Driven by rapid growth resting on a sound value proposition, Auckland-headquartered trans-Tasman human resources service provider MyHR has looked to Lancom Technology and Amazon Web Services for a platform and expertise capable of meeting its expanding technical requirements. By steadily moving MyHR into AWS, Lancom Technology has proven an adept technology partner, guiding the human resources specialist on its journey into the cloud, while supporting growth ambitions with readily available support, strategic insight, and technical skills.
Jason Ennor and Sean O’Brien created MyHR because they knew there was a way to make HR straightforward and savvy, where it works for every business and takes care of people so everyone can focus their energy on building success. The result was a hybrid HR service providing a specialised digital platform fully supported by a team of HR experts. MyHR is scalable, integrated, and exact, and today supports over 20,000 individual employment relationships in more than 1000 businesses across New Zealand and Australia.
MyHR is one of those quiet achiever Kiwi businesses which have gone on to emerge as a major success story, explains company CTO Peter Simmons. “Back in 2012, founders Jason and Sean had this idea then started a trial using a Content Management System as a proof of concept. Turns out it really worked, and they soon had 50 or 60 customers and built a system so it wouldn’t have to be manual.”
By ‘it really worked’, Simmons who came on board a decade ago in part to build the system, means sustained and substantial growth. “We’ve seen increases of 60 percent year on year. We also went from Auckland to Sydney, and now service nearly 1300 customers and look after the employment of 30,000 people.”
The MyHR difference, he notes, is the provision of HR expertise in addition to the Software as a Service platform. This has also resulted in ‘quite sticky’ clients, with a retention rate of up to 96 percent.
With rapid growth comes pressure on the internal IT team. It also causes pressure and exposes the limitations of existing technology. “Back in 2018 when we engaged with Lancom, it was for a lift and shift from our existing hosting provider to a better one. The limitations included the relative ‘unknown’ of that prior provider, and then also its structure. The closest data centre was in Singapore, while AWS had set up in Sydney. That meant any questions around data sovereignty just weren’t anything we had to worry about any longer.”
Simmons says Lancom came ‘into the mix’ helping with support and expertise on best practices. “When we realised we needed some additional support, we shoulder tapped a few of our existing MyHR customers who we knew provide the kind of expertise we were looking for,” he explains. “After a competitive process, we realised Lancom had the right skills and the right reach, with their presence in Australia and the local office. So it was a very thorough alignment.”
The ‘lift and shift’ to AWS, he explains, presented issues with some automation tools failing to work as planned. “One tool was supposed to replicate servers block by block; the team, with Lancom, tried getting around that but it didn’t work out. There are other ways, and we resorted to a bare metal build process. It took a bit to get the technical guys to give up on the plan, but we got there in the end.”
In addition, Simmons says Lancom’s managed services offering has proven invaluable to MyHR. “While this was a secondary driver, we access infrastructure support including automatic patching and backups, and other ‘business as usual’ support for our people and their computing needs. When we first started the relationship, this was particularly important as my IT team was just two people.”
With Lancom’s support, MyHR made the shift into the AWS cloud smoothly and with no disruption to its thousands of customers on both sides of the Tasman. As time has gone by, Simmons says the company’s use of AWS and access to Lancom’s services and support has grown. “We’ve added a few more servers and expanded our use of AWS, and in addition to production environments have moved our User Acceptance Testing and demo environment over. And in terms of Lancom, we’re looking to take further advantage of its managed services offerings in addition to AWS expertise,” he explains.
Simmons adds that Lancom also provides strategic insights and recommendations for how and where AWS services can aid MyHR’s vision and direction. “We’ve got a ‘Phase 2’ modernisation plan which we’re looking to get to in due course. And Lancom provides a biannual review and highlights any issues, or any deviations from best practice along with suggesting improvements. They’re a partner keeping a close eye on our needs, helping us stay informed and on the same page.”
Infrastructure, he says, is something no software or services provider wants to concern themselves with. The move to AWS has proven invaluable, as everything has proven sound over the years with no interruption to business. "We are now able to scale with the needs of the business, in a secure and reliable way."
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