Our client is a world leader in digital supply chain and omnichannel demand fulfillment. The company’s intelligent end-to-end platforms enable its clients—retailers, manufacturers and logistics providers—to seamlessly predict and pivot to meet customer demand.
Compliance and operational issues
Our client faced several compliance issues, including less than 65% patching compliance due to heavy manual intervention and lack of automation. This opened them to vulnerabilities and security concerns.
They also experienced less than 25 % Oracle Database patching compliance, as they lacked a viable solution to patch Oracle Database servers and Oracle RAC servers. In addition, the complete lack of live reporting forced our client to wait for maintenance tasks to be completed before assessing server compliance.
On the operational side, they faced frequent maintenance window delays that negatively impacted service availability and customer satisfaction.
The company was using multiple tools across their private and public clouds, which caused operational difficulties in tool management and maintenance.
The patching portal lacked various scheduling and visibility features to determine whether maintenance windows were in progress for a given customer.
Scheduling was often error-prone, causing missed or incorrect maintenance windows. The entire process was labor intensive and required major effort that resulted in limited success and a lack of traceability.
Improving the patching process via automation
Our client turned to HCLTech to address the challenges and propose a replacement for existing tools with the right solution for patching.
They aimed to establish online self-service scheduling processes on the patch management portal to eliminate the burden of email coordination for their technical account managers. The company also wanted to automate job scheduling with the help of inputs from the self-service patch management portal.
They sought to automate the end-to-end patching process: bringing services down gracefully, patching, rebooting, bringing services back up and notifying stakeholders.
Finally, they wanted to integrate the solution with the ServiceNow cloud computing platform to create a closed-loop patching process, eliminate blanket requests (which don’t permit traceability of impacted servers) and avoid manual change entries.
BigFix Lifecycle patch management
HCLTech proposed replacing our client’s multiple technologies with BigFix Lifecycle and was responsible for implementing their new consolidated and automated patching process. Our team created granular jobs for each customer’s schedule so that our client now has visibility into each customer environment’s patching status.
Although BigFix doesn’t support Oracle Database patching out of the box, our team developed custom fixlets to automate and support the Oracle Database patching process.
Automation, strengthened compliance and cost savings
Our client has experienced positive impacts all around. In accordance with their company objectives, the implementation saved approximately $6M in license costs over five years. They now have quick access to compliance metrics data through BigFix reporting and achieved 99% patching compliance across the entire infrastructure without having to increase support overhead.
Perhaps most importantly, they are now able to scale growth without increasing human resources, resulting in further savings.
In good news for future clients, the use cases we developed for this client resulted in enhancements to BigFix, which makes it an even more effective solution going forward.