Helping an Enterprise-Grade Naval Asset Management System Get Into Shipshape
AMPS™ is a highly sophisticated asset management system that four of the world’s navies rely on for everything from tracking vessels, aircraft and munitions to scheduling maintenance and managing personnel. With more than 5,000 users in 120 locations, it’s a serious, mission-critical application. So, when the developer of AMPS (Atos) decided to update this legacy platform with even more functionality to meet the needs of a modern navy, it turned to OutSystems for help.
The Move to Modernize a Legacy Platform
Atos is a global consulting and systems integration company with 100,000 employees in 72 countries. Among their most valued customers are the Royal Navies of Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Oman. All four navies use a COTS asset management solution called AMPS to help manage their many physical assets, including their vessels, aircraft, vehicles, and munitions. They also rely on AMPS for the mammoth task of tracking the vast amounts of information associated with each of those assets, such as maintenance schedules and personnel details, financial information, and risk and safety management.
Given the critical role that AMPS plays in managing these naval assets, Atos recognized the strategic importance to update its technology, including overhauling its legacy platform and streamlining its functionality. The company knew that any new solution it created would have to support secure mobile access both online and offline, synchronization for highly distributed users, and real-time asset tracking and reporting.
The new solution would also have to be flexible enough to integrate with a wide range of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other legacy systems. Plus, it would have to support a number of deployment configurations ranging from secure cloud to on-premises. Last, but certainly not least, it would have to meet some of the most stringent security requirements in the world and meet performance criteria befitting a mission-critical active client such as Defense.
“The requirements and demands on asset management practitioners are intense,” notes Andrew Venables, Head of Systems Integration at Atos Australia and New Zealand. “In the new version of AMPS, we wanted to make the end-to-end experience much more efficient, engaging and practical.”
The Low-Code, Agile, DevOps Trifecta
Challenge - To meet these objectives as quickly as possible, Atos knew that it needed to transform the way it developed its software. Rather than pursue a traditional waterfall methodology, which would have been time-consuming and cumbersome, the company transitioned to an agile approach. To aid in that transition, it selected OutSystems to support its application development lifecycle from the build phase all the way through to deployment.
“Navies trust us to manage their critical and often complex assets using our asset management solution. That’s why we rely on OutSystems to help us meet their expectations.”
OutSystems was a logical choice for many reasons, not least because it lends itself so well to agile. For example, it gave Atos the fast, iterative development it needed along with the frictionless deployment and testing cycles critical for speeding up time to delivery. And, because OutSystems is designed to fit within an organization’s existing architecture, it’s easy to integrate with preferred tools as part of the development and deployment process.
In Atos’ case, the company was using Rally’s agile project management software as part of its own software development strategy. Integrating OutSystems with Rally allowed Atos to significantly increase the efficiency of its software development sprints. After a short training period, Atos was soon using OutSystems to develop the current generation of AMPS.
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AMPS 2.0: Building a Modern, Mobile, User-friendly Application
Solution - AMPS users were looking for easier, more efficient ways to process transactions so that they could free up more of their time to perform other value-added work. They also wanted a better user experience. Meanwhile, Atos wanted to make building and testing the new platform a faster, easier and more client engaging process.
“With the OutSystems low-code platform, we've achieved just that,” says Venables. “We’ve automated a majority of our testing, which has saved significant amounts of regression testing time. Plus, using OutSystems has allowed us to build an enhanced user experience into the product as well as deliver the solution on any device.”
Choosing OutSystems had other advantages, too. By working with OutSystems, Atos was able to build an enhanced, full-function enterprise-grade version of AMPS, allowing the navies it serves to:
- Make informed decisions regarding effective maintenance practices and efficient resource allocation
- Monitor supplier performance and maximize buying power by accurately determining the type and quantities of inventory, forecasting when and where parts are required, and removing repetitive manual tasks
- Work in a disconnected state for prolonged periods
- Instantly view the status of their assets to make educated decisions regarding assignments and mission types
- Record the status of all personnel and generate reports and manning charts for specific use within each vessel
- Provide secure mobile transactions through a wireless or cradle synchronization, which can be complemented with a bar-coded asset identification system
“Our experience using OutSystems demonstrates how much can be achieved using low-code application development and deployment methods. Seeing our teams embrace a brand new technology that’s more visual — and that requires more creativity and autonomous thinking — highlighted their ability to leverage the OutSystems technology across many facets.”
Today, OutSystems is Atos Australia’s technology of choice for developing its mobile applications.
“One of the challenges we currently face is convincing customers how quickly we can achieve outcomes and results,” notes Venable. “With OutSystems, we’re leading the way in terms of the speed at which we’re able to deliver outstanding, reliable software.”