Established in 1970 in Sarasota, Florida as West Florida Distributors, HSK Industries initially carved out a niche in the tile and construction sector. Over the years, it has blossomed into a vibrant portfolio of rapidly growing enterprises that span diverse industries, from home equity services to leisure and entertainment.
Now operated as a family office by two entrepreneurial brothers, the conglomerate has expanded its expertise into various fields, including kitchen cabinets, glass and mirror products, golf and entertainment ventures, and even bagel production. This evolution showcases the company’s dynamic approach to business as it continually adapts to offer services that serve current market demands.
“HSK Industries is committed to fostering generational wealth for its employees,” said Mikyle Nachtrieb, HSK Industries IT Director. “We are deeply invested in our communities, and we’re consistently looking for opportunities to give back.”
"Our collaboration with Rackspace Technology alleviated our concerns regarding data loss and downtime during the migration and upgrade process."
The obstacles they faced
Before transitioning to the cloud, HSK Industries dealt with an unstructured IT operation that had limited oversight across different sectors of the company. Rapid growth spurred by strategic acquisitions increased the demands on IT resources, highlighting the need for a centralized IT strategy to integrate diverse IT solutions.
To address its burgeoning infrastructure demands, HSK Industries explored cloud-based solutions. Recognizing the benefits of a more stable, accessible and scalable system, HSK Industries selected Google Cloud™ to enhance both the expansion and stability of its portfolio. “With Google Cloud, HSK Industries is able to redefine the company by bringing cross-industry groups together and enabling collaboration,” said Nachtrieb.
In addition to offering enhanced stability and accessibility, Google Cloud allows HSK Industries to mitigate the impact of unexpected weather events. With operations spread across various sites in Florida and Tennessee, the shift to Google Cloud has fortified HSK Industries' data protection strategy in preparing to navigate any potential unexpected disruptions.
"In our ecosystem of partners, we see Google Cloud as the beehive and the Rackspace team as the honeycomb that helps our team to build our system with the data and resources we need to thrive. I am incredibly optimistic about our future."
How we helped
To facilitate this transformation, HSK Industries sought to implement a lift-and-shift migration from its on-premises data centers, as well as an upgrade of its SAP HANA Business One, an ERP solution with numerous tools to help provide access to data quickly to make decisions faster. The company needed an environment to optimize portfolio sales, accounting, marketing, infrastructure, security, purchasing and warehouse management.
After evaluating several vendors, and at the recommendation of their consulting partner, Simple Network Consulting, Rackspace Technology emerged as the optimal choice as a partner because it offered the best fit for the company's diverse holdings, providing commitment and resources to its diverse portfolio.
The Rackspace team initiated a two-step approach to execution, starting with the lift and shift migration, followed by an upgrade for HSK Industries' longer-term plan of adopting a newer version of Business One and migrating to the HANA database. The company knew it needed a non-production environment in which to conduct the upgrade and migration, so it considered moving to the cloud for the QA environment and disaster recovery. The Rackspace team proposed optimal cloud practices and facilitated the seamless set-up of the environment.
During the dry run, HSK Industries actively engaged key users for testing and validation, which aided with the smooth progression of phase one. The Rackspace team efficiently transitioned the system to the Google Cloud environment and executed the Business One system upgrade, along with other components, over a single weekend, providing uninterrupted software access at the start of the new workweek.
The collaborative project management team was able to respond well to any issues that arose, and the senior project manager led the process and ensured smooth execution. "Our collaboration with Rackspace Technology alleviated our concerns regarding data loss and downtime during the migration and upgrade process," Nachtrieb said.
HSK Industries migrated legacy workloads and infrastructure to the cloud with no data loss or downtime.
What we achieved together
With the help of the Rackspace team, HSK Industries successfully moved its resources from on-premises to Google Cloud for stability, accessibility and scalability, followed by an upgrade to SAP HANA Business One.
With HSK Industries’ decision to create both a non-production and production environment, Nachtrieb said that his leadership team now has the opportunity to bring in new technologies and scale across industries. The feedback they have received on these new technologies has been positive, giving HSK Industries the potential for unlimited opportunities.
“We were excited about that because it allows us to look at which future technologies and opportunities we can bring into a solution for our company,” said Nachtrieb. “It allows us that flexibility, as we scale, to have what feels like unlimited potential.”
“Rackspace plays an important part in our ecosystem of vendors by providing us with a framework for collaboration and optimizing our ability to work with those vendors,” said Nachtrieb. “We work with many partners that each bring something different to the table. I'm proud of this collaboration and the effort by Rackspace to fit that approach, working toward our customers' benefit and goals.”
The initial lift-and-shift phase of the project brought several substantial benefits to HSK Industries, including increased scalability, significant cost savings and heightened security. The second phase took the modernization of HSK Industries' operations a step further, introducing a more advanced database and an updated version of SAP HANA Business One. These advancements allowed the company to enhance customer engagement and efficiently manage and analyze large volumes of data, liberating their in-house teams to concentrate more on core product development projects.
“My interactions with Rackspace Technology have been terrific and our employees and leadership team have expressed enthusiasm for Rackspace Technology,” said Nachtrieb. "In our ecosystem of partners, we see Google Cloud as the beehive and the Rackspace team as the honeycomb that helps our team to build our system with the data and resources we need to thrive. I am incredibly optimistic about our future."
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