Object_Partners_CS_Spring_2013.pdf

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Focusing on the Business Needs of Customers: Object Partners

Object Partners is a Minnesota-based enterprise IT consulting firm that specializes in building and deploying large-scale applications for leaders in a variety of industries. The firm supplies project leadership and development resources, with the goal of delivering highly functional quality applications for customers, on time and on budget.

Challenge

Prior to their adoption of Spring – the de facto standard platform to build, run and manage enterprise Java applications – Object Partners was often faced with the challenge of using existing frameworks or developing new in-house application frameworks that varied from client to client. Maintaining quality across a variety of frameworks was a painstaking effort.

“Before Spring, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) was the leading-edge technology and it literally took teams of people to do what two or three people can very quickly do in Spring,” says Torey Lomenda, Senior Consultant, Object Partners. “Using EJB was painful because the technology lacked an easy-to-use, straightforward application framework to build on.”

Prior to using Spring, Object Partners had been successful delivering quality enterprise applications. However, significant effort had to be spent on the technical details of gluing application components together.

“Focusing on gluing pieces of code together meant it took us longer to build testable, maintainable solutions for our customers,” recalls Lomenda.

Solution

Today, the majority of Object Partners applications are built on Spring, across the company’s diverse customer base – which includes industries such as insurance, travel and telematics, just to name a few.

“Spring enables us to develop applications with simplicity,” explains David Reines, Senior Consultant. “This allows us to build more functionality for our clients; and make the applications easier to maintain and more adaptable to new requirements that might come up.”

BUSINESS Benefits

Spring delivers the following business results to Object Partners:

Rapid Project Ramp Up

“With the help of Spring, our new customers are impressed that we provide value very quickly,” Lomenda notes. “Our clients often get stuck with making decisions about the technical direction of a project. We come in with Spring and can hit the ground running. And the trust with the client is built much more rapidly.”

Accelerated Project Delivery

Object Partners knows that technical expertise is not enough to be successful in their business – they also have to deliver applications fast.

“That’s where Spring helps,” explains Scott Hickey, Senior Consultant, “because when we simplify the architecture, we accelerate the development process, and it helps us deliver an actual running application much faster.”

“When we got rid of J2EE and went to Spring on this project, we tripled velocity – and we were using the new J2EE that is supposed to be as good as Spring,” Hickey continues.

“Using Spring, we are more likely to hit the target delivery date that we promised to a customer,” Reines adds, “because there is less complexity, fewer problems get in our way, and we are more confident in the platform we are building on.”

Focus on Clients’ Business Needs

Spring has eliminated the need for Object Partners to write framework code. Instead, they can concentrate on the business logic, and work more closely with their clients to deliver on the business requirements.

“With Spring, we spend less time on monotonous technical tasks that distract us from the customer’s business problem,” says Lomenda. “As a result, we are able to deliver enterprise applications that meet our customers’ needs much more quickly.”

Stronger Customer Relationship

With Spring, Object Partners is able to quickly show customers the value they bring to a project, strengthening the relationship with the customer early on.

“Because we can develop such clean components with better encapsulation and modularization, we build good relationships with the architects on the client site,” explains Lomenda. “Building that trust is very important.”

More Innovative Features

Object Partners is not only more productive, but can also work on more complex features for clients, such as a rich UI experience and integration with other systems.

“Spring allows us to be more innovative, which is what our clients hire us for,” adds Reines. “We can take more calculated risks because we have such a strong foundation to build on. Before Spring, I was more conservative about taking those steps. All my time and energy was spent just making sure that the application worked, so I was much more reluctant to add features that may have resulted in real business value.”

Greater Application Quality

Object Partners achieved an enormous productivity gain with testability using Spring. With Spring, it is possible to automate testing of all layers of the application with minimum effort, and a more thoroughly tested application translates directly into greater application quality.

Successful Hand-Off to CustomerAs a consulting company, one of Object Partners’ primary goals

is to enable their clients to move forward after the project.

“To be successful with a client, we need to leave them in the best position possible, and that often involves on-boarding their employees who might not have a lot of Java experience,” says Hickey. “Spring enables us to leave them with an architecture and a development methodology that is manageable for them, along with a consistent programming model across the board,” Lomenda concludes.

At-a-glance

Key Benefits

  • Rapid Project Ramp Up
  • Accelerated Product Delivery by 3x
  • Focus on Clients’ Business Needs
  • Stronger Customer Relationship
  • More Innovative Features
  • Greater Application Quality
  • Successful Hand-Off to Customer

“Using Spring, we are more likely to hit the target delivery date that we promised to a customer because there is less complexity, fewer problems get in our way, and we are more confident in what we are building upon.”

— Torey Lomenda, Senior Consultant, Object Partners

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