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  • Nexus Cognitive Chief Technology Officer, Andy Nardo
    Andy Nardo
    CTO

Nationwide School Board Association

Project: Applying the Nexus Cloud Accelerator framework for rapid e-Commerce deployment

Outcomes: Rapid new eCommerce deployment for empowered revenue streams. (40% volume increase)

Problem

The largest non-profit Public School Board Association (PSBA) operate a purchasing cooperative serving over 8,000 public schools districts and government agencies. This association and cooperative provide critical services to public school districts of all sizes nationally. The cooperative faced increased competition from commercial operators offering a more sophisticated online marketplace experience. The existing web application was developed internally on the Microsoft Platform over 10 years prior with performance degrading as annual transaction volume exceeded over $1 Billion annually.

Solution To address competitive risk and scale to meet near term growth, the existing platform required a combined initiative to modernize the user experience and transition the entire platform a completely Azure Platform as a Service Environment. A Nexus team of experienced Azure architects, analysts, engineers, and designers conducted an analysis to map all existing and new capabilities to the appropriate Azure offerings. The analysis determined the optimal target platforms and more importantly identified the cloud provided capabilities necessary to achieve the client’s user experience goals.

  • Azure SQL Database Services
  • Azure Web Apps
  • Azure PowerBI Embedded Analytics (note: this newer MSFT offering allows distribution of reports via an application to user without a PowerBI License reducing cost and complexity)
  • Azure Cognitive Search
  • Azure Dev Ops

Applying our Cloud Acceleration Framework allowed Nexus to complete cloud modernization and migration to a production environment in under 4.5 months. This efficient migration allowed the client to take advantage of the back-to-school season, a key business driver.

Results The following key benefits/outcomes were directly driven by the modernization and migration effort.

  • Post modernization, supported highest volume of monthly activity ever (over 40% increase in volume from previous highest volume month)
  • Expanded platform capability enabling direct ERP integration with School Districts
  • Vast improvements to user experience including page response time, interactive reporting, product search, and broad device support.
  • Considerable reduction to infrastructure support & maintenance including elimination of patching, zero downtime deployments, scale resources up/down on demand, etc.
  • Improved availability of analytics and reporting to external users