In this interview, Synergy Founder and CEO, Sam Sarkar, and EVP and CTO, Chandan Mukhopadhyay, discuss achieving the golden balance between demonstrating technology excellence and striving to meet customer mission.
A Containerized Approach to Support COVID Related Emergency Business Need
Recent COVID-19 related challenges were a test for both Federal and commercial sectors on many fronts including their readiness to support remote work and on-line collaboration, their organizational ability to swiftly respond to the challenge, and readiness and willingness to implement change management processes to quickly adopt and deploy the necessary tools and technology.
During this uniquely challenging time, as an example, one of our customers desperately needed a Fast Track solution to manage a high volume of anticipated contracting actions. The customer had been working for some time to develop a new AWS cloud based secured platform using a DevSecOps pipeline to expedite the ATO process. This can typically take between six and nine months.
Using a containerized approach to develop the solution using a similar DevSecOps platform on our own AWS GovCloud instance, we were able to step in and support them. Collaborating virtually with the infrastructure and certification team, distributed over CONUS and OCONUS, the application received ATO in four weeks.
Technology Adoption Decisions Must Align with Long Term Strategy, Cost and Operational Efficiency
We have seen a wide-ranging interest across Federal agencies towards exploring cloud adoption to reduce the headache of infrastructure management, utilize cloud native tools to build modern applications, explore Open Source solutions and gain enterprise wide cost efficiency. The momentum has predominantly been to implement reusable APIs and microservices and utilize DevSecOps pipeline to build and deploy solutions iteratively while integrating security and automation throughout the design, build, test and deploy process.
The US Coast Guard, for instance, is making a big push towards using the Air Force’s Platform One DevSecOps pipeline and RedHat OpenShift to manage its runtime containerized environment. Synergy is responsible to manage and modernize 90 applications across 36 business systems for USCG and is closely working with the Government to execute the modernization roadmap.
As part of this, our engineers review each legacy business system to identify business process reengineering and consolidation options before recommending ideal technology platform. In this instance, Software AG’s webMethod Integration platform was recommended to implement the DHS Financial Management Modernization initiative and also to support USCG – DLA EDI message upgrade initiative.
One of the key challenges for any enterprise-wide modernization is selecting and adopting appropriate technology platforms to improve business efficiency. When you are talking about DHS, it means helping them in their mission to improve national security. For other Federal customers it translates to providing better services to the citizens.
The Promise of the Innovation Lab
An internal Innovation Lab to pilot various technology platforms using representative business cases provides an opportunity to determine those that can best solve the client’s business problem. Our lab uses cloud-based infrastructure and helps conduct analysis of alternatives across parameters, such as ease of implementation, cost of acquisition and post-production support, to evaluate various platform’s technical capability.
It is also important to ensure that after industry steps away, the Government is able to operate and maintain the system using organic staff. We therefore also include parameters such as learning curve and training availability as part of the analysis.
Reducing Service Dollars
It may sound paradoxical but as a services company, we always look for opportunities to suggest COTS or Open Source Solutions that can reduce the service cost, hence Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Our experience has confirmed time and again that utilizing appropriate COTS and OSS can reduce custom coding, which means a reduction in implementation cost and a reduction of future O&M cost.
Adopting COTS allow us to seek products or solutions that have been used to implement similar solutions, therefore saving the client time and money. In one recent case, turning to a proven COTS solution reduced the overall implementation cost by 50 percent over another recommendation that was outside the scope of time and budget.
Our core mission is to work as a trusted advisor for our customer and to suggest the best possible solution, even if that means less services revenue for us in the short term. We train our team to think and suggest what’s best for the customer before thinking what’s best for Synergy. This has helped us build a solid, long-standing relationship with the customer. This has also meant that these customers time and again come back seeking our advice for future solutions.
About Sam Sarkar
Sam Sarkar is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Synergy. He has over 25 years of extensive knowledge in the fields of technology, systems operations, and strategic IT consulting. Over the past decade, he has implemented a culture of hands-on leadership to guide Synergy to become a premier IT consulting firm that consistently meets, exceeds, and advances the customer mission. Sam firmly believes that people are the biggest asset of Synergy, and has relentlessly worked to instill a corporate culture that is fair, fun, and rewarding.
About Chandan Mukhopadhyay
Since the inception of Synergy, Chandan Mukhopadhay has been working directly on business development and delivery for all of Synergy’s strategic customers. With over 25 years of experience, and a passion for innovation, Chandan is always willing to roll up his sleeves and work directly with customers to help designing enterprise solutions to solve complex business problems. Chandan created the Synergy Labs and Innovation Center (SLIC) with a vision of identifying business problems and implementing quick prototypes using modern tools and technologies to demonstrate how the “rubber-meets-the-road”.
Founded in 2005, Synergy Business Innovation & Solutions, Inc. (Synergy) is an Information Technology (IT) firm specializing in Agile Development, System Integration, Business Process Reengineering, Cyber Security, and Mobile Solutions. Synergy’s leadership team consists of technical experts who began their careers providing enterprise solutions to large Fortune 500 companies. This commercial IT delivery experience drives Synergy’s efficient delivery, ingenuity, and tangible return on investment for our customers.
With a focus on quality, Synergy has been rated at CMMI Maturity Level 3 for Development, CMMI Maturity Level 3 for Services, and is compliant with ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013, and ISO 20000-01:2011.