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FPS Economy

Federal Public Service (FPS) Economy is the Belgian federal agency responsible for contributing to the development, competitiveness and sustainability of the commodity and services market; ensuring the position of the Belgian economy at the international level; promoting trade in a competitive market; and collecting, processing, and disseminating economic information.

CHALLENGE

FPS Economy uses the SharePoint 2010 platform for intranet, extranet, collaboration, and process automation in eight farms that cover test, acceptance, and production environments. This platform is managed by the Middleware and Applications team of the Operations department, which is responsible for managing the application servers, web servers, and data warehouse, as well as monitoring.

Over the many years that SharePoint has been used within the organization, several people worked on building mission-critical applications and automating some of the processes on this platform. Without clear governance and consistent management of the company’s different farms, some of them were unstable and lacked performance, and caused people to spend a lot of time and effort trying to make them run smoothly. Change Management proved to be an issue, because there was no consistency between the test, acceptance, and production environments. The goal of the project was to identify the areas that needed improvement and implement consistency, performance, and stability on the platform.

SOLUTION

An initial assessment was conducted to evaluate the health of the two platforms (collaboration tool and application/process automation). Based on this assessment, CTG defined and performed the following actions:

  • Configured three new farms for test, acceptance, and production in a consistent, documented, and monitored way, using best practices
  • Gradually migrated everything to these new farms, in order to ensure stability, consistency, and performance
  • Realigned change management and adapted deployments to be less intrusive and disruptive
  • Considered different platforms and tooling for some solutions, but encountered technical limitations and boundaries of the SharePoint and Nintex products; Rethought the basic architecture of these solutions to allow them to work within these limitations
  • Migrated collaboration workplaces to SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2019

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