New privacy regulations can require enterprises of certain countries, such as Rwanda, India and Indonesia, to host their data within the country of operation. These Data Residency Laws proved an issue for Assai, as it meant that customers within these regions would no longer be able to use Assai’s services. With the help of Sentia, cloud service provider, Assai has been able to successfully implement its Azure Cloud environment compliant with local data laws.

Assai is an international leader in Document Control and Management Solutions for complex engineering and construction projects. Generally, it hosts its data from four main regions, the European Union, the United States, Singapore, and Australia, with the use of Microsoft Azure’s cloud environment.

“When we decided to host Assai Cloud on Azure’s global data centers in 2015, the main advantages compared to on-premise were security, speed, and ease-of-use.” states Floris Schrijvers, CTO at Assai. “But if a customer specifically requested to localize its data in the past, we would suggest using our software on-premise on privately managed servers. In today’s IT landscape, however, we felt that this solution no longer met our standards.”

Installing local servers is a seemingly simple solution to comply with Data Localization Laws. However, without strong maintenance and security guardrails, self-owned servers easily become a liability. What happens when a local outage takes place? Who guarantees continuous protection against data theft, or worse, ransom-ware attacks? Another challenge arises when a customer has global teams, who wish to access or retrieve documents from across the world.

Floris: “Successfully managing a private cloud requires extensive resources and expertise. We did not want to place that responsibility on our customers. The Azure Cloud Platform offers one of the most secure, reliable, and user-friendly solutions of today. Next to that, it’s supportive of the environmental goals of many organizations, as it reduces their server footprint. That’s why we really wanted to find a way to provide our customers with a way to comply with their country’s regulations without losing their digital advantages.”

Assai was successful in addressing this challenge. Combining the resources of Azure with the expertise of Sentia, Azure Expert MSP, and MainOne, a local ISP in the African region, Assai worked to install physical servers in the countries of its affected customers and connect these with Azure Stack. “Azure Stack is a solution that enables developers to centrally manage an application through their own public server and then deploy it locally,” explains Nick Kazen, Cloud Architect at Sentia. “Keeping centralized control of Assai Cloud was essential to guarantee the consistent quality of the platform. As the software now rolls out to local servers, the data of Assai’s customers can remain within the DR Region at all times.”

Are you looking for a Cloud DMS, but are you faced with data residency laws within your country? Assai has got you covered!

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