Each year, this honour is awarded to a select number of IBM Business Partners who have delivered exceptional solutions to drive business value and transform the way clients and industries do business in the future. The 2016 awards recognize achievements across a wide-range of solution areas, including IBM Watson, cloud and analytics that are helping to bring clients into the cognitive era. This is the first time a company from New Zealand or Australia has won a Beacon award within the category of Outstanding Middleware Solution.
Chosen from entrants around the world, the winning award was centralised on the highly successful middleware and integration layer the team at IntegrationWorks strategised, designed and developed over a period of 12 months. While working closely with New Zealand Racing Boards’ CIO and executive IT team, IntegrationWorks were able to develop an efficient integration solution that has allowed the organisation to open up digital channels and expand their online gaming and wagering business.
Prior to embarking on their digital overhaul, New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) relied on a 35-year-old antiquated infrastructure. This lacked the flexibility and performance needed to compete in a competitively digital industry. Additionally, legislative provisions did not prohibit foreign companies from gaining domestic market segments through their own digital platforms; therefore, they were losing out on revenue from global competitors.
IntegrationWorks worked with NZRB closely to translate business requirements into a set of goals and outcomes for integration. The solution: create a fast and accurate platform that enabled the new mobile app to act as a pioneering channel thus creating a pathway for ongoing migration of digital services internally and via other vendor partners.
Once the strategy had been mapped and customer interaction patterns analysed, IntegrationWorks selected IBM as a technological partner to deliver consumer driven outcomes.
“We knew that it was a highly complex historical environment and it was critical to bring the legacy systems through the digital transformation phase. All of our architecture and development teams were informed and engaged from the start,” says Grant McKeen, Managing Director of IntegrationWorks.
“It was critical that we road mapped the best strategy for New Zealand Racing Board, and translated those strategies into pragmatic and user-centric architecture that when implemented with our devOps team created a competitive advantage.”
The work that gained the winning IBM Beacon Award was an innovative and flexible middleware solution, created through specialist integration architecture and bespoke development. Services included SOA Service Design & Implementation, which created alignment across the technologies and infrastructure, API Design & Implementation that allowed for flexibility and agility when interacting with the channels and Data Structure Design & Development that supported a common vocabulary across all new digital channels through a caching platform. Technologies used included IBM DataPower, IBM Integration Bus, IBM ExtremeScale and IBM MQ.
With a fast production and deployment time, New Zealand Racing Board was able to go live in early 2015.
The results have allowed New Zealand Racing Board to benefit from:
- An overall increase of digital revenue through the mobility channel, of which the integration layer makes up part of
- The ability to add to the mobility channel and increase digital services via the integration layer
- An increase in online betting both in New Zealand and internationally, allowing for global competitiveness and increased market share through the overall mobility channel
- The ability for customers to access data through the mobility channel via the integration layer, which is faster than the TV broadcast of the live betting event
“Since going live we have seen volumes through the platform rapidly rise, building up to November’s Melbourne cup where we saw record numbers reached for the platform. In twelve months we have built a new integration layer that supports our entire IT re-architecture strategy,” says Colin Philp, New Zealand Racing Board’s CIO.
“Like any major IT greenfields development we’ve had challenges, but a good vendor demonstrates their value on how they work on those challenges like IntegrationWorks has. We’ve had IntegrationWorks’ resources working on-site with us for months and they have been a really solid and reliable business partner. It has genuinely been a great partner relationship and I’m glad they have been recognised globally for their work with us,” Philp concludes.
With the awards ceremony held at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Orlando, the win for IntegrationWorks has given the opportunity for the New Zealand Company to get some worldwide recognition to support their global expansion.
“The IBM Beacon Awards recognise Business Partners who continually deliver transformative solutions that help clients prepare for the cloud and cognitive era,” said Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. “We’d like to congratulate IntegrationWorks on winning the Beacon Award for Outstanding Middleware Solution and serving as a trusted business advisor to their clients and specifically New Zealand Racing Board.”
Future plans for the integration specialist include growing the New Zealand based ArchiDev and DevOps teams, and capitalising on projects for the newly established Australian office for various customers in the finance and insurance verticals. Offices in the United Kingdom and United States are in the early stages, with opportunities across telecommunications, banking and construction enterprise integration projects on the horizon.