Solving Complex Challenges
A Customer Success Story
One large biotechnology company had a mission to enable customers to accelerate their research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve diagnostics and productivity, and deliver important medications to market more quickly. Their internal teams were rightfully demanding the same from their vendors. The IT Team, for instance, needed to be able to accelerate development and delivery, solve integration challenges, improve team productivity, and deliver important software improvements and upgrades at the speed of business. They needed a vendor that could help them grow and support the larger organization in delivering its mission
- SOA Suite 12.1.3 and 188.8.131.52
- Amazon Web Services
The Enterprise Technology & Operations (ETO) Team was rapidly growing their IT landscape. Where they previously had one Oracle Fusion Middleware instance, by 2016 it had separated into 13 different instances based on business processes. This improved system availability and stability: if one instance goes down, not everything is impacted. It also, however, added complexity, because deployment requirement went from one instance to 13. Additionally, the company was growing through acquisitions, and with those acquisitions came new applications. The team now had multiple ERPs that required integration.
While the IT landscape was growing, the ETO team was still running too many manual processes for deployment and management. Maintaining code and configurations was manual. Communicating between resources was manual, and prone to error. Deployments to different instances were manual. The growing footprint meant manual processes were no longer a viable option. These processes took time, and the team faced significant productivity hits. With existing resources, day-to-day operations were becoming a struggle.
Challenges Before FlexDeploy
- Manual, multi-step delivery processes impacted delivery speed and productivity
- Communication issues between teams required extra steps to get everyone on the same page and often resulted in deployment errors
- Too much time was being spent on administration of complex environment
- Expanding footprint exacerbated challenges with manual processes
The Solution: FlexDeploy
The team Director set out to find a better solution. He was looking for a tool that could support Agile processes, especially Continuous Integration. Additionally, this tool needed to work with different processes in the Fusion Middleware space, namely both applications and resources (WebLogic.) It was important that the team find a solution that could cover their entire Fusion Middleware implementation so there weren’t different processes for different technologies. Finally, the solution chosen needed to be scalable and encompass future integration needs, including both MuleSoft and Oracle Cloud.
The team looked at several other solutions on the market, including IBM UrbanCode UDeploy, Jenkins, and Oracle Developer Cloud. At the suggestion of an Oracle consultant, they also looked at FlexDeploy. FlexDeploy was the only tool that met all their needs, and more.
- Average time savings of 70% overall
- Communication challenges between team members eliminated
- 3X reduction in time to release to production
- Automated deployments made growing IT landscape manageable and scalable
This group put FlexDeploy through its paces, running myriad use cases, to ensure it had all the features they needed. One Senior Manager noted “this tool can do a lot. We didn’t get stuck on any use cases that we couldn’t execute. Flexagon’s technical support provided multiple options for ways to solve our complex landscape challenges with FlexDeploy.” After completing the POC without any open items, the team decided FlexDeploy was the tool for them.
The team quickly saw improvements across a handful of areas:
- Scalability: The team’s landscape was growing, and there was additional growth in the future. Productivity was being negatively impacted, and with the team working overtime to meet requirements, errors were happening. FlexDeploy eliminated manual process from the team, saving time and bringing repeatability. It is as easy to deploy to one instance as it is to deploy to thirteen instances with FlexDeploy.
- Error-Reduction: Before FlexDeploy, communication between teams was a challenge. Developers would have to tell a resource where to deploy a build package. If the resource didn’t understand he or she would have to go back to the developer and ask for clarification, or potentially make a mistake during deployment. This led to code being deployed into the wrong environment more often than was acceptable. With FlexDeploy, it is clear where packages are being deployed. Additionally, if a deployment needs to rolled back, it can be done quickly and efficiently before causing any issues.
- Speed: Manual processes take time. Even processes that have been optimized take time to be executed, and don’t have room for mistakes. With FlexDeploy, builds and deployments are scheduled or executed at the push of a button and are the same every time they are run. Not only are resources not required to manually run these processes, but because FlexDeploy just works, resources aren’t needed to babysit as processes are run. Builds and deployments are executed more quickly, allowing the team to move on to the next steps of their delivery lifecycle faster. The team can deliver faster, and their resources are spending time doing value add work.
Perhaps the biggest testament to the team’s satisfaction is their ongoing is currently looking for ways to expand their usage of FlexDeploy. They are looking at other technologies within the ETO team that can be managed via FlexDeploy, and are also pitching it to other internal groups, such as the Salesforce team.