Motability Operations Ltd is responsible for the finance, administration and maintenance of the Motability Scheme under contract to the national charity established by the UK government in 1977. The Motability Scheme helps disabled people exchange mobility allowances to lease cars, scooters, or powered wheelchairs. As a result, Motability Operations is the UK’s largest car leasing company, with a fleet of more than 640,000 vehicles.
As the company’s business has increased, the number and complexity of its IT systems has also grown. As part of its effort to more efficiently lease vehicles to the disabled community, Motability Operations needed to modernize its lease management and customer relationship management systems.
Driving system integration for Motability Operations Ltd
To achieve this, Motability Operations needed to integrate new and legacy systems and applications, with a focus on data integrity between its systems. The company saw a need for real-time updates between point of sale systems — typically used by third-party dealers and suppliers — and its CRM back-end systems.
Motability Operations sought a more modern, reliable digital platform that would achieve this requirement while also ensuring flexibility for future product innovation. In addition, the company’s IT managers wanted an integration solution that would be exciting and quick for developers to learn about and use; keeping productivity and employee satisfaction high as a result. Motability teams had explored integration work using Apache Camel as a free-to-use, Open Source community product. But given the scale and significance of the project, the need for fully supported technology was obvious.
An open source enterprise service bus
The migration to a supported version of Apache Camel led Motability to assess Red Hat® JBoss® Fuse. This is an open source enterprise service bus (ESB) that reduces the pain of connecting disparate applications, services, and devices for comprehensive and efficient solutions. JBoss Fuse includes the popular and versatile Apache Camel project, an implementation of the most commonly used enterprise integration patterns. As a lightweight, flexible platform, Red Hat JBoss Fuse delivers rapid integration of systems across the enterprise, while new, modular integration features and capabilities improves data access.
Motability Operations concluded that a Fuse deployment within a fully supported subscription framework from Red Hat was the way to progress. Having chosen the technology platform, Motability then looked at Red Hat Partners for implementation support.
Motabilty Operations Ltd and Red Hat
Red Hat manages a global Partner Program which denotes partner capabilities via a number of skills-based accreditations that can only be achieved through the testing and validation of technical knowledge. Tier 2 Consulting are the only Red Hat Premier Business Partner for JBoss Middleware Solutions in the UK and Ireland. Therefore they were invited to take part in a series of pre-sales demonstrations and technical discussions at Motability, supported by Red Hat’s own product experts. Following detailed product assessments and commercial discussions, Motability Operations chose Tier 2 Consulting to provide ongoing technical expertise and project support.
Migration to a supported version of Apache Camel
The first phase of work involved the creation of the integration architecture, which was then refined to meet Motability Operations’ specific requirements. Working alongside the Motability Operations in-house teams, Tier 2 Consulting helped keep the project on schedule, providing on-site operational and developer support.
Commenting on Tier 2’s input to the project, Charles Illingworth, Development Team Lead Motability Operations said,
“The integration is part of the biggest IT project we’ve done in a long, long time, probably ever. We have more than 150 people working on various aspects of the project. Tier 2 played a key role in defining the architecture, skilling up the project teams, instilling best practices and providing ongoing assurance. Their support is flexible, targeted to our needs and always very professional.”
Fuse deployment – improved IT performance from a supported platform
Deploying Red Hat JBoss Fuse also helped to resolve maintenance issues from legacy applications that were running on unsupported platforms.
Real-time reporting has also been achieved as a result of the Fuse deployment. Previously, Motability Operations’ internal employees and staff at its third-party partners had to wait hours — or even overnight — to access updated customer information.
The benefits of Red Hat certification
With Red Hat JBoss Fuse, data access is dramatically faster. For example, as part of the leasing process, Motability Operations sends a request to a third party to generate key documents, such as customer letters, vehicle lease contracts, or partner invoices. Before the company implemented Red Hat JBoss Fuse, the process to request and create these documents was sometimes slow and cumbersome. Now, these documents are generated instantly.
“Being on a supportable platform is a requirement for us. Having Red Hat to fall back on is a big win,” said Illingworth.
In addition, connection between different types of endpoints — such as web services or legacy file systems — is now seamless and no longer requires writing many lines of code. Integration is now completed in days or weeks, when before this could take months.
“We can get end-to-end integrations up and running quickly,” said Ian Page, Senior Middleware Consultant with Tier 2 Consulting. “And there’s nothing like quick results to keep engineers engaged.”
Tier 2 Consulting Managing Director Andy Kennedy said,
“Aside from showcasing our technical skills with complex business integration deployments, using the features and capabilities of Red Hat JBoss Fuse, we are immensely proud to be supporting Motability Operations. Their work within the disabled community is invaluable, and we are delighted to be helping shape the future success of their support.”
Read the full Motability Operations Case Study here: