Versent enabled effortless customer onboarding for a facilities management company through a strategic integration platform on Azure.
The customer is a leading provider of staffing, facility management, maintenance and care services, renowned for its innovative solutions and high quality customer service. The customer gained prominence in the industry with a focus on the use of modern technology to empower their skilled workforce.
The customer secured a contract with a client in the utilities industry to provide maintenance and minor capital works services. The client manages critical aspects of water supply, catchments, recycling, treating, and delivering high-quality drinking water to retailers.
The customer faced challenges in managing the integrations of its facility management services with multiple clients. The existing non-standard and heavily customised approach to integrations was increasingly unsustainable as the number of integrations and integration complexity grew.
This led to significant effort and risks during client onboarding process. Furthermore, the customer had to navigate the transition from an on-premises Maximo system to the Dynamics 365 suite of applications to streamline the procure-to-pay process. The ask from the customer was to devise a comprehensive integration solution that emphasised reusability, aimed at lowering client onboarding expenses, strengthening security protocols and streamlining data interchange between applications to improve the overall onboarding and integration experience for their clients.
- Contractual / Reputational – The delay in client onboarding was leading to commercial impacts for the customer, compounded by a shortage of team capacity to complete all customer integrations planned or committed for the year. Furthermore, their current integration methods were unable to meet the requirements of new client’s security and compliance audits.
- Financial / Schedule – The projected cost of planned integrations was going to surpass the budget, and completion within the agreed timeline was a risk.
- Cyber Security Compliance – A lack of comprehensive monitoring with current integration methods could create vulnerabilities within the system, potentially allowing unauthorised access or malicious activities to go undetected, leaving the network and sensitive data exposed to potential risks and threats.
The customer partnered with Versent to design and implement a cloud-first, multi-tenant integration platform on Microsoft Azure. The platform facilitated seamless data exchange, automated workflows, and provided enhanced security for the client’s sensitive data.
In a timeframe of just six months, Versent collaborated closely with the customer, their client and Microsoft to successfully implement the strategic integration platform on Azure.
The work achieved entailed the successful onboarding of the client onto the new multi-tenant platform without incurring any financial impact due to on-time delivery. This success enabled the accommodation of integration with other critical systems to meet the client’s changing requirements. Additionally, there was the added benefit of sharing run costs alongside the significantly reduced onboarding time for new integrations. The successful outcomes of this project encouraged the customer to plan the integration of new and existing customers onto the modern integration platform, further leveraging the shared services benefits offered by the multi-tenant platform.
Versent devised a three-phased approach to address above challenges effectively:
- Assess & Design: During this phase, the team facilitated workshops engaging diverse stakeholders to gather insights and requirements, focusing on the analysis of multi-tenancy needs. The team crafted a comprehensive technical architecture, considering both functional and non-functional aspects, while establishing a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) definition to ensure an efficient development process. This was achieved in collaboration with the Microsoft FastTrack team to align the proposed architecture with best practices and the Well-Architected Framework.
- Build & Deploy (MVP): During this phase Versent leveraged various Azure services to create the integration platform. Azure SFTP Blob Storage enabled secure file storage and exchange, while Azure Data Factory handled data integration, transformation, and orchestration. Azure Function Apps & Logic Apps enabled serverless computing for event-driven integration. Service Bus facilitated reliable messaging between applications and API Management ensured seamless communication between different systems.
- Deliver Strategic Platform: This phase concentrated on meeting the multi-tenant requirements that were initially not part of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) scope, including integration with service requests from IBM Maximo. Key efforts involved establishing a control plane for automated tenant onboarding via a pipeline. Additionally, a specialized dashboard was developed for the operations team to promptly detect and manage any potential issues, resulting in improved operational visibility and efficiency. The overall objective was to augment the platform’s flexibility to accommodate specific tenant needs, as necessitated by the onboarding of new clients.
The project delivered a cloud-first multi-tenant integration platform that successfully orchestrated complex business workflows for the customer and its clients. The key outcomes achieved were:
- Standardisation and Efficiency: The customers technology offerings were standardised, enabling smoother interactions with customers and reducing integration complexity.
- Streamlined Onboarding: A common approach to client integrations significantly reduced effort, duration, and risks during the onboarding process.
- Enhanced Security and Compliance: The platform’s by-design security approach ensured compliance with ISMS governance and security requirements, instilling trust in both clients and the customer.
- Agility and Reusability: The platform allowed for future config-only and low-code integrations, fostering agility and facilitating the rapid reuse of proven integration patterns.
- Real-time Monitoring and Proactive Response: The real-time monitoring capability enabled proactive response to potential issues, ensuring smoother operations and better customer service.
The shift from bespoke, point-to-point integrations to a modern integration approach significantly improved how the customer interacted with and serviced its clients. This transformation streamlined operations, reduced risks and enhanced overall client satisfaction.
The key points to this case study include;
- Built-in Security: By prioritising security in the platform’s design especially within the shared services framework guaranteed the protection of sensitive data which fostered trust and compliance with diverse industry regulations. Additionally, it facilitated smooth collaboration among multiple systems.
- Operational Efficiency: Through the application of standardised integration patterns and automation, the platform achieved enhanced operational efficiency, leading to reduced errors and test cycles, fostering greater trust and smooth collaboration with clients.
- Actionable Insights: Integration of observability tools, including structured logging enabled generation of valuable near real-time insights, empowering the customer with advanced monitoring capabilities for informed decision-making and proactive issue resolution.
“Versent has transformed the way we interact with and service our clients through the development of a secure cloud-native integration platform built on Microsoft Azure.”
The customer CIO
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