About the Client
The client is a Fortune 100 technology hardware, and services company that operates in more than 170 countries around the world. It provides technology solutions and services for consumers, small-businesses, enterprises and government.
Silicus had helped the client develop a world-class e-commerce platform. The platform supported several e-commerce portals across geographies and business units. Each portal needed a go-to application support team to meet the needs of the local business users, including design and development of enhancements based on business needs and 24 hour on-call support. After a rapid deployment of the platform in several non-US geographies, the client was looking to outsource the maintenance and support of these portals to a trusted partner.
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Silicus completed the knowledge transfer from the deployment team. Its maintenance and support team meticulously documented aspects related to each business process and the technology module involved.
Following the knowledge transfer, Silicus leveraged its process maturity to design a support model that fit the maintenance and support requirements. The support model reflected the service level agreements decided with the client for performance measurements and reporting.
The software maintenance and support personnel developed a baseline of the current operations and support requirements to keep track of the system, which was constantly growing in functionality and scope. Silicus also established a process to capture knowledge related to changes in the system and business specifications throughout the project as new functionality was added.
With a support model in place and the baseline completed, Silicus developed a resource plan that optimally allocated resources for supporting the portals. Resource allocation was based on support needs, peak time requirements and system level changes the portal was undergoing at that time. Overall, the software maintenance and support team was responsible for all support, sustenance and sustaining enhancement activities on the respective web storefronts. Additionally, Silicus was positioned to increase staff to provide additional support on an as-needed basis.
Maintenance and support were based out of Silicus' US facilities. Support services were provided on a 24/7 basis to guarantee application uptime.
Mode of Operation
Silicus personnel communicated with different teams to drive development, maintenance and support operations.
- Globally distributed e-commerce core platform development team
- Business unit leaders in local geographies
Silicus was responsible for implementing changes to the core platform as well as enhancement requirements from local business unit and geography heads.
Maintenance and Support Activities
- Receive, validate, deliver and resolve new support requests
- Manage all source code for the applications for code integrity (VSS check-in/check-out is required)
- Prepare all build documents for all code being promoted to the web stores
- Provide testing scripts and conduct tests to validate code changes in the quality assurance environment for the sustaining team's items worked
- Provide due diligence in determining the root cause of each problem and identify activities required to avoid recurrence
- Provide on-call support 7x24x365
Communication and Reporting Mechanism
Silicus designated a single point of contact within the maintenance and support team. Business owners in local geographies and worldwide e-commerce development teams would interact with the lead for enhancements specific to geography, support issues, etc. The lead would update business owners with the work status as follows:
- Communicate status updates for ongoing and active problems or planned changes
- Coordinate with and notify customers with updated or completed support requests
- Provide estimated target dates for promoting code changes
- Provide a weekly activity summary
- Provide a monthly metric performance report
Visual Basic, ASP
Visual Interdev, Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition
Reduced Maintenance Costs And Running Cost Of Operations
Number of website issues reduced drastically through Silicus' actions towards stabilizing the environments, correcting the root cause of problems, and implementing quality assurance into the testing and promotion processes. Additionally, Silicus was able to maintain high-quality and efficient support.
99.9% Uptime Achieved
System downtime for even the briefest time resulted in significant revenue and credibility loss for the client. Silicus deployed resources who worked with the client on a 24/7 basis to guarantee application uptime, ensuring that a high-value revenue generation site was up and running at all times.
Reliable And Mature Partner For Scalability And Growth
Silicus took over maintenance and support operations at a time when the client was experiencing high growth in business. Moreover, the e-commerce system was still evolving and more modules and processes were regularly added.
Silicus maintenance and support staff was able to keep pace with the development without the addition of new support staff and no deterioration in service levels. This was achieved through an accurate baseline of operations, mature and predictable processes and a committed, technically strong maintenance and support team.
Mitigated Risks Through Reliable Processes And Clear Communication
Silicus' discipline to establish processes and maintain system documentation gave the ability to repeatedly implement system modifications. This added direct value to the web stores without compromising the live, production sites.