Tessitura Network positions itself for business acceleration

Tessitura turned to a managed hosting solution on AWS for its unified digital platform.

Tessitura Industry Media & Entertainment, Non-Profit Challenge

Tessitura has been hosting its software in a collocated hosting center since the mid-2000s. But managing its own hardware was a distraction from its core business: serving arts and culture organizations.

Solutions Cloud, Elastic Engineering, Public Cloud Platforms Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Supporting the arts through a unified digital platform

The Tessitura Network is a non-profit, member-based organization serving hundreds of arts and cultural groups around the globe — including the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It serves its members through a unified digital platform designed specifically for the arts. The technology helps these organizations build and maintain connections with prospects, donors, members, single-ticket buyers and subscribers. Tessitura technology also powers the entire journey for event patrons — from the time they see an ad about an upcoming performance, to the time they purchase their tickets and scan-in to the events.

By handling all of the details — the ticketing, fundraising, marketing, customer relationship management, data mining and web capabilities — Tessitura helps enable arts and cultural organizations to focus on their individual missions.

“We chose Rackspace Technology due to the account team’s rapid responses and your ability to support multiple clouds. The AWS partnership with Rackspace Technology and your relationship with the AWS account team was the icing on the cake.”
Andrew Racinos, President & CEO, Tessitura

Being the best

When Tessitura started in 2001, it was committed to using state-of-the-art technology. At the time, that meant a client-server configuration, with Tessitura software running on Windows desktops and a database server running in a back office. Each member organization had its own servers, and had to handle its own networking and database management.

By 2006, cloud hosting was becoming more established. Tessitura recognized that to stay competitive it needed to relieve its members of the burden of buying and managing their own servers.

“So, we created a hosting service,” explained Andrew Recinos, President of Tessitura Network. “And as the years went by, more and more of our organizations chose to switch over.”

But at Tessitura, the mantra is to be the best in the world at what it does. And while Tessitura was able to do a capable job of hosting its own software in a colocated hosting center, it recognized it couldn’t be the best in the world at it.

“We simply couldn’t — we didn’t have the scale,” Recinos said . “And frankly, our jobs should really be about serving arts and culture, not figuring out the best way to manage a hosted solution. So, we started to look for who was the best in the world.”

Tessitura

“[Rackspace Service Blocks give us] exactly what we need throughout the project lifecycle, and it brings the price point down.”

Ron Wilson, CTO, Tessitura
Tessitura

Searching for the best

Tessitura started its search by looking at its various platform options, focusing on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft® Azure®.

“We already had quite a bit of experience with AWS,” Recinos explained. “We’ve been running European operations in Amazon. We do a lot of our testing in Amazon. But we’re also a Microsoft shop from a software standpoint.

“But what I absolutely needed was a solid managed service partner in either case,” he added. “Because, regardless of which platform we would choose, we didn’t have the skills to make the move quickly enough.”

So, while Tessitura continued exploring platform options, it started looking for a managed service provider.

“Very quickly, Rackspace Technology rose to the top of our list,” Recinos said. “Since Rackspace Technology works with AWS and Azure, we didn’t have to wait and figure out which of the cloud providers we were going to use. We could actually start with Rackspace Technology and let that drive us toward the decision.”

“Rackspace Technology assembled a team and listened to what we needed, and gave us the pros and cons of each option,” explained Ron Wilson, Chief Technology Officer of Tessitura Network. “That really benefited us a lot. They were unbiased and consultative and were very good about not suggesting one platform over the other.”

“We realized that, regardless of which platform we would go with, we wanted to work with Rackspace Technology,” Wilson added. “Choosing Rackspace Technology before choosing the platform was invaluable, because Rackspace could help us with that decision — without pushing us one way or another. Having a good partner really was more key to our success than the individual platform that we might have chosen.”

During heavy sales periods, where Tessitura can see 50x the normal amount of internet traffic, it has on-demand access to vast amounts of computing resources.

Service Blocks

In the end, Tessitura chose AWS. The next step was to determine which managed services it would like Rackspace Technology to handle.

Because it would need architecture-based managed services up front and security-focused services after that, the Rackspace Technology team proposed public cloud service blocks. With service blocks, Tessitura can mix-and-match managed services based on its current needs, and add or remove services over time.

“It was a perfect fit because we get exactly what we need throughout the project lifecycle, and it brings the price point down,” Wilson explained. “It made a big difference for us.”

Preparing for future growth

Service Blocks provide the scalability, monitoring and security that Tessitura was looking for — while also freeing up the Tessitura team to focus on delivering the world-class features that help its members get their jobs done.

“From a scalability standpoint, one of the reasons we wanted to get out of our own colo was so that we would have immediate access to vast amounts of computing resources when we need it,” said Wilson. “In our world, it’s a very spiky environment, where an on-sale can mean 50 times more volume than a normal day of business in an arts organization.

“So, not having to buy our own hardware and deal with all that is going to serve us well,” Wilson said. “We can focus on our application and the features our customers want. We’ve got more than we can stay busy with, focusing on that.”

With Rackspace Technology managing its infrastructure, Tessitura can focus on being the best at serving the arts and culture community.

“Rackspace Technology can make us great in the areas of hosted infrastructure, in ways we couldn’t have been great by ourselves,” Recinos said. “We can be great at advancing the business of arts and culture, but we’ll be relying on Rackspace Technology to make us great in the infrastructure that underpins that work.”

During heavy sales periods, where Tessitura can see 50x the normal amount of internet traffic, it has on-demand access to vast amounts of computing resources.

About Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is a leading end-to-end multi-cloud technology services company. We can design, build and operate our customers’ cloud environments across all major technology platforms, irrespective of technology stack or deployment model. We partner with our customers at every stage of their cloud journey, enabling them to modernize applications, build new products and adopt innovative technologies.

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