With 76 franchise locations across North America and over 900 sales consultants, Vancouver’s CruiseShipCentres would rather focus on booking cruises than on building and supporting the IT infrastructure to connect them.


Eichhorst, executive vice-president of CruiseShipCentres, said the company was looking for a local data centre. It had been using a company in Eastern Canada, but were looking for a vendor in Vancouver.

The company manages its proprietary, Web-based CruiseDesk application internally, but Eichhorst said they didn’t want to worry about the infrastructure. Eichhorst has worked with Fusepoint Managed Services in the past and found it very easy to do business with them, and CruiseShipCentres selected Fusepoint to manage its mission-critical IT infrastructure and ensure 24-hour availability.

“”We selected them because of the flexibility of their services,”” said Eichhorst. “”We didn’t need just a co-location facility and we didn’t need a fully-managed product either, we needed somewhere in the middle.””

CruiseShipCentres has franchise locations all over North America and many sales consultants working from home at all hours. As a result, Eichhorst said reliability was essential. It needed a company that would ensure whenever someone needed the system, it was there.

“”It has to be secure, it has to be reliable and fast,”” said Eichhorst. “”We wanted to be dealing with business issues, and not server problems.””

From a pipe perspective, Eichhorst said to bring in the redundant Internet connections to its head office to manage it themselves just wasn’t a cost-effective infrastructure investment. Outsourcing made more sense.

“”We’re trying to keep the cost for the franchisees very low,”” said Eichhorst. “”We needed to not just reliably support them and keep the servers up; we also had to keep their cost low.””

Robert Offley, Fusepoint’s president and CEO, said the goal is to act like an extension of a company’s IT department. With CruiseShipCentres, Fusepoint is providing management of its core infrastructure.

Fusepoint provides the security and monitoring services, makes sure all patches are applied, and that the system is available 24-7.

“”Our main proposition for companies is they don’t have to go and recruit and retain security experts. We can provide that for a fraction of the cost,”” said Offley. “”It’s buying IT as a utility — they pay us a monthly charge and we provide them the system and services.””

By taking care of the IT side of the business, Offley said CruiseShipCentres can focus on their core business, selling cruises.

“”We’re really an enabler to let them run their business,”” said Offley. “”We enable them to keep their eye on the ball and not worry about IT.””

Offley said one of the challenges for IT managers and CIOs today is managing a huge complexity of multiple applications, and they don’t necessarily have the skill sets in house to do that.

“”It’s like selective outsourcing; we work with them to outsource the areas of their business that make sense,”” said Offley.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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