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Versatility in Data Management and Migration

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Executive Summary
As a major international consulting firm, CGI provides advanced professional IT services and outsourcing to hundreds of substantial enterprise clients. They are regularly faced with requirements to migrate, protect, and manage extensive data sets and were looking for simpler and faster data management solutions. Entering a partnership with Actifio, CGI obtained a platform that could fulfill all of these requirements. They cut Oracle database migration times by more than 97%, and clients are saving hundreds of TBs annually in required storage capacity and costs.

Company Overview
Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world. With approximately 77,000 consultants and professionals across the globe, CGI delivers an end-to-end portfolio of capabilities, from IT and business consulting to systems integration, outsourcing services, and intellectual property solutions. CGI works with clients through a local relationship model complemented by a global delivery network that helps clients digitally transform their organizations and accelerate results. With annual revenue of C$11.5 billion, CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB). (cgi.com.)

The Challenge
Because information technology is an integral ingredient for every successful business, it’s essential to keep it fresh. Doing it the way you always did with legacy systems and applications can’t keep a company competitive. However, the speed of complex IT and digital advances often outpaces an organization’s capability or willingness, to keep up; to modernize. That’s where an organization like CGI is called in to help.

A primary element of CGI’s business is helping clients to transition from legacy operations and mindsets to achieve advanced digital capabilities that enhance organizational strengths. Sometimes it means upgrading on-premise infrastructure and applications. Sometimes it involves a cloud move. Some clients prefer to outsource some or all of their critical IT to one of CGI’s data centers located across the US and EMEA. Central to the engagement with every client is a great deal of data.

For any new client, moving away from legacy systems and applications means moving data that typically includes massive databases (DBs). The challenge for CGI was how to make that move, and then protect that data, using the fastest, simplest, and most reliable method.

“Migrating enormous amounts of customer data had been highly complex. We had to engage a great deal of technology. Then Actifio came into the picture. Actifio helps to avoid the complexity and failures associated with large database moves and management. It’s become our default platform for data movement, backup, and
restores.”

PRASHANT JOY, DIRECTOR CONSULTING – (US GTO – GOVERNMENT AND HEALTH PAAS)

The Solution
To start, CGI wanted a better way to deal with the movement, management, and protection of extensive client databases. A new client engagement often required multiple database moves, and each could take as much as 30-40 hours. Database upgrades and refreshes were also very time-consuming. And all of that data also needed backup protection. Entering their partnership with Actifio, CGI obtained a platform they could apply to all of these requirements.

Using Actifio to manage huge database moves can now be accomplished in less than an hour instead of 30+ hours. “It’s a WOW-factor for our customers when we contrast the old methods with what we can do now using Actifio. It’s an important win for a customer when we can get it done in no time,” said Prashant. “It improves their confidence in us and helps set the stage for us to grow their business. Also, we can fit more clients into a given timeframe and increase our business overall.”

CGI uses Actifio to make secure and foolproof DB refreshes and software upgrades. Even multi TB Oracle DBs can be quickly refreshed, backed up, or near-instantly restored. And because of data virtualization, Actifio saves substantially on storage requirements.

“For us as a service provider, the value of Actifio is in its versatility. We use it for data backup, migration, DR, upgrades, and ease of management. What’s more, it can reduce the required storage by hundreds of TBs. Over the life of a contract and applied to hundreds of clients, that means considerable savings in storage expense and data center energy.”

PRASHANT JOY, DIRECTOR CONSULTING – (US GTO – GOVERNMENT AND HEALTH PAAS)

Benefits
• Database migration times reduced from 30-40 hours to less than an hour
• Storage requirements for individual clients cut by 150TB and multiplied by hundreds of hosted clients
• Significant reduction in storage costs
• Faster data migrations accelerate potential new business engagements
• A single platform for backup, DR, DB refresh, and data migration

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