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American Appraisal Redefines IT Philosophy, Replaces Legacy Systems, Reduces IT Costs

Summary

Concurrency helped American Appraisal establish a strategic role for IT in the organization, and transform its IT environment from legacy IBM to a modern Microsoft platform. Phase one of the project redefined the core infrastructure environment. Phase two was focused on bringing business productivity enhancements to users worldwide.

Concurrency’s involvement with what became a transformative, multi-phase project began with an email from American Appraisal’s general counsel Dale Egan to James Savage, president of Concurrency. Dale, who was later formally placed as acting IT Coordinator for American Appraisal, was focused on developing an efficient, effective, and modernized IT environment.

Over the course of a few initial conversations, Dale and James discussed IT and business strategy at an executive level. Dale recognized a need to go beyond simply increasing IT stability—to establish a goal of transforming IT services into a strategic asset for the organization.

Throughout the journey, Concurrency and American Appraisal identified many opportunities to streamline American Appraisal's business processes. Creating automation around routine, error prone tasks, such as spreadsheet data, not only saved the company money, but also increased the accuracy of the final product.

Solution

Concurrency first conducted a Core Infrastructure Optimization assessment to identify American Appraisal’s business objectives. The Core IO assessment identified several areas to address, including infrastructure stability, hardware needing replacement, operating systems to update, security considerations, a need for network management tools, a need for directory services tools and easy communications across branch offices, potentially unsupportable core applications built in PowerBuilder, and a need to standardize on a consistent platform.

The Core IO resulted in a comprehensive strategic roadmap that won the confidence of senior management, which also made the strategic decision to move away from developing key line-of-business applications in-house, in favor of solutions built on flexible, major-market platforms. American Appraisal reduced its IT staffing expenditures by 65%, leveraged platform software for significant licensing savings, reduced ongoing maintenance and support of in-house developed applications, consolidated software licensing globally for increased discounts, displaced duplicative license costs from external vendors (e.g., Exchange eliminating the need for VMware), centralized visibility and support for global infrastructure, and introduced simplicity and integration through the Microsoft platform.

Concurrency then implemented phase two of the project, which extends the benefits of the new platform to users worldwide. Some users were moved to an internal cloud while some global users were transitioned to Office 365, which allows American Appraisal’s IT staff to much better serve these users from its headquarters location.

The final phase of the project involved re-platforming its application suite, which managed the asset data, reconciliation process and appraisal modules. This was created using modern platform as a service (PaaS) components in Microsoft Azure, allowing for the platform to scale as needed.

“Concurrency is leading us down the path to centralized IT, reducing our footprint and costs outside of the datacenter. Concurrency is helping us to become a service oriented IT department.” Adam Clark, former IT Director, American Appraisal

 

Organization

American Appraisal

 

Organization Type

Professional Services

Organization Profile

American Appraisal provides valuation and related advisory services for business, financial, legal or tax purposes.