Architecting Cloud Applications for the Enterprise – Part III – SuperCloudySoftware meets VeryBigCorp CIO


Actors: the CIO at VeryBigCorp, John (SuperCloudySoftware's CEO) and a bunch of senior developers and architects.


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CIO: Gentlemen, welcome. Let me start by saying that our internal Customer is absolutely fascinated with your application. Believe me, they are hard to please and I've never seen them so excited. Congratulations!


John (CEO): thank you! We are really committed to our customer satisfaction


CIO: great to hear that. Now... the reason I wanted to meet with you is because we want to use the system for the entire division...


John (thinking): yes! yes! yes! 10,000 seats...


CIO: ...that would be 10,000 users approximately.  The thing is that the current authentication approach you guys have today, username and password, doesn't really work for us. I don't want yet another password to maintain, troubleshoot, etc. We have enough identities already as a result of our latest set of mergers and acquisitions...


John (Glancing at the other tech folks, nodding and still thinking about 10K seats): Sounds completely reasonable to me...


CIO: Besides the maintenance hassles of dealing with people forgetting passwords, provisioning new employees, etc. there is a serious liability in having you guys managing authentication this way. If any of these employees is fired, nothing prevents him to logon from his home and creatively edit the data in the system. That's too risky for us. So we want Single Sign On between our own identity infrastructure and yours...


John (carefully but confidently): right, makes total sense... 


CIO: Great. The second thing I want to discuss with you is integration. Event though IssueTracker would actually replace a few systems that we host ourselves, there are still other applications that need to pull and push information to IssueTracker. In particular, our ISO9000 support system absolutely needs to be fully integrated in real time with IssueTracker. We cannot have people duplicating entries on these two different systems.


John (cautiously): mhm


CIO: By the way, the ISO9000 system runs on our AS400 minicomputer...


John (thinking): A...S...what?


John (suddenly excited): well, there are export/import features in IssueTracker. Currently you could download or upload an Excel spreadsheet, and ....


CIO (interrupting John): sure, that might help, but what we need is that every time someone creates a new Issue in IssueTracker, the same information is replicated in the AS400 almost real-time...makes sense? Some delay is admissible, but it must be as online as possible. Couple of minutes at most...


John (worried): mhm     


CIO: great we understand each other! You guys are really easy to work with!


John: Sure. We are really committed to our customers satisfaction. I'd like to meet with my team and take a look at this requirements. I'm sure we can develop a proposal for you in the next week or so...


CIO (interrupting again): ...wait, there's one more thing...


John: oh! sorry... (thinking: what else could they possibly want...)


CIO: IssueTracker will become a critical system for us. If something goes wrong, and believe me, it will; we need to know. We need our help desk to be fully integrated with yours. Our users are trained to call help desks for problems with any homologue system they interact with. So when a trouble ticket is generated here, we need that to be escalated to you.


The Architect (who had remained silent until then): hey, you could use IssueTracker to track issues with IssueTracker! To iterate is human, to recurse is divine...


John (piercing the architect with his eyes): thanks for the "suggestion", now could you please expand on your needs? 


CIO: yeah...anyway, we recently invested on a new set management tools (we just deployed Microsoft System Center Operations manager), so ideally, we would like all administrative tasks to be launched from there...ok? I want to be able to track response time, correlate potential problems with other conditions... 


John (Recovering): ok... We need to look at this. Frankly, we don't have those things in place today, but we are very interested in making this work for you.


I'm very comfortable with the technical capabilities of my team so I'm sure we will find a solution.


I'll come back to you next week with a proposal. ok?


John and his team leaves VeryBigCorp offices. John is really wondering if this thing of expanding into the enterprise segment is really worth it. Why not just continue to sell to the SMB segment as they've been doing so far? Anyway, John wants to explore the options and make a decision on more than initial gut feeling.


At the same time, his instincts tell him that VBC requirements are not really unique. If they solve them for VBC, they would solve them for all companies with that profile and position SCS competitively.


Next chapter: SuperCloudySoftware whiteboards options to address VeryBigCorp challenges.

Comments (4)

  1. Chris says:

    Having worked at VBC and similar I’m intrigued. We’re already starting to talk about Cloud computing in my VLO (very large organization) and I’m trying to get a handle on what it actually consists of.

    I’ve also worked for SCS on occasion so I’ve seen this from both sides of the fence and was actually in a meeting not dissimilar from the above while developing a web based application that I had carefully designed so that the various organizations would not demand their own copy.

  2. I wanted to provide pointers and credit to the detail behind the ‘Architectural Impact’ portion of the

  3. In the previous article , we explored the challenges of building services for an enterprise, illustrating

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