CASE STUDIES

Incorporating transformational ideas—and the expertise,

the technology and the know-how to back them up. 

Introducing the future.

CoreTEC Industrial IoT System


SYNOPSIS: CoreTEC captures, aggregates, and persists sensor and other data within substation and distribution class electrical transformers to convert these products into IoT devices

MARKET: Industrial

SERVICE: IoT

CHALLENGES:

  • Large transformers on the electrical power grid are complex devices with numerous sensors that capture performance and device health data. Historically that data has remained inside of the device unless captured by a manual download process.
  • ABB is developing next-generation transformers that are smart, connected, industrial IoT devices. This requires a major upgrade in the software resident in the transformers’ embedded computers.
SOLUTIONS:
  • A new CoreTEC system was designed with an architecture that includes a Runtime Executive, License Agent, Persistence Engine, Logging Engine, Algorithm Engine, and proxies of devices to enable persistence of data. A UI application allows operators to configure, control, and monitor the transformers.
  • The aggregation and persistence engines allow the CoreTEC system to communicate with SCADA systems, embedded devices, and remote storage and compute platforms using multiple communication paths, such as the Modbus, DNP3, RS-485, and 61850 industrial protocols, and the MQTT message based protocol popular with IoT systems.
  • The new CoreTEC system receives data from the numerous sensors and sources, aggregates it as necessary, stores timestamped data in relational and time-series databases, performs local analysis and analytical calculation, and sends the data to remote servers for storage.
  • The project also required firmware development of the Ubuntu embedded Linux board support package. In addition to modifications of several device drivers and bootstrap components, Yocto was used for deployment packaging.
  • The system was developed in C++ on Ubuntu Linux. The UI was developed in REACT.
RESULTS:
  • The new CoreTEC software was successfully deployed after 9 months of development, at a cost dramatically lower than the client had estimated for an internally developed effort.
  • It was immediately deployed to over 30 customers in a pilot program. No serious issues or feature gaps were discovered during this comprehensive and intensive pilot program.
  • The client’s large class of power transformers are now smart, connected, IoT devices and ready for the cloud-based storage and analytics platform to be developed as a following project.




Climb™ Platform Enhancements


SYNOPSIS: Climb™ is a SaaS product that captures, manages, and visualizes pre-clinical research data and protocols

MARKET: Healthcare Technology, Pharmaceuticals

SERVICE: Cloud Design & Development

CHALLENGES:

  • Rockstep Solutions is an early stage company in the healthcare technology market. They’re cloud-based SaaS platform called Climb™ provides pharma, CRO, and academia customers, with a single repository for all experimental data, tightly linked with study protocol and animal lineage. The Climb platform streamlines reporting, root cause analysis, and many other requirements of the industry.

  • Rockstep had an opportunity to win new, large, marquee customers to the platform if they could develop several complex enhancements to their platform. These enhancements required backend infrastructure development as well as frontend components for desktop and Mobile devices.

  • The lean staff at this startup company could not accomplish the complex set of product enhancements in the tight schedule required by the business opportunity.

SOLUTIONS:

  • VividCloud came up to speed on Rockstep’s architecture, code baseline, and the enhancements required.

  • Working closely with Rockstep’s excellent engineering team, VividCloud’s resources extended the backend Azure architecture to support a larger data model and scalability.

  • VividCloud also developed UX/UI components in Angular related to customer management in a multi-tenant architecture, workflow management features for Climb™ customers, and new visualization options.

  • The platform was implemented on Azure cloud platform utilizing Angular, C#, .NETcore, Azure SQL, Azure DevOps, and other services.

RESULTS:

  • VividCloud completed all of the platform enhancements on schedule at 12% below the estimated cost.

  • With these enhancement in place, and delivered on time, Rockstep was able to win large, industry leading, biotechnology customers to the Climb platform.




Cloud-Native FinTech Platform


SYNOPSIS: Cloud Migration of financial service company’s account and investment portfolio management systems

MARKET: Financial Services

SERVICE: Cloud Design & Development, Enterprise Solution

CHALLENGES:

  • The client is a Boston based institutional investment company with $100B under management. This client specializes in systematic investment strategies, risk-controlled portfolios managed on behalf of pension funds, endowments, foundations, governments, and other institutions globally.

  • The client developed their infrastructure software over the span of 40 years using the Microsoft technology stack, deployed in three on-premises data centers around the globe. Their software included a complex SQL Server database, financial portfolio tracking and management applications, account tracking and management applications, regulatory compliance software, and much more.

  • The client was experiencing the classic difficulties of aging software: difficult to maintain, difficult to enhance, and increasingly expensive to scale any further their on-premises data centers.SOLUTIONS:

SOLUTIONS:
  • The client decided upon a phased migration to the cloud, choosing AWS as their cloud platform. Over time, all applications and business logic will be replaced with new cloud native infrastructure and applications.

  • VividCloud’s initial task was to join the client’s architecture team to design and build the initial AWS infrastructure. Terraform is utilized for infrastructure provisioning and Ansible to automate and manage the CI/CD pipeline.

  • The client’s very complex database will remain in their on-prem data centers for the initial phases of the migration. However, a set of APIs developed on AWS by VividCloud effectively encapsulate the SQL database and its tightly entwined business logic, providing the new cloud-native applications access to, and synchronization with, the legacy database.

  • Since hundreds of new cloud-native applications are required to replace the legacy software, VividCloud was also tasked with developing several Single Page Application templates in REACT to accelerate the replacement of the legacy C#/.NET application.

  • The project utilizes Java, Python, REACT, Node.js, .NETcore, Okta, SnowFlake, Terraform, , Lambda, RDS-Aurora, Application Load Balancing (ALB), Amazon Elastic Containers (ECR), AWS Batch, AWS Data Migration Services (DMS).

RESULTS:

  • The core AWS infrastructure for the new system has been designed as a Lambda based serverless system. This core infrastructure is extended as new components are developed.

  • APIs were developed that give cloud applications access to the legacy data and business logic components[JK1] have been developed and delivered to the client’s internal staff.

  • SPA templates have been developed and multiple applications have been developed and deployed from those templates.

  • The client’s cloud migration is well underway with an accelerating pace of applications to be completed.

  • The data sync target significantly reduced the scope and volume of data creating a more actionable model. The new cloud db instance was intended to provide improved performance against key business indicators.




Enterprise Platform for Insurance Company


SYNOPSIS: A cloud-based system providing an ecommerce platform for direct to consumer insurance products

MARKET: Insurance Industry

SERVICE: Cloud Design & Development, Enterprise Solution

CHALLENGES:

  • The client is a property and casualty insurance company that provides individuals, families, and businesses with customized, affordable home and property insurance policies. The client’s enterprise software generates quotes online for customized insurance coverage, binds policies, links partners and underwriters, provides regulatory and privacy compliance, and much more. An online portal allows consumers to select policies, file claims, pay bills, make policy adjustments, view policy documents, and take care of other customer service needs.
  • The client is replacing their legacy software built on the Microsoft technology stack, with new infrastructure-as-code and cloud native applications on the AWS platform. This is a complicated undertaking encompassing a wide offering of insurance products, intricate relationships with partner companies, underwriters, multiple operating entities, and different business and regulatory environments across all 50 states.
  • They developed a first-generation AWS based system under a pilot project running an initial set of business services. The next phase requires a major evolution of cloud system’s architecture and a dramatic increase in the number of services and workload to be developed under AWS. Additional complications are the business requirement for two separate but connected cloud based systems, and the encapsulation and migration of certain legacy components. The number of highly skilled cloud development resources required for this project far exceed what can be handled by the client’s internal staff.
SOLUTIONS:
  • VividCloud supporting multiple product development groups within the client’s organization. We have 6-8 teams fielded at any given time, each with 2 to 8 people. Our tasking spans the development spectrum, from cloud architecture design and optimization, though infrastructure provisioning and application development. We are also tasked with helping our client evolve their client’s DevOps processes by implementing CI/CD pipelines, dramatically increasing the code covered by automated testing, and implementation of best practices in policies and procedures.
  • Individual projects tasked to VividCloud arrive in varying stages of readiness. Some have well defined requirements and a solution approach developed. Others require significant amount of requirements definition/clarification before design and implementation.
  • The project utilizes Java, Python, C#/.NET and .NETcore, SpringBoot, API Gateway, AWS Landing Zones, ALB, S3, EC2, ElasticSearch, Node.js, REACT, DynamoDB, RDS, Redshift, and Lambda.

RESULTS:
  • The client has positioned VividCloud as a strategic partner and has steadily increased the amount and complexity of our responsibilities.
  • This client is well underway on a multi-year cloud migration project.




The Express™ Weapons Detection Security System


SYNOPSIS: Turn the new Express™ scanning system into a smart, connected, IoT Device

MARKET: Industrial

SERVICE: IoT, Cloud Design & Development

CHALLENGES:

  • The Evolv Express system is a free-flow weapons-detection systemthat can screen 3,600 people an hour. The initial release of this groundbreaking product was as standalone devices, installed at customer sites.
  • By making the product a smart, connected, IoT device, a much more ambitious roadmap of new and expanded capabilities is possible with an IoT network of Express systems and a cloud-based backend infrastructure.
SOLUTIONS:
  • VividCloud is designing and developing the backend infrastructure on AWS. This multi-tenant system will store usage and performance data from Express systems deployed to the field. Initial milestones included implementation of the data pipeline to capture, process, and store the scanner data. Eventually this infrastructure will support a set of security and commercial applications deliver a wide variety of features and capabilities.
  • VividCloud developed a Progressive Web Application in Angular to replace the original software used to configure and control the Express systems.
  • A second application provides an IoT dashboard allowing users to view the status of all Express systems deployed and manage them through a set of IoT Jobs. It also provides an analytics dashboard offering users a number of Tableau visualizations of the scanner data.

RESULTS:

  • This on-going project will continue to add infrastructure and application extending and expanding the successful Express™ product.




HIPAA Risk Advisor


SYNOPSIS: SaaS product that conducts a comprehensive HIPAA risk assessment

MARKET: Healthcare, Healthcare Risk Compliance

SERVICE: Cloud Design & Development, Enterprise Solution

CHALLENGES:

  • Healthcare providers and business associates are required under HIPAA regulation to conduct periodic risk assessments for access to Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI), focused on patients’ EMRs.
  • Due to the complexity of the regulations, companies often lack the ability to perform these rigorous assessments in a consistent and reliable way without external help.
  • A better method or tool was required to sort out a company’s compliance with Section 164.308(a)(1)(ii)(a) of the HIPAA Security Rule. The engineering team set out to develop an online platform and security expertise to address this market need

SOLUTIONS:

  • Jim Kennedy, VividCloud’s VP of Engineering, worked with security experts to develop a simplified questionnaire and sophisticated rules engine that together are able to determine the level of risk associated with the security controls of the company or healthcare provider.
  • His team architected the multi-tenant platform on the AWS cloud platform to support the ‘private labeling’ of the product. For example, athenahealth currently uses the HIPAA Risk Advisor product to assess the risk of the vendors in their marketplace.
  • Jim’s team of 8 people designed, implemented, and deployed this SaaS platform in less than a year. It utilizes AWS EC2 instances, Application Load Balancer (ALB), RDS-SQL Server, Simple Email Service (SES) notifications, multi-availability zone, CloudFront, and other AWS technologies.
  • The platform was implemented in Java, JSP and portlets for UI components, Java SpringBoot for RESTful service, and the D3 library for dashboards displaying Key Performance Indicators




Smart Filtration Systems Initiative


SYNOPSIS: Water filtration systems become smart, connected, IoT devices

MARKET: Industrial

SERVICE: IoT, Cloud Design & Development

CHALLENGES:

  • The client produces water filtration systems for municipal water supplies, food and beverage production, and other industrial processes. These systems are implemented with rugged, industrial Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) and SCADA control systems. These systems are not well suited to support a broad set of remote monitoring and management functions. Process engineers often monitor these systems onsite.

  • The client wishes to evolve these systems into an IoT network and provide advanced product monitoring and up to date customer support as part of the company’s digital transformation.

SOLUTIONS:

  • VividCloud is in the first phase of platform development to support the client’s pilot program.

  • The first phase consists of developing lightweight embedded software for an IoT gateway device that resides within the end customer’s industrial network. This software sends data from the filtration systems PLC to a cloud-based backend system using the MQTT message protocol. The backend infrastructure is hosted on AWS.

  • VividCloud architected the backend infrastructure as a serverless system that utilizes IoT Core, and Kinesis Firehose to manage the ingestion of data from the filtration systems. Lambda functions are used for a variety of activities, such as processing the filtration data into DynamoDB storage, sending system alert notifications and managing requests from users.

  • A user application was developed that allows users to monitor system level and component level status, visualize operational and performance data, retrieve the installation and replacement dates of consumables such as the filters, schedule maintenance, order parts, and other functions. It was developed as a Progressive Web Application using REACT, allowing a single code base to support a wide variety of platforms, including iOS, Android, Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

RESULTS:

  • The initial system has been successfully deployed to selected customers in a pilot program.

  • Results and feedback from the pilot program will guide the continuing development of this system.




QIS System Enhancement


SYNOPSIS: An aging but crucial Quality Information System required immediate action to remain operational

MARKET: Industrial

SERVICE: Enterprise Solutions

CHALLENGES:

  • The client is a robotics company with an aging Quality Information Systems they use to manage customer support issues from the manufacturing floor to their customers’ installations. It is a crucial system, built using the no longer supported MS Access database product. It had acquired a large amount of technical debt that prevented numerous features from working. Other features were poorly implemented, causing confusion with users, and required repetitive entry of the same data in multiple places.
  • The client needed this system to be repaired, stabilized, and key enhancements made as a stopgap measure until a planned MRP system implementation replaces it.
SOLUTIONS:
  • Over 200 repairs and enhancements were made to resolve user access problems, restore existing functionality, add new features, eliminate redundant and error-prone data entry, and cleanup of the user interface.
RESULTS:
  • The QIS system was cost-effectively fixed, stabilized, and continues to operate as a critical business system for the client.





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