DevOps – An ATC Differentiator

Software Solutions With Business Collaboration

Lyndhurst, NJ, December 14, 2015—Often, an IT division works quietly in the background to provide an important benefit to enhance service. At ATC, the IT division has advanced efficiency and effectiveness with a new process named DevOps.

DevOps combines the techniques used by our development staff with operations. It enables total team involvement through the entire life cycle. Communication and collaboration skills provide insight and direction, so we know where to automate and improve processes. This results in real change, compared with the traditional software development and operations support model.

A Partnership Model

The DevOps practice differentiates ATC from its competition in a meaningful way. IT has moved from being a support center to a partnership model whereby innovation and automation enhances three competitive areas:

1) Delivery time,
2) Revenue generation
3) External market visibility

To further this advantage, IT collaborates with development, quality assurance, and the operations teams to work hand-in-hand with our business partners. This collaboration occurs throughout the deployment and operations support phases in every project as described below. The scope may go from a major software release to minor code enhancements.

Business Collaboration Provides Speed to Market

In the ATC Nuclear division, for example, a DevOps IT team member collaborated with business partners to manage over 28,000 parts from a nuclear power plant and bring them to market. The parts include a catalog's worth of gauges, relays, fuses, and valves. The software application loads them into the ATC DAX enterprise resource planning system website—and the website markets and offers these parts for sale to ATC customers.

The next step taken by DevOps was the development of a self-service app. The app enables ATC Nuclear Division associates to add additional parts as they become available from other power plants.

This effort has already generated significant revenue, and is designed to add additional parts from other sources, which will enhance the revenue stream.

Proactive Monitoring—Five Stars For Excellence

In another example, a ATC DevOps IT team member developed applications that monitor and alert Windows Distributed File System (DFS) replication and backlog workflow for ATC.

DFS is important for ATC business users. It provides higher availability and increased performance when accessing files and folders across the many geographically dispersed ATC locations. These differentiating apps proactively monitor and alert users, if/when there's an issue with DFS replication and/or backlog workflow at ATC.

The DFS replication and backlog monitoring apps were uploaded in October 2015 on the Nagios Exchange app store, where community members like ATC and others share and exchange monitoring solutions/apps. Since then, DevOps has enjoyed 373 hits, 8 votes and 4 reviews—all with a 5-star rating.

The benefit to our business partners is clear; ATC IT's DevOps has improved time-to-market parts from partners, and helped protect their businesses by implementing proactive monitoring and alerts.