Rank Group

Rank Group are a leading entertainments organisation operating in Britain, Spain and Belgium with 162 Casino and Bingo gaming outlets and over 3 million customers. Rank Group was formed in 1937 starting off in motion pictures and today gaming from its many clubs to online game sites.

The Challenge

Rank Group needed to set up a new server infrastructure to securely and efficiently support a large scale digital gaming platform. Implementing this in-house, or using an outsourced service provider, would have delayed the project considerably. This led to Rank making the decision to use Microsoft Azure, which helped them to get the project underway within days. Using Cognizant Microsoft Business Group ‘s App Factory methodology, the team designed the Azure infrastructure environment; from the network, authentication, virtual server infrastructure through to security of the whole platform. They also used Microsoft Azure inbuilt features and third party virtual appliances from Barracuda to provide layer 7 firewall capabilities to ensure optimal security, auditing and monitoring for their web services.

The Solution

Rank now have a secure and scalable Azure Infrastructure platform that can be used not just for the initial gaming platform but for other services and applications. Development teams have started to use the environment for building and testing the latest BI features available in the Azure platform such as HD Insight as well as the new SQL Server product line features. Rank Group’s primary driver in the decision-making process was the ability to have total control over their chosen solution, the Azure platform provides that. They will also benefit from reduced data centre management costs with this cost efficient and secure solution.

We have successfully launched our new digital platform supplied by Bede Gaming and it is now operating across both Mecca and Grosvenor digital sites and mobile apps, with Enracha due to launch later in the year. Performance so far has been encouraging and we will turn on increased functionality over the coming months. This promises to be a game changer as we continue to invest in our digital capability.

Utilising Azure has enabled Rank Group to leverage the scale and unlimited capacity that the Microsoft cloud offers us whilst giving us complete control over our deployed infrastructure assets. Security was also of paramount importance to us and by using the security built into the Azure platform, together with third party appliances, we have achieved our strict security requirements. Cognizant Microsoft Business Group has ensured that we have an environment that is both scalable and secure in a very short time using their extensive expertise and experience. We are continuing to partner with Cognizant Microsoft Business Group to explore further efficiencies that we can take advantage of such as Mobile Device Management and Office 365.

Leon Spight, Cloud Programme Project Manager | The Rank Group PLC

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