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CASE STUDY

Leading North American energy distributor increases its OutSystems productivity by 2.4x in 1 year

How Accelerated Focus helped a multi-national gas supplier scale and maximize ROI by successfully establishing an OutSystems Center of Excellence (CoE).

Background

As a forward-thinking North American energy distributor with $38+ billion in annual revenue, the client had previously realized massive value from digital transformation.

To drive further innovation, they needed a modern platform and a mature, efficient Center of Excellence (CoE). The goal was to increase agility in enterprise operations with smart applications that could be quickly developed, deployed, and managed.

This platform needed to provide rich web and mobile user experience, faster development, and scalability across the business. After an extensive vendor selection and evaluation process, the client decided that OutSystems was the only platform that met all of their needs.

The Challenge

Upon purchasing the OutSystems platform, client management did what many new customers do when looking to move quickly and opened up development to any interested team with OutSystems training. They quickly learned that this approach created considerable challenges, as multiple lines of the business were simultaneously developing applications in the platform with no consistency, no best practices, and an antiquated governance model that was not being followed.

What resulted from this unplanned growth was redundancy in applications, significant quality issues, increased downstream risk, and no re-use. The adoption of the platform was in urgent need of a seasoned OutSystems partner that could help them define a new adoption strategy and bring some much needed organization and expertise.

Our Approach

Accelerated Focus was recommended by OutSystems due to their experience and thought leadership in the low-code platform adoption space. It was clear that the client wasn’t realizing the full potential of the platform, and needed support to get the most out of their investment.

01

Establishing a Center of Excellence

At the engagement outset, Accelerated Focus’ primary goal was to enable a Center of Excellence to scale and manage an enterprise level OutSystems capability. That included establishing new Ways of Working based on best practices, revamping the intake process, optimizing application development with a focus on architecture and reuse, and improving post production support.

Understanding how the organization and their existing processes work was critical to optimizing the CoE. As part of their proven methodology, Accelerated Focus took a holistic approach to adoption with self-sufficiency and long-term sustainability as the key drivers. The team challenged existing processes and the status quo, striving for an approach that was efficient, achievable and secure.

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Image by Danial Igdery

02

Standardizing Development Practices

In conjunction with establishing the CoE, Accelerated Focus lead the development of some key applications on the platform. The objective was to deliver quick value and demonstrate the true platform potential, all while setting the standard for agile product development with OutSystems.

This allowed the development teams to create new momentum, build platform awareness, and educate stakeholders about OutSystems and the value it brings.

03

Enabling Teams

With renewed interest in the platform, Accelerated Focus and the now maturing CoE could focus on proper enablement. They established a training program for employees interested in OutSystems development through a combination of free online training and on-the-job mentoring by experts.

This holistic new enablement approach went well beyond the technical, to include training on the new Ways of Working and best practices, agile development workshops, user story and backlog management, architecture, proper testing, and how to run a long-term product support model.

Team Meeting
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Services Provided

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Demand Intake

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Care & Support

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Adoption Programs

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Web & Mobile

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OutSystems Training

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COE Setup

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Architecture

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Resource Augmentation

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Enterprise Integrations

The Outcome

The ultimate goal was to turn the client’s challenges into elegant solutions that drive maximum efficiency and growth. New processes, governance, and proper enablement quickly led to more success, which were quickly promoted to create momentum and build confidence in the delivery teams and OutSystems capability.

By the end of the first year, there were a total of 15 development teams building 15 different applications in the OutSystems platform. Platform growth had grown from 600 to 13,000 users. By the end of year two, the client had 36 applications in production.

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Key Results

Defined new Ways of Working, based on best practices and focused on reusability, consistency and governance

Optimized processes, including enablement, intake, development, and post production support

Established a fully functional CoE supporting multiple lines of business, tens of thousands of customers, and dozens of applications.

Drove OutSystems Platform growth from 600 to 13,000 users in 16 months

Dramatically increased the OutSystems delivery production from 15 applications in year 1 to 36 applications by the end of year 2

Significantly increased delivery velocity with the first app delivered in 6 weeks using OutSystems vs. an expected 6+ month timeline if built with custom high-code

Client won OutSystems 2019 Adoption of the Year and the 2020 Leader in Digital Transformation awards

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