Accela is the trusted provider of cloud solutions at the heart of government operations. The company works with governments across the globe to accelerate their digital transformation, deliver vital services, and build stronger communities. More than 300 million residents worldwide benefit from Accela’s government software solutions. The company offers agile, purpose-built solutions and the power of a platform that provides users with a consumer-like experience, shares data across departments, and ensures world-class security.
Dave Rusconi, Senior Vice President, Cloud Engineering and Operations at Accela stated, “Accela was working to transform our systems into a SaaS architecture in the cloud in order to improve the quality of service and make our solutions more scalable and cost-effective. We needed to maintain three 9s of uptime or better, and effectively manage incidents, problems, and changes. Our goal was to build predictable processes that can be audited for compliance requirements including SOC II, PCI DSS, and HIPAA.”
The platform runs on a Multi-Cloud Setup leveraging AWS and Azure clouds. To improve reliability and speed, a combination of Elasticsearch, Amazon S3 are used for the AWS Setup. This Multi-Cloud Setup is monitored and maintained by Netrix 24×7 Operations Support, which is committed to helping the customer achieve a 99.9% uptime target.
“To support this SaaS transformation, we needed a vendor that could understand the project and provide more than just staff augmentation,” Mr. Rusconi noted. “We needed people who could quickly mobilize resources and function as an integrated part of the team.” Mr. Rusconi began working with Edrans and experienced success with similar projects. Edrans was acquired by Netrix in 2022, and Mr. Rusconi continues to partner with Netrix.
Mr. Rusconi described the first major milestone, “Project Exodus,” migrating from multiple data centers into an Azure cloud-ready SaaS architecture. “Netrix was there every step of the way and has been critical to making that successful. Netrix provided support with Site Reliability Operations (SRO) and Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), which includes specialized cloud engineering resources, DevOps engineering, and automated remediation and detection. The first steps consisted of improvements to service delivery operations, such as improved monitoring.”
Accela’s Civic Platform is a powerful, extensible foundation for Civic Applications and cloud solutions that help governments provide the best experience for residents and support community growth. The company offers Managed Application Services (MAS), which includes building, deploying and maintaining Accela implementations for agencies. The technology transformation enabled Accela to streamline their managed services offering, including processes for implementation and launch.
“The Netrix team demonstrated their expertise in proactive engineering. Once they understood our services and our initial fundamental needs were met, we could leverage opportunities with other Netrix teams. Everybody at Accela saw the good job Netrix was doing. We expanded in parallel to our managed services business, and began looking at CI/CD,” said Mr. Rusconi.
“Accela increased our uptime SLA from 99.5% to 99.9%, and even exceeded that commitment by reaching 99.95% in the most recent 12 months. As our partner, Netrix had a lot to do with this accomplishment. Increasing this commit is of material business value,” said Mr. Rusconi.
Additionally, the new infrastructure now enables same-day upgrades. Deployment times were reduced significantly and are now 83% faster, despite adding multiple environments. Accela also eliminated lockdown of go-lives between production and production deployments. Finally, Accela can also offer a staging phase for early engagement, enabling agencies to explore new features.
“I’ve been doing cloud engineering and operations for nearly thirty years and have worked with a lot of vendors in that time. With Netrix, we received back-to-back support that wasn’t typical. Netrix doesn’t burden the customer with continuity of resources. If Netrix has resources coming on or off the project, they don’t leave it up to us to fill the gaps in the transition, and that’s super important. Other vendors may do a little knowledge transfer, but there’s really no accountability.
I really like how Netrix has a program to train junior people and it’s always going on behind the scenes. They make sure the talent is trained and has the subject matter expertise ready to join the account. That’s been super valuable, and I haven’t had that with any other vendor,” said Mr. Rusconi.
“Netrix truly functions as an integrated part of the team. Even though it’s an outsourcing relationship, we don’t just give Netrix the work we don’t want to do. Netrix has also been very proactive about communication. I’ve reiterated that this team integration as well as the continuity of support are important to me, and they’ve stayed true. We have a lot to build on now,” stated Mr. Rusconi.
“While we may struggle to precisely attribute a dollar value to one point of uptime, the real answer is that it’s priceless,” concluded Mr. Rusconi.
Case posted August 29, 2023