ATLANTICUS SWAPS COSTLY DATA CENTERS FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES INNOVATION WITH ZADARA

When everyday consumers need financial solutions for important purchases or day-to-day expenses, Atlanticus assists banks with providing tools that support their financial wellbeing. In its 24-year history, the company has serviced more than $26 billion in loans for 17 million plus customers. Atlanticus also works with some of the Top 100 merchants in the US to offer their customers sales finance at the point of sale.

Atlanticus is a technology innovator. Data storage has a critical role in the company’s ability to expeditiously facilitate the presentment of financial services and products to consumers. The Atlanticus platform is built on over two-decades of technology investments and historical data, which inform a decision-making engine that must be accurate and minimize risk. Decisions are processed and delivered to locations across the country as part of a customer experience that is, ideally, seamless.

“Because of our investment in consumer facing technology, it now takes mere seconds for Atlanticus to determine whether an offer for financing can be presented to a customer in a retail store,” says Kas Naderi, SVP Global Technologies, Atlanticus. Technology has also enabled the company to successfully resolve nearly 80% of all customer calls and to use credit “waterfalls” to allow merchants to offer consumers greater spending power. “All these customer facing innovations were built with resources that used to be spent on operational tasks.”

“No alternative solution was as cost or effort effective as Zadara.” Kas Naderi, SVP Global Technologies, Atlanticus

When Atlanticus made the strategic decision to shift from on-premises infrastructure to cloud computing in 2013, the company needed storage that could handle its diverse data types. They also needed a partner to help them shift IT resources from maintaining the data center to a renewed focus on innovation that would benefit their customers. Zadara cloud storage was the solution.

“Zadara was easier, faster and more cost-effective,” explains Fred Hendricks, Senior Storage Engineer, Atlanticus. “Zadara started saving us time and money right off the bat.”

THE CHALLENGE

Like many other financial services companies, Atlanticus previously operated its own data center. The company leveraged a Class A facility, which hosted millions of dollars’ worth of investments in storage and other standard technologies. In 2013 the company implemented a new cloud computing strategy designed to overcome the many challenges associated with running a data center.

Cost was a significant factor. “Running storage in a data center requires a lot of investment and those investments have a limited shelf-life,” explains Naderi. “Over time, equipment becomes obsolete and requires continued investment. We needed a solution that would give us an advantage over on-premises storage costs.”

The company also needed more flexibility to meet changing storage needs. “We wanted a storage service that would allow us to refresh our technology in real time, so we could add power and capacity as the company grew,” says Naderi. “That would also allow us to replace capital expenditure with operational expense and align our spending with our requirements.”

“Zadara was easier, faster and more cost-effective.” said Fred Hendricks Senior Storage Engineer, Atlanticus

Increasing focus on delivering services for consumers was another priority for Atlanticus. With the burden of operating a data center, the company was expending too many resources on maintaining and upgrading storage. “I’ve always liked my hardware,” says Hendricks. “It’s what I knew. But why pay to buy and maintain storage hardware when you can have a team like Zadara’s take care of everything behind the scenes?”

Atlanticus needed a cloud storage solution that could support its unique integration requirements. “We work with many types of data, across two different operating systems and storage protocols, and our applications need to share data among themselves,” explains Naderi. “Storing employee data, such as Excel documents in Windows, is relatively easy. But our consumer data needs to be stored for longer periods, we need to make sure nothing gets lost, and we need to use that data in our transaction decisions every day.

“Zadara was the first company that said, ‘we’ll solve this problem for you in multiple ways.’” Kas Naderi

“We had selected AWS as our cloud computing partner, but it was a challenge at the time to find a unified storage solution that allowed Linux systems using the NFS protocol to interact with Windows systems using CIFS.” 1

THE SOLUTION

Zadara met Atlanticus’ challenges by providing a pay-as-you-use solution that connected all the company’s systems, fulfilled processing needs in multiple geographies, and provided integrated disaster recovery (DR) features.

“Zadara was the first company that said, ‘we’ll solve this problem for you in multiple ways,’” recalls Naderi. “One, the storage works with Windows and Linux at the same time, which AWS couldn’t offer back then. And two, we didn’t have to buy assets anymore. We pay for as much storage as we use. We can add capacity and processing power as we grow, and we have flexibility to scale down if our needs shrink.”

“We went from a huge capital outlay to no capital outlay.”

Having a Zadara managed solution allowed Atlanticus to spend less time on managing and monitoring storage, improving efficiency. Zadara for disaster recovery also delivers cost-efficient storage redundancy and high availability of data. To read the full story and learn more, visit the customer story with Atlanticus.

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