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International Accounting and Payroll Services Firm Saves Over One Million Dollars Annually With Nerdio

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With more than three million customers worldwide in more than 20 countries, U.K-based Sage is a market leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems. A Sr. Cloud Operations Manager in Sage’s South Africa office, Kevin Thompson, and his team of 22 cloud operations and DevOps engineers oversee a service portfolio of approximately 40 products that Sage manages. His clients are geographically dispersed throughout North America, Europe Africa, and the Middle East. 

In 2020, Sage sought to replace its Citrix hosting platform with Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop. “We were not able to scale our business at all,” stated Thompson. “Every time I grew that hosting environment, I had to add another headcount onto the product to manage the product portfolio.” 

Managing workloads had also become burdensome. “It was quite manually intensive,” Thompson explained. “We didn’t want to manage our workload as heavily on a day-to-day basis, with somebody logging in and manually scaling as we had to do with Citrix.” 

A clear winner

Sage looked at multiple options for replacing their existing hosting platform. They looked at Nerdio and another vendor, considered managing the machines internally within Windows Virtual Desktop (now Azure Virtual Desktop), and even building their own management automation framework. “Nerdio was definitely a cut above those options,” Thompson said. “From a cost perspective and considering the feature-rich service that Nerdio offered, it was the right fit for our business. The practical management of the Nerdio system, the easy-to-use interface… It was very intuitive in terms of the setup. It didn’t require a lot of training time or investment to understand the basic configuration and settings.” 

As a case in point, even though he had been in management for three years and had not been exercising his technical skills, Thompson was able to manage and optimize Nerdio by himself. “I ran the Auto-Scaling adjustment myself based on the reports that came out,” he recalled. “I think it’s just a very easy-to-use interface with a very easy front-end and configuration.” 

Thompson calls Nerdio Sage’s “hands-off automation tool to automatically scale our virtual machines. It’s a fire-and-forget system at the moment. We don’t have to do much on it once we’ve configured and optimized it. It’s like having another engineer doing some work for me every morning—an IT engineer managing all my virtual machines, switching them on and off, making sure that they’re present. If anything fails or breaks, it automatically rebuilds and just brings that back in. It takes away a lot of the day-to-day maintenance of managing virtual machines.” 

Efficiencies, big savings, and growth

Though Sage initially transferred only about 190 customers to Nerdio, the impact on the business has been far greater. “What Nerdio allowed us to do,” Thompson explained, “was grow our business significantly while providing substantial cost savings.” 

Utilizing Nerdio, Sage saves between 62% and 65% on virtual machine direct costs. “That’s several hundred thousand dollars a month,” Thompson added. In addition, Sage can now scale more natively without adding additional headcount. “Before Nerdio, we were adding one head for every 40 customers we added. Now, we have grown from 200 to 1,000 customers without adding any additional headcount, saving 20-plus heads.” 

Sage is growing both the product and savings simultaneously. “Last month’s exact Auto-Scaling savings was $123,000,” Thompson said. “That is quite a large savings.” Combine the avoidance of 20+ additional FTEs plus saving over 60% with Nerdio’s Auto-Scaling, and Sage gains about $1.5 million per year. 

Turning efficiencies into investments

Per Thompson, Nerdio has also allowed Sage to transfer resources to more valuable work. “I used to have engineers that were dedicated to that previous hosted solution. I’ve now been able to move them into automating, scaling, and growing other areas of the business. Automating management with Nerdio, we haven’t reduced headcount, but we’ve saved on adding heads, and due to Nerdio’s ease of use, I’ve been able to re-utilize people to help scale and grow other areas of the business as well.” 

Even beyond the savings numbers, the relationship with Nerdio has been fruitful. “A fantastic set of people,” Thompson called them. “They’ve really helped our business scale and grow in this area. In fact, it’s one of the fastest-growing products in the Africa/Middle East portfolio for Sage right now. They hit sales target caps of 200% on their budget last month.” 

“The support from Nerdio has been great,” Thompson concluded. “They built specific features that we requested in the product that they’ve then rolled out to other customers. That kind of relationship at the beginning was the foundation for really strong relationship between Sage and Nerdio.” 

To learn more about how this international accounting and payroll services firm saves over one million dollars annually, download the full case study PDF below. 

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