Cloud’s global strength has been highlighted by TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate), the world’s third largest real estate investment management company, which went from conception to global operations in just nine months.
James Whyte, Acting Head of ICT at TH Real Estate, says that for businesses wanting unparalleled flexibility and speed to market, cloud is vital.
“The rise of cloud means that geographical location is no longer an obstacle to global success,” said Whyte. “Everything the cloud brings to a new business contributes to its success – end users have total mobility, deployment is rapid, costs are scalable and data centres become more energy efficient. Often stressful and time-consuming day-to-day ICT operations are also eradicated, leaving employees to focus on their core competencies and growing the business.”
He added that cloud had been absolutely critical in the growth of TH Real Estate, a joint venture company between TIAA-CREF – a leading financial services provider – and Henderson Global Investors, one of Europe’s largest investment companies.
A standalone operation to its parent companies, TH Real Estate needed a full business and technology suite built from scratch, including high quality video conferencing and other collaboration tools across 19 countries worldwide.
“The establishment of a global entity from a standing start and with very tight deadlines presents a number of challenges, particularly when you’re up against the traditionally long lead times which come with networks and equipment,” said Whyte.
“Providing the infrastructure required a vendor that understood the timelines and was willing to partner in not only the delivery but also the vision. A cloud based Citrix solution was the only logical choice if these timescales and geographic challenge was to be met. The decision of vendor in the end became quite simple – a global provider with strength in Asia Pacific and the ability to bring together three streams of services across cloud, network infrastructure and communications.”
Telstra Global was selected by TH Real Estate and adopted an ‘agile infrastructure’ approach to allow the company to place orders for WAN links and servers based on what was known at the time, enabling the model to be built according to a design that was still forming.
By hosting their key business data in Telstra Global’s secure facilities, located in Asia and Europe, TH Real Estate was able to draw on Telstra Global’s significant global capabilities, resources and flexibility to quickly implement a new infrastructure from the ground up.
In addition, TH Real Estate has the ability to easily increase capacity, in Asia or Europe, according to business demand.
“As a regulated financial organisation, maintaining the integrity of our information security is fundamental to every decision we make,” added Whyte.
*Figures TIAA Henderson Real Estate March 14.