Mycomax: Reaping the Benefits of Cloud Migration

Mycomax is a software company that specialises in the development of loan management applications within the micro-financing industry in multiple African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Eswatini. Clients of Mycomax make use of the application to store and manage personal information of their customers. The application allows clients to keep track of loans taken out by various customers and perform interest-rate calculations through the system. Mycomax uses third-party partners to perform credit checks, record payments against customers’ bank accounts and make payments, all managed through the application.

The application uses virtualization allowing users to run and use the platform remotely from a desktop or laptop. As the application matured, one of the challenges that arose for Mycomax was scaling their infrastructure with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) who they have been using for the last 10 years, without incurring hefty costs. In December 2019, Mycomax expressed scalability and resourcing concerns with their ISP and discussed potential options on the most cost-effective way to grow their infrastructure. It became evident that investing in more resources with their ISP was not a viable option. Mycomax opted to invest in a service that would help them grow independently without relying on a third-party for resourcing capacity. Being an open-source company that was familiar with Google Workspace, Mycomax started looking into Google Cloud as an option. In January 2020, Mycomax approached Siatik to assist them with migrating their application to Google Cloud.

The solution proposed by Siatik involved migrating the existing VMware to Google Cloud and hosting it on Compute Engine which provides configurable, high-performing virtual machine instances that are based in Google Cloud’s data centres. The migration required backing up the ISP’s virtual infrastructure, transferring and restoring it to the Compute Engine virtual machine instances on Google Cloud. This solution would ultimately eliminate Mycomax’s infrastructure limitations and allow them to scale and grow their application with added flexibility and cost management.

Mycomax initially set out to go-live with the solution within a month of consulting Siatik, however, due to compatibility issues with backing up instances in Google Cloud and ISP access limitations to the virtual machines, the go-live date had to be pushed out. Siatik assisted Mycomax with troubleshooting all of the technical issues that came up with the restoration process for the VMware and databases. In the week before go-live, Mycomax with the help of Siatik’s expertise spent time testing their infrastructure on Google Cloud and the operations within the application.

After a successful migration to Google Cloud, Mycomax started to reap the benefits of a cloud-based application especially when the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa. Many of Mycomax’s competitors who hosted their applications locally experienced hardships during the pandemic as COVID-19 lockdown regulations were implemented. Mycomax believes that if they didn’t make the move over to the cloud before the pandemic, they would have to close their doors much like some of their biggest competitors. Not only did the migration to Google Cloud help Mycromax’s survival as a business, but it also improved their operational efficiency. There were a number of times in the past when the loan-management application was down for at least a day due to the ISP’s infrastructure or network-related issues. In the last two and a half years they were able to increase their operational uptime from 90% to almost 100% in the time that they moved to Google Cloud.

Mycromax’s clients have expressed outstanding feedback around the speed, decreased latency and improved availability of the platform after moving to the cloud. Not only have their clients had a positive experience since moving to the cloud, but employees in Mycomax have experienced increased productivity since the migration allowing them to spend more time on new features and technical support as opposed to infrastructure maintenance and installation issues. Developers and support staff have easily adapted to the new environment with minimal change in their way of work since the environment stayed the same. Ever since moving to Google Cloud, Mycomax is alleviated from the responsibility of maintaining and growing their infrastructure. Their only responsibility lies with creating and configuring Compute Engine instances, allowing them to manage their infrastructure better and save time instead of waiting for support from external parties.

Not only have Mycomax made use of Google Cloud’s Compute Engine but they are actively using other services and tools offered on Google Cloud Marketplace to improve their operational processes. These tools include the HYCU back-up solution for disaster recovery and data protection as well as the OpenVPN Access Server for testing and development. In the next two years after successfully launching their mobile application, Mycomax would like to start looking into Google Kubernetes Engine as a means of scaling up and down their infrastructure automatically. Using Google Kubernetes Engine would require infrastructure and code refactoring since they have built the application around VMware however they would like to look into it for added operational efficiency and increased performance.

Jobus Kotze from Mycomax has commended Siatik’s professionalism and platform expertise in helping them make the move to Google Cloud swiftly and efficiently in just under two months. Even though Mycomax were new to Google Cloud, Siatik were always available to assist them where necessary and ensure that they were well supported on their cloud journey. Siatik’s expertise and active support helped Mycomax go-live as soon as possible and ultimately saved Mycomax from great hardship and potential failure. With the move to Google Cloud, in the next few years Mycomax is looking to focus on expanding their use of Google Cloud to enhance not only their cloud journey but also their customer experience.