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Upgrading Legacy HVAC Software to Boost Sales Productivity

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The Customer

A leading HVAC company.

The Project

Upgrading Legacy HVAC Software to Boost Sales Productivity


The Customer faced challenges with their outdated and disparate software systems. These systems were built over the past 20 years using technologies like Visual Basic and Access, resulting in duplicate data entry, multiple versions of the same problem, and a lack of a single source of truth. The inefficiencies in their design and sales processes were impacting their effectiveness and overall productivity. The Customer recognized the need for application modernization to streamline their operations, enhance efficiency, and improve their time to market.

The Challenge

The Customer’s outdated software systems were hindering their design and sales teams’ effectiveness. The lack of integration and standardization led to duplicate data entry and conflicting information across multiple systems. This resulted in a longer turnaround time for design approvals and delays in the manufacturing process. Additionally, the retirement of key personnel who maintained these legacy systems posed a significant risk to the organization. The Customer needed a solution to modernize their applications, eliminate duplicate data entry, and streamline their design and sales processes.

The Solution

Improving, a technology consulting and development expert, partnered with the Customer to tackle their application modernization project. The approach involved a comprehensive rewrite of the outdated systems, rather than a simple lift and shift migration. The team opted for a microservice-based solution to break down the complex software into manageable domains. A web-based front end using Vue.js was chosen to leverage existing applications within the organization. On the back end, .NET Core web APIs were utilized to ensure scalability and performance.

To orchestrate the various microservices, an API Gateway and reverse proxy were implemented using Engine X. Docker and Docker images were used for deployment into production, providing flexibility and portability. MongoDB and SQL Server were selected as the databases to handle the data storage requirements. The solution also involved integrating with the Customer’s legacy ERP system to enable seamless part specification and management.

The Technologies & Methodologies

  • Front-end: Vue.js for web-based applications

  • Back-end: .NET Core web APIs for scalability and performance

  • Orchestration: Engine X for API Gateway and reverse proxy

  • Deployment: Docker and Docker images for flexibility and portability

  • Databases: MongoDB and SQL Server for data storage

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The Business Benefits

  • Streamlined Design and Sales Processes: The modernized application eliminated duplicate data entry and provided a single source of truth, reducing errors and improving efficiency.

  • Faster Time to Market: The new system significantly reduced the turnaround time for design approvals, enabling the Customer to bring products to market faster.

  • Improved Productivity: The intuitive user interface and standardized workflows reduced the learning curve for new designers, leading to faster onboarding and increased productivity.

  • Enhanced Data Accuracy: With a single source of truth and standardized data entry, the Customer experienced improved data accuracy and consistency across the organization.

  • Future Scalability and Integration: The microservice architecture and API Gateway allowed for easy integration with other technologies and systems, ensuring scalability and future growth.

Lessons Learned

The application modernization project for the Customer highlighted the importance of considering not only the technology, but also the organization’s maturity and business processes. The lack of documented business processes and clear software development standards posed challenges in understanding the client’s requirements accurately. The project emphasized the need for a skilled business analyst (BA) to bridge the gap between technical solutions and business needs. A strong partnership and open communication between the client and the development team were crucial in navigating the complexities and evolving scope of the project.

Why Improving?

The Customer’s application modernization journey with Improving resulted in significant improvements in their design and sales processes. By eliminating duplicate data entry and standardizing workflows, the organization experienced enhanced efficiency, improved time to market, and increased productivity. The modernized system provided a scalable and integrated platform for future growth. The Customer’s willingness to embrace change and work collaboratively with the development team played a vital role in the project’s success. The lessons learned from this project will guide future organizations undertaking similar app modernization initiatives.

Professional Services
Application Modernization

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