Supporting The World's Leading Provider Of Open Source Solutions
August 10, 2017
With its robust portfolio, Red Hat ensures over 90% of Fortune 500 companies solve business challenges, including IT alignment with business strategy. But after consolidating disparate product store properties onto a unified enterprise level Drupal platform, Red Hat faced internal staffing bandwidth and talent sourcing challenges to keep it running.
Axelerant has a long-standing, trusted partner relationship with Red Hat as demonstrated by having successfully delivered projects like The Enterprisers Project and Opensource.com. For this engagement Red Hat needed a team with preferred development processes and continuous integration experience already in place to build an enterprise product platform on Drupal 7 from day one. Multiple urgent eCommerce platform development needs made outsourcing too inefficient and insourcing unfeasible.
As a result, Red Hat evaluated service providers with scalable, managed staffing capabilities—services suited to their situation.
Real Cost Advantages
Five vetted Axelerant team members supported and supplemented Red Hat’s internal team during a six-month period to prevent costly understaffing. This partnership allowed Red Hat to conserve and reallocate high-value resources elsewhere while lowering overhead costs.
The managed staffing solution bypasses inflated localized resource costs while keeping remotely engaged partnerships strong through the provision of a Success Manager (SM) who ensures timely and smooth deliveries, as well as big-picture insights.
All of this combines to provide a customer success-focused staff augmentation engagement to expedite projects and reduce delivery risks like schedule, quality, budget, and retention.
Start Date Demands & Time To Market (TTM)
Due to an impending fixed deadline, Red Hat had to secure resources and scale quickly. Through Axelerant’s experience with accelerated solution delivery, Red Hat experienced easy and effective integrations of local and remote team members. By lowering the time to market for this platform, our ramp up became a strategic edge.
Service Velocity & Flexible Staffing Options
Because of Red Hat priorities, project completion was due within six months. This meant that everyone involved had to proactively manage resource levels together to maintain needed delivery velocity per the timeline.
Continuous delivery and continuous integration are development methodology advantages that Red Hat relies on which was implemented and supported by Axelerant's DevOps team.
Further, remote staff augmentee timezone differences worked in the project’s favor to reduce turnaround time for feedback and deliverables acceptance.
Key Service Considerations
Red Hat specifically focused on four key service considerations and these were Axelerant staffing, alignment, flexibility, and security. Our team ensured these aspects were continuously handled appropriately.
Onboarding the right talent
Axelerant’s staff augmentation process involves the client conducting interviews of the team recommended. Red Hat’s team interviewed our people and chose the team they wanted to have on board. Once the team was finalized, Axelerant reviewed the team’s leave plans, and figured out the backup staff required.
Staying in Sync
Red Hat's Axelerant Success Manager had regular calls with the client. They started as weekly calls and then became bi-monthly as things settled in. These calls ensured that things were going smoothly for Red Hat.
The SM also remained in contact on Skype with the Red Hat managers to address any ad hoc issues being faced by Red Hat or Axelerant teams. These periodic calls also helped Axelerant identify future needs coming up and plan for talent accordingly.
Our staff augmentation service does not always mean a specific team is dedicated in the same way throughout the engagement. End-client business requirements change, and staffing has to keep in sync with that to serve these needs.
Security & Data Protection
Red Hat was confident about the Axelerant team handling sensitive company information appropriately by having the right data protection policies and processes in place and by signing a non-disclosure agreement with Red Hat.
Axelerant worked with Red Hat on internal and customer-facing software to develop new features, fix bugs, refactor underperforming code, and assisted their QA team in adding tests.
Axelerant Execution: Agile & Seamless
Red Hat leveraged Axelerant’s agile development experience for authoring Drupal modules and implementing decoupled-Drupal front-ends. Our team collaborated with Red Hat developers across multiple technology stacks and worked with their staff to correctly implement required features.
At all times, Axelerant was able to support Red Hat as a part of their own systems and toolset. Axelerant was onboarded on Red Hat’s IRC, Slack teams, Rally, and other communication tools like BlueJeans. Axelerant and Red Hat also mutually ensured an overlap in working hours which meant the whole team could meet for stand-ups and other discussions. This ensured minimal transition overhead to Red Hat.
Axelerant’s DevOps team helped Red Hat modernize their build and development infrastructure. We helped carry out a large scale migration of multiple servers related to build automation and development environments to AWS, which helped minimize overall operational costs.
This modernization also involved updating and maintaining Ansible playbooks used to provision and configure various environments (dev, test, and production), multiple node deployments, and overall development workflow.
Red Hat also utilized Axelerant’s team of developers to modernize their webstore incrementally. Instead of outright moving to a completely new webstore solution, Axelerant worked with Red Hat’s webstore team to build a Drupal based front-end for their existing eCommerce solution.
With the products being managed in an existing backend which also handled the overall business processing, and Drupal mirroring the product details and checkout flow, Red Hat was able to incrementally move to a modern application while keeping costs low.
Axelerant helped in writing a highly structured and reusable content structure to represent products and landing pages in Drupal system. This allowed the content team to build various types of landing pages with minimal to none developer interaction. A modern system with AngularJS utilizing latest trends and best practices in responsive design, web components, and SPA (single page application) was used to build the overall checkout flow.
Support & Maintenance
Apart from the webstore, Axelerant also supported Red Hat with regular support requests in problem analysis and fixing, website maintenance and updates, and adding other functionality. Axelerant’s timezone helped Red Hat implement a follow the sun model which improved the overall throughput of the development team.
Open Source ContributionsAxelerant shares Red Hat’s enthusiasm and commitment to Open Source. This was mirrored in the contrib first development workflow where Axelerant contributed to the overall Drupal ecosystem by providing fixes on Drupal modules like Pattern Builder, contributed by Red Hat.