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Situation

IT solutions and services provider Kelway is the UK's market leader with turnover exceeding £300 million and a network of 700 staff nationwide. Kelway has achieved the highest standard of accreditation with all major infrastructure vendors, supporting clients to review and develop ICT strategy. Clients benefit from improved performance, cost efficiencies and strategic advantages over competitors. Key to Kelway's success is its standing as a trusted partner providing unparalleled expert service to a range of clients across public and private sectors. Over one third of FTSE 100 companies are Kelway clients.

Ballard Chalmers has worked as a services supplier to Kelway on a number of projects, delivering highly specialist consultancy and development skills on Commerce Server, BizTalk Server and SQL Server platform technologies.

Solutions

1.Consultancy and mentoring services

One of Kelway's clients is a leading provider of professional qualifications and business training in the UK and Asia and a division of the world's largest training company. In addition to providing training courses, the organisation also supplies the books and other related materials that students need to successfully complete their studies. To support the supply of these products in the most integrated and automated way, the organisation decided to implement Commerce Server to create an online shopping site, and BizTalk Server to create a message interchange hub with other suppliers.

As with many organisations, Kelway recognised that it was not cost effective to recruit highly specialised IT staff with skill sets that were rarely needed and had a policy of partnering with external specialists when specific and high levels of expertise were required. With its Professional Services team focused on strategic projects, Kelway decided to outsource for the more specialised skills and experience required to implement Commerce Server and BizTalk Server platforms. Following the evaluation of a number of Microsoft partners, Kelway partnered with Ballard Chalmers for consultancy and mentoring services, both on BizTalk hub design and for highly complex Commerce Server programming and deployment issues. Ballard Chalmers consultants also worked closely with Kelway developers in the software development of custom BizTalk pipeline components to manage the legacy EDI message formats used by some suppliers.

Additionally, Ballard Chalmers provided on-site training, knowledge transfer and full documentation to ensure that the organisation's internal development team were fully familiar with Commerce Server and BizTalk Server technologies and would be able to maintain and further enhance the solution.

2. SQL Server Data Transformation Services

The Government department responsible to the Lord Chancellor for keeping and maintaining vital UK public sector information approached Kelway for support and assistance on upgrading an existing SQL Server platform provide for increased capacity and scalability. The Department had vast amounts of data held in a number of diverse repositories and accessed by various applications, one of which was a content management system (CMS) that stored the content for the Department's web pages in SQL Server.

The Department accepted that the SQL Server platform was no longer running at peak efficiency and was becoming more and more complex to maintain, and had taken the decision to upgrade the SQL Server 2000 to the latest release.

Recognising that the implementation of the new SQL Server platform would require the migration of a number of SQL Server 2000 Data Transformation Services (DTS) to the new SQL Server 2005 SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Kelway partnered with Ballard Chalmers for the highly levels of expertise that were critical to the success of the project.

One option was to run the existing DTS packages in the emulator available with SQL 2005, but this was not regarded by Ballard Chalmers as an effective long term strategy and could have had serious repercussions in the future should the Department decide to further upgrade the SQL platform.

Ballard Chalmers' consultants undertook detailed analysis of the DTS packages and devised a strategy for migration and rigorous testing to ensure that the imports were working as expected. The migrations were completed successfully, on time, within budget and delivered to the Department accompanied by full documentation.

About

Ballard Chalmers is one of the UK’s leading enterprise software engineering companies, specialising in development for the Microsoft Enterprise Application Platform. We are principally dedicated to software development and integration for the Microsoft Cloud, as well as on-premises and hybrid systems. Our expertise is in Microsoft .NET, SQL Server, BizTalk Server and SharePoint Server.

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