Softwire have successfully provided support for many different organisations – including support of applications developed by our customers or their suppliers.
See our case studies below or get in touch for details of our support capabilities.
Telegraph Media GroupMore
The Telegraph Media Group produces the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers, and maintains a significant online presence. Softwire provide support and development for a suite of bespoke applications that are used to manage the editorial and publishing processes for both newspapers.
The application suite is built with VB.NET and utilises the Caché object database alongside Microsoft SQL Server. It also uses the ComponentArt UI framework to provide a highly functional and flexible interface in a web browser. The suite interacts with several other Telegraph systems in order to extract data about the very latest edition of the newspaper, and to push newspaper metadata to the printing presses.
Softwire were the original developers for part of the suite, and were able to quickly assume support responsibility for the entire suite upon the departure of the senior Telegraph developer previously responsible. We ensured that an intensive two week on-site period took place to facilitate knowledge transfer about the applications and the newspaper production process to the support team. We have subsequently provided a consistently high level of support for this specialised system from day one.
The fast moving newspaper publishing industry means that rapid responses are required to ensure effective support, and we have consistently met or exceeded the challenging SLAs agreed for response times to support requests.
Our support team uses the Telegraph’s own JIRA system for bug tracking to allow the Telegraph to easily assign and prioritise work, and provide the necessary details to support incidents. This process allows us to closely follow the Telegraph’s development, testing and release process, integrating us more tightly with their team.
In addition to the ongoing support work, significant enhancements and additions to the suite are planned, to further integrate the functionality of other existing Telegraph applications into the suite. Softwire’s extensive knowledge of the application suite has allowed us to actively propose improvements and to take a lead in raising quality and adding value to the supported systems.
International Management GroupMore
When Softwire took over support of IMG’s Decathlon system, we fixed our first critical issue within two hours. Our ability to ramp up quickly on unfamiliar code and provide effective support from the moment of handover removed a large area of business risk for IMG. This gave them the confidence to commission further enhancements to the system.
IMG is an international talent agency and production company. Softwire support a web-based loyalty system for the Consulting division of IMG, which advises corporations on marketing and sponsorship programs. This system, Decathlon, is used by companies to motivate their internal teams.
Decathlon is typically used to manage incentivisation schemes for employees, in which employees compete in job-related challenges for prizes. It can be very easily customised to reflect the branding of the company running the scheme.
Decathlon is LAMP-based (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), using the Symfony framework and the Propel object-relational mapping toolkit. Although the code and server that Softwire took on were in many places quite obscure, we were able to start providing effective support for the Decathlon system within 2 hours of the contract being agreed.
This was achieved due to the rigorous handover process put in place by Softwire. We ensured that extensive meetings took place with IMG’s previous developers prior to final contractual agreement in order to acquire a thorough understanding of the Decathlon system as quickly as possible. This meant that during initial meetings with the Decathlon system’s main end user we were able to provide on the spot estimates for the issues they raised, allowing IMG to prioritise requirements effectively.
Starting from this initial handover period, Softwire has created detailed internal documentation which is updated regularly. This documentation, together with Softwire’s extremely high staff retention rate (>90%), has minimised the time spent on developer ramp-up and hence the cost incurred by IMG.
Softwire has coped well with the fluctuating levels of support resource required by IMG and has always been able to respond to support requests in good time and within estimates. The service level agreement of 0.5 hours for critical fault diagnosis, 1 hour for a plan for resolution and 4 hours for full resolution or escalation has always been met.
As well as fixing faults, Softwire has also performed larger enhancements, adding substantial new features to the Decathlon system. IMG’s confidence in Softwire’s expertise has resulted in their asking us to oversee the migration of their websites to a new server host recommended by us. We anticipate a long and successful relationship between Softwire and IMG and look forward to helping IMG develop and improve Decathlon.