How Migration to Azure Improved Performance and Reduced Costs
SphereGen Case Study
TABB Inc. Pre-Employment Investigations
TABB performs background investigations for their clients. They were experiencing challenges in their customer application which was slowing down business. Learn how an application redesign using Azure optimized performance, reduced processing time and increased revenue
TABB provides background checks for businesses, universities and students. On a monthly basis, thousands of orders are placed through their customer application for processing. The background check itself is handled by an external processing center.
TABB was experiencing challenges in their customer application in the following areas:
- Poor performance
- Manual data entry to transfer order information to an external background process
- Inability to scale
- Accessibility from different locations
Based on a thorough analysis, SphereGen redesigned the application and used the powerful Azure platform to resolve the problem areas.
The overall benefits to TABB:
- Faster turn around time – application redesign saved 1 full day of processing
time by automating data transfer to external application
- Increased revenue with the ability to process more applications per month
- Optimized performance based on Azure processing power
- Ability to scale with elasticity of Cloud
- Accessibility from remote locations
- Security of disaster recovery options inherent in Azure cloud redundancy
“The Cloud based Azure application eliminated bottlenecks in our reporting system and removed pain points that hindered productivity. Our office in now able to produce more revenue without the need to hire additional personnel. The functionality for our employees and for our clients was vastly improved resulting in higher customer satisfaction.
Additionally, prior application performance issues were eliminated and we can easily scale to meet any increase in customer demand.”
-Brian Bodkin, CEO, TABB
In order to ensure non-interruption of services and to meet the exacting demands for background checks, SphereGen worked closely with the client to determine if a migration or a major rewrite would be necessary to meet their business goals. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, our insight into Microsoft technologies in solutions provided a solid foundation for the project.
Analysis and Planning
- Developed an understanding of the current system to plan new development
- Researched needs of dependent or shared services to be accounted for in new development
- Identified gaps in current process and planned new time saving processes to capture labor savings
- Presented a plan to TABB that demonstrated complete understanding and a plan for review
- With performance, scalability, accessibility, and data security being the main challenges, the benefits of utilizing a cloud platform were evident. Azure offers a highly secure environment and reduces needed hardware investment by providing a pay as you go model
- Framework architecture includes Authentication as forms-based for the B2B application
- The design took into account post-deployment operating model and secure business continuity management
- Functionality was developed and integrated into newly designed web services and code frameworks using APIs for external services
- The database was upgraded to run in Azure and extensive enhancements added to save time and money
- Security practices were enhanced to include masking of data, encryption and double encryption of SSN
- Developed the application to run in Azure App Service to take advantage of Azure’s native functionality
- All business goals and requirements were signed off by the client after design for clear development goals
Mitigation and Parallel Testing
To meet the client’s goal and need for the highest quality background checks, parallel production and testing was set up
- Parallel testing of the ‘new system’ against the ‘old system’ made sure there were no issues with the new system and created comfort in using the ‘new interface’ and added features
- The rigor of this testing by the investigators and the business owner built confidence in the system
With a new application architecture and migration to Azure, TABB was able to enjoy benefits in the following areas:
- Greater Transaction Processing – quicker turnaround time means more transactions processed per month
- Fully automated invoicing results in quicker invoicing cycles positively impacting cash flow
- Reduced Capital Investment – Large hardware costs no longer necessary as Azure uses a “pay as you go” approach for services utilized. This had a positive impact on cash flow.
- Cost Savings – The monthly cost to TABB is 25% LESS and 2 additional apps were added to run in Azure at the lower cost
Improved System Performance, Functionality and Security
- Automated several background info requests which were previously manually initiated. ALL background data from external services now managed by automated processes
- Simplified IT Support – TABB minimized their need for in-house IT staff to host / support their line of business apps by running on Azure in the cloud with assistance from SphereGen as needed
- Security – The application is more secure in Azure; BCM considerations have been addressed.
- Eliminated bottlenecks in the old system
- Scalability – The application design using the Azure Platform enables instant scalability to meet growth needs and peak period demands. This scalability is on a pay-as-you-go/need basis
- Created Long-Term Flexibility –The project paved the way for TABB to have Azure available as a platform for future development. This project created a scalable framework for TABB with the use of Azure as a PaaS (platform as a service). Additional applications can leverage this framework, which is a proven, high performing platform
Time-Saving – Background check processing takes one day less providing quicker client servicing.
“The project completed by SphereGen resulted in our ‘core business application’ being successfully migrated to the cloud. Following the initial development, two additional applications were migrated to the cloud.
Our recurring costs on Azure were about 1/3 less than our previous in-house database and external website. At the same time, the Azure Cloud gives us 99.9% uptime, which is important to our privately held business services firm.”
-Brian Bodkin, CEO, TABB
New Business Process Flow
Enhanced Application on the Azure Platform
The illustration below shows a high-level view of the Azure architecture for TABB’s application that runs in the Cloud.
As a privately-held small business, we understand the goals, needs, and challenges of organizations your size. SphereGen leverages 10+ years of experience to find the ‘best technology fit’ for clients whether you build, buy or customize software and services.