Sun Tan City grows with the cloud

The Challenge

Sun Tan City Case StudyIn a handful of years, Sun Tan City grew from just 15 salons to more than 200 scattered across more than 16 states. Between opening new stores and acquiring franchises, it’s been a wild ride. Unfortunately, they didn’t have IT infrastructure that was positioned to grow quickly enough to accommodate the company’s expansion.

By the time servers were purchased and configured, it was already time to buy more. With more than 300 email addresses companywide, their Exchange servers struggled to keep up. Every week there was a new failure, leaving IT scrambling to get them back up and running on a system that just couldn’t handle the traffic.

Then there was the issue of cost. Sun Tan City would have spent close to $300,000 to get their infrastructure caught up with their growth rate. Add in the cost of hiring, training and devoting in-house resources to maintain their growing servers and Sun Tan City knew it was time to make a change.

The Solution

Polleo Systems stepped in to help Sun Tan City create a server environment that could grow with them. While Sun Tan City has an internal IT department driving strategy, they needed a partner who could help organize and execute their vision for the future.

That future started with a move to the cloud. Unlike Sun Tan City’s old physical servers, their cloud implementation could expand almost indefinitely without an increase in capital cost. No additional servers to buy, no internal employees to deal with day-to-day maintenance. Getting more server capacity became as easy as making a phone call.

But a move to the cloud doesn’t mean giving up control. “Polleo Systems does a lot with our servers, but they’ve built everything to allow us to administer it ourselves, which is important to us,” said Stephanie McColly, director of the business systems group at Sun Tan City.

The cloud was also the solution for Sun Tan City’s email woes. Polleo didn’t just upgrade Sun Tan City’s jammed server; they gave the company new tools and processes for handling email.

“Polleo Systems has given us a better process for saving and storing our email. Spam control and junk filtering has been much better,” said McColly.

The Results

Sun Tan City saved nearly $225,000 during their first three years in the cloud. Unlike in a physical server environment, Sun Tan City has almost infinite room to expand with no increase in capital cost. The outsourced management of the cloud also frees up critical internal IT resources to focus on strategy and growth instead of server maintenance.

“In the past two years, we’ve grown so fast,” said McColly. “Had we tried to grow at that rate without the improvements from Polleo, we would have completely failed. There is no way our technology could have grown without them.”

Even though Sun Tan City now has now grown to more than 800 unique email addresses, their cloud-based exchange server runs better than it ever did before. The increased uptime and reduced troubleshooting time saves the company tens of thousands of dollars every year in productivity, labor, and efficiencies.

Finally Sun Tan City has an IT infrastructure fully scalable, no matter how big they get. All of their salons can access their servers and applications remotely without fear of overloading the system, all at an affordable price that saves them money in the long run.

“Polleo Systems is one of our biggest IT partners,” said Bill Kent, chief information officer at Sun Tan City. “They’ve laid a great foundation for us going forward.”