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Case Study

Robust, Agile Back-End and Better Performance Lets NPS Focus on Customers


Situation

Working with both renters and property clients, the NPS Rent Assurance™ program provides a reliable alternative to higher upfront security costs as a means to reduce future payment risk and drive higher applicant conversion rates.

Property leasing staff enrolls applicants with Rent Assurance online via the NPS web-based applications. All enrollment and applicant tracking activity is managed through the NPS enrollment website, NeighborhoodPayServices.com, using secure cloud-based technology. Complete transparency of current payment status for each enrolled resident provides additional benefits to property clients. The service also provides access to partial payments in the event of tenant job loss, evictions, or other outstanding
recurring charges, such as heat and water.

Because of the immense changes in activity that occur on a monthly basis, NPS emphasizes the importance of performance and scalability for their web applications. In addition many of their performance requirements are driven by large spikes in user enrollment and monthly processing needs. “We often need to expand our applications’ infrastructure footprint overnight” said Richard Calmas, Founder and CEO of NPS. “The need to be ‘elastic’ with our technology environment is very important since performance requirements may change on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis.”

NPS has two principal high-performance website applications. NeighborhoodPayServices,com, contains many of the mission critical functions. NPS needed to support this application with an elastic cloud, infrastructure as a service, platform so that volume can be expanded quickly.

A second application, myNPSrent.com allows residents to check the status of their NPS account, view account balances and access other NPS features. NPS required that these two applications be robust, as both property owners/managers and residents have a low tolerance for slow web applications. The current system runs with a Microsoft SQL database to manage user data, in collaboration with a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 environment. An earlier version of the system was running in a PHP
and MySQL environment. NPS leveraged the ProfitBricks’ systems to develop, test and deploy the new Microsoft-platform based platform.

“The enrollment and myNPSrent applications are the heart and soul of our business” said Calmas. “It is essential that these applications function effectively and are highly available day-in and day-out.”


Solution

NPS approached ProfitBricks with their performance and scalability requirements for their applications. They also wanted to quickly deploy individual development, testing, and production servers with high performance capabilities.

“We migrated everything to ProfitBricks” said Eric Raunig, NPS Systems Administrator. “Our previous hosting provider had some serious service and performance issues that necessitated a change.” NPS focused on ProfitBricks’ revolutionary network speeds and network flexibility as the ideal solution for both satisfying end-users and the increasing overall performance of the two applications. Both depend on speed to aid with new customer acquisition and usability.

“We may add 1,000 users overnight and require high-performance infrastructure to support usage spikes,” adds Raunig.


Benefits

NPS has had an excellent experience with ProfitBricks. ProfitBricks Senior System Administrator Steve Y., their primary point-of-contact, has provided them timely and accurate support while advising and implementing enhanced security systems.

“Steve Y. is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. ProfitBricks’ two-factor authentication process for all support requests adds an extra level of protection to ensure our customer identity” said Raunig. “Especially with the sensitivity surrounding our customer data, security is very important to us and we really value the added protection offered by ProfitBricks.”

NPS also uses ProfitBricks’ network for data replication. Client data must be replicated for disaster recovery purposes. Client information is also securely maintained in a backup environment. ProfitBricks cloud storage platform includes instant and seamless replication of all data on the fly in two data centers on SAS drives that are setup in a RAID 10 configuration.

The Neighborhood Pay Services web applications have achieved superior performance since migrating to the ProfitBricks platform, increasing both user satisfaction and improved usage statistics. With the ProfitBricks InfiniBand 80 Gbps backend networks, NPS was able to leverage the fast connections from the application servers to the database servers. NPS also enjoys the simplicity of the innovative ProfitBricks user interface that allows them to make performance adjustments, such as adding additional CPU cores, RAM, and disk space, with immediate implementation.

“NPS uses the websites for all of our application processing and resident requests,” says Calmas. “We receive an incredible value from the flexibility and elevated performance of the ProfitBricks platform. ProfitBricks undoubtedly helps us keep a robust and agile application back-end, increasing our overall revenues with better performance, while my team focuses on a better web presence and providing a better overall customer experience.”

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