In Mission, Dream Warrior Group finds an AWS managed service provider whose care for clients matches its own, and which delivers the expertise to introduce effective solutions to meet its clients’ needs.

Highlights

  • Dream Warrior Group switched from redundant server providers to a sole reliance on Mission; that trust improved Dream Warrior’s ROI substantially while increasing its confidence in service quality and uptime.
  • Mission has proven to understand Dream Warrior Group’s requirements as it grows, suggesting and implementing new solutions as necessary.
  • With its Mission-implemented AWS security solution in place, Dream Warrior Group has even more peace of mind to proceed full-speed ahead with its new SaaS offering.

“Mission’s services have helped streamline and simplify the work of our technical team. This is the most important advantage of working with a team of experts: Your ROI and effectiveness increases leaps and bounds.”

Behnam Ataee
CTO

The Challenge

Dream Warrior Group required an AWS managed service provider that could bolster security in support of a new SaaS offering and deliver outside-the-box solutions that matched client needs.

Dream Warrior Group (DWG) began working with Mission five years ago, initially tasking the managed AWS provider with setting up and managing an AWS infrastructure that could simplify DWG’s cloud hosting solution (while also improving flexibility and reducing costs). With previous hosting providers, DWG ran cPanel and other control panel systems on disparate hardware that did not allow for elastic scaling to meet demand (nor the ability to pay only for the resources consumed). DWG also wanted to utilize AWS to more capably handle bandwidth surges, such as when one of its performing arts clients held a live-streaming event.

Many of DWG’s clients prefer to have a say in the management of their web services. Unfortunately, DWG reported that the managed service providers it vetted didn’t offer any AWS services compatible with its clients’ preferences – one potential provider went so far as to claim that it was impossible to use some of the most common control panels on AWS. In contrast, DWG found Mission to be fully able to implement AWS solutions in-line with its clients’ needs. Mission began by introducing an AWS infrastructure consolidating DWG’s cloud hosting, while also adhering to AWS security best practices. Additionally, Mission provides ongoing systems and infrastructure monitoring, as well as patching and update management for all of DWG’s cloud operating system.

After enlisting Mission, DWG continued to use two managed service providers for its servers, taking confidence in redundancy with the fact that, if one provider suffered downtime, DWG could maintain the availability of clients’ sites. However, DWG began to face mounting issues as its non-Mission provider declined in service quality following an acquisition, and a replacement provider selected by DWG delivered poor experiences.

Around this time, DWG was also developing a SaaS version of its proprietary ARTdynamix™ software, the company’s content management and cloud marketing system purpose-built for arts organizations. With the SaaS product approaching client availability, DWG required additional security features that could detect any intrusions by malware or malicious code, and provide timely security alerts.

“Our business relies on making sure our clients’ sites are online so they can sell tickets and get donations. If our servers fail, our clients can’t make money – and they won’t stay our clients for very long. When we call our provider for service, we feel like the people we talk with should care about our clients just as much as we do. While it’s rare we ever need to call Mission, when we do we can get literally three different people at Mission helping us within 15 minutes. I’m not trying to be corny, but I sleep better at night. That’s why we’re with Mission.”

LaMae Weber
CEO

The Solution

Dream Warrior Group shifted from two providers to full confidence in a single, Mission-managed AWS environment. Mission has continued to prove worthy of that reliance, bolstering DWG’s security with Amazon GuardDuty.

DWG decided to change from its redundant provider strategy to putting complete trust into Mission and AWS, driven by the consistent and exemplary quality of Mission’s service. As managed by Mission, DWG leverages Amazon EC2 instances to benefit from elastic compute resources and a “pay for what you use” cost structure, and Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) offers similar resource and cost flexibility for storage. To improve DWG’s previously limited visibility into the performance and health of its infrastructure and resources, Mission also championed Amazon CloudWatch, New Relic APM, and Site24x7 for performance monitoring and alerting.

When it came to introducing a new security initiative to protect DWG’s SaaS offering, the company was impressed by the willingness of Mission’s team to listen carefully to its security needs and apply its expertise and creativity in suggesting an effective solution. Whereas a previous provider had simply told DWG that its security ideas would not be feasible – creating a frustrating back-and-forth lasting six months – Mission worked with DWG to determine a workable solution and was able to complete its planning over one conversation.

The security solution involved implementing Amazon GuardDuty, a threat detection service able to continuously monitor for malicious activity and unauthorized behavior (and send alerts to personnel at Mission or DWG if a critical event ever occurs). Mission completed this security upgrade in just one week.

The Benefits

Dream Warrior Group has a much improved ROI by relying on Mission instead of redundant providers, and takes confidence in the service, security, and client-oriented dedication Mission consistently delivers.

Thanks to the trust and peace of mind Mission provides, DWG significantly improved their return on investment and time-to-response by shifting from two providers to one. In comparing provider costs at the time of that decision, DWG also found Mission itself to be very reasonable from a budget perspective. DWG also appreciates Mission’s willingness to have conversations, determine the best solutions for its specific needs, and then ably implement those solutions. DWG has had very reliable uptime with Mission as well, justifying the move to Mission as its sole provider.

Most of all, DWG points to Mission’s service as a differentiating benefit. DWG recognizes Mission as unique (among the service providers it has experience with) in offering a Customer Service Manager (CSM), a variable that has resulted in superior communication and response times. Mission continues to demonstrate its dedication to DWG’s success: when DWG faced an issue a few months ago, Mission not only began to resolve it almost immediately, but then investigated the issue’s root cause and went so far as to work with technicians at the control panel vendor to resolve a problem on their end – and ensure a permanent solution.

Looking forward, DWG is confident introducing its SaaS solution to clients with the Mission-implemented security upgrade in place, and plans to gradually expand the AWS servers and services it utilizes alongside its managed AWS provider. Those servers are not only critical to DWG’s core business, but also to its volunteer work – such as with The People Concern, which supports the mission that “everyone should be housed, healthy and safe.”

About Dream Warrior Group

Dream Warrior Group is a digital web development and design agency specializing in cutting edge technology, creative strategy and SaaS marketing solutions. The company has a particular focus serving organizations in the performing arts and non-profit sectors. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Dream Warrior Group’s client base is nationwide.

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