20 Nov 2023

Scottish E-procurement

At the time this was one of the world’s largest e-procurement networks, with around 120,000 suppliers and 100,000 active users in 2011. Over $8bn was spent through the service every year. The integration service was rolled out to 26 sites over a 10 year period, and Integrella supported the platform until 2015.

The Challenge

They were running an unsupported Seebeyond EAI Platform with 67 customers, on a 10 year old design. It comprised the following disparate parts:

  • 26 integration servers
  • 26 processes for granting access
  • 26 technical contacts
  • 26 OS patch levels
  • 5 major OS versions
  • 7 access methods to servers
  • 5 physical security tokens
  • 2 VM builds required on support client
  • 3 versions of E-gate

It was essential for them to minimise the number of defects, minimise response times and improve efficiency. This was a complicated project for a number of different reasons.

  • Minimal code-reuse and effectively 26 code branches
  • No dedicated testing facilities
  • GUIs for designing new interfaces and managing live system have been withdrawn
  • System wide changes require coordination with 20 separate customers and 26 different change control processes
  • Gaining access to systems takes a long time and regularly exceeds 1 day
  • No visibility of customers governance around changes affecting integration platform and no notification of scheduled or unscheduled outages
  • Restrictions on many  mail servers and firewalls preventing effective alerting
  • Not designed according to contemporary best practice

The Solution

Integrella performed a detailed comparison of options which highlighted market leaders Mule ESB, Oracle Fusion and Intersystems Ensemble. The proposed solution was placed in the strategy context of a number of Scottish, European and UK systems needing to work more closely together to achieve synergies and cost savings between them.

It included a single shared hosting platform with single sign-on and instant access, utilising industry best practice in business continuity, scalability and security. It provided real-time monitoring, alerting and reconciliation, and testing and other activities not limited by integration platform. The platform was designed to handle data at security level IL2, and strong encryption between integration platform and financial systems. This would enable reduced overall hardware footprint and minimal licence costs, as well as reduced cost and turnaround time for enrolment and delivery of enhancements.

They chose the Integrella solution because:

  • the proposed solution would be designed, implemented and supported by expert systems integrators with a background in multiple sectors including NHS and with experience using several integration platforms including eGate, Oracle Integration Suite, Ensemble and Java
  • they would gain the benefits from continuous platform improvements
  • it would help them to focus NHS ICT resource on clinical services
  • it would leverage the National ePS integration Platform
  • it would deliver integration as a service (IAAS)
  • it would exploit Cloud computing

The Benefits

The solution quickly delivered fewer defects and improved response times, as well as the benefits of working with Open Source technology. NHS ICT staff could now focus on clinical systems that directly affect patient care – rather than on financial software, and they now had an agile solution where improvements to one customer can be made available to others. Overall, they now had improved harmonisation of Scottish Government organisations, as well as industry best practice in security and business continuity.

About Integrella

Integrella is a specialist IT services company with extensive experience across UK sectors. Our services include consulting, development, delivery, support and resourcing. We deliver our solutions by partnering with top vendors in the industry.

The pressure is on every organisation to be more connected, more convenient, more compelling and more social. These needs drive digital transformation. Integrella can help you realise the potential in what you already have – and set you on the right digital track.