craftsmen proved itself very quickly by being able to help with a major issue soon after the deal was signed. Stickyeyes needed help solving site hosting and functionality problems affecting one of its clients. Using its proven expertise, Digital Craftsmen swiftly found the cause of the issue and built a tailored solution designed to speed up the Stickyeyes site and deliver maximum uptime.
Lee says: “There were some issues with the hosting and functionality of the site in terms of being able to cope with the load, particularly during Saturday afternoon peak times.
“Digital Craftsmen looked at the code to identify the problems. They discovered limited connections to an external feed and they also spotted data that just wasn’t required. Digital Craftsmen helped us speed the site up and now there are no problems.”
As part of its managed cloud services, Digital Craftsmen commissioned and installed new servers, connecting them to the network. It also loaded the operating systems (OS) and performed initial patches, ensuring the web server was running optimally.
Paul Orrock, Technical Director at Digital Craftsmen, explains: “We were doing first line support, monitoring machines and backing these up. If there was a problem, we would log in and fix it. “
In addition, if Stickyeyes was suffering from configuration issues, Digital Craftsmen would offer third line support as an additional resource.
“We have boosted efficiency, it’s more flexible; our solution allows the commission and decommission of new machines so they can be started up and removed quite easily. They have the flexibility, as their clients and the sites they are hosting change – particularly around projects.”
In addition to this, Digital Craftsmen provided Stickyeyes with a back up area via its online cloud storage. “We offered back up for software they kept on site – which was transported from Stickyeyes to us over an encrypted connection overnight,” says Orrock.
Digital Craftsmen would inform Stickyeyes when the storage was getting full and keep an eye on the box to prevent any issues. “They could quite cheaply back up their office environment and add more storage as needed,” Orrock explains. “They didn’t have to mess about with tapes and taking USBs offsite. In the event of something failing, we could make it available.”
As part of its standard service, Digital Craftsmen also covered cyber security and ensured Stickyeyes’ servers were performing. “There were a few times when malicious IP addresses were hammering their servers. If it is coming from one IP, we can block it at the firewall level,” says Orrock. “We tend to do that proactively: we regard ourselves as an IT resource for companies. It’s part of our managed firewall service to be able to block troublesome IPs. We can mitigate against that.”
Monitoring is a key part of Digital Craftsmen’s managed service. Orrock says: “We monitor 24/7, alerting to our expert team so we can do the things agencies can’t – they tend to have developers in during the day and the chances are, something happens at 5am when no one is around.”
Among the benefits of the partnership, Digital Craftsmen gives Stickyeyes peace of mind and quality of service, as well as more time to deal with its clients.
According to Lee:
“We worry less about something going down and whether we are going to be called up in the middle of the night. With our old hosting provider, we had to set up a text alert rota. Now, if something does go down, you know it will be repaired.”