Digital Strategy and Cloud Design
“The documentation and digital assets delivered have been invaluable in getting stakeholders on-board and helping non technical partners understand our vision””
Jamie Buchanan, CTO
Digital strategy describing technology architecture to support their vision of business growth and product innovation
Data and technical architecture for the new platform and provide ongoing architecture support throughout the build
Create and support sophisticated automated build and deployment pipelines for all components of the the platform.
Autorama consulted Tech Amigos (TA) to provide some strategic direction to transition away from a monolithic platform which supported its web brands. Originally, customers would go to different sites to retrieve quotes for vans (Vanarama), cars (Motorama) and pickups (Pickuptrucksdirect). These were supported by different CMSs (Content Management Systems). Content and presentation concerns were tightly coupled making a consistent look and feel across websites difficult to achieve. Challenges have included:
Legacy IT platform was difficult and expensive to change and lacked business agility.
Non-automated pricing for vehicles for lease.
Limited means to scale media channels e.g. particularly online.
End-to-end digital customer journey was not supported from “quote to renewal”.
Customer insight and analytics could be improved.
Autorama took a strategic marketing decision to consolidate its online offering under one brand – Vanarama, which they found to resonate with its entire customer base. Autorama also recognised that they holistically needed a new digital platform and there was great scope for automating various processes.
- Frontend – NextJS
- Backend – Ruby on Rails, Node JS
- Cloud provider – AWS
- Cloud services – ECS, OpenSearch, RDS, Elasticache, R53, ALB, S3
Cloud Strategy for UI supported by Microservices
TA architected a solution for a new digital platform, with a re-design for the Vanarama front-end website, supported by a number of microservices. Customers, Vehicles and Orders provide core microservices.
As an AWS partner, TA has provided a solution using AWS cloud services for microservices. Microservices provide several advantages in that they can be developed, deployed and scaled independently and help safeguard from downstream failure.
Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI and CD)
TA initially established CI/CD tooling and automation infrastructure necessary to enable the delivery of the Vanarama digital platform. Go-to tools have encompassed Jenkins (CI) and Harness (CD) for GitHub hosted projects.
Building a new Vanarama website, with API
Next.js for the front-end, enables quick rendering of web pages on the server-side and supports image optimisation, suitable for serving Vanarama’s image-rich content. This helps ensure consistency in the way that webpages are presented to customers and is independent of variable performance on client-side webpage rendering. The federation gateway API which links the front-end to microservices has been developed using Node.js.
Establishing Cloud Microservices for New Digital Platform
Microservices support Autorama’s business functions and form the basis for its new AWS cloud-hosted digital platform. The cloud strategy has involved a transitional programme to gradually introduce these into production and finally retire the legacy Lead Manager platform. Ultimately, microservices aim to further business agility.
Vanarama is an award-winning personal and commercial vehicle leasing company