June 1, 2021
It is no secret that updating enterprise solutions can take a fair amount of heavy lifting, especially if the software is highly customized. When One10, an events management and incentive marketing services company, wanted to lighten the burden on its developers and streamline its tech load, a combination of cloud migration and AIOps adoption came into play, says CIO Fred Sammet.
One10 developed a solution, PerformX, used with incentive programs such as rewards for hitting sales goals or travel rewards. Several years prior, One10 offered different versions of solutions that were based on a common set of capabilities but were tailored by use case -- opening the door for increased complexity with each iteration. "It was a programmer's choice to choose which parts to put together for a client," Sammet says.
The bespoke approach One10 used to craft solutions would eventually come to a head, he says, when customer demand and market trends drove the company to seek a modernization strategy that led to a SaaS-enabled, cloud solution. "The infrastructure transformation, software modernization, and digital transformation all have huge relevance to the internal operations of the company."
One10 wanted to move away from a traditional data center approach with managed services, Sammet says, to a cloud-hosted model. "We knew that where the world was taking us, we needed to be more nimble," he says. "We needed to address total cost of ownership concerns that clients were increasingly asking about. We needed to embrace new technologies."
As One10 sought to make more efficient use of developer resources, which were being poured into customizing and maintaining different versions of software, the company looked to AIOps this year through Persistent Systems. That would help wrangle multiple versions of its software into something more manageable, freeing up developers for other tasks, as the company continued to embrace the cloud environment
Sammet says One10 already went with Microsoft Azure for its cloud migration and also chose to go top-to-bottom with other Microsoft resources. "We needed to have everything in the same family," he says, for speed-to-market, financial, and other reasons. "It made all the other decisions around architecture and design much easier to comprehend. It set a context that was consumable by developers, marketing specialists, by everyone."
This year, One10 started to dip its toes into AIOps through Persistent Systems, he says. "We leveraged their deep technical knowledge for a number of things," Sammet says. "It provides an intellectual and architectural extension of our organization." He sees their use of AIOps potentially intersecting with DevOps and building out One10’s ability to move from raw code to deployment quickly.
With the new flexibility and scalability of a SaaS-enabled platform in the cloud, Sammet says One10 plans to broaden its target audience. "I like to think of this as an optimization journey that we’re on," he says, highlighting the newfound capacity to control scalability and manage cost while scaling.
Naturally with change there can be resistance, both from internal IT teams used to how they operate and likewise from customers who may have questions about new resources being deployed. "I think the pushback was a little stronger internally because we had a lot of people in IT well-trained, comfortable, and familiar with how you do things in a data center world," Sammet says. "The cloud world is just different." Education to get everyone up to speed, he says, was essential to resolve such friction.
Clear communication with clients, Sammet says, was also important to let them know what would and would not happen as One10 put its transformation plans in motion. "At the end of the day, the migration to cloud didn’t change much for our clients," he says. "The biggest thing was timing. We had to choose timing for each client that fit the client’s schedule." For those clients especially worried that something might go wrong in the process, Sammet says One10 started with the lowest risk customers first and built up a track record of success that could allay concerns of others. "It wasn’t a single silver bullet; it was an array of things," he says.
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