Case Studies

Case Study 1:
Lease-to-Own Company

Problem

The founders of a lease-to-own business implemented a set of applications to manage their business processes including risk adjudication, offer modeling, and lease workflow. Lacking any formal design, the implementation did not meet best practices and failed regularly. Version control of the source code was non-existent. In operation, the applications faced profound scaling issues, requiring expensive hardware and a team of nearly a dozen system administrators and technicians to keep it online. Faced with mounting costs and recurring system outages, the business was forced to consider the immediate re-implementation of the entire software stack.

Solution

Our first task was to triage the existing systems and alleviate critical bottlenecks. Having mitigated the daily outages, we established hardware monitoring, automated system management, and a robust disaster-recovery system. On the development side, we collected all software assets into version control and formalized release management and deployment procedures. With the new policies in place, we set forth to transform the existing application stack from legacy, monolithic Microsoft C# ASP.NET and Microsoft Access projects to a unified, cloud-based, scalable solution implemented in PHP using our CodeIntent™ platform. The transformation of code was realized in phases while concurrent development continued on the legacy platform. During this process, CodeIntent™ was further employed to generate documentation of data structures, algorithms, and interfaces.

Mitigated Issues

Performance bottlenecks between the front-end and the legacy MS SQL Server were alleviated by instituting a document-based "NoSQL" storage engine on the front-end. This reduced per-page SQL server load from crisis level to effectively zero. Within weeks of establishing the real-time disaster recovery system, the company's primary file server was hit with a crypto-ransomware virus. We were able to identify and restore the affected files within an hour of detection. This issue happened repeatedly over a period of days while IT isolated multiple points of infection.

In moving the primary production systems first to a co-location facility and then to the cloud, the business was able to operate during natural disasters and service interruptions over the following years.

Impact

As a result of these operational changes, the production systems are effectively hands-free. Active servers are now commoditized using on-demand provisioning. Preventative maintenance monitoringand take care of the rest. The software is now easier to manage, maintain, and deploy reducing development time and costs.

Stakeholders are now able to interact more directly and efficiently with developers to quickly bring products to market. The company elected to use these efficiencies to eliminate various extraneous positions including Director of IT, Project Managers, Database Administrators, some developers, and Q/A. The annual savings exceeds what Holonic Technologies charges them.

Ongoing

We work with the founders to continuously evaluate the company's risk adjudication and mitigation models, manage development and product timelines, monitor their networks, and manage IT personnel allowing them to stay in front of an ever-changing and highly competitive market.

Case Study 2:
US-Based Online Job Board

Problem

The company had 11 production websites running over three different, disparate platforms. Access to source code and the underlying database was available for only one of the three platforms. The other two were third-party products where the providers of those technologies would not allow access to the raw data or databases. The goal was to consolidate their existing 11 sites onto one platform and then expand to a full 51 sites, one for each state, and an umbrella site to consolidate them all.

Solution

We implemented a cohesive job board system using our existing software offerings, driving all 51 sites on a multi-tiered, scalable platform. Data from the original sites was merged into a single, central database with additional servers for high-availability and distributed searching. This was performed using a host of proprietary data collection and transformation tools. In particular, for the third-party systems for which database access was unavailable, we implemented automated "robots" to log into the sites using the client's administrator credentials and extract the data directly from management reports as text. This functionality was continuously refined and validated before going live, after which the original systems were decommissioned.

Impact

The company was able to consolidate and launch the 51 sites. They were able to remove five positions involving database administration, development, product management, and project management. At the end of the initial engagement, the cloud-based application was turned over to the company for self-management. In addition to saving them money, we allowed them to expand into every state, streamline their development process, and vastly improve their time-to-market for new products and features. Furthermore, we enabled them to operate with a larger presence using a smaller staff and lower salary requirements.

Ongoing

This client manages the application and cloud environment per their own initiative and direction. We remain available to answer needs as they arise.