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Axway Improves Software Development Operating Model

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Case Study

Axway Improves Software Development Operating Model

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  • A significantly improved software development operating model which allowed more visibility into release forecasting
 

  • Effective, constant alignment and realignment of implementation and delivery with market needs
 

  • Improved time to market for product
    delivery
 

  • Adoption and implementation of agile methods throughout departments, creating a more efficient development organization

Axway logo

challenges-icon Challenges

Axway is a Business Interaction Networks company which provides the tools to manage, run, secure and monitor all business interactions for today’s organizations. Axway’s comprehensive offerings include business-to-business integration, managed file transfer, email and identity security, enterprise application integration, business process management and track & trace solutions.

Due to complexities surrounding the solutions they provide and the constantly changing demands of the market, Axway needed to find a better way to track and manage development for their extensive, and constantly growing, backlog of product feature requests. After deciding to adopt agile development methods and testing a wide range of planning and management solutions, Axway selected VersionOne.

As a veteran of the software industry, Jorge Rodriguez, Axway’s SVP of Product Development, was intimately familiar with the challenges associated with ever-changing market demands. “Software development is unpredictable, and the job of the software development organization is to put a model in place that manages that inherent risk as tightly as possible.”

Axway’s managed file transfer business was growing significantly. Like many software development organizations, the team was constantly tasked with innovating to meet market expectations while supporting existing customers. As the lead for Axway’s product development team, Jorge had to contend with the challenges of developing new products while still meeting the needs of an existing customer base. He soon recognized the need to adopt development practices that could provide his team with more accurate visibility into their product release forecasts, while mitigating the risks that come from a misalignment between market demands and customer feature requests.

Another common challenge Jorge had to manage was Axway’s network of geographically distributed development teams, which spanned the United States, European Union and India. The company’s distributed nature meant that 50-60% of their projects were spread across seven development labs – some with time differences greater than seven hours. “Not only did we have to contend with the geographic challenges, we also had to find a way to manage continuous integration and development across all projects and locales,” said Rodriguez.

With a complex team and development structure, Axway needed to maintain a high level of communication across functions and locations to ensure success. Jorge wanted to get the developers and contributors on board with transitioning to agile processes for improved efficiencies and communication. He also wanted to help teams understand that these iterative methods played a significant role in risk management and predictability, rather than viewing them as change for change’s sake. “It’s about identifying predictability so that the company doesn’t lose millions on a botched deployment.” said Rodriguez.

solution-icon Solution

Once Jorge realized that agile would serve his organization’s best interests he began his search for a project management tool to support agile processes. After testing several open-source tools, Jorge was unimpressed by the lack of functionality and visibility they provided. This led him to evaluate two commercial-class products – one of which was VersionOne. “The first tool, a VersionOne competitor, we evaluated for almost six months. It became apparent that it did not meet the variety of demands for various functions within our organization. Next, we evaluated VersionOne. We quickly realized that only VersionOne could meet all of our needs, so we made the decision to move to VersionOne.”

After implementing VersionOne and bringing in an agile coach to run the teams through a full release cycle, Jorge was delighted by the results – a significantly improved operating model and an agile management platform that delivered visibility into release forecasting while identifying misalignment between market demands and feature requests. Jorge added, “Managing our iterative development in VersionOne provided us with the foundation to assess and reassess whether what we were delivering met the market’s needs.” Additionally, he gained clarity in definition of features through backlog management and was able to create a foundation to measure his software development operation while managing risk more effectively. “We were able to look at trends in our key metrics using VersionOne and course-correct early on,” said Jorge.

Within six months Axway had standardized on VersionOne. Jorge was thrilled by the market-leading usability of VersionOne, saying, “The user experience of VersionOne’s solution was impressive. The intuitive interface made it easy to roll out VersionOne across the entire organization.”

“Enabling significant improvement in our software delivery was paramount. VersionOne has given us the ability to turn on a dime and quickly react to both market and customer needs.”

Jorge Rodriguez
Sr. Vice President, Product Development
Axway

Axway logo

benefits-icon Benefits

Axway has more than 500 people, spread across 60 teams, in seven development labs across the globe – including R&D, product development and Q&A. After switching to VersionOne, Axway’s engineers were able to streamline operations and effectively align market needs with implementation and delivery. Using VersionOne, Axway can now track customer requests through the development cycle, more accurately forecast releases and better manage risk to improve overall time to market for product deliveries. “Enabling significant improvement in our software delivery was paramount. VersionOne has given us the ability to turn on a dime and quickly react to both market and customer needs,” said Rodriguez.

“Many companies fail when transitioning from product vision into tangible execution and delivery. VersionOne helped us lay the foundation to use our product vision for effective guidance, and build a cohesive and disciplined process to manage the backlog. This was instrumental in keeping our organization aligned and focused on top customer and market priorities,” said Jorge.