Feb 20, 2018 | 3 min read

How Coverdell Used a Proof of Concept to Improve DevOps Practices

By: Patrick Emmons

How Coverdell Used a Proof of Concept to Improve DevOps Practices

The Client & The Challenge

CoverdellWith more than 50 years of retail marketing experience and 20 years of administering insurance and membership programs, Coverdell services more than six million individuals across the country today.

Coverdell maintains a robust portfolio of 80 websites and counting. With such high volume to support, it was determined that improvement in DevOps practices like branching and automation of testing, builds, and deployments would help maximize the impact the technology team could make for Coverdell while reducing risk. The ultimate goal was to enable the team to focus more on product development and less on deployment.

The Solution & The Results

DragonSpears recognizes that DevOps is a journey and believes in taking a pragmatic approach that allows organizations to embrace change, get quick wins, and leverage their current tool set without additional software investment.

The DragonSpears team worked with Coverdell to achieve the following:

  • Select two Websites, two Web Services, and one background process to be the primary focus of this engagement
  • Understand current code branching approach and suggest improvements for code branching and change management
  • Develop roadmap for CI/CD implementation and configuration automation
  • Introduce release/deployment tools and documentation practices
  • Provide Coverdell staff with guidance to increase automation and predictability for maintenance and deployment of current or new websites
  • Provide a build and release workflow in TFS 2017 that demonstrates how to deploy to a Non-Production and Production Environment

DragonSpears worked with Coverdell to uncover, document, and provide guidance in tackling current challenges and improving DevOps practices. A key takeaway included a proof of concept with Coverdell TFS and their unique environments to highlight deployment automation opportunities for different product lines. As a result, Coverdell can now connect TFS to Azure for deployment of applications into different PAAS slots. Additional takeaways for Coverdell included a detailed assessment document, a build and release workflow, and set of recommendations for future iterations

DragonSpears helped us on our DevOps journey by providing easy to understand guidance and a pertinent proof of concept. We are using these to automate our manual processes and increase our team’s effectiveness and efficiency.

- Ryan Sorensen, Director of Application Development and Enterprise Architecture, Coverdell & Company, LLC

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.