Faced with limited resources and a need to provide up-to-date Business Intelligence to their financial reporting and visualizations, the Department of Justice (DOJ) had to navigate a stubborn bureaucracy to achieve their objectives. Using an IT-business alignment strategic approach to decide on a suitable IT solution, DOJ was able to select and deploy a cloud-based system in an objective and uncontested way. This case study will exemplify when working with a partner you can achieve your goals and exceed expectations.
In 2015, cBEYONData was awarded a contract for an agency in the DOJ to upgrade their SAP BusinessObjects software, a business intelligence platform for self-service ad-hoc financial reporting and analytics. Our customer was aware that there was a need to update their business intelligence but did not know how out-of-date their software and environment really was. During the initial assessment of the current DOJ environment, our team members noticed that not only were the DOJ’s customer’s SAP BusinessObjects software outdated, but the servers that hosted the environment were also in need of a drastic expansion and an upgrade. Our team initiated a meeting with our customer to discuss our assessment and was told it simply was not in the budget to update the current environment during that fiscal year.
Now knowing the budget constraints our customer was under, cBEYONData suggested investing in a cloud–hosted environment instead of having the servers on-site, which would significantly decrease the price in hardware and operation and maintenance costs for that fiscal year and the duration of our contract. Upon further research, our Team and our DOJ customer concluded that using a FedRamp, highly secure cloud-hosted environment like the Amazon Web ServicesGovernment Cloud would save over $300,000 in annual hardware costs and would save the DOJ hundreds in maintenance fees a month.
After all the approvals were in place, our team got to work in upgrading the environment. From the initial assessment, approvals, and configuration of the AWS GovCloud, we successfully implemented that Cloud-hosted environment in four months. Once the GovCloud was up and running, our team upgraded the SAP BusinessObjects software from Version 3.1 to Version 4.2, service pack 2 and started training for the DOJ end-users. cBEYONData developed instructor based and web-based BusinessObjects content and provided training on the BusinessObjects tools and data utilized for their ad hoc reporting. The training sessions on reporting, ad hoc and data are supplemented with training guides that are used as a “text books” during the training and after the training was completed become a reference guide for all of the software, which is still in use today.
SAP BusinessObjects was the first application our DOJ customer deployed into the cloud. Since utilizing the FedRAMP certified AWS GovCloud environment, cBEYONData’s DOJ customer has seen a significant benefit to the BusinessObjects environment, their efficiencies with using the tool, and in 2018 have even upgraded the SAP BusinessObjects Version to 4.2, Service pack 5 in the cloud. Not only has our customer seen a huge change in their efficiency on our contract, but due to how successful our project has been over the last few years, more DOJ customers have adopted the Amazon GovCloud for their environments as well. After the completion of the upgrade, cBEYONData’s DOJ project became the catalyst of change within the Financial Services office. Soon, multiple stakeholders were asking how they could upgrade their environment and what the process looked like. “At the end of the day, the key to success is to identify the needs and deliver an easy-to-use solution for the customer that is extremely useful and powerful. This is the true catalyst”, says Dave Schmidtknecht, Principal, cBEYONData.
Now that we have been effectively servicing the DOJ cloud-based environment for over three years, the next step of our DOJ contract is to upgrade the SAP BusinessObjects software to Version 4.2 Service Pack 7 to a faster cloud-based environment that will increase the in-house memory of the environment. This increase in in-house memory will ultimately produce more efficiencies and increase the speed as to which the software will run within DOJ. Because of the success of our contract, the increase in a better, faster cloud-hosted environment was rather easily attainable. There were little to no hoops to jump through and our customers are excited to see the changes that are to come.
In total, 21 servers (7 in Development, Test and Production respectively) laptops were successfully migrated over to the Amazon Services Government Cloud solution freeing up DOJ staff to focus on more business-centric tasks. In addition, server efficiency was improved significantly, allowing the customer to focus on delivering better service to their end-users.