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Irish State Agency: Accelerating Time-to-Market from Days to Hours with DevOps

DevOps implementation to help Customer unify IT infrastructure and automate business processes

Client: Large state education agency
Industry: Education
Location: Ireland
Employees: 50+

Business challenge:

A three-day’s release to production time, manual deployment as well as testing of a new version that could take a week, time-consuming solution delivery and necessary involvement of human resources.

 

Business value:

Solution deployment decreased from days to hours. Automation of previously manual operations and provided transparency of business processes allowed optimizing resources, reducing operational costs, and increasing the quality of delivered solutions.

Solution:

Implementing DevOps practices, including Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment, Continuous Integration, Release Management, etc. Automated release to the production environment as well as to integration/staging/UAT environments for Quality Control. Completely automated acceptance process in all the environments without a required participation of the team.

 

Technologies used:

Windows Server, Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure Services, VSTS cloud, Power BI Cloud Services, Azure Multi-Factor Authentication, Azure Single Sign-On, Azure AD Sync, Azure Application Insights, Microsoft Development tools, PowerShell, Jenkins, GIT, Octopus Deploy.

 
 
Read the full Case Study

Client Background

An Ireland-based company (name under NDA) is the integrated state agency, responsible for education quality assurance, standards, awards and training programs validation. Thousands of students, learners and educators use the company’s services to achieve their educational goals. In 2016 alone, the company assigned 280,000 awards to learners and 170,000 certificates to students, who completed various educational and training programs.

Business Challenge

After the consolidation of four different companies in one agency, the company inherited a mess of diverse infrastructures, domains, systems, databases, and technologies from four organizations. All this led to an increase in expenses for their maintenance. Since the educational services are widely used across the entire country, it was critical to improve the reliability of all client’s services and decrease the time-to-market.

The Agency addressed Infopulse with a request to support the implementation of their IT strategy, which would help the agency to achieve its strategic business goals. As we expanded the amount of services, and shifted to large-scale systems design, a new format of cooperation required a well-thought-out DevOps approach. We needed to reduce the number of technology vendors to one, improve the whole workflow, and cut costs for IT support.

The Infopulse team implemented DevOps practices to accomplish an efficient migration of all systems to one unified technology stack, simplify business processes, and overcome the following challenges:

  • The release to production was time consuming, and in case of large systems could take up to 3 days.
  • Deployment as well as testing of the new software version were conducted manually and could take up to a week.
  • The whole solution delivery required too much time and required extensive resources.
  • We needed to unite customer’s diverse infrastructure, consisting of legacy systems and their numerous dependencies.
  • Due to the unorganized tech stack, inherited from the agencies merging, we were lacking insights on how development processes and operations were previously organized.
  • Considerable lack of documentation, missing structure procedures, and low performance.

Solutions

To develop and implement crucial technological solutions, Infopulse adopted the DevOps model based on Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment, and Continuous Integration (CI) practices, Infrastructure Management, Release Management, Complex Integration and Automated Testing Integration:

  • Automated application deployment to the test and production environments.
  • Automated release to integration, staging, and UAT environments for Quality Control.
  • Branching in Source Control for flexible development of new features and support of existing solutions.
  • Implementing a two-stage release of a new build version: uploading of the build to specific servers and then, automated UI testing of an installed application.
  • Utilizing Continuous Integration and Release Management for the installation process in one environment and basic keyword check-up within a chosen business use-case.
  • Completely automated acceptance process in all the environments without a required participation of the team.

Business Value

Utilizing the DevOps model, Infopulse team managed to streamline a variety of business processes and demonstrate substantial results:

  • The time required to create a new build version decreased from 3 days in all environments to no more than 3-4 hours.
  • Automated testing and repeatability of documented processes brought the consistent quality of delivered solutions.
  • Automation of previously manual operations and provided transparency of business processes allowed reducing the number of tech support calls, optimizing resources, and cutting operational costs.

Customer Quote

The importance and complexity of our project called for a full-scale integrated approach by a reliable service provider that would be perfectly familiar with the technology. We are confident to recommend Infopulse as a strong, reliable and expert partner. Our cooperation with Infopulse helped us to implement strategic goals and objectives on many levels. – The Head of Information Communication Technology and Procurement

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