Global technology consulting firm tdglobal
specializes in enterprise software and managed service solutions tailored to digital and data transformation initiatives. We spoke with Chief Operating Officer Wayne Borcher and Director of Data Management Tommy Erlank on how they enable customers to use data as a strategic asset and build their digital ecosystems.
This article was originally published on the Delphix website here April 27, 2020
Tell us about your primary area of expertise and the types of customers you work with.
tdglobal serves customers in almost every industry. Our portfolio of clients include finance, telco, insurance, government, and healthcare customers across Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa going back as far as 1991.
Our solutions ultimately aim to establish trust in our customers’ data, so they can build on or accelerate their digital transformation journeys. Invariably, digital transformation is not only introducing new technical and/or financial challenges for our clients, but also highlighting old ones that are becoming stumbling blocks in their digital journeys.
In what ways do you help customers transform their data practices?
We spoke about the concept of helping customers trust their data, a challenge that is exponentially growing as the demand for access to data is ever increasing. Not only do customers have a renewed interest in implementing data quality initiatives for the cloud or hybrid cloud environments, but data governance is leading the charge to ensure the business gets the most from their transformation programs.
Of course with these initiatives being top of mind with many of the executives we work with, data security and rapid data delivery play a vital role in making sure the right people get access to the right data at the right time to make critical business decisions, or to drive the success of their transformation projects.
We also work with all the major public cloud providers to help our customers with their cloud journeys as part of their digital transformation. Our analytics teams focus on real-time streaming analytics with geospatial solutions for telcos and healthcare, an area of our business that is also very dependent on fast access to clean data.
Finally, we partner closely with our customers’ marketing and CRM teams to make better business decisions using intelligent, AI-driven Customer 360 solutions.
The company also delivers an end-to-end Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) solution. How does it work with SAP Sybase?
Insight for SAP Sybase is one of tdglobal’s subscription-based managed service solutions that combines software and services. It oﬀers subscription licensing for many SAP Sybase products, including Adaptive Service Platform (ASE, IQ, and Replication Server), SQL Anywhere, as well as multiple other systems. In addition, the solution provides licensing, monitoring, and database services.
We are heavily invested in SAP, and we sell and support software across a wide range of use cases.
Insight is certified and registered on the SAP Application Center for general access to customers. To extend our value offerings to SAP customers, we are working closely with the Delphix team to help our customers build agile SAP infrastructures by providing fast, secure access to data for business-critical projects.
We help enable SAP-driven organizations to release applications faster, improve quality, and migrate to SAP HANA with less risk. Our combined solution makes high-quality SAP data continuously available across use cases that span development, testing, data delivery, and analytics.
How does Delphix help you better compete in the markets you serve?
We leverage Delphix for our DevOps play as well as for securing lower-level environments. Delphix will help any DevOps project go faster and reduce costs. We add Delphix for provisioning to non-production for dev and test, as well as helping with projects that upgrade to HANA or to the cloud. Delphix adds additional value by providing complete management of heterogeneous sources across the entire enterprise database landscape.
For instance, one of our banking customers has 50 instances of Sybase, but they are struggling to upgrade the database platforms that support their business applications, such as Capital Markets platforms. They see Sybase as entrenched and don’t have the necessary internal expertise, so our INSIGHT solution helps them there. For complex application upgrades of packaged applications like this, Delphix helps us modernize their DevOps practices by shortening software delivery cycles and securing test environments.
Here is another example, with a telco customer. Supporting development and testing for a billing system is not trivial, and the database is a behemoth. Delphix masking secures these critical systems for application teams, and virtualization lowers the cost of non-production environments. Upgrades are a massive project, and many of our customers put two live systems in place as a blue/green configuration. This doubles up on platform licenses which adds tremendous costs, so eliminating data bottlenecks to help dev/test move faster really impacts the financials.
Our customers also run their batch jobs for financial close procedures off virtual instances on Delphix. Given the size of the databases, it is not uncommon for a batch job to fail somewhere in the cycle, creating a major bottleneck as tests have to be rerun. Our customers have learned to alleviate this problem by creating four or five virtual clones of the production database, then running the same batch job against all five clones—increasing the odds that at least one of these jobs will succeed.
What has changed the way you and your customers work in the analytics space?
There are two use cases that are a good fit.
One is operational. Our clients use Delphix to offload from production to an operational data store, where data is virtualized and pushed into smaller, more specialized data marts. These data marts are spun up for data security and governance initiatives, and this is where sensitive data is anonymized with Delphix masking. Once the data is secured, it is ready to push into a data warehouse for use in the analytics pipeline. The customer cleans the data prior to loading into the data warehouse, which saves time and money, and in turn means more people have access to secure data in order to complete their analytics work and make data-driven decisions faster.
The other use case is with the data warehouse itself. A data warehouse can easily be around 150TB or more. This is so large that to make a clean, secure copy takes three weeks of processing power to provide a quality dataset to development teams. With Delphix, those three weeks turn into just a few hours. They can then provision five copies and give to different dev teams without hurting the efficiency of the live data warehouse.
Tell us how the partnership with Delphix aligns with your vision of success.
Whilst augmenting our current solutions, we are excited to further our investments in Delphix by extending the platform with our own plugins. The Delphix SDKs allow us to build our own adapters to provide customers and prospects with additional data source options to fit their unique data estate. We don’t want a technical bottleneck in any of our regions across Southeast Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and developing our own extensions ensures a comprehensive solution that meets the needs of a diverse market base. Building these plugins also means we will offer support, upgrades, and maintenance to continue a strong customer relationship.
Delphix is key to making and fulfilling promises to our customer base. Removing the data bottleneck helps customers realize value from our services much faster. Our presales, solution architects, and technical consultants who are involved in implementation are all trained on Delphix. For our customers, we’re able to do the training ourselves or we connect them to the Delphix-provided training packages.
This makes Delphix really strategic to our mix that results in more business for us because the story we have to tell is better when Delphix is part of the overall solution.