HR SOFTWARE’S NEXT GENERATION FINDS FOOTING IN THE CLOUD


BambooHR RackspaceThe Rackspace® open cloud empowers a SaaS IT army of one.

CUSTOMER'S BUSINESS: BambooHR is a SaaS company that helps businesses manage HR records online.

CHALLENGES: Still a startup, the company has only one IT employee and a limited budget, but they need enterprise-level features to compete with large corporations.

RACKSPACE SOLUTION: Rackspace® Cloud Servers™ powered by OpenStack®, Cloud Files™, Cloud Load Balancers, Cloud DNS

BUSINESS OUTCOME: The cloud has made it possible for BambooHR to provide enterprise-level service on a startup budget.

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COMPANY OVERVIEW

 

Based in Provo, Utah, BambooHR is a software-as-a-service company that helps small and medium businesses manage their HR records online. Since its founding four years ago, the 21-person company has eschewed the utilitarian layouts of larger HR-management software in favor of an interface designed to make users smile.

BambooHR’s mission is to streamline company recordkeeping so that HR professionals can spend more time working with people and less time drowning in paperwork. Rackspace, in turn, relieves BambooHR “systems genius” Jeremy Bowers of wrangling hardware and building infrastructure. By making the most out of Cloud Servers, Cloud Files, and Cloud Load Balancers, Bowers manages to remain the sole IT pro at Bamboo while keeping things afloat on a budget.

 

FROM SLICEHOST TO RACKSPACE

 

When Rackspace acquired Slicehost, BambooHR’s previous host, Bowers was skeptical at first. “We loved Slicehost and were very loyal to them,” he explains. “I was a little worried, at first, because I hadn’t had a relationship with Rackspace. Then, when they talked about the migration and came out with pricing and features, I was actually really excited.”

Fast forward a year since they migrated to Rackspace, and Bowers is not only content with the switch, but also eagerly testing out new Rackspace products. In addition to the 10 to 15 Cloud Servers BambooHR regularly runs, he’s been testing three next-generation Cloud Servers and has found a lot to like. “Right now I’ve got two or three next-generation servers that I use for testing and backup,” he says. “I really like the new interface and how fast it is. I’m moving all of our production onto the next-gen servers.”

 

EMPOWERING AN IT ARMY OF ONE

 

Bowers is currently BambooHR’s only systems administrator, and Rackspace helps keep it that way. “We don’t really plan on hiring other IT people in the short term, so part of my job is figuring out how to remain an army of one. With Rackspace tools and Cloud Servers, I don’t need to have a staff,” he says.

In addition to Cloud Servers, Bowers stores hundreds of thousands of files on Cloud Files. “I’m really excited about the CDN,” he says. “It allows us to speed up our application by offloading our static files and images to the Cloud Files CDN.” He also makes use of Cloud Load Balancers. “Cloud Load Balancers are less expensive than running a Cloud Server as a load balancer,” he says. “We have external load balancers that run our HTTP and HTTPS as well as an internal only load balancer used to handle queuing and messaging.”

Finally, he raves about the new Cloud DNS interface. “It’s super straightforward and much easier than running my own DNS. I really appreciate that it’s free–that’s my favorite price! It’s just been rock solid for us. We haven’t had any issues.”

 

SAVING MONEY AND MAN HOURS

 

These products combine to free up time Bowers would otherwise have to spend building infrastructure, which saves his company money and man hours. “If I’d had to build the infrastructure itself,” he says, “it would be too costly and time consuming. I don’t know if we could do what we do.” Because BambooHR will always be cost-conscious, Rackspace’s pricing has been a huge boon, Bowers says. “For the pricing, I can buy into all these enterprise-type features with the budget we have.”

If Bowers ever needs more hands on deck, he knows he can rely on Fanatical Support®. He uses the chat function for quick questions and has been impressed by the speed with which Rackspace gets things back on track on the rare occasion a server goes down. “Support’s been very responsive,” he says. “Fanatical Support means that I can get always an answer—and it’s going to be the right answer. I’m not going to be passed off to other departments.”

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

According to Bowers, one of his favorite things about Rackspace is its Product Feedback hub, where customers can suggest and vote on new features and improvements. “In IT, where things move a million miles a minute, I see it as my job to keep up with what’s new,” he says. “Rackspace is constantly improving. I added a few things I wanted done, and voted for a few others. When improvements have been made or ideas are addressed, I get an email notification.”

Just a year ago, Bowers was apprehensive about the move to Rackspace. Now, he says, “I’ve recommended Rackspace to quite a few people.”



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