SuperChoice uses Offis to adopt a multi-cloud strategy with RightScale CaseStudy PDF

Press Release SuperChoice Undergoes Major Cloud Transformation with Offis

The thought of maintaining a large, deeply entrenched and decades-old legacy system can certainly bring a quiver to the lip of even the most hardened CIO. Yet, it is possible to reinvent and reinvigorate almost any software or system into the cloud.

As CIO of SuperChoice, Ian Gibson’s lip may have quivered, but he knew moving into the cloud was the best way forward. “Many people start [moving to the cloud] by deploying their newest, most cloud-ready apps, whereas we actually did the opposite,” says Gibson. “We took our core legacy system built 17 years ago and deployed that to the cloud.”

The Legacy Elephant in the Room

SuperChoice supplies superannuation and pensions management and clearing house software to employers. So, when the Australian government announced the new SuperStream superannuation system in 2014, SuperChoice had a lot of work in front of it to update and transition everything across in time for the June 2016 deadline.

Moving into the cloud was the obvious solution; giving SuperChoice much needed flexibility and scale. However, when businesses decide to move into the cloud, the old legacy system is usually seen as the out-dated relic to be confined to the ‘too-hard’ basket. It is seen as far better—and far more likely to show short-term results—to focus on a few easy options, with a handful of workarounds and compromises to avoid having to address the older, heavier and distinctly uncloud-like elephant in the room.

This ‘half-in’ approach can create a whole new set of problems. “There are a lot of companies that will say they are cloud first across the board,” says Bailey Caldwell, Director of Professional Services for RightScale. “Actually delivering on that, once they get into the trenches, becomes a much more difficult challenge. Many businesses that I've worked with have been all-in on cloud for years, and they're still not there. Their appetite was larger than their ability to execute.”

Gibson knew that if SuperChoice were to undergo a successful transformation in time to meet the SuperStream deadline they had to do more than just tentatively nibble around the edges and work inwards. They had to start with the core of the business and work out.

Rebuild and Grow

RightScale was the clear choice for the cloud management platform, while Offis provided the necessary expertise to design and automate the new infrastructure to support the legacy app and automate the necessary workflows.

“What Offis has done for SuperChoice is build a process to maintain all of their business collateral about application versions and deployment models to generate cloud application templates and automate execution.” says Greg Steel, senior consultant and solution architect at Offis. SuperChoice can now deliver complex environments including networks, databases, application servers, the whole lot, as often as they want at the push of a button to whichever cloud they would like to deliver them to. For SuperChoice, infrastructure and environment provisioning is no longer a constraint. What this increased agility in environment provisioning amounts to is the ability for them to deliver business changes more quickly for their customers and as an organization, spend most of their time and energy delivering new features and functions to market for their clients and less time on infrastructure.”

A Legacy App Reborn

“It’s led to a substantial transformation within the organisation,” says Gibson. “In the last two and a half years we've redeveloped our core platform to respond to the industry requirements. We've changed the way we developed that platform, we've changed the culture to be more oriented towards a software-as-a-service [model] and, more recently, we've fundamentally reshaped our infrastructure so as to not only enable us but to support us moving forward.

The legacy system has been reimagined and rebuilt as a highly flexible and powerful cloud service capable of running in either AWS or a private cloud facility, moving between the two as required to maximise cost and performance.

Gibson recalls how the new cloud app exceeded the expectations of many stakeholders within the business. “We went back to the organisation and said, ‘Hey, guys, do you realise we've just deployed our legacy app into AWS? It's working and we can have that up and running in just under an hour.’ The look of amazement on some of the faces was just priceless, including our CEO who said, ‘Are you serious? We've actually done that?’ ”

Yes, they had. What was old is new again, helping drive the next stage in the company’s growth. “A large corporate organisation … can actually go through this process with a legacy app and still get value out of it … as if it was a new, more cloud-ready application.”

SuperChoice uses Offis to adopt a multi-cloud strategy with RightScale CaseStudy PDF

Press Release SuperChoice Undergoes Major Cloud Transformation with Offis