The business challenge
The goal of ECKD KIGST is to accompany church and social institutions on their
way into the digital future. Founded in 1992, the company now provides IT services
nationwide for organizations of the Protestant and Catholic Churches in Germany
as well as the welfare organizations Caritas and Diakonie. The product and service
portfolio ranges from the provisioning of specialist applications and individual
project support to full IT outsourcing.
“Our company motto is ‘IT.Menschlich’ (‘IT.human’),” said Michael Mößinger, Head of
IT Services at ECKD KIGST. “We are firmly convinced that the targeted use of digital
technologies enables more humanity. With our solutions, we relieve the church
and charitable institutions of many administrative tasks so that employees can
concentrate even more on their social and pastoral tasks.”
Regardless of whether it’s the cooperation of permanent and voluntary employees
in a church congregation, the personnel administration of a day-care center or the
scheduling of an outpatient nursing service, without powerful IT applications, many
of these processes can no longer be efficiently controlled. The requirements for data
protection and availability have risen continuously in recent years, and so has the
demand for professional IT support.
Today, ECKD KIGST operates hundreds of applications, specialized procedures
and databases for more than 25,000 users in the church and welfare sector from
data centers in Kassel and Cologne. In total, their infrastructure comprises over
2,000 managed virtual systems with a data volume of 1,800 TB. The data centers
meet all legal and church data protection requirements to ensure the availability,
confidentiality and integrity of the customer’s own data. In addition, all operating
processes are certified according to the ISO/IEC 27001 security standard.
“We are currently seeing an additional surge in digitization, triggered by the
structural change in many organizations, but also by the effects of the worldwide
COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mößinger. “Where personal contacts are temporarily
not possible, church and social institutions are increasingly turning to online
communication and virtual teamwork. This also accelerates the introduction of
cloud services like Office 365”.
Because of this, ECKD KIGST was looking for a platform that supports Cloud Data
Management™ where hybrid scenarios can also be reliably supported as securely,
flexibly and cost-effectively as possible.
The Veeam solution
ECKD KIGST first implemented Veeam Backup & Replication to ensure maximum
availability of its on-premises infrastructure.
“We had previously carried out a detailed comparison of functions and costs and
the result clearly spoke in favor of the Veeam platform,” said Mößinger. “In addition
to the mature functions for backing up and restoring virtual machines (VMs), the
simple multi-client capability and the usage-based licensing model convinced us as a
Right from the start, the IT department at KCKD KIGST appreciated the great
flexibility of Veeam’s platform. ECKD KIGST can, depending on customer
requirements, back up VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V environments and
flexibly determine where backup data is stored, whether it’s in its own data center,
at the customer’s site or in a public cloud.
The IT service provider then offers its customers Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) in
four different service classes and guarantees fixed response and solution times,
particularly for critical applications like human resources or care documentation.
These critical applications can be made available again within minutes in the event
of a breakdown.
“With Veeam, we ensure, among other things, that nursing staff have secure access
to the data of the persons being cared for at all times via tablet while they’re on the
move,” said Michael Mößinger. “If a VM fails, we are able to restart it directly from
the backup with the Instant VM Recovery® technology from Veeam”.
ECKD KIGST can also prevent data loss in the cloud with the help of Veeam
software. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are introducing
Microsoft Office 365 as a digital workplace solution. With tools like Microsoft Teams,
parishes, for example, can virtually maintain their work for the church community
even if churches, parish offices and other facilities are temporarily closed.
These closings, however, cannot be at the expense of data security. Today, church
organizations manage the very sensitive personal data of their parishioners and are
subject to numerous retention obligations, particularly in registration or financial
“With Veeam, we are able to support church and social institutions in the secure
and data-protection-compliant transition to Office 365,” said Mößinger. “We offer
them Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 as a managed service. We use it
to permanently back up data that’s stored in the customer’s Exchange Online or
SharePoint Online environment on our systems or, if the customer wishes, in a
cloud-based object storage environment such as Azure Blob or AWS S3.”
ECKD KIGST can then immediately recover data that has been accidentally deleted, like,
if a user’s account has been deactivated in the Microsoft cloud. Whether it’s Exchange
mailboxes, SharePoint documents or files in OneDrive for Business, Veeam Backup for
Microsoft Office 365 enables granular recovery of any item with just a few clicks.
ECKD KIGST customers do not have to worry about possible data loss and can retain full
control over where their sensitive information is stored when they use Office 365. The
“exit strategy” required by Catholic and Protestant data protection authorities can also be
implemented with Veeam. If an institution decides to move to another cloud platform or
service provider in the future, it can move its data very quickly and easily with Veeam.
“Cloud Data Management from Veeam is a central component of our future strategy and
helps us to securely drive forward the digitalization of processes and organizations,” said
Michael Mößinger. “We are currently developing ‘CHURCHX’, a digital marketplace for
church and welfare. The aim is to automate the ordering and provision of IT services, but
also of other goods, and to offer them centrally through a platform. Veeam supports us
by providing all necessary applications with high availability”.
- High-availability provisioning of IT services for 25,000 users:
ECKD KIGST uses Veeam to ensure that employees in the church and welfare sector have
access to their data and applications at all times, like in the outpatient care sector.
Service level agreements (SLAs) with reaction and solution times of a just few
hours can now reliably be met with Veeam.
- Accelerating cloud transformation in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis:
More and more ECKD KIGST customers are introducing digital workplace solutions
based on Office 365 to strengthen collaboration in virtual teams. With Veeam
Backup for Microsoft Office 365, they have access to a proven data protection
solution that is ready for immediate use.
- High economic efficiency through affordable usage-based licensing:
IT budgets in church and social institutions are limited. Thanks to the flexible Veeam
licensing model for service providers and the favorable conditions for non-profit
organizations, ECKD KIGST can now offer professional Cloud Data Management at
low monthly costs.