How we created a modern and intuitive user interface during a mandatory technical upgrade - Bring confort to users by upgrading from an obsolete technology to an industry standard
Our client, the State of Vaud, started using Microsoft Exchange for emails and calendars. They needed to migrate all their applications and collaborators to the new solution. The Ordre Judiciaire Vaudois (OJV) could not migrate due to a legacy application used since 2001. Based on the Domino/Lotus Notes platform, it was used to schedule all hearings of the Vaud judiciary. This application coordinates the hearings’ schedule of approximately 70 magistrates on 60’000 cases among the 33 judicial authorities and offices spread throughout the Canton.
OpenWT was mandated to design and implement a solution guaranteeing the same functionalities of the legacy AUDI application but working with MS Exchange. We took it as an opportunity to completely reshape the user experience, with a powerful and intuitive interface. All that while remaining compliant with the high-security standards of the State of Vaud.
A new Web application for the hearings’ management
To fully understand our client’s business needs, we started the project with a short analysis phase. We first explored and understood the current solution to map its essential functionalities. We defined personas and user-journeys based on our observations and validated them with the Client. Once the functional scope of the solution was well defined, we started designing the new solution that would take the form of a web application. Together with the Client, we validated each screen and business flow of the application, fixing some inefficient flows that were enforced by the limitation of the old software.
A well-rounded and challenge-seeking team
During the development phase of the new solution, our Client realized that they would need to be able to integrate Microsoft Exchange Calendar with more than just the hearings’ application. They asked us to create a specific API capable of sourcing the data from Microsoft Exchange. Our technical team took the challenge and started a second development stream in parallel of the original eAUDI stream
An API for MS Exchange services, reusable for any other application
Both eAUDI, the new web application for hearings management, and Happy Exchange, the dedicated MS Exchange API, were delivered. We helped our Client take advantage in this uneasy situation of a mandatory application upgrade not only to do what was needed, but also to prepare for the future!
Migrating 20 websites to Exchange
The last step of the project was to set up the entire data migration of the OVJ from Lotus Notes to Oracle and Microsoft Exchange. This was planned over 6 months to guarantee an uninterrupted business process for the users. The data migration affected the 20 offices (cantonal court, industrial tribunal, justice of the peace, etc.) of the OVJ. We decided to run two Pilots with two separate offices. The knowledge acquired with the two pilots allowed us to migrate smoothly all other offices, and the OVJ could continue efficiently scheduling hearing without creating any disruption in their daily business process.
- A blueprint phase of two weeks of analysis, to review the scope of the project, align all parties around the business needs and to design the new hearings’ application
- A development phase of eight weeks simultaneously with the creation of a dedicated API
- A data migration spanned over 6 months to guarantee an uninterrupted business process for the users
Offices migrated from Lotus Notes to MS Exchange
Cases handled using the new application
Days of business interruption
With the evolution of time, historical systems can no longer exist alone, have to integrate with other systems, and are difficult to maintain. As many organizations are still using systems based on obsolete software languages and irrelevant hardware components, the risk of cybersecurity has increased, with efficiency taking a real hit.
Here are three steps to follow when establishing an application modernization strategy.
1. Identify critical applications
The first step is to identify high-value services, processes and systems and examine how they could benefit from improved scalability, performance, security and reliability.
To obtain this information, it is necessary to clearly identify what each application does, the problems and opportunities it addresses, its maintenance costs and how it could benefit from modernization. From there, they can delve deeper into the specifics of the application, such as how the service is delivered, who benefits from it, and the capabilities and limitations of the technology in terms of performance and function.
Based on this information, explicit decisions can be made about which applications to invest in and define a modernization application plan.
2. Understanding the transformation
Application modernization is not just a challenge but also a cultural one, and successful strategies must address both.
Guiding transformation efforts requires a good understanding of applicable business processes and their interdependencies: what the application is, how it works, what it connects to (databases, storage, network or other applications) who needs it how it is used and how it is maintained over time.
3. Plan the transformation
Agencies need to consider several different approaches. Responses can range from adding new functionality to the existing architecture to ensure a better fit with end-user needs, to completely redesigning and rebuilding the infrastructure. Containers, modern application stacks, micro-services, and the cloud make it easier to develop, deploy, manage and adapt current government applications to better meet demand