The Need for Speed
A virtual care company partners with SoftServe to quickly integrate acquired systems
Merger and acquisition announcements are common, but you don’t hear about the post-acquisition integration headaches. Company cultural differences, management structures, and differing technological infrastructures must be defined, aligned, or combined. It’s not easy. Often, there’s no existing solution.
Our client faced this challenge. They are a world leader in whole-person virtual care. Multisite systems with hybrid architectures provide a fully integrated healthcare experience for primary care, mental health, and chronic condition management. More than 4,000 employees maintain these services for clients in over 130 countries.
Acquiring 13 competing companies in nine years to fuel growth posed a unique integration opportunity. They turned to SoftServe to help create a unified platform offering and amplifying niche services.
As their technology partner, we developed a program to assist with cloud modernization, orchestrate API integration, and manage portfolio applications. The project required these three goals to be executed simultaneously.
A MULTIPLICATION OF CHALLENGES
Independent technical platforms running in siloed environments presented a costly and growing strain to support ongoing development for redundant systems and IT components. It became more evident with every acquisition. Each new company also used different standards and approaches for application build and delivery. Migration from AWS to Microsoft Azure added even further complexity.
Time to market is crucial in this competitive industry. From an IT perspective, our client knew that the lack of enterprise-wide architecture governance could slow them down.
Internal organizational changes added yet another obstacle. Adding new companies necessitated changing how groups within the business reported and worked together. A foundational reorganization was essential to current employee productivity and future expansion.
SoftServe’s expertise in cloud modernization, enterprise integration, and application portfolio management made us the perfect partner. We could easily design, create, and implement the technology solutions that would pave the way for growth, diversification, and a continued competitive advantage.
We assembled a cross-functional team of experts and consultants from our:
- Cloud and DevOps center of excellence
- API management and system integration practice
- Enterprise architecture practice
- Business analysis and product management center of excellence
They partnered with a client team:
- Architects from the enterprise architecture group
- Engineering directors
- Product team representatives
GOALS AND PROJECT DEFINED
The assembled teams identified shared goals:
- Modernization of application portfolio and cloud platform migration
- Improve the alignment between business strategy and application functionality
- Reduce the application portfolio’s total cost of ownership
- Reduce integration complexity
The goals contributed to the overall vision of an internal enterprise architecture capability to guide future technology investments. It would also prevent uncontrolled application sprawl.
The ambitious plan offered significant benefits. Successful enterprise architecture implementation and practices would result in a more effective return on IT investments. In addition, a standardized technology portfolio would reduce operating expenses while streamlining enhanced flexibility.
Three parallel projects were planned:
- Cloud migration: Planned re-platforming to a different cloud provider.
- App integration strategy: Determined by examining existing technological platforms and company-wide integrations.
- App portfolio management: Focused on enterprise architecture practice, including business architecture and business capabilities.
PUTTING THE PUZZLE TOGETHER
Availability and expertise were the top concerns. Standard knowledge transfer processes couldn’t bog down the preparation. Our engineers and their expertise in internal architecture minimized time-consuming meetings with senior executives.
It wasn’t the first time our client attempted a technology architecture streamlining project. There was an existing earlier enterprise architecture catalog. SoftServe had to incorporate these artifacts.
With goals defined and the project outlined, our team:
- Applied SoftServe’s App Modernization Platform (SAMP), tailoring it to the client’s cloud migration, app modernization, and used toolset needs.
- Implemented cloud security best practices per client’s requirements and integration of related components to SAMP (Istio, AWS Secrets Manager, Lacework).
- Defined requirements for microservices and prepared service onboarding checklist for client’s product development teams.
- Assessed the available technological ecosystems to identify integration tools and their usage.
- Updated and actualized the applications inventory.
- Mapped business capabilities to associated applications.
- Defined the architecture framework and standards and documented as-is architecture on a high level.
The significant compilation of dissimilar software coupled with limited access to key knowledge holders could have been a barrier to others. Not SoftServe. We leveraged document analysis and knowledge of SoftServe’s software engineering teams, who had collaborated with the client for many months.
- SoftServe’s App Modernization Platform: Used to accelerate modernization and migration efforts
- Logging, monitoring, and CI/CD tools: New Relic, JFrog Artifactory, Jenkins
- Amazon Web Services: AWS Graviton, Amazon EKS, Web Application Firewall, and Application Load Balancer
- LeanIX: Used to document the enterprise architecture and build a rationalization roadmap
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methodology: An industry standard framework for helping organizations scale agile and lean practices to an enterprise level
- Introduced standardized in-house PaaS with reusability among multiple product development teams. The platform can be easily deployed to new regions and AWS accounts using customized Terraform code.
- Reduced time required for onboarding of new cloud services from 2.5 months to 2 weeks and with later iterations to 2–3 days.
- Provided general recommendations for tooling, integration approaches, and integration governance.
- Suggested a standard integration approach as a decision matrix, applicable for ongoing integration challenges.
- Created an integration strategy to provide visibility over the as-is integrations landscape and recommended future improvement options.
- Defined the architecture framework, actualized the application inventory, documented as-is architecture, and outlined priorities for rationalization.
- Exposed duplications of business capabilities and redundant applications supporting those capabilities.
The successful execution of three simultaneous goals and the multiple projects within those goals isn’t what impressed our client the most. It was our advisory services and guidance at every step along the way. SoftServe’s recommendations helped shape the company’s future technology investment strategy. It’s an approach that enables our client to prioritize and save well into the future.
SoftServe clients often see up to 10% budget savings when they follow our portfolio assessments. Our guidance with application portfolio management helps meet strategic goals, mitigates security risks, and improves cost efficiency. Following our recommendations for successful cloud migration or cost optimization with its accelerator for already completed cloud migration cuts operational costs, decreases time to market, and increases process efficiency.
Ready to discover how accelerating process acquisition systems integration significantly reduces your IT budget? Let’s talk.