22106868_sYou’re an enterprise. You’ve done your research. You’ve read the whitepapers. You’ve heard all the success stories (along with a few cautionary tales). Perhaps you’ve already taken your first steps into the cloud, but want to embark on a larger-scale public cloud adoption strategy.

But what does that look like for your enterprise? The journey is different for you – for everyone, really. And you certainly don’t want to make it up as you go along.

Here are five important things you need to map out before you start your public cloud journey. We’re confident in this roadmap because we’ve been along for the ride before. We’ve helped many large enterprises and agencies successfully adopt and implement their own unique cloud strategies. Read More…

Internet of Things, IOT

The short answer is yes. Not only can it save your organization money, but it can do so while also delivering more functionality and freedom. AIS recently worked with a large machine-tooling company that had a machine optimization software solution they wanted to re-platform in a lower-cost, more scalable and flexible way.

Their machine optimization system reports real-time and historical data on how cutting tools and machines are performing, and recommends improvement opportunities. However, it was built using traditional software development techniques and doesn’t take advantage of any platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities and benefits.

They asked us to create a proof-of-concept (POC) solution utilizing Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services. This POC would be used to prove that an Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services-based solution could provide derived data results within +/- 10% of their current software solution and experimental results, as well as address a number of existing technical limitations and outstanding business needs.

Click here to read how we overcame this challenge.

Inflexible customer solutions and business unit silos are the bane of any organization’s existence. So how does a large, multi-billion dollar insurance organization, with numerous lines of business, create a customer-centric business model while implementing configurable, agile systems for faster business transactions?

The solution is not so simple, but with our assistance, we’ve managed to point our large insurance client in the right direction. What began as a plan to develop a 360-degree customer profile and connect the disparate information silos between business units ultimately became the first step towards a more customer-centric organization.

A major multi-year initiative to modernize the organization’s mainframe systems onto the Microsoft technology platform will now provide significant cost savings over current systems and enable years of future business innovation. Read More…

Intranet 101: If your employees still use email to request information that’s on your intranet, your intranet is failing.

Maybe it’s too hard to update, so everyone simply assumes the information there is outdated. Maybe the search functionality consistently returns irrelevant results. Maybe it’s not accessible from a smartphone or tablet.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same: poor user adoption has doomed your intranet.

For over 30 years, we’ve been building complex intranets for businesses and organizations of all types and sizes, leveraging the latest technology platforms to create beautiful, usable intranets that solve business problems and eliminate common user pain points.

Our latest whitepaper, Building the Intranet Your Employees Expect, walks you through the building blocks required to design an intranet that not only incorporates today’s capabilities and features, but will also be an essential system that gets adopted, used and loved by your employees. Download your copy today!

In this blog I’ll discuss some post-release reporting issues that we faced for one of our projects and the solutions we implemented. On the technology side, we had SQL Server 2008 R2 and MVC 4.0 application (which were hosted in Amazon Web Services) in our production environment.

The Problem

The post-production release reporting system was not responding as per the user expectations. For most of the high-volume reports (50K rows to 200K rows in report output), we were getting request timeout error. Client SLA for response time was two minutes; hence any report (big or small) must return data within two minutes. All the reports were designed using SQL Server Reporting Services 2008 R2. In all there were close to 40 reports with such timeout issues. Read More…

A global law firm gained a planning and billed-hours edge with a new custom SharePoint application, incorporating an intelligent data dashboard, developed by the experienced team at AIS. This custom-developed solution continues a rich history of success, as the firm views AIS as their IT project partner and a long-term extension of their team.

Background

The long-time AIS client is a top law firm with household name clients in the technology, financial, healthcare and retail industries. They staff more than 1,000 lawyers and offices in 12 cities in the United States, Europe and Asia. This client offers comprehensive legal capabilities for intellectual property, tax issues, real estate, bankruptcy, environmental, corporate law and more.

The Challenge

AIS was initially brought in to build the firm’s global intranet. The project, a SharePoint intranet application, was very successful and user adoption exceeded expectations. Around the same time, the firm hired another company to build a resource application for its main legal practice areas. But because of poor user feedback and bad performance, the application never made it to production. After nearly three years of time and money spent, the firm turned to AIS for help.

Click here to read the full case study.

Although AIS is proud to center their technology on Microsoft’s frameworks and technology stack, AIS is also adept at working with a broad range of other technologies to give clients solutions that are custom-tailored to their needs.

One such project is the recently released Web Report Editing Tool, or WebRET. WebRET was custom-built in the Ohio Development Center for the specific needs of our government client. In this instance, the client needed a back end that was compatible with the Java Runtime Environment, so we used JRuby on Rails to provide a modern yet JRE-compatible back end.

To learn more about the technologies used in WebRET, take a look at the whitepaper below.

Web Report Editing Tool Case Study (PDF)

Click here to read more about AIS’ custom application development service offerings and how they’ve helped our clients.

The goal of our project with the Kennedy Center was to digitally archive the entire collection of National Symphony Orchestra recordings. That’s over 100 years of precious, irreplaceable audio files— each of which were up to 2GB in size — that needed to be electronically preserved in a secure and searchable archive. Not to mention the Orchestra needed an efficient process and system for their future archiving, so it was important to get it done right the first time. An out-of-the-box SharePoint 2010 feature set alone was not sufficient, so we developed and implemented a customized solution. It was an awesome project and one that we were thrilled to be a part of.

Kennedy Center Case Study: Executive Version

Kennedy Center Case Study: Technical Version

About half of what we do here at AIS is for government clients. And as much as we’d like to brag about the innovative work we do for them, we usually can’t, for obvious national-security-related reasons.

But occasionally we can put together case studies and project descriptions, so if you’re curious about the sort of work the AIS Federal team does, please check them out below.

Read More…