“It’s like rebuilding an entire bus while it’s moving, with passengers onboard. “
For over twenty years, Infusion has provided industry-leading desktop accounting software. It’s made for the trade, services, suppliers, and retail industry, and their large customer base is proof of its effectiveness. Over that period, Infusion’s software needed to be installed onto the user’s local system and run on their premises.
But the world has changed.
Data is now centralised, stored, and processed in the Cloud, allowing customers to work from anywhere with an internet connection and a web browser. Software costs have dropped and the pool of potential customers has risen. Customer expectations have also lifted; clients now demand greater functionality from their accounting software, like advanced searching as provided by Elasticsearch.
That’s when Tim Shaw, Infusion’s CEO, came to NetValue.
Tim knew the existing software model made the business unscalable and unable to reach new customers. He also knew that their code platform was about to go end-of-life. They asked NetValue to rewrite the entire accounting application software for the Cloud, but without disturbing the customers who needed to continue using the existing system.
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WHAT DON’T WE KNOW?
Before NetValue could rebuild the system, we needed to understand the old code and how Infusion’s customers were using it. This multifaceted analysis gave NetValue two crucial insights. First, we could see how customers needed the new software to perform. Second, it became clear that migrating existing customers from the old to the new wasn’t going to be a one-to-one functional fit.
THE CHALLENGE OF MIGRATION
Each customer had accumulated copious data through thousands of retail transactions. All of that data needed to remain accurate and intact during data migration. For that to happen, the new software needed to process data configured under the old system without limiting the new system’s improved functionality. That’s complicated.
BUILD AND MOVE
Our strategy was to “move the people as we build the software”. That meant organising Infusion’s customers into groups based on functional requirements. After identifying the simplest set of functions by which we could move an entire company, we used Agile methodology to build, test and deploy those functions. By staggering this function-based approach, we’ve been able to transfer Infusion’s clients in a controlled manner.
Applying Agile methodology with an incremental Build-and-Move approach allowed us to give Infusion everything they needed. Their accounting software is now Cloud-based and functionally competitive, and NetValue continues to work with Infusion to develop new features in real-time.