Case Study: RACQ
Building a Future-Proof Application Integration PlatformDownload PDF
RACQ was established in 1905 as an advocate for the rights of motorists. Now, more than a century later, it assists over 1.5 million members and their families in a range of areas including motoring, insurance, finance and travel services. With annual revenue in excess of $1 billion, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Limited (RACQ) is Queensland’s largest mutual organisation, employing 2000 people across more than 50 locations.
A Challenging Transformation
RACQ was going through an organisational transformation, which included the consolidation of two end of life finance systems into a single ERP. The aim of this was to bring together people, process and technology across the RACQ Group.
The other goal for the project was to eliminate a number of alternative systems, developed over time due to inadequacies inherent in the financial system. “With the age of some of our legacy systems, the availability of skilled resources was becoming an increasing challenge.” continued Mr Mercer. “Implementing a decoupled platform as a basis for future projects and in preparation from migrating from the legacy systems was a key priority for us.
We knew that getting the integration piece of this project was crucial to its success- we’ve all heard the nightmare stories of ERP implementations gone wrong!
RACQ selected to build the solution using Microsoft technologies- matching well with their chosen finance system, Microsoft Dynamics AX. Multiple vendors were selected to carry individual components of the project.
Mexia came to us highly recommended, and were chosen as our Integration partner as soon as we decided to go with the Microsoft stack.
Mexia architected a solution that utilised a combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server BizTalk and reusable business services to provide a stable & flexible integration platform. RACQ didn’t want to add complexity by modifying the previous systems, and BizTalk made it easy to translate old data and get it into the new system.
During the project, Mexia also provided project management for the whole integration stream, technical architecture and Scrum expertise.
“With multiple teams working on several projects at once, we strived to constantly improve the build and deployment process,” explained Paul Nichols, Technical Lead at Mexia. “The use of Octopus Deploy and Powershell to automate the process really simplified things for us.”
Upskilling The Team
In addition to building the integration platform, the Mexia team provided mentorship to the RACQ team, many of whom were unfamiliar with BizTalk.
While the solution was developed, Mexia ran a course for RACQ developers and reviewed their skills every month.
“We wanted to ensure the team was equipped to support the solution once it was live.” elaborated Mr Mercer. “Mexia were happy to train our staff, and by the end, developers with no prior BizTalk experience were writing a large system and were leading the internal team.”
RACQ also set an internal Integration Competency Centre (ICC) team, focused on setting standards for the integration competencies with Mexia staff holding key positions within the team.
The integration solution was delivered on time and on budget, and provides a strong foundation for the future. Already, six projects have reused the platform, accelerating the development process and reducing costs.
The new platform has paved a path forward for us. The fact that we don’t have to re-write all the integration components from scratch is a load off my mind. Mexia is a premium provider in this specialist field and consistently went the extra mile during this challenging project.
The following benefits are also attributed to the solution:
- A solid foundation of development practices to reuse on future projects.
- Reduced support costs through the decommissioning of legacy systems.
- Increased agility and speed to market.
- A new internal integration competency, enabling the RACQ team to support the platform independently.
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