The Walk Agency

Delivering Integrated Communications from the Cloud

About The Walk Agency

The Walk is an integrated marketing communications agency that gets results. From their office in Melbourne, the agency’s omnichannel approach to marketing utilises the most effective channels to ensure clients reach their customers with the right messaging at every point in the purchasing journey. With services spanning the full marketing mix, The Walk uses technology to help it stand out in a crowded and rapidly changing global marketplace and leverages its systems to help scale both in Australia and around the world.

"Being in the cloud helps us to focus on building the best agency we can. The agency has gone from strength to strength since founding it in 2015. Having built such solid foundations, we’re now at a point where we’re focused on building a scalable model that will help us manage the growth with as few bumps as possible. Since moving to the cloud, we are now more keenly obsessing over our clients and delivering the best experience we can. We’ve also had more time to onboard new clients and new staff. The vision is now a reality – we’re able to scale!"
Nick Cantor / Co-Founder & Digital Director

The challenge

Ageing on-premises infrastructure

The Walk’s IT infrastructure consisted of ageing servers hosted onsite. The agency was running several servers and a domain controller for identity management and numerous networking services, such as staff VPN access when working remotely. Servers would sometimes require manual restarts, which during lockdowns meant disruption for the team and the hassle of trips into the office.

No dedicated IT resource

The Walk doesn’t have an IT department and the responsibility for maintaining and upgrading existing systems can be a burden. Co-founder and Digital Director, Nick Cantor, says: “Because I architected the original solution, it always fell on my shoulders to maintain and upgrade our systems. It was a burden I didn’t want to carry”. With business leadership, client workload and team management responsibilities, Nick had more valuable things to do, so outsourcing made sense.

Moving on from a security vulnerability

The agency uses Confluence, a web-based corporate wiki, and had experienced a close call where Confluence had been compromised. IT systems come under constant cyber-attack, most of which are invisible to the system’s users. Fortunately, there was no real impact in this case, but with the system rearchitected in the cloud, security and backups are improved to guard against future attempts.

The solution

Assessment of the current environment

We started by completing a full assessment of The Walk’s IT environment. To provide suitable recommendations and a right-sized solution it was vital our team fully understood how The Walk uses its technology and the goals going forward.

Configuration and security of key systems

We reconfigured two of the agencies key systems Confluence and Jira – a software solution used for project tracking. We recommended a site-to-site VPN to maintain server connectivity and because access to these systems was not as secure as they wanted, we also provisioned and applied a number of additional security upgrades to mitigate future security risks.

Cloud migration to AWS

Finally, our team presented a solution to migrate The Walk’s on-site infrastructure to the cloud. This included migrating the directory services, file shares and backup systems to the AWS cloud.

The results

Flexibility thanks to the cloud

Being in the cloud means The Walk now has the freedom and flexibility to make the best decisions for the agency without being constrained by IT. The goal from the outset was to minimise The Walk’s in-house infrastructure. Whilst the ideal solution would be nothing onsite, the reality of working with large 500mb+ design and video files means The Walk retained its local NAS (network-attached storage) devices onsite to improve efficiency for busy creatives juggling tight deadlines. Importantly, this setup syncs data to Amazon S3 (simple storage services) and allows access for remote employees.

Leveraging the goodness of the cloud

The Walk has been able to minimise its dependency on physical equipment, empowering its people to work from anywhere, whilst leveraging the latest cloud technologies to ensure the business infrastructure is secure, current and compliant with business needs.

 Improved security and mobility

The cloud provides The Walk with complete confidence backups will happen automatically, security patches will be applied, and data can be recovered. Whilst the agency’s agility and disaster recovery has improved greatly, which is important given their global client base and talent pool, its people also have full mobility to work and collaborate from anywhere. No one will need to manually restart an on-premises server again.

Reduced hardware costs

Paying for its cloud consumption on a monthly basis makes adopting the latest technologies and services more affordable and the agency won’t find itself with ageing servers further down the line.

Realising the dream

Nick says: “The dream was to relieve myself of the baggage of all unnecessary on-premises IT and the dream has been achieved. We’re now better able to focus on building the best agency we can and it’s already paying dividends.”

Services used

Cloud Computing

  • Amazon Web Services

  • Cloud Migration

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