Foundational business requirements
Successware recognised that, to onboard new customers, it would have to offer a standards-oriented API layer to accommodate for additional third-party integrations. With AWS, this new user experience would align to the best web and mobile application, while preserving and enhancing deep functionality. This addition would improve the efficiency of the workforce, decreasing the time required for onboarding and reducing the learning curve for new users. The new technology stack would also be an enabler to deliver continuous innovation for the business including, but not limited to, richer analytics and more automation.
One of the foundational business requirements was to build the application on a very modern technology stack, which would use open standards and be a long-term solution. Successware Classic featured many third-party application integrations, which complemented the core functionality. Successware and Authority Brands recognised the changing market and workplace and wanted to provide a platform that could be accessed from anywhere, at any time. The cloud approach leveraging AWS would also provide its customers better access, flexibility, reliability, availability, and increased measures to help ensure data security.
Successware and Protiviti collaborated on this project to combine intimate functional knowledge of the industry and customers’ needs, with deep expertise of modern technology standards, agile application development, intuitive user experience, and best practices of providing reliable and secure SaaS services on the cloud. The requirements mapping and prioritisation was a very detail-oriented exercise. It was done by reviewing the available documents, conducting discovery sessions to extract the undocumented requirements and functionality of Successware Classic, and conducting numerous interviews with experienced system users.
By garnering a full understanding of the legacy application’s capabilities, Protiviti and Successware collectively created a plan and assembled a team to modernise the solution as a cloud native application and a micro services architecture. For example, Application Servers were broken into microservices and deployed in EKS with auto-scaling feature. In addition to leveraging Apache Nifi, provided by AWS marketplace for Analytics, AWS Rediscache, documentdb, SES, SNS for alerting, and S3 for static website hosting. Modernising and transforming the application included creating a Java backend, building a CX frontend, and developing multi-tenant capabilities. The team leveraged a proven technology stack including Java, React, Spring Boot, Kubernetes, AWS RDS (PostgresSQL), Jenkins, Terraform, and more. The development team also included experts in user experience (UX) and used React for front-end webpages, so the newly transformed application would provide a more intuitive experience, as desired.
Built for a bright future
To achieve a world-class SaaS and cloud operation, the delivery solution included fundamental and foundational accelerators for change management, incident management, and more. This new cloud native technology and approach allows for a more sophisticated level of analytics with Apache NiFi than its legacy analytic solution. Analytic reports previously not available, prior to AWS cloud: jobs, invoices, job cost analysis, sales tracking, customer opportunities, and operational excellence. The solution now offers customers access to business metrics and KPIs in an impressive, easy-to-use analytics dashboard called Successware Insights™. Hosting via AWS allows Successware customers to benefit from the security standards and infrastructure that AWS offers. Successware follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Security Framework policies to help ensure customer data and information is secure. Successware’s cloud native hosting will lead to less downtime and more security for its customer data than its traditional hosting offered.
This delivery solution has completely transformed the Successware product suite, its user experience, and its delivery model (SaaS). The scope of this project has touched the entire organisation - Successware as well as its parent company, Authority Brands, Inc. - because it is widely used throughout the organisation. It is also going to transform the user experience and business operations for external customers, including the migrating of customers from Successware Classic to the new platform, and new customers because it will allow them to operate their businesses more efficiently and scale their business. This solution included almost every aspect of software development in a very agile schedule to ensure that all customer needs and functionality were met in the new platform. The new Successware platform and cloud native approach will assist in revolutionising the way customers conduct business by offering secure data hosting, the freedom to work anywhere, and access to instant business metrics and financials