Modernize its application to meet evolving technology demands while still delivering security, productivity and a consumer-like user experience.
Mark Information is a leading Nordic vendor of the ProMark Workforce Management system, helping companies optimize productivity and generate savings through intelligent resource scheduling and by adhering to various local legislations. For over 35 years, they have delivered reliable access to the real-time information companies across the globe need to make quick decisions—and remain compliant with each country’s regulatory requirements. A Progress® OpenEdge® customer for 30 years dating back to version 7.3, Mark Information has stayed on top by modernizing its solution as technologies evolve.
“Most businesses are turning towards a business-to-consumer experience, and that is what both employees and managers are expecting,” said Morten Janum, CIO and Vice President, Mark Information. “In our migration to 12.1 we primarily focused on performance gains and giving a boost to our user experience. Moving to 12.2 continues that performance journey, while adding in that stability aspect with long-term support. That is especially critical for stabilizing our larger, more complex implementations in the markets we serve.”
Mark Information also sought to accelerate its migration into offering a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) app and leverage new OpenEdge capabilities for DevOps, continuous monitoring and integration services for customers wanting load balancing, fail-safe scenarios and less down time. Version 12.2 presented the company with the opportunity to modernize the user experience with the backend.
Because today’s customers expect advanced UI/UX experiences, the team chose Progress® Kendo UI®, “The Angular type of product suite helped us bring forward some of the more data-heavy use cases we have,“ said Janum. “Kendo UI components, with their richness, helped us speed up.”
The robust backwards compatibility of OpenEdge was refreshing for Janum, who came from a Microsoft environment in his previous role. “The IT industry is moving so fast, fewer and fewer companies can afford to do a full rewrite of their tech stacks every time something brand new arrives. Progress has proven for years that its able to keep up by enabling us to tap into all the technologies we need. It means we’re not locked into one box.”
The company’s migration from Classic Application Server to Progress Application Server (PAS) was critical as well. “It was a key part of doing true modernization and getting into a scalable application server setup,” Janum said. “It positioned us to compete in the SaaS space and prepared us to manage the future. It was a no-brainer.”
Security was also an important factor. As the company moved forward, it wanted its application server layer to have all the modern benefits available in the 12.2 toolbox, like security, monitoring capabilities and resiliency. As Janum said, “Having Progress backing it with security certifications around that type of architecture is something we can piggyback with when we have customers with higher security requirements.”
While the previous upgrade from 11.7 to 12.1 took three months, Mark Information improved on that timeline even further. Its 12.1 to 12.2 work took only one month, despite its complex setup. And the upgrade work was time well spent. Performance gains from the upgrade were between 100-150%.
“That is a great boost. Coming in with a reactive, modern interface and paring it up with the performance is really key for us.”
Of their 400 instances running on the Progress Application Server for OpenEdge, 70% have already modernized. Each instance typically deploys one application server and two web applications, but for higher-volume solutions they do have up to 10 instances for one web application.
Looking ahead, the Mark Information team is examining how they bring their on-premise clients into a modern world of high availability, multi-tenancy setups to offer more structured relationships with the higher service levels customers want.