Centric Consulting Hilldrup Cloud Transformation

Driving Cloud Transformation and Employee Innovation at Hilldrup

By the Numbers

applications packaged and managed
endpoints managed
NIST/CIS Controls (Windows 10/11 Devices)

Enter Centric: From Cybersecurity to Platform as a Service Cloud Transformation

Our work started with a focus on Hilldrup’s cybersecurity, and in 2022, our Chief Information Officer (CIO) Services team began a security assessment. Their work evaluated the company’s computer information system controls and licensing of any third-party applications. Team members also drew on their experience with Department of Defense security standards and used that first-in-class model to design additional security measures.

The completed security assessment resulted in a year-long roadmap to update the company’s current systems, eliminate duplicate expenses, and address operational challenges, with the end goal of ensuring Hilldrup’s IT systems were best in class. That goal aligns with their vision to be “the best moving services company, period.” Our work revealed that attaining Hilldrup’s additional goals of lowering costs, increasing IT efficiency, and becoming more innovative would require addressing their legacy systems, software, and on-premises (on-prem) servers. The question became, “Invest in replacing new equipment or invest in a cloud migration?”

After exploring the cost of the options and comparing how each could affect the company’s long-term plans, Hilldrup chose to transition to the cloud and set the stage for optimizing its digital assets through a cloud transformation. We conducted a total cost of ownership (TCO) study to evaluate the various cloud options.

Because of the client’s existing virtual desktop environment, our analysis initially suggested AWS as the more cost-effective option. However, while working more on their use cases and technical requirements, we realized that AWS’s solutions for moving applications from the on-prem servers to the cloud would be more costly in the long run. In addition, the company used Microsoft RDS (Remote Desktop Services) to distribute its applications from the servers to individual users. RDS provided a Microsoft footprint that would make the move to Microsoft Azure and Azure Virtual Desktop Infrastructure a better choice.

Implementing Azure allowed us to use our platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities, which draw on multiple parts of the Centric Consulting organization. Over the course of the project, we tapped virtually every other part of our organization, including our India practice, Modern Workplace Security, the Microsoft 365 Dynamics team, Business and Corporate Services, Change Management, and various project managers and project management organizations.

The multidisciplinary nature of our PaaS approach allowed us to address human as well as technical factors as we hardened the client’s tenant, modernized their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) experience, transitioned the company from on-prem SQL managed instance to SQL in the cloud, implemented multifactor authentication, and more. These enhancements ensured Hilldrup’s IT systems and infrastructure were in line with their standing as industry leaders for their clients.

As we were working through this engagement, Hilldrup closed on an acquisition and needed to integrate the new company’s systems with its own. The acquired business used its own customer relationship management (CRM) system to serve its unique workplace clients, which required integrating the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM on the Hilldrup side with the new company’s CRM. This integration was woven into the work we were doing, setting up Hilldrup’s systems for the long run for employees as well as existing and new clients.

The Results: Greater Security, Lower Costs, More Innovation

Our engagement evolved from an initial project focused on cybersecurity to a larger IT system transformation that accomplished Hilldrup’s goals of hardening cybersecurity while lowering costs, freeing IT employees up for higher-value work, and increasing innovation.

On the security side, the client fully manages and secure its endpoints through Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Intune and Autopilot instead of multiple, overlapping tools. We also helped develop and implement security policies based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Center for Internet Security (CIS) recommendations.

Over a decade ago, NIST, part of the United States Department of Commerce, partnered with other government agencies to create a unified security framework. The nonprofit CIS, by comparison, provides technical recommendations for implementing that framework. The DoD has adopted NIST SP 800-171 for its critical security systems.

On the Azure side, all Hilldrup services are now online in the Azure Cloud, and employees use Azure Virtual Desktop. Hilldrup decommissioned all legacy servers, saving the financial costs and human efforts needed to maintain them.

In the end, the project’s ultimate goal was to drive innovation. When employees know they work in a secure environment and see investment in modern tools that free them for more meaningful work, they are more likely to innovate. The company is now ready to pursue more work with us and on its own. Currently, Hilldrup uses Azure Solutions to create a new customer portal and plans to start migrating its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to Azure soon. Our ongoing partnership with the client allows them to prioritize strategic initiatives and provide their customers with the highest level of service.


When businesses face security and other IT challenges, they eventually reach a point where they must determine the costs of maintaining, repairing, and replacing their on-prem equipment against the cost of cloud transformation. Not all businesses will reach the same conclusion, but the PaaS approach is becoming increasingly important for those who do. PaaS includes all the factors — human, technical, and cultural — affected by ambitious change initiatives. With the right approach, employees will see the benefits of the changes and feel freer to pursue innovative ideas.

When you partner with us, we’re thoughtful about how we structure your project and create tailored solutions for your organization. No one can match the combined benefits of our delivery teams: experience, flexibility and cost efficiency.

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